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How to Align Halogen Headlights on a Toyota Prius

by Dan Ravens

The popular Generation II Toyota Prius was produced from 2004 to 2009. This Prius model was available in two headlight options: the standard halogen headlights and optional HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights. Aiming the standard headlights is quite simple and elementary. Toyota outlined the procedure in the 2004 Prius owner's manual, the year the car was first introduced. For reasons known only to Toyota, it did not include these instructions in the manual for the 2005 Prius.

Park the Toyota Prius on a level surface, positioned to face a flat wall 25 feet in front of the car.

Turn off the car. Move the gear toggle to neutral.

Turn the headlights on, shining them on the flat wall in front of the car.

Make the car bounce several times. If you can't do it sufficiently in the car, get out and push against the hood.

Raise the hood and prop it open. Remove the lid on the radiator support cover. Adjust the aiming screw, which looks like an upturned bottle cap with many points around it.

Turn the adjusting screw clockwise or counterclockwise. This will raise or lower the light beam. The light beam should be level to a few inches below level.


  • Adjusting the headlights on Generation II Prius models is detailed in the "Do-it-yourself Maintenance" section of the 2004 Prius manual, the first year of the Generation II Prius.

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About the Author

Dan Ravens began writing professionally in 1991, when he produced brochures and public relations for his high school's Advanced Placement program. He has combined his artistic skills and writing ability to produce corporate newsletters for most of the major consumer electronics and computer retailers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in art from University of California-Berkeley.

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