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Aiming Your Headlamps

Aiming Your Headlamps

The bright light produced by projector headlights can create a dangerous situation if the headlights are not properly aimed. When projector headlights are aimed too high, they can blind oncoming traffic. If they are aimed too low, road visibility is impaired. Achieving precise headlight alignment is simple and does not require professional installation. Just follow these steps to calibrate the beam pattern.

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Flat parking surface
  • Vertical Surface (a wall)
  • Owner's Manual
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Carpenter's level
  • Masking Tape

Step 1:
First you'll need a smooth vertical surface you can project your lights onto. Park the car so that it's directly facing the surface and the front bumper is about 5 feet away.

Step 2:
Make sure the parking surface you are using is level. This is where a carpenter's level comes in handy. If there are heavy items in the trunk, remove them to ensure the accuracy of the aim.

Step 3:
Locate the adjusting screws of the headlights on the back of the housing assembly. There are horizontal and vertical screws which have a small spring behind them. Typically, on of the screws is on the top of the housing assembly, while the other screw is on the inside edge of the housing.

Step 4:
Mark the horizontal centerlines of the lights on the wall using a masking tape. Mark the vertical centerline for each light as well. The marking will tell you where exactly the headlights should be centered.

Step 5:
Mark two more spots 2 inches below the spots you first marked.

Step 6:
Back up the vehicle 20 feet so that it is 25 feet away from the vertical surface. Check to see if the cutoff point is directly in between the two marks you have made.

Step 7:
If your headlight cutoff is not in between the two markings, the headlights need to be realigned. To do so, use the adjustment screws on the rear bracket of each headlamp. Turning the top adjusting screws in a clockwise direction will raise the beam while counterclockwise turn will lower it. Turning the side adjuster screws will adjust the lights to left or right. Continue the adjustments until the light beams are even Have the lights on while you are doing this. Make the proper adjustments so that the cutoff is level and falls in between the spots you have marked. You may need a special screwdriver for your vehicle model.

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