How to Adjust Taurus Headlights


The Ford Taurus, which is very similar to the Mercury Sable, is a popular mid-sized sedan that has been in production since 1985. Although the headlights come fully adjusted from the assembly line, certain factors may require the vertical readjustment of the headlights on these cars. Some of these factors may be recent replacement of the tires with a non-factory size, replacement of the headlamp assembly or a heavy load in the cargo area that causes the rear of the car to sag. With minimal tools your headlights can be adjusted within a few minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • 4-mm wrench
  • Park the car 25 feet away from a wall or garage door. Make sure the car is at a 90-degree angle to the wall or door surface.

  • Measure the height from the ground to the center of the car’s headlight bulbs. Use this measurement and mark a horizontal line 8 feet wide on the wall or garage door at the same height directly in front of the car. Use masking tape to make the mark to keep from damaging the wall or door surface.

  • Open the car’s hood and turn on the headlights. Make sure the high beams are off.

  • Observe the light pattern on the wall or door. Adjust the headlights in subsequent steps if the top of the light beam pattern is above or below the horizontal tape line.

  • Locate the headlight adjusters located under the hood on top of the headlamp assemblies. Use a 4-mm wrench and turn the adjuster counterclockwise to raise the headlight beam or clockwise to lower the headlight beam. Make sure the upper edge of the beam pattern is on the horizontal tape line. Repeat this procedure for each headlight.

  • Turn the headlights off, close the hood, and remove the masking tape from the wall or garage door.

Tips & Warnings

  • When adjusting each headlight, place a piece of cardboard held into place with masking tape over the opposite headlight to make observing the beam pattern for each headlight individually easier.
  • Horizontal or side-to-side adjustment of the headlights is not adjustable on the Taurus.

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  • Photo Credit tape measure 1 image by Martin Grice from
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