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How to Adjust Volkswagen Headlights

by Contributor

When driving at night, you need to see any obstacles that could be in the road to avoid an accident. You also don't want to blind other drivers with off-center headlights. About once every year, or after you replace a light bulb in a headlight, you should check the alignment of your headlights. It will take only about fifteen minutes.

How to Adjust Volkswagen Headlights

Find a level area you can use. You will need a level area that has at least one wall and where you can park at least 10 feet away from the wall.

Turn your Volkswagen on and turn the low-beam headlights on. Park with the front end of the car facing the wall as close as possible. Use masking tape to mark off a horizontal and vertical line about where the middle of the lights are shining on the wall.

Back the car up at least 10 feet. Open up the hood and locate the adjusting screws. Depending on the model of your Volkswagen, you will need either a screwdriver, wrench or ratchet to adjust the screws. There will be a horizontal adjust screw and vertical adjust screw. On Volkswagen models made before 1999 the adjusting screws will be near the top corner of the headlight housing nearest to the middle of the car. On VW Golfs made in 1999 and afterward, the adjusting screws are on the bottom corner of the housing near the middle of the car for vertical adjustment and closer to the top corner for horizontal adjustment. For all other Volkswagens, the adjustment screws will be located in the top corner of the headlight housing near the edge of the car.

To adjust the horizontal angle of your headlights, locate the top adjusting screws. When you turn the screw counterclockwise it will lower the beam; turning clockwise will raise the beam. You will want the headlight to light up about 2 to 5 inches below the horizontal line.

Adjust the vertical angle by turning the lower adjustment screw counterclockwise to move the beam left and clockwise to move the beam right. You will want to have the beam hit 2 to 5 inches to the right of the vertical line.

Once you have each beam lined up so that it is lined up slightly downward and to the right, close the hood and take the masking tape off the wall. You have adjusted your headlights.

Tip

  • Start this process at the time the sun begins to set so there is some light but it is dark enough to see the headlights on the wall. It is recommended to use metric wrenches and ratchets for adjusting.

Items you will need

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