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What Do Wheel Spacers Do?

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The wheel spacers come as an aftermarket component that has one goal: moving your wheels further away from the body of your vehicle. They’re an easy and cheap option that has a lot to provide both street-oriented cars as well as off-roaders.

What are Spacers on Wheels Do? Spacers Do?

Wheel spacers fit onto the wheel assembly. Through slotting between the wheel and the assembly the spacers create an opening which puts the wheel further away. This expands the space between the hub structure and wheel. It is important to remember that spacers aren’t able to move the hub assembly; they just change the direction of the wheel. This results in a bigger space between the wheel as well as the wheel well.

The advantages of installing wheel spacers makes them a preferred option for both the off-road and street scenes. Wheel spacers are available in the aftermarket and are not pre-attached to any vehicle.

Wheel spacers vary between 5mm (0.20 inches) on the smaller end, to approximately 45mm (1.75 inches) or greater. Larger sizes are more typical for off-road vehicles.

Wheel Spacer pros and cons

Although they are generally beneficial but there are some points to be considered prior to putting the wheel spacers.

Wheel Spacers: Pros and Cons


Improved Handling

One of the most important advantages of wheel spacers for those who prefer performance is the improved handling. By extending the distance between both wheels the vehicle is more stable. This enhances overall handling, grip and turning.

Allows for wider/larger wheels or tires (without Rubbing)

For cars that are designed for road use wheel spacers allow owners to install wider tires for extra traction and better handling. Off-roaders typically choose tires that are larger than the stock ones. Without spacers, these tires could cause friction with wheels or flares on the fender.

The addition of larger wheels can be another good reason to purchase spacers. Many drivers opt to install bigger rear wheels the car, and that’s why certain wheel spacer sets include an extra pair of wheels that are for the rear, or come in a set that are only for the rear.

Allows for larger brake Calipers

Performance brakes tend to be bigger than stock brakes. VW T5 wheel spacers allows for a bigger caliper that would not fit into the stock wheel space.

Gives Vehicle a Unique Stance/Look

If you’re a fan of the sport or not, it’s not going to be claimed that wheel spacers can alter the appearance of a vehicle. Small spacers can make your wheels into line with stock fender flares, which some find appealing. More aggressive spacers can add more style and aftermarket appeal giving your vehicle a look that stands out from standard vehicles.


A set of quality four wheel spacers could cost about a hundred pounds. With the huge impact they have on performance and appearance it’s a great value for your bucks. There aren’t many additional aftermarket modifications that can make such a difference for the price.

Easy to Install

Wheel spacers are simple to put on. The process is similar to putting an entirely new wheel on. You can complete the task at home in your garage or in your driveway using a few basic tools. The wheel could be taken out in just 15 minutes. This is a an easy project to do on all days of the week.


Steering Efficiency Increased

The increased handling wheel spacers provide has a drawback that is a greater effort to steer. When the wheels are farther apart, they require more input from the steering wheel to make the tires turn. This is because of the greater radius of the tire’s scrub or the angles of steering angle to the tires. It is noticeable at slower speed. But, with modern power steering technology, this issue is simple to ignore.

Reduced Quality of Ride

The engineers who built your car did an excellent job of optimizing it right from the beginning. However, installing spacers can throw things out of balance. Being able to set the wheels further from their suspension components will result in lower performance on the road. The more distance between the wheels and the more detrimental the effect on comfort.

More Wear on Components of Suspension

Because the wheels are located further in relation to the automobile, greater stress is placed onto the suspension. With a more pronounced design, parts like your wheel bearings are likely to wear faster.

Are Wheel Spacers Secure?

If installed properly, premium wheel spacers can be very secure. However, using wheels that aren’t protected in fenders and the wheel wells could be considered not legal in your locale. The vehicle codes are intended to reduce the risk of debris and rocks hitting pedestrians or drivers. You should check your local laws to find out what regulations are in place.

As we’ve mentioned before wheel spacers may also wear down suspension parts faster. This could be harmful over time however it’s not necessarily dangerous.

Sometime, the wheel spacers could make your tires rub against the opposite side. In lieu of your tire’s inside edge striking the flares of the fender the outer edge could be rubbing against the flare. This is based on the design of the wheel wells. If your wheels are rubbing even after installing spacers this is a problem that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Wheel Spacers and Wheel adapters

Wheel adapters and wheel spacers appear similar and are connected in numerous ways. Wheel spacers can be used to shift a wheel forward. This is done for both performance and aesthetic motives. Wheel adapters can also be used as spacers due to their design. They provide a further benefit by altering the lug nut design of the wheel. This is to permit the owner of a vehicle to purchase new wheels that they like.

For example, a person with four-lug wheels could use an adapter for five-lug wheels. They could also switch their five-bolt design from the 5×4.5 to 5×5. This will permit them to use wheels from an aftermarket that wouldn’t fit.

While each provides a distinct advantage, wheel spacers and adapters can sometimes be mixed into one item. At a cost that is comparable as regular wheel spacers you can purchase an adapter kit for wheel spacers. This kit will spread your wheels, and allow you to alter your bolt’s pattern with a single step.