What Do Wheel Spacers Do? Are They Safe?

what do wheel spacers do

Wheel spacers are an accessory for cars to modify the behaviour, improve performance and make it look better. But, is it safe to use? A wheel spacer moves the hub outwards, creating a wider stance, improving handling, giving more space for larger tyres and bigger brakes, and increasing suspension travel.

When used correctly with no modifications, wheel spacers are safe to use. But, it is important to inspect existing equipment, replace any worn parts, and make sure fastening hardware is torqued to manufacturer’s specifications. Lastly, check lug nut tension after driving your car.

What Are Wheel Spacers?

Wheel spacers are metal pieces that fit between the wheel and the hub of the vehicle. This creates more space, making the wheelbase wider and the ride more stable. But, there are some risks to be aware of.

We’ll discuss these hazards, as well as the advantages of using wheel spacers, in this article.

Advantages of Wheel Spacers

Wheel spacers are used to increase a car’s wheel offset or track width. They usually come as a pair and range from 4mm to over 25mm. They fit between the wheel hub and wheel rim.

Advantages of Wheel Spacers:

  • Better handling: Increase track width for better cornering. More grip and more road surface contact offer steady driving.
  • More clearance: Change tires or upgrade suspension without interference.
  • Improved brake performance: Fit larger brake calipers and rotors with aftermarket steel wheel studs. Stopping power increases.
  • Good looks: Wider wheels give an impression of strength and power. Stand out on the road.

Disadvantages of Wheel Spacers

Wheel spacers can cause issues based on your vehicle type, the way you drive, and the spacers themselves. Disadvantages of wheel spacers include:

  • Reduced wheel clearance – Wheel spacers that are too high can interfere with suspension or other components such as fenders, brakes, or tires.
  • Stress on bolts – Wheel spacers place more stress on bolts. Over tightening them can snap off the bolt and damage attached parts.
  • Uneven contact patch – Large wheel spacers can push wheels closer together, which leads to uneven contact with road surface and tire wear.
  • Vehicle instability – An improperly installed wheel spacer can make your car feel shaky or loose at high speeds due to lack of balance or uneven weight distribution.

Be sure the wheel spacer is designed for your vehicle before installing. It would be best to ask a qualified installer for correct installation procedures. Improper installation could void warranties or insurance coverage.

Are Wheel Spacers Safe?

Wheel spacers widen the gap between wheels and hubs. This allows for wider tires and better performance. But, safety is a concern. We will take a look at these safety worries and how to prevent them.

Advantages of Wheel Spacers

Wheel spacers are becoming increasingly popular among car enthusiasts! They fit between a vehicle’s wheel and hub, increasing the distance between the two. This allows for larger-diameter wheels, wider tires, or better suspension clearance.

Wheel spacers can help you customize your car or truck to make it look more attractive. They let you fit larger diameter wheels and wider tires than with the stock setup, which can improve ride quality, traction, and handling. The increased track width from installing wheel spacers also provides better stability and safer maneuvering of the vehicle.

Plus, wheel spacers cost less than buying new rims. They are an affordable way to make aesthetic modifications. When used correctly and according to manufacturer specs, they are very safe.

Disadvantages of Wheel Spacers

Wheel spacers can provide many advantages, such as a more stable ride, increased cornering ability, and more clearance for larger tires. But, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Extra work and long wheel bolts are needed for installation.
  • Diagnosing issues like vibration or pulling can be more complex due to the increased distance between wheels, hubs and suspension components.
  • Plus, the centerline of the wheels will be moved further away from its usual place, which can decrease grip. In extreme cases, braking ability may be reduced by 15%.

To avoid any potential issues, it is recommended to use standard spacer sizes that leave enough clearance between components on each side. This is especially important for four-wheel drive vehicles or those with driveshafts connecting both axles at different angles of rotation.

Types of Wheel Spacers

Wheel spacers are a way to change the look of your vehicle. There are various kinds of wheel spacers available. They include: hubcentric wheel spacers, universal wheel spacers and small bore wheel spacers. Each type has its own pros and cons. Let’s examine them further.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type

Installing a new set of wheels requires considering the right spacing between the hub and wheel. Wheel spacers, also called hub spacers, make sure the wheels are at the right distance. Different types have unique advantages and disadvantages.

  • Bolt-on Wheel Spacers: Machined disks with threaded holes around the circumference attach to the vehicle’s bolt hubs & wheels. Light and easy to install and service, but lack corrosion protection.
  • Slide-On Wheel Spacers: Fit directly over current bolt hubs or axle shafts. Slightly heavier, but offers more protection against corrosion.
  • Spacers with Hub Centric Rings: Has a spacer with two centric rings (inner & outer) wedging into hub bore holes for support. Compatible with most vehicles, but modern ones need custom ordering. Inspect regularly for wear or damage, as it has a higher failure risk under challenging conditions.

How to Install Wheel Spacers

Give your vehicle a boost in performance and style with wheel spacers! They add width to the wheel base, increasing stability and providing a wider stance that looks aggressive. But before you start installing them, you must know how to do it properly.

Here’s the process:

Step-by-Step Guide

Wheel spacers are a great way to customize your vehicle. But, they must be installed correctly for safety and reliability. It’s best done by an experienced mechanic or knowledgeable enthusiast.

  1. Use a jack stand and jack block to lift your vehicle off the ground. Make sure the wheels are off the ground before installing.
  2. Remove the wheel from each corner, plus any brake calipers or hubcaps. Use a socket wrench to loosen the lug nuts before lifting the wheel.
  3. Align the spacer with the wheel hub. Make sure it is flush against all edges. Use lugs from the spacer kit to secure it onto each wheel hub. Tighten them with a socket wrench or lug nut tool.
  4. Put back any parts you removed – brakes, calipers, hubs – in reverse order. Make sure the spacer and wheel hub are properly aligned. Then, torque down all screws/nuts.
  5. Lower your car back onto the ground! You’ve installed the wheel spacers.


In the end, wheel spacers have many benefits. They let you install bigger wheels and tires, better brakes, more stability, and more suspension tuning. Depending on your car, they can make it look more aggressive.

Wheel spacers are tested well to make sure they are safe. Only buy high-grade materials and quality spacers. As long as you use the instructions, you’ll be safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do wheel spacers do?

A1: Wheel spacers are used to widen the wheelbase of a vehicle, improving the car’s stability and handling. They also help to increase the clearance between the wheel and the wheel well, allowing for larger tires to be installed.

Are wheel spacers safe?

Wheel spacers are generally safe to use when installed correctly. However, if not installed properly, wheel spacers can be dangerous as they may lead to wheel detachment and other issues. It is important to make sure that wheel spacers are installed properly to ensure safety.

Do wheel spacers affect performance?

Wheel spacers can improve the performance of a vehicle by increasing stability, but they may also cause a decrease in performance due to the added weight. It is important to take into account the vehicle’s performance before installing wheel spacers.