Wheel spacers are used for various reasons. For appearance improvement, wheel spacers make your car looks more aggressive and manly. For function, wheel spacers create wheel clearance for passing big brake calipers and so on. Need to notice that some wheel spacers are hub centric design. Are hub centric wheel spacers safe? Why do you need hub centric wheel spacers when mounting aftermarket wheels? Before we figure out, let’s get to know the difference between hub centric and lug centric wheels first.
Hub Centric Wheels vs. Lug Centric Wheels
Hub centric wheels refer to the wheels which are centered by the axle hub. Nearly all factory wheels are hub-centric. They are made to suit a certain vehicle or range of vehicles. The center bore size of these OEM wheels is engineered to fits snugly against the original axle. This offers the most accurate way to center the wheel and the axle hub. In a hub-centric design, it is the wheel-to-axle connection that undertakes the weight of the car as well as bears the forces acting on the wheel. And the lug studs/nuts are used to fasten the wheel to the mounting plate. This form allows better resistance of impact loads from being created when motoring on typical roads.
Lug centric wheels refer to the wheels which are centered by the lug studs. Most aftermarket wheels are lug-centric design because this allows manufacturers to make larger center bore diameter wheels which can fit a wider range of vehicles without having a specific axle shape for a hub. Due to the larger center diameter of the wheel, there is a certain gap between the axle and the hub, which means that the wheel is centered by the lug studs rather than by the axle hub. Without the firm contact, lacking the hub’s support, the studs play the role of bearing the road impacts. For some fierce impacts are strong enough to deform the studs, making the wheel no longer concentric with the hub, resulting in vibrations. In this instance, if the lugs suffer fatigue failure, the wheel will come off the vehicle, leading to an accident.
Hub Centric Wheel Spacers
Hub centric wheel spacers mean wheel spacers with small rings of metal made with specific diameters to fit the wheel hub, transforming a lug-centric wheel into a hub-centric one. They are designed to make a snug connection between wheel and axle hub, ensuring the hub carries the weight of the car instead of the studs or bolts. This allows the wheels are truly central to the vehicle hub, meaning no high-speed vibrations through the wheels. Meanwhile, hub centric wheel spacers also reduce the stress on the wheel studs or bolts, improving service life range.