How to Adjust Headlights on Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The headlights on a Chevy Chevrolet car should be adjusted whenever you replace them. The headlights should be positioned so that they do not blind oncoming traffic, but they must also provide sufficient lighting so that you can see the road ahead of you. The Chevrolet car uses two adjustment screws to accomplish this. One screw is on the inside edge of the headlight assembly and the other is on the top of the housing assembly.

Under The Hood:

 How to Adjust Headlights on a 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe

Park your Chevy Tahoe 25 feet away from a closed garage door.

Turn on the headlights.

Open the hood and look between at the edge of the plastic piece that is the top of the grille. You will see two bolts. These are the adjustment bolts.

Turn the adjustment bolts on each headlight housing until the beam pattern on both headlights overlaps by 50 percent and the center of the headlight beam sits at the bottom of the garage door where the door meets the ground.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

 How to Adjust the Headlights in a Chevy Impala

Prepare your Chevy Impala so it matches your normal operating standards. Whether you carry 15 tons of extra weight in your trunk or you drive with your tires slightly over-inflated, you want to match the driving conditions you typically experience.

Park the car on a level surface 10 to 15 feet away from a flat screen or wall. Turn on the headlights and check the trajectory on the flat surface. The headlights need to angle slightly down so you don't blind oncoming drivers.

Pop the hood and locate the adjustment screw. Unlike other sedans, the Chevy Impala only has vertical adjustment screws. You can find the adjustment screws near the headlight assembly. You may want to remove the air baffle to see the adjustment screws.

Turn the vertical adjustment screw until the trajectory path hits the flat surface in the appropriate area. If you can't get the screws to turn with a Phillips screwdriver, Allen wrench or Torx set, gently turn the screws with a pair of pliers.

 How to Adjust the Headlights for a Silverado

Adjusting Silverado Headlights

Open the hood and look directly down onto the top of the headlight to be adjusted. Just above the headlight housing will be a white Teflon or plastic screw. This adjustment screw will adjust the headlamps up or down, depending on the direction the screw is turned.

Adjust the screw clockwise using the Phillips screwdriver to rotate the light beam up to the desired angle.

Adjust the screw counterclockwise using the Phillips screwdriver to adjust the light beam down to the desired angle.

Adjust the white Teflon screw on the second headlamp in the same direction as needed to level the beam to match the first headlight beam.

Verify the proper angle has been obtained by pulling the vehicle up to a wall or garage door with the headlights turned on. If light beams do not appear level with one another, repeat adjustment until desired angle is obtained.

Items you will need

  • Phillips head screwdriver

 How to Adjust the Headlight for a 2002 Silverado

Park the Silverado on a level surface, with the headlights facing a blank wall 25 feet away. You may need to find an empty parking lot adjacent to a building to do this.

Place masking tape on the wall, in vertical stripes that line up with both the center of the truck and the vertical center line of each headlight.

Place horizontal stripes of tape that line up with the horizontal center lines of the headlights. This will give you two masking tape crosses, where their center points line up with the center points of the headlights.

Open the hood to reveal the alignment screws--they are located in a hole directly above the headlight. Turning these screws will require a T15 Torx screwdriver.

Turn on the low beams and turn each screw until the headlight's "high-intensity zone" is positioned two inches below the horizontal center line and two inches to the inside the headlight's vertical center line (pointing slightly toward the truck center).

Switch to the high beams and adjust the positioning so that the high zone lines up with the truck's center line, a couple of inches below the horizontal center line.

Items you will need

  • Masking tape

  • T15 Torx screwdriver

 How to Adjust the Headlights on an Aveo

Park the Aveo so that it is facing a flat surface, like a wall.

Turn the headlights on.

Open the hood of the Aveo and turn the screw on the top of the Aveo's headlight assembly so that the headlight beam sits below the eye level of a typical automobile. If you have trouble with this, you can use masking tape to mark the center line on the headlight housing and then adjust the beam so that it sits just below the tape.

Turn the screw on the inside edge of the housing assembly until the beam shines straight ahead. If you have trouble with this, you can use masking tape to mark the center line on the headlight housing and then adjust the beam so that it sits just to the left of the tape (as you are looking at the housing).

Check the wall to verify that the beam is at the proper level. The beam should sit just below eye level for most oncoming traffic.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

 How to Adjust the Headlights on a Chevy Cavalier

Park the Cavalier so that the car's headlights are facing a flat surface, such as a wall, from 15 feet away.

Open the hood and locate the adjustment screws on the headlight assembly. The adjustment screw on the top of the headlight assembly moves the headlights up and down. The adjustment screw on the inside edge of the housing moves the headlights left and right.

Turn the headlights on.

Turn the top adjustment screw with a crosspoint screwdriver until the headlight beam is below the driver's eye level.

Turn the horizontal headlight screw so that the headlight beam shines in front of, and slightly toward the center of the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Crosspoint screwdriver

 How to Adjust the Headlights on a Chevy Trailblazer

Open your hood and locate the vertical and horizontal adjustment screws. The vertical adjustment screw is located on the top of the headlight assembly. The horizontal adjustment screw is located on the side of the headlight assembly towards the center of the hood.

Orient the Trailblazer so that it is facing a flat wall and is positioned 10 to 15 feet away from it.

Mark the vertical and horizontal center lines of the headlights on the wall. Locate the center of your headlights. Put a strip of masking tape horizontally on the wall that corresponds to the center of the Chevy's headlight. Repeat this process for the vertical center line.

Turn the headlights on and adjust the horizontal and vertical adjustment screws. The headlight should be approximately two inches below the horizontal center line and two inches to the right of the vertical center line.

Items you will need

  • Philips screwdriver

  • Masking tape

 How to Adjust the Headlights on a 2005 Chevy Malibu

Drive your Chevy Malibu to a large wall with 30 feet of flat level ground in front of it and park the car a foot from the wall.

Measure the distance from the ground up to the center of each headlight lens.

Mark the wall with some painter's tape with a plus sign. The center of the plus sign should align with the center of the lens.

Back the Malibu up 25 feet and turn on the headlights. Notice where the light beams land in respect to the marked wall. The passenger light should fall 2 inches below the horizontal arm and directly on the vertical. The drivers side should fall squarely in the lower right quadrant, 2 inches below horizontal and 2 inches to the right of vertical.

Go to the front of the Chevy and look along the edges of the headlight lenses. There will be two adjustment screws, one along the top in the middle and one along the inside edge in the middle. These control the horizontal and vertical axis of the light beam.

Take a Philips head screwdriver and adjust these screws until each light hits the right spot on the wall.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape

  • Screwdriver

  • Tape

 How to Adjust Headlights on a Chevy Truck

Pull your Chevy truck up to a blank wall (garage wall or door, side of a building); about 6 to 10 feet from the wall is the best distance to be. Turn your low beams on so you can see the light of the beams reflected on the blank wall as two circles.

Open the hood of your Chevy truck.

Find the two Phillips' head screws for adjusting your headlights. One will be located at the center top of your headlight assembly and the other will be located on one of the sides. Some models do not use screws but have small rods. They will be on the upper side of the headlamp assembly.

Adjust the headlights by turning the screws. The top screw will move your beam up or down; the side screw will aim your headlight to the right or left. You will want to watch the beams on the wall. Make sure that both beams are level to each other and aimed about at the same height as the headlight assembly. If your Chevy truck has adjustment rods, the rod on the outside of the headlamp is for the sideways adjustment and the rod to the inside will adjust your lamp up or down.

Turn your headlights onto the high beam setting and repeat Step 4. When you are done, double-check that your beams are still level and aimed correctly in the low beam setting.

Items you will need

  • Blank wall

  • Phillips' head screwdriver

 How to Adjust the Headlights in a Chevy Camaro

Use a vehicle with the headlights properly adjusted to guide the trajectory on your Chevy Camaro. Park the template vehicle behind another car and mark the position of the headlights with masking tape on the front vehicle.

Park your Chevy Camaro behind the front vehicle, making sure you park the same distance away as the template car did. You want the car to be in the same condition you drive it in-consider you fuel level, tire pressure and cargo. If you plan to adjust the headlights outside, wait until dark. For indoor adjustments, dim or turn off the lights.

Turn on the headlights. You want to use a hex key that fits the adjustment screws located on the headlight to adjust the vertical and horizontal trajectories. Keep an eye on the masking tape as you adjust. You want to make gradual adjustments until the center of the trajectory matches the masking tape marks.

Test drive your Chevy Camaro to determine whether you made the correct adjustments. Keep an eye for oncoming drivers who flash their headlights at you. This often indicates you pointed your headlights too high.

Items you will need

  • Hex key set

 How to Adjust the Headlights on a Chevy Cobalt

Prepare your Chevy Cobalt to adjust your headlights. Park the car on a level surface 15 to 25 feet away from a wall or garage door. For optimal results, check that the air pressure in the tires matches the level at which you typically drive.

Open the hood and locate the headlight adjustment screws. Chevy places these near the headlamp assemblies. The adjustment control on the low beam lights also adjusts your high beam lights. If this doesn't correct your problem, you may need to remove the headlight and shim it to adjust the trajectory path.

Measure from the low beam aim dot to the floor and mark this measurement on the wall. You may want to draw a line on the wall equal to the width of the Chevy Cobalt to indicate the proper adjustment.

Make sure the headlights are on and use a 6mm socket wrench to adjust the screws. You adjust each headlight individually. Watch the trajectory path on the wall and turn the screws the proper direction to move the path until it matches your line on the wall.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure

  • Writing utensil

  • 6 mm socket wrench