How to Adjust the Headlights in a Volvo XC90

by Matt Scheer

If the headlights on your Volvo XC90 are blinding oncoming traffic or illuminating the night sky, you should adjust the aim of the beams. Fortunately, Volvo's design makes adjusting the headlight aim a simple and straightforward process. No specialty tools are needed and access to the pertinent adjustment screws -- which control the vertical and lateral aim of the headlight beams -- is easy. It shouldn't take you more than thirty minutes to aim your headlights properly.

Park your Volvo XC90 directly facing a flat vertical surface, such as a garage door.

Measure the height from the ground to the headlights with the tape measure. Place a horizontal strip of masking tape at this height on the wall in front of both headlights.

Place a vertical strip of tape on the wall in front of the vertical center of each headlight. This creates a cross shape for use as a target in aiming your headlights.

Measure 25-feet away from the garage wall and mark the spot with tape. Back up your Volvo XC90 until the front of the headlights lines up with the tape on the ground. Turn on your headlights and prop open the hood.

Look for a hole on top of each headlight assembly that leads to the vertical adjustment screw. If a dealer had previously adjusted the headlights on your Volvo XC90, remove the rubber caps they may have put over the holes by using a screwdriver to pry them off. Insert the 6-mm socket wrench through the hole to engage the vertical adjustment screw (which, despite its misnomer, is really a bolt). Turn the adjustment screw with a socket wrench to adjust the vertical movement of the beam.

Look for the white knob on the rear of each assembly between the high and low beams. The white knob controls the horizontal aim of the beam. Turn this with your hand or the wrench to move the beam. Aim the beams so that the portion of greatest intensity of each beam hits 2-inches below and to the right of its corresponding tape targets on the wall.

Items you will need

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About the Author

Matt Scheer began writing professionally in 2005. His work has appeared in "The Daily Texan" and "The New York Tribune." Scheer holds a B.A. in English and a B.A. in history, both from the University of Texas. He is also a certified Yoga teacher and Web designer.