Whether trying to adjust headlights vertically or horizontally or both, a bubble level will be your best friend. Here is a quick run down on how to get Betsy’s eyeballs straight. Be sure to park the car on a flat, level surface. If possible have the car face a blank wall, neutral colors like white or gray work best. Avoid any internal light shining on the car.
Another useful tip before you begin the headlight alignment is to make sure the tire pressure is correct. If the tires have too little pressure it will throw off the level of the lights. Once the tires have proper air pressure, the bubble level becomes invaluable. A tape measure will make the process go more smoothly as well. Place the car exactly 25 feet away from the wall you are using to check the lights.
Find the center of each headlight and mark with a piece of tape. Turn the lights on and look at the wall to determine how far off center the lights are pointing. After turning the lights back off make the appropriate adjustments and check again. Repetition is the name of the game here.
This method will work for straightening the lights both vertically and horizontally. Other steps that may make for a more perfect alignment are to use tape to accurately mark the center of the windshield and tape the reference wall to mark where the lights should be hitting.
Getting your headlights in proper alignment may not be a fun job, but other drivers will thank you and your car won’t have that cross eyed look.
If you happen to be the lucky owner of an Acura or a Honda headlight life will be much easier. These models have a built in bubble level in the headlight housing. That feature makes it much easier to determine the unwanted tilt of the light. Correcting the problem is faster and more efficient.
So when the annoying flashes from other drivers begins, call up your buddies, straighten out the headlights, and be sure to have pizza and beer on hand to thank your assistants.