Ideally, wheel spacers should last forever. However, that’s not always the case. Wheel spacers can fail as a result of poor workmanship, botched installation, or sizing issues. Here are a few specific examples:
- The lug nuts weren’t torqued to specs
- Lug studs provided with the spacers failed due to poor quality
- The wheel spacers weren’t centered correctly
- The wheel spacers weren’t perfectly flush with the hub assembly or wheel as a result of poor installation
What Happens When Your Wheel Spacers Fail?
The main symptom of bad wheel spacers is the tire(s) wobbling on the road. It’s important to inspect your wheel spacers immediately you notice signs that they’ve gone bad. That means stop and look. If you continue to drive on bad wheel spacers, you’ll run into major safety issues, such as:
- Sheared off studs
- Premature or sudden wheel bearing failure
- Tire(s) falling off the car
Wheel spacer failure is extremely serious. It can really put you and your passengers in jeopardy. As soon as you start noticing one of your tires wobbling on the road, inspect your wheel spacers as soon as possible. By that, we mean as soon as possible. Luckily, checking your wheel spacers is really easy as long as you know what to look for.
Inspecting Your Wheel Spacers
The best way to diagnose failing wheel spacers is to visually inspect them. To do this:
- Lift your vehicle.
- Remove the wheels. (At this point, look for loose lug nuts or sheared off lug studs.)
- Remove the wheel spacers.
- Carefully inspect the wheel spacers.
While visually inspecting the wheel spacers, you want to look for:
- Stretched lug studs
If everything looks good, reinstall the spacers and torque the nuts to the correct spec. Using a torque wrench is mandatory. You might also want to measure the wheel spacers to make sure they’re the right size. Spacers that are the wrong size can cause extensive damage to your car. For example, wheel spacers that are too big can cause premature wheel bearing failure.
Quality Wheel Spacers Make All the Difference
If your wheel spacers fail, don’t be so quick to write off the idea of spacers. When it comes to wheel spacers, quality is everything. You want wheel spacers that are:
- Bore centric, with the correct bolt pattern
- Machined from aluminum
- Precisely engineered with exacting specifications to fit your vehicle
- Made by a reputable brand
- Provided with SAE Grade 8 (or ISO 10.9) lug studs
Even though the aftermarket market is over saturated with wheel spacers, we only selected a few wheel spacer brands to offer in our inventory. These brands - Turner Motorsport and ECS Tuning -- build exceptional wheel spacers that will serve you well for a long time. All Turner Motorsport and ECS wheel spacers meet all of the criteria listed above, so we're confident that they're among the best choices on the market. Get yours today!