How to determine if your headlights need realignment

Joe Wiesenfelder of Cars.com provides tips to to help determine if your headlights need to be realigned.

If your headlights illuminate only the street right in front of your car, they’re probably too low. If other drivers are flashing their high beams at you, they might be too high.

Here’s how to find out for yourself:

On a level ground, park your car with the headlights facing a wall or garage door about 25 feet away. The highest point where the lights shine on the door should be about the same height or maybe a little lower than the height of the headlights themselves. They are measured from the ground.

It’s perfectly normal for the driver’s side headlight to aim a bit lower so it doesn’t blind oncoming traffic.

For owners of older Hondas, Acuras and some luxury models, check for a bubble level over each headlight that can help set the vertical height. If you do that, make sure the car is on a level surface to begin with.

To that end, always check the height with the car loaded the way you will be driving it most of the time. That’s because the load in the trunk can change the height.

If your headlights are aiming too low or too high, your mechanic should be able to realign them relatively quickly using adjustment screws under the hood.

© 2017 Cars.com


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