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How to Adjust Your Headlights

If it seems like you're not getting the most out of your headlights, here are some tips on how to adjust them.


  • Step 1: Park your car near a wall Park your car on a flat surface 10 feet in front of a clean and flat wall. Turn on your headlights so they shine onto the wall.
  • Step 2: Mark the points of the beams Mark with tape the places on the wall where each beam is most concentrated. Use a level to see if the lights are of equal height and measure the difference if they are uneven.
  • Step 3: Measure the space in between Measure the space between the marks. Use these marks if the lights need horizontal adjustment.
  • Step 4: Mark desired spot with tape Place strips of tape at the spots you want to adjust to. Your vertical and horizontal adjustment spots will be used for reference but are not necessarily set in stone.
  • Step 5: Open the hood and find adjusters Open the hood of your car and locate your adjuster screws. Each headlight has one screw on the top of the headlight, and one on the side.
  • TIP: Sometimes there's a decorative ring around the headlight. You may have to use a screwdriver to remove the ring to access the adjustment screws.
  • Step 6: Adjust the vertical beam Adjust the height of the beam by turning the top screw.
  • TIP: Avoid making your beam too high -- you don't want to blind other drivers.
  • Step 7: Adjust the horizontal beam Adjust the horizontal placement of the beam by turning the side screw. Use your measurement of the distance between the beams to assist your adjustment.
  • Step 8: Test your adjustments Test your adjustments by sitting in the driver's seat and looking at the beams on the wall. Go for a night drive to see if you're satisfied with the changes made.
  • FACT: According to the National Safety Council, traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day.

You Will Need

  • A flat surface
  • A clear
  • flat wall
  • Tape
  • A level
  • A measuring tape
  • A screwdriver

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