Do I Need to Adjust My Headlights?

January 03 2019,

Do I Need to Adjust My Headlights?

Do you ever wonder why some people insist on driving with their high beams on when there are clearly other cars around? Unfortunately, many of these drivers don’t actually have their high beams on — their headlights are misaligned and shining directly in your face. Bartow Ford, your Winter Haven area Ford dealership, wants you to know the signs that your headlights may be out of place.

Why Do Headlights Need to be Adjusted?
Just like your wheel, your headlights can fall out of alignment over time. If you notice your headlights seem to be pointing too high, there could be a few reasons.

  • Too much weight: Excess weight in the trunk or cargo area of your car can cause the front to tilt up — including your headlights.
  • Worn shocks: Sagging shocks can also lead to your car tilting at an angle, affecting the headlights.
  • Car accident: If you’ve gotten in a car accident that damaged the front your vehicle, your headlights will need to be adjusted.

How Do You Check Your Alignment?
It’s easy to check if your headlights need to be adjusted! To check your alignment you’ll need:

  • Flat surface
  • A wall to project the lights on
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape

Before you check the alignment, make sure your tires are properly inflated and the tank is at least half full, and have someone sit in the driver’s seat to accurately reflect driving conditions.

You check your headlights in two parts. First, park your car close to a wall on a flat surface. Next, make sure the car is level by pushing down on all four corners of the vehicle; this makes sure the shocks are level. After you’re sure the car is level, measure from a fixed point on each headlight down to the ground. Measurements should be within half an inch from each other. Finally, turn on the headlights and use tape to mark the vertical and horizontal centerlines of the beams. Measure these lines; they should not be more than 3.5 feet above the ground. Using the carpenter’s level, make sure the centerlines are even. Next, back your car up 25 feet away from the wall. If the headlights match up with the spots you marked on the wall, they don’t need to be adjusted.

If your alignment seems off or you want a second opinion, stop by Bartow Ford, your Winter Haven area Ford dealership. We can check your alignment, adjust your headlights, and even restore them so you see better on the road. Call us at (800) 303-4016 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.


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