A laid-back ride into the sunset with friends or your partner after work offers some a nice diversion from a stressful day of work. However the fun can quickly turn into an undesirable adventure as soon as the night descends and the headlights on your vehicle refuse to illuminate the street in front of you. In order to prevent such a dangerous case, it is important to carefully adjust your car’s headlights by hand or a headlight adjusting device.

How to detect misaligned headlights

As soon as your car only lights up street edges in front of you and blinded, towards coming drivers blare at you, a comprehensive re-adjustment of your car’s headlights might be useful. Low-set headlights reduce the visibility during a drive at night time, while high-set headlights visibly dazzle the oncoming traffic and considerably increase the risk of an accident.
Older vehicle models generally do not have automatic lighting control and should therefore be checked more frequently than modern cars. The frequency of the checks depends both on the above-described situational conditions and on the loading of the vehicle. Depending on the number of occupants and the weight of the luggage in the trunk, the inclination angle of the headlights may vary.

Even a few percents few or less result in a huge difference

Which inclination level is suited best?

Angles of inclination can vary according to the vehicle model and can be viewed on the inside of the engine hood. In principle, workshops recommend an inclination angle between 1 and 1.5 percent for low beam lights and 2 and 2.5 percent for fog lights.

Adjusting headlights by hand

Everything you need:

  • tape
  • bright wall
  • some instinctive feeling
  • possibly a water level to increase the accuracy during the final adjustment

Working steps:

  • Place the car in front of a wall at a distance of five meters. Turn on the headlights. A correct tire pressure, an at least half-full tank, and a person weighing about 75 kilos, who is sitting at the driver’s seat are also essential during this procedure.
  • Important: Turn the full beam lights and fog lights off.
  • Mark the center of both light cones with an adhesive tape cross and move the car 5 meters backwards until the distance to the wall is approximately ten meters. Also check whether both light cones are at the same height. You can use the water level mentioned above.
  • Now turn the adjusting screws to adjust the light acording the tape cross. The low-beam cutoff should be located just below the horizontal and right of the vertical tape stripe.

Simplified adjustments with our headlight adjustment devices

Concerning the avoidance of unnecessary complications during the setup, you can also access our RP-TOOLS headlight adjustment devices. People with little space and no matching wall available, could be possibly fond of this solution.
Everything you need:

Our top seller: the mechanical headlight adjusting device RP-N-F24

Working steps:

  • The distance between car and device should be approximately 30 and 70 cm. The adjusting device must also be placed parallel to the vehicle during the procedure.
  • Adjust the lens of the unit so that the level of the headlight’s center is pointing directly towards it.
  • After that, you only have to adjust the individual angle of inclination with the help of the adjusting screws at the headlight to drive off with a clear conscience.

Does this also apply for xenon headlights?

Owners of a vehicle model with xenon headlights do not have to fear any issues in this regard since the calibration of the headlights is automated. All you have to do as a driver is to start the car’s engine, wait for half a minute and carefully move the vehicle a little bit forward and backward. The lights will be adapted optimally according to the vehicle’s load.