How to adjust sonar headlights

Written by mary lougee
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How to adjust sonar headlights
Headlights need adjustments so the driver can see in the dark without blinding others. (headlights image by Christopher Hall from

Sonar headlights are projector style lights available in different shapes of beams. The headlights are exceptionally bright and can have a halo or angel-eye effect while shining. Projector style headlights are manufactured to provide extra illumination for driver safety in nighttime driving. After installation of sonar headlights, each light requires adjustment so the beam is at the correct level for safety.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Small Phillips screwdriver
  • Masking tape
  • Small flashlight

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  1. 1

    Drive the vehicle to within 1 foot of a wall or garage on a flat surface just before dark.

  2. 2

    Place masking tape on the wall in front of the vehicle at the centre of each headlight to form a cross. Put one piece of masking tape horizontally at the centre of the headlight and another piece vertically to match the headlights vertical centre. Repeat this for each headlight.

  3. 3

    Move the vehicle back about 20 feet from the wall. Turn the headlights on the vehicle to the "On" position for low beams as soon as it is dark enough to see the beams on the wall.

  4. 4

    Open the bonnet on the vehicle.

  5. 5

    Place a small Phillips screwdriver in the light adjustment hole on the rear of the headlight assembly under the hood. The Phillips screw is recessed inside of the metal framework of the sonar headlight. Use a small flashlight to locate the adjustment hole, if necessary.

  6. 6

    Turn the screwdriver clockwise to raise the headlight beam. Turn the screwdriver counter-clockwise to lower the headlight beam.

  7. 7

    Adjust the beam with the screwdriver while observing its position on the tape. Adjust the beam so it is 3 inches lower than the centre of the tape. Repeat this procedure for both headlights.

  8. 8

    Remove the masking tape from the wall or building.

Tips and warnings

  • Headlight adjustment screws have a small spring underneath them that pushes against the headlight to move it up and down.
  • Do not adjust headlights to centre on the masking tape. This action will shine the lights directly into oncoming traffic and blind other drivers.
  • The high beam headlight level adjusts at the same time as the low beams on vehicles with a single headlight on each side.
  • Headlights that are too low shine close to the car on the road and have limited reach in distance.
  • Headlights that are too high do not illuminate the road near the front of the car.

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