Victoria Car & Vehicle Maintenance - Lighting - Checking Headlight Alignment



Follow these simple steps to check your vehicle's headlight alignment:

  1. Find a 10 metre (35-40 foot) stretch of flat or evenly sloped pavement facing a wall or garage door (if your driveway isn't long enough or flat enough, then try a nearby strip mall parking lot).
  2. Park your car a metre away and shine your low beams on the wall. Mark the outline of the bright spots with a pencil or tape.
  3. Back the car to about 10 metres (30 feet) from the wall. The top of the low beams should shine no higher than the top of the marks just made on the wall (ie, level) and no lower than the center of the marked circle (slightly down). Horizontal (left or right) alignment should be the same as before.

If your vehicle has four headlights, the center of the high beam (the inner or lower two lights) should align with the top of the low beam marks. If you have only two headlights, the high beams are automatically aimed when you aim the low beams.

For most accurate aiming, take your vehicle to a professional, though in many cases, you can also do it yourself:

  1. Remove the outer trim of the headlamps to access to the adjustment screws. Turning the top adjustment screw clockwise raises the beam, while counter-clockwise lowers the beam. Turn the side adjustment screw clockwise to move the beam to the right and counterclockwise to move it to the left.
  2. The headlamp should be held firmly against its tension springs when the operation is completed.
  3. If your lights continue to be out of adjustment, consult a service technician.
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