Wheel spacers are an affordable way to change the look and stance of your vehicle. But are spacers safe to use? This blog examines the debate around wheel spacers to help you decide.
What Are Wheel Spacers?
Wheel spacers are circular metal rings that bolt between your wheel hub and rim. They push the wheels outward, making them sit wider and flush with the fenders.
Spacers range from 5mm to 50mm thick. Thinner spacers of 5-15mm simply provide a small increase in track width. Thicker spacers above 20mm dramatically push the wheels outward, but also increase stress on components.
Wheel spacers allow fitting larger rims and tires without expensive upgrades. They offer an easy DIY way to get a wider custom stance. But there are controversies around their safety.
Potential Benefits of Spacers
Wider Stance for Improved Handling
Pushing the wheels outward with spacers increases track width. This wider stance improves high-speed stability and cornering grip.
Fit Larger Rims and Tires
The extra clearance from spacers allows installing larger diameter rims and tires that enhance looks and performance.
Inexpensive Way to Customize Stance
Spacers provide an easy and affordable DIY way to get a flush, customized look. Much less expensive than buying new wheels.
Can Correct Wheel Spacing Issues
Wheel spacers can correct spacing problems from improper backspacing on aftermarket wheels. Restores proper alignment.
Easier Than Redrilling Hubs
Getting a wider stance used to require redrilling hubs and other labor-intensive mods. Spacers provide an easier bolt-on solution.
Why You Shouldn't Cheap Out on Wheel Spacers
With wheel spacers, you get what you pay for. Cheap spacers can be dangerous. High-quality spacers are necessary for safety.
Buy Brand Name Spacers
Stick to reputable brands like Orion Motor Tech. Avoid no-name spacers that could be made with inferior metals and weak construction.
Choose Billet Aluminum or Steel
Quality spacers are CNC machined from billet aluminum or steel. Stay away from cast spacers more prone to cracks and failures.
Correct Sizing is Crucial
Spacers must match your bolt pattern, hub bore, and stud/bolt size exactly. Improperly sized spacers can break under stress.
Pay for Premium Hardware
Upgrade to high-strength fasteners, not the cheap hardware that comes with some spacers. Proper torque on quality bolts is key.
Proper Installation and Cautions When Using Wheel Spacers
Torque All Fasteners to Spec
Using a calibrated torque wrench, tighten all bolts to factory spec. Improper torque is the #1 cause of wheel spacer failure.
Perform Regular Check Ups
Inspect spacers and check all fasteners frequently, especially after first installing. Spot early loosening before it becomes dangerous.
Adjust Your Driving
Take it easy when first adjusting to the handling changes from a wider stance. Have your alignment checked.
Are Wheel Spacers Right For Your Vehicle?
So are wheel spacers ultimately safe to use? It depends on your specific vehicle, driving style, and the quality of spacers selected.
For many vehicles, mild 1-2 inch spacers properly installed pose little risk while improving the stance. But larger spacers or poor installation on a high performance vehicle can be hazardous.
Carefully weigh the pros and cons for your application. Wheel spacers do allow more aggressive fitment and customization, but also change the geometry and stress levels in subtle ways.
If opting to use spacers, choose high-quality components that match your exact vehicle. Get professional installation and routine check-ups. Follow all safety guidelines and don’t overdo spacer thickness.
The Bottom Line?
Wheel spacers can be safe when chosen and installed correctly. But they also incur risks which require preventative care. Evaluate your own priorities and exercise due caution with any vehicle modifications.
If after reviewing the pros and cons, you decide wheel spacers are right for your vehicle, be sure to choose a quality product. We recommend OMT wheel spacers for their precision manufacturing with durable billet aluminum construction.
OMT spacers are designed to precisely match your bolt pattern, hub bore, and stud size for a perfect vehicle-specific fit. Their wheel spacers strictly meet strength and durability standards for a safe enhancement to your vehicle's stance and wheel clearance.
Carefully weigh the facts and get professional installation for any wheel spacers. With reputable products like OMT and proper precautions, spacers can be a safe modification when done right. Contact us if you have any other questions about outfitting your ride with OMT wheel spacers.