How to aim headlights

Why you should aim your car headlights - and how to do it yourself.

Poor visibility can make night driving both difficult and potentially dangerous. This difficulty can be aggravated by improperly adjusted or malfunctioning car headlights.

Don't risk unseen hazards by assuming your automobile headlights are pointing the right way. Correct headlight aiming can make an unbelievable difference in your driving experience.

Advance Auto Parts has state of the art lighting accessories and quality auto parts to help you get the job done and be on your way to better nighttime visibility.

Why you should aim your automobile headlights every 12,000 miles:
Misaligned car headlights are not only a potential hazard for you, but for other drivers as well.

Changes in ride height, vehicle load and tire size, or minor fender benders and everyday use can all cause your car headlights to lose their aim. Aiming automotive headlights is an easy task and is best performed when replacing headlight bulbs or lamps.

Advance Auto Parts has everything you need – including automotive headlights – to keep your lighting system at 100% efficiency. Remember, when replacing bulbs or automobile headlights always do so in pairs.

How to aim headlights – here are the tools you’ll need:

Do-it-yourself difficulty guide for aligning car headlights:

Estimated time required - 60 Minutes

How to aim headlights: follow these steps and save money.

Consult your owner's manual for the location of the headlight adjusting screws. Make sure to note the difference between the adjusting and retaining screws or fasteners.

  1. Find a level surface and a vertical wall or garage door. Park the vehicle close to the wall and, using the masking tape, mark the low-beams' horizontal centerlines.
  2. Mark the vertical centerlines of each beam and the center of the vehicle with masking tape. Marking the vehicle centerline is helpful to determine side to-side alignment, or lack thereof.
  3. Move the vehicle 25 feet straight backwards. Turn the horizontal-vertical adjusting screws to position the low beam hot spots two inches below and to the right of the taped centerlines.


Adjust high-beam hot spots below the horizontal line and slightly to the inside of both beam centerlines relative to the vehicle centerline.

Trust Advance Auto Parts for everything from quality auto parts to expert advice about how to aim headlights.