Monday, October 17, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions about Wheel Adapter Safety

Wheel adapter safety is a contention point among enthusiasts. Safety is the first concern of everyone when you’re talking about aftermarket hardware changes on your car. While wheel adapters are safe when they are properly installed, other questions can persist. This is a compilation of several frequently asked questions about wheel adapter safety.

Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash

Is it safe for me to install wheel adapters myself

There isn’t a hard and fast answer to this. If you can do the job properly, go ahead. Installing a wheel adapter is not a particularly complicated thing to do to your car. If you have a general understanding of how your car works, you should feel free. Look online for available guides that walk you through the process.

However, you have to be honest about your ability as a mechanic. If you never really install anything on your car, this isn’t what you should start with. It’s too important to leave in the hands of someone who’s guessing at what they’re doing. If the closest you’ve come to modifying your car is changing the oil, don’t risk it. Work up to this, and take your car to someone else.

Do wheel adapters cause rim problems

Short answer, no. When properly installed, your wheel adapter shouldn’t put too much pressure on your rims. Changing the lug pattern can change the stress on your rim, however. Keep track of the adapter during regular checkups. If it looks like it’s wearing unevenly or structurally compromised, check your wheel adapter installation for anything that doesn’t line up.

What should I look for in wheel adapters

High quality materials are the single most important part of your wheel adapter. High quality adapters will actually be stronger than the rim that is being fastened onto them. Cheap spacers run the risk of warping too quickly, which can lead to a dangerous situation if not caught.

How often should I check my adapters

Standard recommendations are approximately every six thousand miles. After the initial installation, you should check the torque about that often. If this is your first time installing wheel spacers, have them checked more frequently. For example, every few days to few weeks, depending on how often you drive the car. This is true whether you decided to install them yourself or have a mechanic install them for you. Just make sure everything’s properly installed. Once you trust your mechanic (or yourself) you can fall back to every six thousand miles.

What should I look out for

The first sign of a problem with your wheel adapter will be lessened handling. Wheel adapters improve the handling of vehicles, so any deterioration should be noticeable. If you start to feel the car lurching, the wheels not turning smoothly, or any listing, screeching, or sparking get off the road immediately. Typically, you’ll have plenty of warning before any of these things happen. Inspect your wheel adapters if you even suspect there may be an issue.

Wheel adapter safety revolves around proper installation and following your instincts. Investigate if you think that anything may be wrong. Typically, however, wheel adapters are safe, easy to install, and make a big difference on the road.