Lights and headlights in good working condition are a safety guarantee. They must be checked and adjusted regularly in order to ensure good visibility for the driver himself, as well as other road users. At night, if you notice that the road is poorly lit when your lights are on full brightness, or drivers coming the other way are flashing you, it may be that your headlights are incorrectly adjusted, and you need to remedy the situation.
Caution, an adjustment fault can be reasoning for a failed MOT, issuing of a FPN by police, or worse, your vehicle may be immobilised.
Optimal illumination for dipped-beam headlights is for 30 metres, and 100 metres for main beam headlights. If this is not the case, you can easily adjust your lights yourself by following the steps below:
This adjustment is only for dipped-beam headlights. For full beam, you should take your vehicle to a specialist who will use special equipment.
- Unload your vehicle, it must be empty with the tires well inflated
- Park your vehicle on a flat surface, as close as possible to a horizontal wall or garage door
- Turn on your dipped-beam headlights, and directly on your car, using a metre, measure the height of your bulb to the ground. Put this measurement on the wall by placing horizontally a piece of sticky tape
- Using another piece of sticky tape, vertically this time, mark the centre of the headlight projection so that it forms a cross with the first piece of tape
- Repeat this process for your other headlight
- Reverse your vehicle 10 metres back
- If the height of your headlights projecting onto the wall is above this mark, then your headlights need adjusting so that the beam drops down to the tape mark
- If the height of your headlights projecting onto the wall is below this mark, then your headlights need adjusting so that the beam reaches up to the tape mark
- In the same way, if the beam projected onto the wall is too much to the left, or too much too the right of this mark, you need to readjust your headlights
- Adjustment is done under the bonnet, in the engine block, by adjusting the screws behind the optic