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Aiming Headlights: How to Get the Proper Alignment

Proper headlight adjustment is a necessary safety measure because if they are not aligned right, you won’t get the full visibility while driving at night. Besides, misadjusted headlights don’t illuminate the road directly in front of you, causing blinding the eyes of oncoming drivers instead of shining the roads. So, aiming headlights to the right direction is necessary if you want to keep things safe while driving.

Why Headlight Alignment Tilts?

The simple reason is time. Headlights are not meant to be aligned forever, and they slip out even faster if not adjusted every few years. However, a couple of other reasons are in the play too:

  • One of the common reasons of misplaced aiming headlights is hauling excess weight in the trunk or cargo area. It pushes down the rear part, causing light beams tilting upward. You can use load-leveling air shocks to fix such an issue.
  • Worn shocks can also cause the headlamps to tilt upward direction. You can fix the problem by either replacing the shocks or adjusting headlights to the right direction.
  • A front-end collision with another vehicle or something else can tamper with your headlight alignment.

how to determine proper aiming headlightsPhoto Credit: Hella

How to Determine Incorrect Headline Adjustment?

Level the car. To determine improper headlight adjustment, you have to level the car by properly inflating the tires, keeping the fuel tank at least half-full, and having someone sitting in the driver’s seat. Now, park the car on a flat ground facing toward a wall. The distance between the car and the wall should be 10 to 25 feet, with the car lights directed at the wall. Make sure the shocks are level by pushing all the corners of the car up and down a few times.

Measure the lights. Measure the height between the ground and a fixed point on each of the headlamps with a tape measure. Turn on the lights, and use the tape to mark both the horizontal and vertical centerlines of the headlight beams. The centerlines have to be even. If that’s not the case, lower the higher point to the level of the lower one.

Park the car. Now, park the car exactly 25 feet away from the wall.

headlight alignment in a car

Photo Credit: Complete Vehicle Services

How to Get the Proper Aiming Headlights?

  1. Find the adjustment screws on your vehicle, which sits on the top and side of the light housing. Adjust the headlights one at a time.
  2. You can raise or lower the headlamps by turning the screw on the top of each light clockwise and anticlockwise, respectively. Keep turning the screw until the brightest part of the light beam falls directly on or just below the tape line center on the wall.
  3. Turn the screw on the side for adjusting headlights to left or right direction.

Take a test road drive to find out if the aiming headlights have been done properly. You can repeat the process until you can adjust them to the right position.

11 thoughts on “Aiming Headlights: How to Get the Proper Alignment

  • November 15, 2016 at 6:04 pm
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    This was more than knowledge

    Reply
    • November 28, 2016 at 7:57 pm
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  • November 19, 2016 at 2:14 pm
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  • November 20, 2016 at 12:59 am
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    What is the possible problem when an automatic car raises the R.P.M meter to 3 and yet the speed is still lower than 30…km/hr

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    • November 30, 2016 at 2:20 am
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      Reply
  • November 22, 2016 at 7:04 pm
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    Thanks for your updates. Am following every detail you put across. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • November 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm
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      Reply
  • November 23, 2016 at 5:50 am
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    Cars from Japan are reliable and dependable. Continue making trips easy and comfortable.

    Reply
    • November 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm
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      Reply
  • May 24, 2017 at 8:17 am
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