alinhar farois

How to align your car’s headlights

In this article we will explain how to align the front lights of your car, not only to circulate in greater safety, but also so that it does not delight the other drivers.


The car headlights

According to the road code, the car’s headlights, both the front and rear, serve to see and be seen. Therefore, it is essential that they are subject to periodic checks in case some lamps run off or does not illuminate as supposed.

In the case of rear headlamps, they must be seen at 30 metres and require less care. The worst that can happen is a bulb to fuse and be required to replace it.

In the case of the front headlights the story is different. They need more care, as in addition to the possibility of the lamp blowing, they may also lose focus.

Some modern cars are already equipped with tools that regulate headlights or even self-adjusting headlights that automatically adjust to road conditions. If this is the case, it is advisable to confirm with the car manufacturer whether you need adjustment or if you make an automatic adjustment.


How to align headlights?

There are two ways to align the faroes. You can do it at home or go to the mechanic to do it for you. Next, we will explain to you the procedures that should be done.


How to align headlights at home in 5 steps

To align the front headlights of your vehicle at home you only need a measuring tape, glue tape (for any markings you want to make) and some space in the garage. You should follow the steps in the following order:

  1. Place the car with the headlights on in front of a wall at 5 meters.
  2. Measure the height of the headlight, from the center of the optics to the ground. Assuming that this measure is 66 cm, this will be a reference for the next marking on the wall. The math’s that has to be made is as follows: you must subtract 5cm from the measurement of the height of the headlamp to the ground, which is equivalent to 5 meters away, i.e., 1% inclination of the headlamp.
  3. Then make a mark on the wall in a horizontal line at a height of 61 centimeters.
  4. Turn on the headlights and make sure that the light projected beam on the wall is on the horizontal line you marked.
  5. If it is outside from your wall mark, you should look for headlight adjustment screws that are usually near the headlights when you open the bonnet and proceed with the alignment.

Headlights alignment in the workshop

If you have to go to a workshop to do some kind of maintenance to your vehicle, you can include the alignment of headlights to that same maintenance.

To do this alignment, mechanics do not follow the same procedure that was explained earlier. In workshops, mechanics have a  headlight height measuring equipment that does all the alignment work. However, the adjustment of the headlights is always manual inside the hood.



Headlight alignment: Price

The alignment of headlamps in a workshop costs around 15 euros and is a simple procedure that takes just few minutes.


Care to be taken with the headlights

In addition to the headlights alignment, there is another type of lights that requires proper preventive maintenance care. When a vehicle proceeds to inspection, the lights to be checked are as follows:

  • Front and rear fog lights.
  • Blinkers.
  • Registration plate lights;
  • Reversing light.

How to align your car’s headlightsAnother care to be taken in consideration is to check that the plastic is not spleen (which causes the light to be propagated in the wrong way). To fix this, there are cleaning and restoring kits for headlights that can help.

With a careful maintenance of all lights and headlights it is possible to safely circulate on the public road without running the risk of fail in the periodic inspection or get unnecessary fines or penalties.

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