Question about 2003 Kia Rio

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Wide variance in beam lights between left n right frontheadlights

In night driving I've observed that the right side beam is much shorter in distance than the left side beam, in normal beam ( not high beam). It feels awkward and sometimes difficult to see the middle line markings or ahead because of the shorter right front head light. Can anyone explain what proper steps need to do to fix it?.

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You can adjust them with either a philips screwdriver or hex head. I recommend parking on flat surface about 15 feet away from garage door or wall and set them. Or go to shop and have them use an alignment machine to do it.

Posted on Nov 12, 2009

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If by in or out you mean make the beam pattern move closer or farther away from the vehicle, then yes you can. There are adjustment screws (usually 2) on each headlamp assembly. One raises and lowers the headlamp. This will move the beam closer to (down) or further from (up) the vehicle. The other will adjust the beam from left to right. The screw at the top (or bottom) is for the vertical and the screw on the side is for horizontal. The easiest way to adjust the headlamps correctly is to, at night, go to a location where you can park about 50 feet away from a blank wall. Turn on the low beam headlamps. In order to "properly" adjust the lamps, the left side headlamp's main beam should cast is "ring" on the wall at about the centerline of the car (left-to-right adjustment), with the bottom of the beam just reaching the ground (vertical adjustment). The right side headlamp should be adjusted to shine along the right edge of the vehicle (where the white edge line would be) at the 50 foot mark (left-to-right) and the height should be the same as the left headlamp - beam just touching the ground. Many people make the mistake of pointing them straight down the road. This causes "overspray" into the oncoming lanes and blinds oncoming motorists. I'm sure you've experienced the annoyance of someone coming toward you with their lights right in your eyes. That is caused by misadjustment. If you get the low means right, the high beams will work well for approximately 200-300 feet down the road, which, unless you are night racing, is more than enough distance to see well to drive.

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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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