Search by Car

How to Properly Adjust your Auto Headlights

How to Properly Adjust your Auto Headlights

How to Properly Adjust your Auto Headlights

Driving under cover of darkness or in poor weather, you need to equip your vehicle with the right headlights. Having good performing headlights does not work to your advantage alone but helps to ensure other road users' safety. Having the correct beam when driving will help you see where you're going without blinding oncoming traffic. It would be best to learn how to adjust your auto headlights appropriately when driving in different situations.

Adjust your vehicle's headlights does not necessarily mean a trip to the mechanic. Here are a few key points you may want to consider when adjusting your beams for proper alignment. However, you should know that some of the moulder models are not equipped with automatic headlight adjustment. For these models, you need to be extra careful when driving.

Preparing your vehicle for headlights adjustment

Before getting down to business, there are a few things you need to do to get your car prepared for alignment checking.

I. Park your car on a level surface about 50cm from a dark wall with your car front facing the wall. Make sure your vehicle is on level ground.

II. To effectively levels your car; you need to get rid of some excess weight and checking the tire pressure to ensure all wheels are at the same PSI level. You may also want to do this exercise with a half tank of fuel.

III. Check on the vehicle's suspension level by measuring the distance between the headlights and the ground.

IV. Check the inclination value of the headlights on the reflector shell.

Adjusting Auto Headlights

The very first thing that you need to consider is safety. This is usually covered in the initial stage when preparing the car for the entire process. You may have to ask someone to sit on the driver's seat to shift the vehicle's weight to emulate the driver's presence. You can as well bounce the car on all four corners to ensure the shocks are all level.

Measure the headlights

With your vehicle well balanced, you can proceed in measuring the lights. To effectively measure the headlights, it is recommended to use low beams for a more accurate reading. Having positioned your vehicle facing a dark wall, you can use tape to measure the beams both vertically and horizontally on the wall.

Use the tape markings on the wall to check if the markings are even. With uneven readings, you need to make the necessary adjustments. Record the difference and lower the highest centerline marker to the lowest centerline marker. Keep the lines approximately 3.5 feet above the ground.

Adjust each Headlight Separately.

You need to ensure you move your car exactly 25 feet from the wall when backing up. For correct readings, you can use a tape measure to get the correct measurement. With your headlights measurement recorded, you can now turn the headlights to adjust the lights.

To find the headlight's adjustment screws, you have first to remove the headlight's trim rings. You will find two marks for both the horizontal and vertical adjusters. Most vehicles come with a manual. If you run into any problem locating the markers, you can refer to the manual for more guidelines.

Armed with a screwdriver, you can proceed to adjust the screws. Before that, you have to cover one headlight with an opaque material to block out the light. This way, you can adjust each light without second-guessing if you adjusted correctly efficiently.

Adjust the Vertical Field

For this, you may need someone in the driver's seat to help you with turning the lights on and off when making your adjustments. For the vertical field's screw, to raise the light, you will have to turn the screw clockwise and anti-clockwise to reduce the field. However, different vehicles are designed differently when it comes to lowering or raising the beam in the vertical field. You need to consult with your manual to ensure you get it right. The light intensity should be concentrated just below the center line you marked on the wall to get it right.

Adjusting the Horizontal Field

Just like the vertical screws you need to turn the screws to concentrate the light intensity to the right side of the vertical tape marking on the wall. Do this while constantly checking if the lights are close enough to the wall markings or until you get it right.

Go for a Road Test

You can never know if you have all the alignments correctly till you test the auto headlights performance on the road under cover of darkness. Going out for a road test helps you to identify any possible misalignments still present. This way, you can continue adjusting till you get the headlights properly aligned.

As much as this is a straightforward job, you can call on a mechanic to help you with the adjustment if you are unsure. This way, you can improve your visibility while keeping it safe.


For more tips and resources please visit our blog and if you need to replace your headlights you can order them online or by calling our sales service.