How to Aim Headlights. Please Tell Me - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 11-21-2005, 05:51 PM   #1
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Default How to Aim Headlights. Please Tell Me

My headlights always seemed a little crappy. The other day I was driving and a car behind me had headlights so bright that my car actually made a shadow in my own headlights (if that makes any sense). I think before trying to change the bulbs I would like to try to re-aim them. I did a quick search but could not find anything. I may not have been using the proper terms to bring up the thread or tech info. Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:06 PM   #2
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The headlight adjusting screws stick up at 45 degree angles at the rear of the headlight assembly. They're 1/4".

The outer screws (over the low beam) is for height, and the inner screw (over the high beam) is for left to right.

take a 1/4" nutdriver out to a dark road and play around with them until you like the lightpool they throw. don't crank the screws down when they get to the end of adjustment-they're delicate.

I have Silverstar headlamp bulbs and they were definitely worth the $80 they cost.
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:11 PM   #3
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At my former cars' forum (www.corsicas.com) there was a procedure where you pull up to a wall on a level surface a certain number of feet back. Then you aim each headlight to a certain height on the wall. I was wondering is there is a similar procedure for the Bonne. Thanks for the info Bob. Im gonna go mess around with them now.
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:21 PM   #4
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I'm sure there is a "factory" method, but I just used the "dark country road" method.

One thing to watch is to make sure that the right side of the road is illuminated well so you see pedestrians and bicyclists in enough time to keep them from denting your car.
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Old 11-21-2005, 09:38 PM   #5
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Headlamp Aiming

The screen method is preferred for aiming headlamps. If the headlamp is equipped with aiming pads, headlamp aiming may be performed using the alternate procedure.

Headlamp aiming is done with the low beam lamps. The high beam lamps will be correctly aimed if the low beam lamps are aimed properly. If the high beam needs adjustment, follow the screen method using the high beam bulb as the reference for measurements.

Screen Method for Headlamp Aiming (Visual Aim)

The screen method requires an area set up specifically for headlamp aim.

The area should consist of a level surface large enough to allow for a vehicle and an additional 7.62 m (25 ft) as measured from the face of the headlamps to the aiming screen.

The screen should be a wall or other flat surface at least 1.52 m (5 ft) high by 3.66 m (12 ft) wide with a matte white surface well shaded from extraneous light, and 90 degrees to the floor. The screen should be provided with a permanent vertical reference line 2 feet from the left edge of the screen, 2 laterally adjustable vertical tapes, and one vertically adjustable horizontal tape.

After the aiming screen has been set up and located, paint or tape a reference line on the floor 15.24 m (50 ft) from the vertical reference line on the screen. This line should be perpendicular to the aiming screen and a mark placed at 7.62 m (25 ft) from the screen.

Headlamp Aiming Procedure

1. Align the left tires of the vehicle with the reference line extending from the screen with the headlamps aligned with the reference line.
2. Remove any snow, ice or mud from the vehicle.
3. The vehicle should be fully assembled and all other work stopped while the headlamp aiming is being done.
4. The vehicle should contain cargo or be loaded to represent normal vehicle use.
5. Tires should be properly inflated.
6. Rock the vehicle to stabilize the suspension.
7. Measure from the floor to the center of the lamp bulb on the vehicle. Some lamps have an aim dot marked on the lens.
8. At the screen, measure from the floor and place the horizontal tape at the measured distance.
9. Measure from the reference line on the floor to the left headlamp bulb centerline.
10. At the screen, measure from the reference line and place the vertical tape at the measured distance.
11. Measure from the reference line on the floor to the right headlamp bulb centerline.
12. At the screen, measure from the reference line and place the vertical tape at the measured distance.
13. Turn the headlamps ON.
14. Adjust the headlamps to the specifications required by state and local authorities.
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Old 11-27-2005, 05:45 AM   #6
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At a distance of 25' the center of your beam should be about 18" off the ground.

Look for a thread about 95naSTA installing BMW headlights, I gave the exact specs in picture form in that thread.
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