How do you get a proper aiming headlight alignment?


Many drivers and car owners don't always get the headlight adjustment right and this is very important when it comes to safety. Check here to see how it’s done!

Sometimes when driving at night, drivers might notice they are not getting full visibility, this is caused by a not properly aligned headlight. Getting the headlight adjustment right is highly necessary for safety. As a matter of fact, you would be blinding the eyes of an oncoming driver instead of illuminating the road directly in front of you, if you have a misadjusted headlight. So, thinks every driver should be well informed and as well learn about aiming their headlights in the right direction to ensure safe driving.

1. Why does a headlight alignment tilt sometimes?

Time is just a simple reason why. Every once in a while, in a year, you should check your headlight adjustment as they cannot be aligned forever and they slip out faster than we think sometimes. Nonetheless, below are some other reasons why they sometimes tilt and go out of alignment:

  • Hauling excess or unnecessary weight in the cargo area or trunk of the vehicle is one common reason that causes misplaced aiming headlights. This excess weight pushes down the rear part of the car, causing the light beams to be tilted upward. Load leveling air shocks can be used in such a scenario to fix this problem.
  • The headlamps can also be tilted upwards because of worn shocks in your car. You either have to adjust your headlights to the right direction in such case or simply replace your vehicle’s shocks.
  • It is obvious that the alignment of your headlights will have tampered when your car has had a frontend type of collision with something huge or just another vehicle.


Previous front-end collision with a huge object or another vehicle affects a headlight alignment

2. Incorrect headlight adjustment – how do you determine this?

  • Level your car

To do this, you should have all the vehicle’s tires properly inflated first, make sure the fuel tank is about half-filled with fuel, then have someone sit in the driver’s seat of the car. Once you have done all that, have the car face a wall as you park it on a flat ground surface. While doing this, have the car’s light directed to the wall as you keep a 10-25 feet distance between the wall and the spot where you park the car. You can push all the corners of the vehicle down and up a few times to confirm the level of the shock.

  • Measure the lights yourself

Use a tape to measure the height between a fixed point on each of the vehicle’s headlamps and the ground. Now have the lights turned on, and then using a tape, mark both the vertical and horizontal center lines of the headlight beams you can see. Cross-check if the center lines are even as you are marking. If you realize they are not even, then you can lower the higher point to come down to the level of the lower one in such case.

  • Park the car and see

Lastly, you have to park the vehicle at exactly 25ft away from the wall and check the lights now.

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How to Aim & Adjust Your Headlights

3. Getting the proper aim for headlights

Follow the short procedures below to get the proper aiming headlights:

  • You have to adjust the headlights one at a time by finding the adjustment screws which will be sitting on the side and top of the light housing on your vehicle.
  • By turning the adjustment screw on the top of each headlight anticlockwise or clockwise, you will be able to raise or lower the headlamps. Target the tape line center you have previously marked on the wall as you keep turning the screw until you see the brightest parts of the light beam falling directly on that tape line center.
  • To adjust the headlights to right or left direction, you need to turn the screw on the side.

4. Conclusion

To confirm if you have done this aiming headlight adjustment properly, we recommend that you take the car on a test road drive afterward and see for yourself. If it still needs some adjustment, feel free to repeat the process until you find just the right position the lights should be. Goodluck!

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Oluwaseun Solomon