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Drivers light point across lane into ditch, not at all forward. How do you adjust

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Park your vehicle on level ground (preferably) facing your garage door or an available wall. Get yourself a screwdriver (usually a phillips head) and an adjustable wrench or selection of sockets. Turn the headlights on but do not start the car if possible. If your battery is close to dead, you can start the car, but be *extremely* mindful not to touch ANY moving parts in the engine during the next steps. You have been warned.
Looking at the garage door or wall, you will be able to see how badly aligned your headlights are. Open the hood to your vehicle. Look at the top of the headlights as seen from under the hood. There will be a set of screws on each one: One that controls the X (horizontal) alignment, and one for the Y (verticle) alignment. By turning the screws, you will (slowly) move the headlight. Make adjustments to these screws until the headlight in question matches the other one.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009

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How to adjust headlights on a 98 mercury tracer


There are usually 2 hex screws on each lens. The State Vehicle inspections govern how headlights are suppose to be aimed if you live in a State requiring Annual inspections.

For this reason, I would suggest looking at Youtube videos or finding a CD at an autoparts store which include this process.

In general, you would park between 20 or 30 feet from a wall or garage door and shine your low beams on the surface. Get a piece of tape to use as a marker for each beam to mark the starting point from the brightest point of each beam.

Then measure the height of the center of each headlight and compare to the tape mark and how high it is on the door or wall. If the center of the headlight is higher than the mark on the wall, GOOD.

What you want is the drivers' beam to point away from oncoming traffic and farther forward on your direction of travel not to become cross-eyed with the passengers' beam. Seek to not have a dark spot in the center of your travel. The passenger beam usually shifts to the curbside and up because of parked cars and no one to blind with your lights.

Personally I like to adjust my passenger headlamp beam to highlight the lane markers and center my car in my lane on the Interstate. This is particularly useful in foggy or rainy driving conditions and around curves.

A body shop or collision shop can probably do this for you for a reasonable price as replacing the front sheet metal of a vehicle can require reaiming the lights.

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2006 honda accord low beam headlight adjustment


best to let a garage adjust head lights because you need equipment to adjust headlights, because you could blind other drivers on coming traffic on the opposite lane causing accident. best let garage adjust headlights wont charge you much.

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Hello, If you have a State mandated headlight aim requirement, just ask at a testing facility for the specs. Usually you have the vehicle about 20-25 feet from a wall and the headlights should be no higher than 42" off the ground.
You would set the drivers side beam slightly to the right and lower than the right hand beam. This way, you do not blind oncoming cars, but can adjust the right side to view the curb farther ahead than the left.

With the new 39" high mini-compact cars, the beams would point skyward, just as a 4x4 raised suspension pick-up would point downward.

Its a case of a standard equally applied to every vehicle and not giving the best results. Myself, I adjust the righthand beam up and out so that a curb or lane marker will keep me centered in my lane.

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1 Answer

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Okay, This depends on your State laws, because some States require the headlight aiming to be performed at Inspection time.
There are small hex shaped adjustment screws around your headlamps. They require very small sockets of perhaps 1/16 th of an inch and barely fit next to the headlamp housing. At most there will be 1 for up and down and 1 for left and right so two adjustments for each lamp housing.

Unless the housing has 2 separate independently moving compartments for each low and high beam you are stuck with the setup of the low beams. This means you have to adjust the low beams and the high beams are not independently adjustable.

If you find that each lamp is independent, then disconnect the low beam bulbs and adjust the high beams at night or in a garage and put some tape or marks for a level line for a pattern. Then adjust the beams with the drivers side slightly towards the center of the car and the passengers side to the right of the car.

This is similar to how the low beams are set. You can then raise the beams up to be higher on the passengers side for better visibility. Opinions on this vary.

Myself, I set my passenger beam to hit the curb or right lane marker when I drive on a multilane highway. This way the right side of my car is projecting a beam that keeps me centered in my lane by just keeping my passenger light on the lane marker. It works good in fog and around curves.

The State of Texas was one State which checked headlamp alignment with every annual Vehicle Inpection. The idea is to keep from blinding oncoming motorists.

There were some Magazines which evaluated the lighting in new cars as part of their consumer testing. Some of the Oldsmobiles, I believe, were cited for poor visibility and a term called "cutoff" was used to describe the lack of *********** by the headlight beams.

Now the low beams adjust to the same pattern. For some reason I remember having the low beams at 42 inches height and at a distance of 25 feet. These would be the marks you would try for on the garage wall.

You might want to browse about the magazine articles. You can try the new improved bulbs to help too!

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1 Answer

Have a 2004 Peterbilt 379, headlight setting is terrible, tried setting them by eye but just not right, does any body have any specs or ideas?


Yes, if you are running over- the- road just stop in a State that has vehicle inspections and they can set the lights to their specs. In those States that have an inspection setting the headlight aim is part of the job.

Next method, park your unit about 20 feet from a garage door or the side of a building or carwash. Use some tape or pencil and make 2 crosses. The passenger side is allowed to be high and slightly to the right. A correctly aimed right headlight will focus on the curb or lane marker with the right headlight spot-on the lane marker. This will mean you will be safely within your lane on the right side of your truck as long as the headlight hits the lane marker.

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I had to do some Vehicle Inspections in Texas years ago. I want to say the headlights were suppose to be 42" high at 20 feet, but you have a Peterbuilt. And now some of the cars are barely 48" high.

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As for the seat adjustment , sound like you need a new seat switch.

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