How to Adjust the Height of a Headlight


Headlights should always be aimed to gain the best visual range and field of vision (lateral side to side) as possible without blinding oncoming traffic. All headlights have two headlight adjusters. One is for vertical adjustment and the other for lateral. The adjusters have a blind nut or plastic threaded insert in the body of the vehicle. The top part of the adjuster screw is attached to the headlight, and the lower half is used to thread in or out of the body-mounted threaded device.

Things You'll Need

  • Roll of tape
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Park the vehicle 2 feet from a garage door or wall. Place a piece of tape on the wall directly in front and center of each headlight. This indicates the exact location of the headlights. Back up the vehicle 10 feet. Put it in park and turn on the headlights.

  • Adjust the height screw on the driver's side headlight so the light shines in line with the tape and 2 inches below. Adjust the screws. If the vehicle is an early model with round or rectangular headlights with no covers, gain access to the screw from the front of the headlight. Stand in front of the headlight and look closely at the 12 o'clock position. The adjuster can be seen very close to the headlight.

  • Turn the screw in to raise the height and out to lower. The screw to move the light left or right is on the right, or fender side, of the headlight. If the headlight is a late model modular style, the adjuster screws are under the hood and on top of the rear of the headlight. Looking down on the top rear of the light, you will see two plastic protruding posts with a screw. One is centered on the top and the other, for the side-to-side movement, is on either side of the light. They are plainly visible. The adjustment works the same.

  • Adjust the passenger side light so that it is 2 inches below the tape and 1 inch to the right. This is so that it provides illumination of the curb.

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