How much do you know about wheel spacers? If you’ve ever considered upgrading your car or truck, you may have seen them mentioned here and there in your research. But if you’re seriously considering investing in a set, you’ll need to know a little bit more about them than that. Read on to learn everything you need to know about wheel spacers.
What Are Wheel Spacers?
Wheel spacers are an aftermarket car part that can be installed on a vehicle’s wheels. They create a little extra space between the wheel and the hub assembly of your vehicle, which moves the wheels outward from the body of the vehicle. This adjustment widens the stance of the vehicle and provides some extra clearance for larger or wider tires. It can also change the appearance of the vehicle, as the wheels will extend farther out from the frame. Wheel spacers come in different sizes, so depending on the size you choose, they can move your wheels anywhere from a few millimeters to a more noticeable several inches.
The Different Types of Wheel Spacers
When it comes to wheel spacers, there are two main types from which to choose: hub centric and lug centric wheel spacers. Knowing the difference between the two will help you to choose the best type and fit for your vehicle, so pay attention to the type of wheels you currently have installed on your vehicle before choosing a set of wheel spacers.
Hub centric wheel spacers are designed for hub centric wheels—wheels whose wheel bores fit exactly on the axle of a vehicle. If your vehicle still has its factory-made wheels, it’s likely that they are hub centric. On these types of wheels, lug nuts keep the wheel attached to the mounting plate.
As you’ve probably already guessed, lug centric wheel spacers are designed for lug centric wheels. Unlike hub centric wheels, the wheel bore and axle of a lug centric wheel don’t precisely line up. Instead, lug centric wheels are centered by the lug nuts of the wheel, allowing the wheels to stay secure on the vehicle despite the discrepancy between the hub and axle size.
Benefits of Adding Wheel Spacers
So now you know more about the function and types of wheel spacers—but why would someone want to install them on a vehicle? Wheel spacers come with several practical benefits. Explore a few of the main reasons someone might want wheel spacers are detailed below.
Many people choose to install wheel spacers because of the enhanced appearance they can offer a truck or car. Wheels pushed outward from a vehicle’s frame are more noticeable than those positioned normally and are often considered sportier. Even if you’re not going for a sportier look, wheel spacers can shift your wheels outward ever so slightly so that they sit flush with the body of your vehicle, making it look neater and more streamlined.
Correct Wheel Offset
Wheel spacers are also useful for correcting wheel offset. Offset is the distance from the hub mounting surface to the center of a wheel. The offset can be positive, negative, or neutral, and the offset will determine how well a given set of wheels fit on your vehicle. If you want to install a set of wheels on your vehicle but the offset is incorrect, you can add wheel spacers to your wheels to correct the fit.
Similarly, if you want to replace the wheels and tires of your vehicle with a set that is just a little bit too large or wide, wheel spacers can give you that extra bit of space you need. That way, your bigger tires won’t rub against the underbody or other components of the vehicle. This will reduce wear to both the wheels and tires themselves and the other parts of the vehicle that might have been damaged were the wheels not sufficiently spaced.
Because wheel spacers change the stance of your vehicle, they can improve the handling of your ride. A wider stance means better traction and a lower center of gravity. You’ll likely also notice improved handling as you turn and round corners.
This guide on everything you need to know about wheel spacers should give you a good introduction to wheel spacers and help you decide if they are right for your vehicle. Be sure you thoroughly weigh their pros and cons—wheel spacers are great, but they’re not necessarily the best choice for every vehicle. If you do decide to purchase a set, be sure to measure your wheels properly and choose the correct size spacers for your vehicle. Supreme Suspensions is here to help you find the right set of wheel spacers—and if wheel spacers aren’t the right option, we can supply you with lift kits and other accessories for your ride.