Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How do I check the aim of the headlights?

asked by on

How do I check the aim of the headlights?

While your headlights shouldn’t need to be adjusted for a very long time, it’s possible that carrying heavy loads or even minor impacts could affect their aim. This has obvious implications for driving at night or during other times when ambient light is low (an incorrectly aimed headlight doesn’t illuminate the road properly, and might actually be blinding other drivers). Here’s how to check the aim:

  1. Find a wall, screen or other flat surface.

  2. Park your car about 25 feet from it.

  3. Turn on your headlights.

  4. On the wall, mark a line that measures 8 feet long. It should be the same height as the headlights on your car are from the ground.

  5. Make sure your headlights are on Low Beam.

  6. Check the brightest areas of light on the wall. They should fall on the line that you drew.

Tip

If your headlights don’t fall on the line you drew on the wall, they need to be adjusted professionally.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: The car through a serpentine belt

If the coolant leak still exists, the recommended service would be a leak diagnostic(https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/coolant-is-leaking-inspection). It is possible that a seized water pump bearing can throw the belt but all other causes, including bearing roughness in additional pulleys, have to be...

Q: How should I manage my cargo?

When carrying cargo, you should place it in the trunk whenever you can. Secure everything in place to prevent it from moving around. Spread any luggage or cargo around evenly to help balance the vehicle. Unload all cargo as soon...

Q: How do you check the brake and clutch fluid?

Without fluid, your Brake system won’t work (or won’t work properly). That’s a serious safety concern. If your car is equipped with a manual transmission, the clutch fluid is supplied from the brake fluid reservoir. It’s important to keep an...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...