Do wheel spacers cause uneven tire wear? Wheel spacers are known to accelerate the wear of various suspension components such as the hubs, bearings, and axles.
That’s why it’s normal for one to assume that wheel spacers might also lead to uneven tire wear.
This has been a hot topic of debate amongst car owners for years. That’s why we have taken the initiative to offer a detailed answer on whether wheel spacers can cause uneven tire wear.
Keep on reading to learn more about how this aftermarket part can affect your car.
Also Read: Can You Remount Tire That Wear Uneven? [The ULTIMATE Truth]
Do Wheel Spacers Cause Uneven Tire Wear?
The good news is that wheel spacers do not cause uneven tire wear. What you have to understand is that wheel spacers extend the track width.
They do not hold up the weight of the vehicle despite being installed between the wheel and hub. As a result, they have no influence over tire wear.
After installing wheel spacers, uneven tire wear will occur if your car has poor alignment or a faulty suspension.
Provided your wheels were correctly aligned before the installation of wheel spacers, you have got nothing to worry about.
However, there is something you need to take note of. Wheel spacers tend to put much pressure on bearings. When the bearings start to wear out, this can throw off your alignment leading to uneven tire wear.
Therefore, even if wheel spacers don’t directly cause uneven tire wear. The impact they have on bearings can lead to a similar result.
So, if you have noticed signs of uneven tire wear, you should explore other culprits other than wheel spacers.
A visit to an expert mechanic can provide a more detailed diagnosis about what’s causing your tires to wear out unevenly.
Do Wheel Spacers Cause Wear?
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that wheel spacers can accelerate the wear of various suspension components.
One of the parts that often takes a significant amount of force from wheel spacers is the bearing. The main purpose of a bearing is to facilitate the smooth rotation of wheels.
If you add a wheel spacer, it boosts the rolling resistance of the bearing, thus causing it to wear out faster.
The other part that also experiences wear due to wheel spacers is the hub. During manufacture, the hub of your car was designed to a specific length.
When you add a spacer, the hub has to overwork itself so as to support the extra part. Eventually, wheel spacers lead to premature wear of the hub.
That’s not all. Apart from the hub and bearings, the axles also feel the extra force added by the spacers.
Therefore, it may also get worn out sooner than anticipated.
Even if wheel spacers may not lead to uneven tire wear, you can expect parts of your suspension such as the bearings, hubs, and axles to take a beating from this aftermarket part.
Pros and Cons of Wheel Spacers
After reading about what wheel spacers can do to your suspension, you may have second thoughts about it. Wheel spacers have both pros and cons.
Before installing them, it’s a good idea to go through both and figure out whether they are right for you and your vehicle.
Pros of Wheel Spacers
• They give your car a better-looking stance: One of the reasons wheel spacers are popular among car enthusiasts is that they push your wheels outwards. This makes it look more aggressive and stylish.
• They improve your car’s handling: By increasing your car’s track, wheel spacers significantly boost the handling. This is why they are so common in race cars.
• Wheel spacers allow you to fit bigger wheels: If you have always fantasized about having bigger wheels but your wells are too small, spacers can make it easier for you to fit them.
Apart from wheels, spacers also make it possible for you to fit other aftermarket suspension components like brakes.
Cons of Wheel Spacers
• It alters your car’s steering: As the track width changes, you can expect the fender-well clearance and scrub radius to change. This can impact the car’s steering behavior.
• Wheel spacers accelerate wear to various parts: The most obvious drawback of wheel spacers is that they will damage your bearings, hubs, and axles.
Do Wheel Spacers Cause Problems?
There are reasons why wheel spacers are considered a dangerous addition to a car. Even though they come with some benefits, wheel spacers can cause a couple of problems.
Did you know that wheel spacers can affect ride quality? When your manufacturer was creating the wheel hub, they didn’t envision the addition of a spacer.
So, when you add one, it throws the car’s suspension out of balance and this can lower ride quality.
The other problem with wheel spacers is that they can increase steering effort. You will need to use a lot of energy to steer your car at lower speeds.
That’s because spacers increase the angle of the steering axis. This problem can however be bypassed in cars that have power steering.
There is also an added safety risk when you install wheel spacers. The cheaper options that are made out of cast aluminum can come out when you are driving. This might lead to an accident.
Also, when you fit wheel spacers, your tire shop may forego the warranty for their services.
The last problem that we simply can’t overlook is the accelerated wear to suspension components.
When you decide to use wheel spacers, prepare to replace bearings and hubs more frequently than you would have. This translates to more maintenance costs.
Don’t forget that wheel spacers are installed on all four tires. Therefore, accelerated wear will happen on both axles and each hub or bearing.
If you were wondering – do wheel spacers cause uneven tire wear? The above guide should clear all your doubts.
Therefore, you should embark on a journey to figure out what’s causing uneven tire wear. It could be underinflation, faulty suspension or poor alignment.
As you look for the culprit, you also need to familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of installing wheel spacers. They may make your car look good, but they also introduce a couple of problems.
I am passionate about all things automotive and have a deep understanding of the topic. As a mechanic, I use my free time to share knowledge of everyday challenges that any car owner can experience – helping you make informed decisions about tires.