How To Adjust Headlights

Do you need to learn how to adjust headlights? Adjusting your car's headlights should be a regular maintenance item for your vehicle.  Over time, the bulbs and housings can jiggle and move, making the beam not as effective as it should be when driving at night.  While many people leave this chore to a mechanic, learning how to adjust your headlights is fairly quick and easy.

To adjust your car's headlights you will need:

  • Masking Tape
  • Screwdriver
  • 25' Tape Measure
  • A flat, level area of ground in front of a wall or garage door, big enough to keep your car level
  1. Pull your car up as close as you can get it to the wall.  You need to know where your headlights are in relation to the wall so you can tell where the beams should be from a distance.
  2. Mark the position of the headlights on the wall.  Using the masking tape, mark one horizontal line from the center or one headlight to the other.  Then use two small pieces to mark the vertical centers of each light on the wall.
  3. Move the vehicle back 25' and turn on the lights.  Making sure the car stays flat and level note where the beams hit the wall in relation to your previous marks.  You want the brightest part of the beam to hit just below the horizontal mark and a bit to the right of the vertical ones.
  4. Locate the adjusting screws on the light housing.  There are two screws for adjusting the headlights on the light housing, one for vertical adjustments and one for horizontal ones.  Using the screwdriver, carefully turn the screws slowly until the beams are in proper alignment.
  5. It is best to adjust headlights after dark or against a dark surface so you can see where the beams are hitting best.
  6. If you do not keep the vehicle flat and level the beams will end up being too high or too low when you are driving.
  7. If you live in a country that drives on the left of the road you will want to adjust the beams slightly to the left of your vertical marks.

Knowing how to adjust the headlights on your car will not only keep your night driving safer, it will save you from having to go to a mechanic and about $45.00.

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