Aim and align the headlights for your vehicle to improve safety. With winter approaching, it is common knowledge that days will eventually begin to shorten, and the nighttime will drastically increase. This means that drivers will have to rely on the headlights in their commutes increasingly.

Hence, you have to stay on top of headlights, headlamps, and other lights to ensure a safe driving experience when you are on the road. In some instances, your headlights do not provide satisfactory road visibility. And in these instances, you have to make sure whether your headlights need replacement or alignment.

Even though a replacement will eventually lead to alignment, sometimes the headlights do not require new lamps but instead only require you to align the beams.

How to Aim the Headlights

The first thing you want to do is pull the vehicle about three feet close to a white wall when it is completely dark. Make sure that one person is sitting inside the vehicle while you aim. If you have a vehicle that is weighing down because of storage equipment, make sure that you take it all out to change the weight of your car.

Once you have the vehicle three feet away from the wall, identify the vehicle’s center and apply painter’s tape vertically across to indicate the center. Moving forward, identify the center of each headlight and stick a piece of tape that corresponds to that center.

Once you do that, make sure that you measure the length of the center dimple from the ground up and make a marker on the tape that exactly identifies the center of the dimple or headlight on the wall. Once you do that for both sides, make another marker two inches from the centered marker.

The second marker is where you will stick a horizontal piece of tape to provide you with a cross-section. The two inches should be where the top of your beam pattern sits when the car moves back 25 feet away. Hence, after making the markings on the wall, all you have to do is move the vehicle 25 inches back.

Note that 25 feet is the general rule of thumb for all vehicles. Some manufacturers will specify different distances that may be closer or farther away. Following this method will require screwdrivers or other tools to align the headlights.

Aligning your Headlights

All headlights come with different alignment adjusters, and they all pretty much act the same way. Most of the time, you are able to align the headlights by simply using a Philips screwdriver. You open the hood, locate the headlight adjustment section, stick the screwdriver inside and start adjusting.

Inserting the screwdriver and twisting it will allow you to move the headlights up or down. Keep twisting until the top of the beam does not fall above the two-inch drop mark. The idea behind beam adjustment is that the headlight shoots out light that bounces off the road and does not blind the oncoming driver.