How to Adjust the Headlights on Honda Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Headlights that are not adjusted properly can pose many problems for both the driver and oncoming traffic. If headlights are pointing too high, even the low beams can be too bright for oncoming traffic. If the headlights are pointed in the wrong direction it can be difficult for you to see the road in the dark. Mechanic shops charge a fee to check and adjust headlights. Learn to adjust headlights on a Honda car and fix the problem yourself.

Under The Hood:

 How to Adjust the Headlights on a 2001 Honda Accord

Park the Accord in front of a blank solid surface like a wall or garage door. Turn on the vehicle's headlights and use a piece of tape to mark the center of each headlight beam on the wall. This will be the reference point for the headlights.

Move the Accord 25 feet away from the wall. Pop open the hood and insert the Phillips screwdriver into one of the vertical adjusters under the hood. The vertical adjuster is a round cylinder situated behind each headlight, close to the radiator support. Inside each vertical adjuster is an adjustment screw used to raise or lower the headlights.

Turn on the headlights. The center of the headlight beams needs to be 2 inches above the spot marked on the wall. Turn the screw clockwise to lower the beams and counterclockwise to raise them. Once the center of the beam is in the correct position, close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Blank wall

  • Tape

  • Tape measure

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Adjust Headlights on a Honda Civic DX

Park on a flat surface. Empty everything out of the car except what is normally kept inside the car. Have a person close to your weight sit in the driver's seat to get the car as close as possible to normal driving conditions. Also check to make sure the tire pressure is at the correct pressure before leveling the headlights.

Open the hood and locate the horizontal adjustment indicator behind the headlights. This indicator is located on the back of the headlight housing on the side closest to the outside of the car. It looks like a series of bolts and nuts, but has small gears on it that are the same color as the plastic on the back of the headlight. The indicator should be aligned with the "0." If the indicator is not aligned at the "0" mark, use a Philips head screwdriver to turn the screw on the adjustment gear until the "0" mark is aligned.

Locate the vertical adjustment indicator. This indicator is located near the top of the back of the headlight. It is a bright green colored tube of liquid, similar to a carpenter level. The bubble in the level should be in the center, between the two longest marks on the tube. If the bubble is not located in the center, use a Philips head screwdriver to turn the screw in the gear, which is located on top of the headlight.

Repeat the steps for the remaining headlight, making them both identical.

Items you will need

  • Philips head screwdriver

 How to Adjust the Headlights in a Honda Accord

Prepare your Honda Accord to adjust your headlights. Park the car on a level surface 15 to 25 feet away from a wall or garage door. You may want to add weight to the car if your fuel tank is lower than half tank. Other factors to consider include the tire pressure and the amount of cargo in the trunk.

Remove the bezel and locate the headlight adjustment screws. Make sure you don't confuse the adjustment screws with the mounting screws or you'll wind up undoing your entire headlight assembly.

Bounce your Honda Accord gently by pressing down on the front bumper. Wait a few seconds for the suspension to settle.

Measure the distance from the center of each headlight to floor and transfer the measurement to the wall. You may want to mark the horizontal center point so you know where to place the mark for each headlight.

Make sure the headlights are on and use a Phillips screwdriver to adjust the screws. You need to adjust each headlight individually.

Watch the trajectory path on the wall and turn the screws the proper direction to move the path until it hits the center of the mark. You want to make sure your low beams hit within a 2-inch variance of the center. The high beams should be exactly correct.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure

  • Masking tape

  • Phillips Screwdriver

 How to Adjust the Headlights on a Civic

Park your Civic 25 feet away from a garage door so that the headlights are facing the door.

Turn the headlights on so that they shine onto the door.

Open the hood and turn the adjustment screw on the top of each of the Civic's headlight housings until the center of the headlight beams are both positioned at the bottom of the garage door where the door meets the ground.

Turn the adjustment screw on each of the Civic's headlight housing, on the inside edge of the housing, until the headlights overlap each other by about 50 percent or until the headlight beams sit directly in front of the car.

Items you will need

  • Phillips head screwdriver

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