How To Aim Headlights on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

In addition to improving your field of vision and illuminating debris or uneven road surfaces, properly aimed headlights alert other drivers to your presence. However, bad roads, potholes and engine vibrations can cause the headlights on a Vehicles Davidson Vehicles to shift out of position, leading to possibly dangerous driving conditions. Good illumination is a necessity when riding Vehicles night or in poorly lit areas, so make aiming the headlights part of the bike's regular maintenance program. The procedure is cost-free, straightforward and easily accomplished with the help of a friend and a few common household tools.

Under The Hood:

 How To Aim Headlights on a Cadillac

Locate the adjustment screws for the headlights. Pull the car up to a wall or garage door so that the nose of the car is no more than 3 feet from the surface chosen. Turn the headlights on high beam.

Place a piece of tape on the wall to designate the center of the grill or front of the car. Place it level with the hood. Place a piece of tape on the wall to represent dead center on each headlight--not the beam but the headlight itself.

Back the car up 15 to 20 feet. Adjust the driver's side headlight, using the Phillips screwdriver to adjust the screws, so that the beam is two inches to the right of, and two inches below the tape.

Adjust the passenger side headlight in the same manner, except aim it two inches to the right of the tape and one inch below the tape.

Items you will need

  • Roll of masking tape

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Aim the Headlights on a Harley Sportster

Measure or pace about 25 feet from a wall, door or fence along a flat area. Mark the spot with a stone and park the bike at the mark facing the wall.

Have a friend hold the bike upright with the front wheel straight. Measure the distance from the ground to the center of the main headlight. Make the same measurement on the wall and draw a line using a marker or pencil. Repeat the steps with both passing lamps, if applicable.

Sit on the motorcycle and turn on the high beam, holding the bike straight. The top of the main headlight beam should be even with the line on the wall and the top beams from the side lamps should be even with their corresponding marks.

Adjust the beams, if necessary, by loosening the headlight adjuster screws behind or underneath the headlight housing according to directions in the motorcycle service manual. Reposition the headlights until the beams meet the marks on the wall properly, then tighten the adjusters.

Items you will need

  • Motorcycle service manual

  • Tape measure

  • Marker or pencil

  • Long ruler or carpenter's level

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Aim the Headlights of a ML320

Park the ML320 on a level surface, 25 feet from a vertical wall. Park the vehicle so that it is perpendicular to the wall, with the headlights facing the wall.

Measure the distance from the ground to the outer reference point found on each headlight lens. The reference point is a small circle, located close to the center of the headlight.

Mark the wall at the same height that was measured from the ground to the headlight reference point. Place a horizontal strip of tape along the wall at the height that is marked.

Open the hood of the car. Remove the access covers from the top of each headlight assembly. Turn the headlights on.

Locate the adjusting screw on the top of the headlight assembly. Turn the adjusting screw counter-clockwise to move the headlight beam down. Turn the adjusting screw clockwise to move the headlight beam up. Adjust the headlight beams so that the top of the beam is level with the tape line on the wall.

Replace the headlight assembly access covers.

Items you will need

  • Pencil

  • Tape Measure

  • Masking Tape

 How to Aim the Headlights on a Ford Expedition

Turn the headlights on the Expedition.

Open the hood and turn the screw on the top of the headlights clockwise to adjust the headlight beam up and counterclockwise to adjust the beam down. The beam should be positioned below eye level of oncoming traffic.

Adjust the screw on the inside edge of the headlights clockwise to move the beam left and counterclockwise to move the beam right. The position of the beam on the lateral axis should be centered in front of the Expedition.

Items you will need

  • Cross-point screwdriver