DIY Headlight Alignment: Easy Tips To Adjust The Headlights On Your CarDIY Headlight Alignment: Easy Tips To Adjust The Headlights On Your Car

You may have spent a considerable amount of time shopping for new headlight bulbs. But, if the headlights are not aligned properly, the quality of bulbs will not matter. The main purpose of buying new bulbs is to improve visibility on the road. But, with misaligned headlights, you will not be able to achieve your goal. If you are not able to see straight ahead at night, there might be an issue with the headlight adjustment. It can affect your safety and the security of other drivers. So, do not ignore the importance of aiming your headlights in the right direction.

Why do you need to adjust Headlights correctly?

One may argue that changing the headlight bulbs is enough for improving the quality of light. And, there is no need to tamper other factory settings of the headlight. But you must remember that you will need to align the headlights when:

1. You are unable to see objects clearly

2. Your car is involved in an accident

3. You have installed new bulbs

4. There is normal wear and tear

5. You want to carry extra load than usual6. You are blinded by the light of other cars

How to align the Headlight of your Car for Better Visibility?

If you want to ensure your safety while driving, align headlights regularly. Here’s a step-by-step procedure to adjust the headlight beam pattern at home.

1. Tools required for the Headlight Alignment Process

Consider checking the alignment of headlights at dusk or night. It will allow you to ensure accurate light projection. You will need the following things for the process:

>>Philips-head screwdriver/ Torque wrench

>>Masking tape

>>Measuring tape


>>Carpenter’s level, if required

>>Wall with 25 feet of clearance

>>Level ground

2. Prepare your Car

Bring out the vehicle owner’s manual to read about vertical and horizontal adjustment screws of the headlights. They are different than screws that hold the headlights. So, make sure that you know about adjustment screws in advance to save time.

To ensure that you align the headlights properly, you need to have half a tank of gas, weight of the driver inside the vehicle and inflated tires with adequate air pressure in them. Remove any excess load from the car that you do not usually carry. Also, make sure that the car is on a level ground.

Position your Car

Park the car at least 3 feet away from the wall in such a way that the front of the car is aimed at the wall. Now, place a piece of tape on the wall that aligns with the center of the car. If you have trouble locating the center, align the tape with the factory emblem or the hood ornament. The marking will help you determine side-to-side alignment later.

Now, find the center of the headlight. You will find a tiny marking on the surface of the headlight cover. Place painter’s tape vertically aligned to the center of the two headlights. The tapes should be at equal distance from the center tape.

Measure the height of the center of the headlight from the ground. And, mark the exact height on the tape. Place an extended horizontal tape on the mark to make two T’s on the wall surface that is connected to each other.

It’s Time to check the Alignment

Now that the marking for measuring the light output of the headlights is ready, back up your car and place it 25 feet away from the wall. In order to ensure accurate adjustment of both the headlights, begin with testing one headlight only. You can cover the other headlight so that light-bleed does not cloud your judgment. Switch on the headlights. Check the light pattern on the wall. The most intense part of the light beam should be at the center of the T pattern or just below it.

If you turn the vertical screw clockwise, it will raise the light beam. And, when you turn it anti-clockwise, it will lower the beam. After making the adjustments, turn the headlights on and check the alignment again. Now, begin with the horizontal screw to make right-left adjustments. The intense part of the light beam should be on the right side of the vertical line as you will be driving on the right side of the road.

Your Car is Ready to Go!

Once you are sure of the headlight adjustments, your car is ready to hit the road. But, remember that it is not a one-time job. You need to align the headlights regularly so that your vision is not compromised.

by Nathan Howard
References and Bibliography
Do not forget to choose the best HID conversion kits.
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