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How do I Adjust the Headlights on a 2003 Ford Explorer?

by Daniel Valladares

A misaligned headlight can be just as unsafe as no headlight at all. If the headlights on your 2003 Ford Explorer are not adjusted properly, your road vision will be impaired and oncoming drivers likewise may experience reduced visibility from the glare of your headlights.

Preparation

You can adjust the headlights on your 2003 Explorer with a Phillips-head screwdriver. However, to make sure you've adjusted the lights properly, you will also need some masking tape, a tape measure and a blank wall on which you can shine your headlight beams. The best time to perform this task is in the evening, as you will be able to see the beams on the wall more easily.

Adjusting the Headlights

Park your Explorer about 20 feet away from a wall, with the headlights directed at the wall. Turn the headlights on. Measure the distance between the ground and the center of the headlights. Mark this distance on the wall with masking tape. Make two marks, one for each headlight. Open the hood and locate the headlight adjustment screw above the headlight assembly. The headlight should be about 2 inches below the mark on the wall. Use your Phillips-head screwdriver to adjust the headlights to the appropriate alignment. Once you have adjusted both headlights, close the hood.

Warnings

The headlight assembly and engine can become very hot when in use. Be careful that you don't burn yourself when adjusting the headlights. If you are unable to align your headlights properly, you may need to take your Explorer to a mechanic, as one or both headlight adjustment screws may be defective.

References

About the Author

Daniel Valladares began his career as a medical writer in 2008. He has written patient education brochures for several pharmaceutical companies and has worked as an auto mechanic at Kim's Speedy Auto Service since 2007. Valladares holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rice University and is currently studying to become a personal trainer.

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