As long as your wheels are aligned well before, installing wheel spacers won’t throw off alignment. In fact, wheel spacers are just placed between the vehicle hubs and the wheels. They widen the track and change the offset, but they have nothing to do with alignment. Consider the spacers as the extension of the hub assembly, if properly set, they even do not affect tire wear, camber, toe, and caster.
Wheel spacers are one of the easiest and quickest solutions to fix the clearance issues. By pushing your wheels and tires outwards, they enhance the handling and improve the appearance. Unless you are dealing with lowering, changing the camber, or caster, your wheel position will not change except for protruding out a few millimeters axially from where the wheel originally was. So, adding wheel spacers generally doesn’t need to re-align the wheels.
When Do I Need Alignment After Putting Wheel Spacers On?
Wheel spacers won’t affect your alignment at all, but only if your wheels are aligned already. Once it comes to changing the wheels and tires, we recommend an alignment after the installation. This is because your car is set to fit a certain wheel size. Change that dramatically and you’ll have to adjust things to get your tires suited properly. Alignment assures your tires meet the road at the correct angle, the wheels are pointing straight and your tires are centered in the wheel wells.
People often use wheel spacers to clear tire rubbing issues when installing new shock absorbers or coilovers. Wheel alignment is not just an adjustment of the tires or wheels themselves. The key to proper alignment is adjusting the angles of the tires which affects how they make contact with the road. So, anything suspension-related definitely needs alignment. Whether you put wheel spacers on or not, most cars need alignments after about 5,000 to 6,000 miles of driving.
Do Wheel Spacers Cause Tire Wear?
Tire wear will vary greatly depending on the tire performance, wheel alignment, and driving habits. Wheel spacers themselves don’t affect the alignment, camber, and toe. As long as you install them properly, wheel spacers should not cause any uneven tire wear. Always choose the right size wheel spacers. Because wrong size wheel spacers will not solve the tire rubbing essentially. Too thin, the tire still hit the inner fender, hence causing tire wear.
A torque wrench is a great way to tighten the wheel bolts to specifications evenly. Torque them in a star pattern. Start at any lug, then go to the farthest bolt, and so on. This will assure the wheel is torqued down evenly and all the bolts are equally forced. This should help you keep the tires centered and balanced when adding wheel spacers.