Who has never been blinded by the headlights of the car in front or has not noticed that their headlights do not illuminate the road well? If all you can illuminate is the shoulder of the road, or if oncoming drivers are constantly flashing you headlights, something is wrong: most likely your headlights are are out of order, which blinds other drivers. The good news is, it's easy to adjust your headlights and we'll show you how.
Step 1. Prepare your car
Start by removing any excess weight in the trunk of the car. Also check that your tires are properly inflated. The tires must be inflated according to the manufacturer's standards. If possible, have someone sit in the driver's seat and check that the gas tank is half full. In addition to all of this, also check that your adjustment dial (if it is adjusted) is set to the zero position.
Step 2. Position your car correctly
Park on level ground, at a distance of 3 to 4.5 m from a wall or garage door, preferably dark, with the front facing the wall. A paved parking lot or driveway to a garage is best.
- Press the four fenders several times to check that everything is correctly seated on the shock absorber side.
- Measure the headlight distance from the ground to check that the suspensions are in the correct position.
Step 3. Turn on the low beam headlights
Do not use high beam or fog lights. Put a vertical and horizontal adhesive tape on the two headlights so as to make a visible T on the wall or the garage door.
Step 4. Make sure the beams are properly aligned
Place a mason's level between the two middle lines to see if they are level. If not, take a meter and measure the gap on the ground from the shadow of the horizontal bar. The distance should not exceed 1.06m.
Step 5. Back the car 7.5m from the wall
Turn off the headlights. Release the headlights from their ring and locate the adjustment screws or knobs. They are usually near the headlights, but some manufacturers place them in the engine compartment behind the headlights. The horizontal and vertical adjustment screws should be indicated.
- Always read the manufacturer's instructions, as they do not all recommend the same distances for a correct fit.
- There should be one screw on the top of the projector for vertical adjustment and another screw on the side of the projector for horizontal adjustment. In some models there may be adjusting butterflies instead of screws.
Step 6. Adjust each headlight one at a time
Place a t-shirt or other object in front of the first lighthouse as you set and test the other so that the light that the first shines does not merge with the light of the one you are working on. Have someone sit in the driver's seat while you make your adjustments, so they can turn the headlights on and off to help you find the correct setting.
Step 7. Adjust the screws or butterflies to adjust the vertical level
A clockwise turn should help raise the headlight, while a counterclockwise turn should lower it.
After adjustment, turn on the headlights and observe the result of the projection on the wall. The top end of the most intense part of the beam should be flush with or slightly below the center line marked on the wall or garage door
Step 8. Adjust the screws or butterflies to adjust the horizontal projection
In the same way, manipulate the screws or the side butterflies to move the projector to the right or to the left. Most of the strongest part of the beam should be to the right of the vertical line.
Step 9. Test your settings on the road
Take a test drive to make sure the headlights are set correctly. On return, readjust if necessary by repeating the process detailed above.
WikiHow Video: How to Adjust Your Car Headlights
- Sometimes there is a small mark built into the top of the headlight that helps with adjustment. Some manufacturers are now installing, on certain models, an internal control for adjusting the height of the low beams: this is the case for Acura and Honda. This avoids having to use a level.
- Rock the car in all directions after adjusting the headlights, then check again if nothing has moved on the wall or garage door. This is what some manufacturers recommend. If changed, start the settings again.
- You must comply with the specific regulations of your country regarding the adjustment of the headlights.
- Check the adjustment of your headlights annually to make sure they are properly aligned.
- Badly adjusted headlights can be dangerous for you and for other motorists, who could be momentarily blinded by too high headlights.
- Take your car to a mechanic if you do not know how to adjust your headlights and especially if, obviously, you have noticed that they are out of adjustment.