How to Adjust Headlights

It's easy to learn how to adjust headlights. Have your headlights can become maladjusted because you replaced them, or because the vibration and body distortion from damage or contact knocked them out of alignment? Learn how to adjust headlights yourself. This is a situation easily remedied with no more than a screwdriver. There are two adjustment screws on each headlight, one for vertical alignment and one for horizontal alignment. They do differ however in location but always attached to the lamp.

Many of the older vehicles have these adjusting screws in the front. They can be seen on the top and side of the headlight when looking directly at the headlight. Late model vehicles have these screws under the hood to the rear of the headlight. They will range from a Phillips screw to a Torx bit screw to thumbwheels. Some vehicles will even have a level to aid in finding the centerline of the vehicle.

To align the headlights, place the vehicle close to a flat surface such as a garage door or wall, preferably smooth. Place a piece of tape on the wall directly in front of the driver's side headlight. Place another piece of tape on the wall directly in the middle of the grill both vertically and horizontally. Place a piece of tape directly in front of the passenger side headlight. Back the vehicle up twenty to twenty five feet and turn on the headlights.

Lift the hood and locate the two adjusting screws. The three pieces of tape on the wall represent the centerline of the vehicle. Start with the driver's side--adjust the headlight so that it is two inches to the right of the left piece of tape and three inches below the center line. Adjust the passenger side so that the headlight is two inches to the right of the right piece of tape and one to two inches below the tape.

This adjustment will give maximum visibility forward and to the right without blinding oncoming traffic.

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