How to Adjust Aftermarket Headlights

If you’ve just bought a new car and it has aftermarket headlights, then you might be wondering how to adjust them.

The good news is that adjusting the aftermarket headlight is not that difficult. You can complete the process in only a few minutes.


In this article, you will be learning everything you need to know about how to adjust aftermarket headlights.

Summary: Adjusting aftermarket headlights is crucial for ensuring proper visibility, safety, and compliance with local regulations. The process typically involves aligning the headlight beam to a correct angle and height to avoid blinding oncoming drivers and adequately illuminating the road ahead. To begin, gather the necessary tools, such as a Phillips or Torx screwdriver, tape measure, and masking tape. Find a level surface with a flat wall or garage door, preferably at night or in a dimly lit area, to accurately assess the headlight alignment.

Park your vehicle approximately 25 feet away from the wall or garage door, ensuring it is level and perpendicular to the surface. Turn on the headlights and use the masking tape to mark the center of each headlight’s beam on the wall or garage door. Measure the distance from the ground to the center of the headlight on the vehicle and ensure the marks on the wall are at the same height.

Locate the adjustment screws on the back or side of the aftermarket headlights, typically labeled with an “A” for vertical adjustment and a “B” for horizontal adjustment. Using the appropriate screwdriver, turn the adjustment screws until the headlight beams are aimed slightly below the marked center points on the wall and slightly to the right (for left-hand drive vehicles) or to the left (for right-hand drive vehicles). This helps prevent glare for oncoming traffic.

Finally, test the adjusted headlights on the road to ensure they provide adequate visibility without blinding other drivers. Make further adjustments as necessary to achieve optimal alignment.

10 Steps To Follow: How to Adjust Aftermarket Headlights

Step 1: Parking Light Adjustment.

Before adjusting the headlights, you need to change the parking lights to be at a level that you are comfortable with. So first, turn on the parking light and then turn on your headlight switch.

Now, adjust the angle of the parking light just like you would in an ordinary car for nighttime driving. Once the angle is set, then turn the parking light off.

Step 2: Headlight Adjustment.

Once you have adjusted the parking lights, it is now time to adjust the headlights.

The headlight adjustment will require you to use a wrench and an adjustable wrench or a socket wrench and an adjustable socket set.

You might also need some assistance from another person to be able to loosen and tighten the bolts.

Step 3: Headlight Beam Adjustment.

You can choose from two types of headlight beams: a wide beam and a narrow beam pattern.

Narrow beam patterns are more focused since they have less light scatter, while wide beams are brighter since they cover a wider area.


You need to turn on your headlights and use the adjustable wrench to change the headlight beam pattern, just like you did in the previous step.

Step 4: Headlight Aiming.

If you want to aim your aftermarket headlights properly, then there is a technique that can be used for it called the three-point method.

It is a standard used by car manufacturers when aiming the headlights of their new cars. You need to make use of a tape measure and then put it on the screen or headlight lens holder.

Make sure that the center of your headlights is lined up with the uppermost part of the screen/lens holder using a tape measure.

Step 5: Aiming for the First Time.

If it is your first time to aim your headlights, you will need to follow a particular procedure to achieve the right results.

For instance, if you are currently using one headlight aimed at 15 degrees and the other one has an angle of ten degrees, you need to use a tape measure to find the difference between them.

You should also know that if you are aiming your headlights for legal reasons, they have to be aimed at 30 degrees.

Step 6: Maintaining Your Headlights Properly.

Whether or not you adjust the aftermarket headlights properly, you still need to maintain them to make sure that they will last for as long as possible.

So, you will have to change your car battery regularly and clean the headlights frequently with a cloth or special wipes designed for cleaning headlight lenses.

Step 7: Using an Automated Electrical Adjustment Device.

If you are using a car with an automated electrical adjustment device, you can save yourself the trouble of adjusting your headlight manually.

As long as the headlights are factory installed, they should work fine with aftermarket headlights, so they are worth the shot even if you have aftermarket headlight kits.

Step 8: Headlight Height Measurement.

There are mainly three different ways to measure the height of your headlights, and they include using a regular ruler, taking measurements with both feet on the ground, and then using an aiming rod to measure while in the car.


Whichever way is the most comfortable fit for you is the one you should use.

Step 9: Headlight Height Adjustment.

To adjust your aftermarket headlights, you will have to loosen the nuts on the mounting bolts for them with a wrench or an adjustable wrench.

As soon as they are loose enough, you can use an adjustable socket wrench or a socket set to make the necessary changes. Then, tighten them again afterward, and you are done.

Step 10: Bulb Replacement.

Some of the aftermarket headlight kits come with headlights, and some do not, so you will need to have your old headlight bulbs replaced if you decide to use them.

 Old Headlight Bulbs

To replace the old bulbs properly, you will have to remove the grille from your car using a grille removal tool.

Then, use a pair of pliers to pull out the necessary wires to remove the old light bulbs and replace them with the new ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Correct Height Adjustment for Headlights?

Different cars and drivers will have different preferences for headlights height adjustment. Generally speaking, though, most drivers prefer headlights that are set at a height that is about midway between the driver’s eye level and the vehicle’s ground level.

Some manufacturers offer adjustable headlights as an option on certain models, while others may provide a fixed height setting for all headlights. In either case, it is important to make sure that the height of the headlight is appropriate for the driver and the driving conditions. Headlights that are too high or too low can create glare or interfere with vision, respectively.

What Distance Should You Dip Your Headlights?

The recommended distance to dip your headlights is 50 feet. This distance will allow other drivers enough time to adjust their driving behavior, reducing the likelihood of collisions. By following this guideline, you and other drivers will be able to avoid potential accidents and injuries.

Do New Headlights Need Adjusting?

Yes, new headlights generally need to be adjusted after they’re installed. Headlights should be adjusted when they’re first installed to ensure that they are properly pointing in the direction that you want them to point, and they should be checked periodically to make sure that they are still pointing in the correct direction. If you notice that the headlights are not pointing in the correct direction, or if they have started to point in an unintended direction, it may be necessary to adjust them.

Do I Need to Adjust Led Headlights?

Yes, you may need to adjust your headlights if they are not providing a proper glare or lighting level. The glare or lighting level of headlights can be affected by a number of factors, such as the condition of the lens, the angle of the light, and the brightness of the light. To adjust your headlights, first make sure that the headlight is turned off and then remove the cap and unscrew the light bulb. Once the light bulb is unscrewed, you will be able to adjust the angle of the light and the brightness of the light by rotating the bulb. Be sure to replace the light bulb once it is adjusted to ensure optimum performance.


The great thing about aftermarket headlights is that they’re designed to be more durable and last longer than stock headlight systems.

If you have been struggling with your aftermarket headlights, we’ve laid out several tips and tricks to help you get the most out of them.

You may not know how much power can be lost in a headlight if it’s improperly aligned or misaligned.

We hope this article on how to adjust aftermarket headlights has helped educate you on what things to look for when modifying your car lights so that they can work at their best potential!

Leave a Comment