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Adding Spacers is a bad Idea

Adding Spacers is a bad Idea Image

Drivers who complain about their car being too low to the ground sometimes receive advice from mechanics that the best solution is to fit spacers.  The bad news is that this is quite possibly the worst advice imaginable.  Fitting spacers to a vehicle actually results in it destabilising, which is almost certainly not what the driver had in mind when asking for advice.  If spacers are added to shock absorbers in order to try and raise the height of the ride, this also raises the vehicle's centre of gravity, which means that it becomes very treacherous indeed when it comes time to swerve around a corner. 

Similarly, spacers that are added in order to widen the track might succeed in their aim of making it more difficult for the car to roll over, but they also result in an increase in understeer, as well as making the steering geometry non-linear in nature, which means that the farther off-centre you go, the more and more unpredictable the steering will become.  This also results in an increase of the car's turning circle, which makes it hard to pull off three-point turns or to manoeuvre in tight spots.

Car manufacturers spend millions of pounds in research to set up the suspension of a car, and messing with it is ill-advised.  This is even more the case in the United Kingdom, where adding spacers to a vehicle will void your Car Warranty and your insurance, and is usually illegal.

published: 12/12/2011 14:00:00

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