Are your Headlights Aimed Properly?

How do you know when your headlights are improperly aimed? Well, among the obvious signs are flashing lights from oncoming drivers. Or if the road is only illuminated for less than 20 feet you can be pretty sure they’re aimed too low.

What can cause improperly aimed headlights?

Improperly aimed headlights may be caused by different factors. Among the most common is improper installation. And then there is suspension problem or heavy cargo load which can change the ride height of your car and subtly shift your headlights. Another is a collision or hitting a road hazard that can cause misalignment of your lights and light assembly.

How can you tell if your headlights are properly aimed?

You know when your headlights are properly aimed by parking your car on a level surface and shining your headlights on the wall or garage door about 25 feet ahead. For most vehicles, the top of the low beam should be at least the height of the center of the headlight lens. Expect a higher light pattern on the passenger side to illuminate road signs. The light on the driver’s side is usually lower to avoid blinding the oncoming drivers. This should help you determine whether the lights on your car are aimed correctly.

Another way of telling is to park your vehicle within 5 feet of the wall. Use a masking tape to mark the center of the light beams on the wall vertically and horizontally. Then, move the vehicle back for at least 25 feet. If the light beams are about the same height, then there should be no problem.

To ensure an accurate reading, make sure that you park your car on a truly level ground. Keep in mind that ride height shouldn’t be affected by cargo or damaged suspension parts. The vehicle also needs to be perpendicular to the wall where your light beams.

How can you adjust the headlights?

Cars often have adjustment bolt or screws on the headlight assembly to adjust the headlight height and horizontal aim. Some cars may have a bubble level that helps with the adjustments. Other cars, however, may have little or no space to reach the adjusters.

Many owners’ manuals often have little to no instructions on proper headlight aiming. When unsure, you might want to ask your mechanic to check. If your vehicle is still under warranty, the dealership may perform a check at no cost.

A headlight that’s aiming properly helps ensure safety down the road. Along with other maintenance checks that protect you from accidents and other car problems, have your car insured properly.

Wellcovered Insurance offers insurance products from reliable carriers and we care about the safety of our customers on the road. We can help you tailor your auto insurance according to your needs. Get quoted by us for free and talk to one of our agents today. Call us at (386) 218-4951 or visit us at our office!