Hellaflush is prohibited in Québec. It refers to cosmetic modifications that are detrimental to a vehicle's handling and manoeuvrability.
These modifications, which change the vehicle's suspension geometry, are usually noticeable because of the exaggerated negative camber.
Most lowered vehicles show incorrect camberInclination of a wheel, as viewed from the front or the rear of the vehicle, from its vertical axis. Camber is negative where the top of the wheel leans inward towards the vehicle. Camber is positive where the top of the wheel leans towards the outside of the vehicle..
Many vehicle models do not provide for camber adjustments, which makes it impossible to align the wheels in accordance with the vehicle manufacturers specifications after it has been lowered.
To compensate, the suspension must work outside the range for which it was designed, thereby reducing the vehicle's manoeuvrability and stability as well as tire surface contact with the road.
Alignment must be within the ranges specified by the vehicle manufacturer.
Under normal conditions, there should be:
Tire manufacturers determine the rim dimensions that can be used for each type of tire for maximum safety and performance. It is also recommended that tires be inflated to the pressure specified by the vehicle manufacturer. When installing a tire, never exceed the mounting pressure indicated on the sidewall.
It compromises the safety of all road users for the following reasons:
Insurance, hellaflush and non-compliant modifications
Some insurance companies refuse to compensate claimants if it is shown that their vehicle has been modified using non-compliant components.
Because the space inside the wheel well is limited by mechanical components (suspension, steering, brake system, etc.), installing wider wheels requires a greater offset.
As a result, the extra size is pushed outward. This generally puts additional strain on the suspension and steering components and increases the lever effect between the wheel and the bearings, since the wheel is further away from its normal point of support. This additional strain will eventually:
Using wider rims sometimes requires body modifications. To avoid this, some people install narrow tires that are stretched to the maximum. However, installing an offset rim that protrudes from the fender with the tire tread completely inside the wheel well is dangerous.
This practice is prohibited, since all road vehicles must be equipped with tires that are installed in compliance with established standards.
Contact your tire vendor or the Tire and Rim Association Web site.
Last update: October 4, 2016