Wondering how to adjust headlights? You don't need to look any further as this is a complete guide to help you out with adjusting your headlights and ensuring that you will get maximum visibility. 
There are some cars in the market that don’t come with adjustment settings. For instance, there are some manufacturers, who make the headlight's bezel out of plastic material and it is held with the help of retaining screws. Due to this, there is no room for adjustments.
How to Adjust Headlights

How Do I Know If My Headlights Need Adjustment?

One of the best ways to find out is to notice what other drivers are signaling. You'll notice that there are many drivers on the road who are flashing their headlights, then it means that there is something wrong with your headline. Mostly the oncoming drivers will flash LED headlights towards you when your headlines are blinding them. 
This is when you know that it's time to adjust your headlights. Aside from this, if you are unable to see 20-30 feet away, then also you need to work on your headlights’ low beam. If your headlights’ power is reaching at the trees’ top at night time, it means that your high beam needs to be adjusted. 

How to Adjust Headlights

The entire process is going to take somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes. It is better to keep more time in hand and do the below-mentioned process carefully. 
Tools and Materials You’ll Need to Adjust Your Headlights
It is better to keep these things handy:
- Your vehicle’s owners’ manual
- Measuring tape
- Screwdriver
- Masking tape or painters’ tape
- Any dark cloth or cardboard
- Flat wall to park your car at 25 feet distance

Step-by-step Headlight Adjustment Guide

#1 Find a flat surface to park your car
Before you do anything make sure that you have a flat surface to pack your vehicle. Also check the pressure in all tyres and remove any excess stuff kept in your trunk. It is highly recommended to keep your car filled with half-tank fuel when you adjust the headlight.
If possible try to make someone sit on the driver's seat to see how the light will be on the road at night time with the weight on the front seat. Park your vehicle at 10-15 feet distance from the wall or door of your garage. Now, bounce on all four corners of your vehicle to ensure that the shocks are also in the correct level.
#2 Take proper measurement
Once you have parked your car, now it's time to turn on the headlights and use the lower beam. Lower beams usually help you to get accurate reading rather than checking on high beams for fog lights.
Use the masking tape and mark the beam vertically and horizontally on the door or wall - whatever you are using for the measurement purpose. Make sure these tapes are not measured above 3.5 feet from the ground.
#3 Mark with tapes
Now, park the vehicle 25 feet away from the slatwall and turn off the headlights. This is when you actually make the adjustments to the headlights by removing the headlights ring and find the screws that are holding the headlight.
In case, you find any difficulty then you can simply check the owner's manual that will help you to do the following step. Now, you can adjust each headlight one by one by using the screwdriver. Make sure that you are blocking one of the headlights while working on the other one with help of a cardboard or any dark fabric. 
#4 Make the vertical adjustments
First you should make the vertical adjustment by turning the screw clockwise to aim the headlight higher or you can go counterclockwise to make it lower. However, each vehicle might have different settings so it is recommended to always support your owner's manual.
Adjust the headlights until the most intense part starts to hit the tape’s center point that you marked on the wall. 
#5 Make the horizontal adjustments
Once you are done with vertical adjustments, now it's time to work on the horizontal one. Turn the screws or bolts located on the sides to ensure that the most intense part is focusing on the center of the tape.
Now, you can unblock both the lights and see if they are close to the marking that you have made on the door or wall. You can simply go on and make adjustments until you find the perfect pattern.
#6 Test the headlights
Now you can take the vehicle on the road at night time to check the alignment. Keep making notes of the problems that you detect on the way so that you can fix them after returning back to your garage. In case, you find any difficulty in paying the road properly, you can always make more adjustments.

Headlight Adjustment FAQS:

Q. What is the proper distance to adjust headlights?
A: Keep 25 feet distance to get proper measurements and adjust the headlights.
Q. How do you check headlight alignment?
A: Park your vehicle in front of a wall or flat door. Remove all excess stuff from your vehicle to level it. Now, you can turn on the headlights to see if it is aiming too high or not. You can also notice if others are flashing their headlights to you, it probably means that you need to adjust your headlight alignment.
Q. How far should your headlights shine while on low-beam?
A: It should shine 150 to 200 feet ahead.
Q. How far should your headlights shine while on high beam?
A: It should shine 350 to 400 feet ahead.

Check the specifications for your location and manufacturers

Keep in mind, there are certain countries and states that have their own rules for adjusting the headlights. It is highly recommended to check all those used in regulation before you align your headlights. 
For instance, General Motors are supposed to keep almost no distance between the horizontal centerline to the center of the beam. Toyota, on the other hand, recommends keeping ½ inches distance. Hence, you should always check the manufacturers’ manual as well as the law of the land.


In conclusion, it is good to have a better pattern so that you can avoid hitting any animals crossing the road and oncoming drivers will also appreciate it. You can avoid safety hazards just by making sure that your vehicle's beam pattern is perfect and not creating harm for any one on the road.