Properly Adjusting Your Truck's Projector Headlight Aim
As a truck owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is in excellent condition. You can do simple things, such as checking whether the tires have sufficient air pressure, the brakes’ function properly, and the cleanliness of the oil and filter for good engine health. Another crucial thing is to ensure proper headlight aim.
It’s not uncommon for truck owners to have poorly aimed headlights. In such a case, you should learn how to adjust headlight aim to ensure you get the most out of your headlights. Why buy top of the line lights only to use them incorrectly? After all, proper headlight adjustment is for you and other drivers’ safety.
Many road accidents happen because the illumination coming from misaligned or improperly aimed headlights distracts them. So read this guide to maintain proper headlight aim on your truck.
Before You Start the Process
Projector headlights are not that difficult to adjust since they come with adjustment screws. You can tweak these screws to adjust the headlights’ alignment. However, it’s essential to keep the owner’s manual by your side to guide you while working.
It’s a must to get everything ready – your workplace and tools – before you proceed with the task. Here’s a list of what you need before starting the actual process.
● Screwdriver or ratchet
● User manual
● Masking tape
● Measuring tape
● Dry erase marker
● At least 25 feet of space
● Level ground
● Vertical space
How to Adjust Headlight Aim
Let’s now get into the task by following these steps on how to adjust headlight aim.
Check if Your Truck Has Bubble Levels
Some trucks come with vertical and horizontal bubble levels that can serve as a big help if you want to adjust headlight aim. You can find them on the side or upper part of the headlights. With these bubble levels, you can align the aim of your truck’s headlights until the bubbles move to the center of the level.
Look for the Headlight Axis
Using a dry erase marker, mark each center of the headlight with a small dot. Keep in mind to not draw on the high beams, only on the center of the low-beam lights.
Park Your Truck on a Flat Surface
If your truck doesn’t come with bubble levels, find a location where you can park your vehicle on a level ground. You have to see to it that the gas tank is full and the tires have sufficient air pressure. The truck mustn’t carry additional weight other than its weight so that it won’t change the vehicle’s level of focus.
However, if your truck usually carries additional weight or load while you’re driving, you can leave that weight on it while you’re making adjustments. In this way, you can make the adjustments practically.
Jolt the Truck’s Suspension
Bounce the truck or examine the ride height on all four corners to ensure that suspension is at a normal level.
Find a Vertical Surface
After parking your truck on a flat surface, it’s now time to look for a vertical surface or a wall. You need to ensure that the vertical surface is even so the reflection of the light on it is correct. Then, park your truck 25 feet away from the wall.
Draw a Guide on the Vertical Surface
When the truck is already pointing on a garage wall or any vertical surface, measure 3.5 feet up on the wall using a tape measure. Then, use a masking tape to mark the height and put a strip of the tape to make a vertical and horizontal line.
Ensure that the horizontal line is equivalent to the truck’s length, and then paste the vertical tape over the horizontal tape.
Look for the Headlight Adjusters
Now, it’s time to locate the headlight adjusters. These are bolts or screws located on the side or back of your truck’s headlights. Headlight adjusters vary by carmakers, but they’re typically colored silver or gray, making them stand out from the dark headlamp housing.
You can also find vertical adjusters at the bottom of the headlamp unit. Please make sure to refer to the user’s manual to locate them with less hassle.
Adjust the Aims with the Markings on the Wall as a Guide
Now that you’ve distanced the truck and located the adjusters, you can now adjust the headlight aim.
First, block a single headlight and see where the other beam reflects relative to the lines you’ve drawn on the vertical surface. For vertical aim, the upper part of the beam’s most intense part should fall at or below the center of the horizontal line.
For horizontal aim, the high-intensity part of the beam must fall to the right of the vertical line. The reason behind this procedure for the horizontal adjustment is to avoid blinding oncoming drivers and for you to see the road with greater visibility. Then you can make necessary adjustments by turning the adjusters slowly until you get lights pointing where you need them.
Replacing a Low Beam Headlight
Sometimes, you’ll encounter having a low beam headlight even though your headlights are on properly. When this happens, navigating the road will be difficult. So, you need to replace the headlight bulb that has a defect. You can replace it all by yourself, or you can hire a mechanic to do the task for you.
The first step is to find the bulb that throws off a low beam. Then, read the owner’s manual and follow the step-by-step guide on how to replace a headlight bulb.
It can also be that the cause of the problem is an electrical one. An expert on electrical wirings should do the job for you to correct the vehicle’s power supply. After fixing the electrical wiring, the headlights on that side should now function properly. If not, you may need to investigate the issue further with a mechanic.
Aiming your headlights properly can affect your ability to see other vehicles and objects at night. It can also affect other drivers’ vision if your lights are pointing up towards their eyes. Taking care of this issue is relatively simple, but crucial to everyone on the road. Now you know how to adjust the projector headlights of your truck. If you forget the procedure, just revisit this blog or check out our comprehensive installation guide today.