Most car accidents happen at night or at times when there is less light illuminating the roads. It is indeed difficult to maneuver a vehicle when you don’t clearly see the road you are passing through. It can be compared to a 90-year old man trying to read without his glasses on or looking for a needle at the bottom of a river with musky water. Hence, the importance of a vehicle’s headlights. Headlights minimize the risk one takes when driving at night. They make us more aware of the hazard signs that we come across as we drive. It guides us and enables us to get to our destination safely.
But just like any other part of your vehicle, they also need regular maintenance. There are times when they get cloudy providing less light output, or they are not adjusted to an angle that will enable them to illuminate the road best. Therefore, someone who drives must ensure they work properly at all occasions.
Adjusting the headlights is quite a simple task. It does not take a mechanic to get it done. All you need are a few tools. What you will need is a Philips screwdriver, or any that fits the adjusting screws, and a masking tape.
The best time to do it, of course, is at night. And then, follow these simple procedures:
1. Park your vehicle on level ground with the headlights near a garage door or wall.
2. Mark the horizontal centerlines of the lights on the wall using a masking tape. Mark the vertical centerline for each light as well. The marking will tell you where exactly the headlights should be centered.
3. Move the car back about 10 to 25 feet away from the garage door or the wall.
4. Find the adjusting screws of the headlights. It is better to find these screws before turning on the lights. It will allow you to touch the headlights before they warm up. There are horizontal and vertical screws which have small spring behind them. Some cars come equipped with a small level attached to the top of the headlight under the hood. It helps you get an accurate adjustment.
5. Turn on the headlights on the low beam setting. Your high beams should set to the right level as well when you adjust the low beams.
6.Â Use the markings you made on the wall or garage door, check where the light shines and see if there is any uneven light beam. Check if the beams match.
7.Â Make the necessary adjustments with the lights still on and while watching the lights beams. Turning the top adjusting screws in a clockwise direction will raise the beam while counterclockwise turn will lower it. Turning the side adjuster screws will adjust the lights to the left or right. Continue the adjustments until the light beams are even. It is recommended that the lights are tilted slightly downward so they won’t blind approaching motorist.
Cars, however, can differ. So, it is best to check first your vehicle’s manual, which would also indicate how often the headlights should be adjusted. It is usually recommended that headlights be adjusted annually or as often as necessary, whenever they are out of alignment.
A few simple tools and few easy procedures and presto you are ready to hit the road.