How to Adjust Xenon Headlights

Updated February 21, 2017

Xenon headlights are becoming more and more common on today's roads. Their bluish tint and stronger beams are regularly sighted by driver's on night rides. Because of these lights' strong beams, it is extremely important for them to be properly aligned. A xenon headlight that is off-centre can lead to a dangerous driving situation with the beam either shining too high and creating a blind spot, or the beam pointing directly into oncoming traffic. You can adjust the aim of your xenon lights with a few basic measurements and a couple turns of a screwdriver.

Fill the automobile with the appropriate amount of weight to approximate normal driving conditions. Consider such things as the items stowed in the boot or bed, the number of people riding in the automobile, and items in the back seat. The auto's weight can greatly affect the angle of the light beams over long distances.

Park 1-foot in front of a large wall or garage door with about 30-feet of free space in front of it -- after taking measurements, you will be backing the car up 25-feet to evaluate the light beams' angles.

Mark the wall with the masking tape to identify the targets. Put a 6-foot horizontal strip of tape from the centre point of the driver's side headlamp to the centre point of the passenger's side lamp to represent the vertical axis. Put a small vertical strip of tape directly in front of the centre of each light, to intersect the vertical axis. This will create two cross shapes to which you will aim the light beams.

Back up the car 25-feet. Inspect where the light beams hit the wall. Open the bonnet to access the headlight assemblies on either side. There should be one adjustment screw on the top and one on either the left or right side of each headlight. Use a screwdriver to turn these screws and adjust the beams' directions.

Both headlights should hit the wall 1- to 2-inches below the horizontal strip of tape. The passenger's side beam should land directly at the intersection of its corresponding cross mark. The driver's side should beam should hit 2-inches to the right of its corresponding cross mark to prevent it from shining into oncoming traffic.


For vehicles with separate high beam lights, follow the same process a second time for these lights. High beams may have different points of adjustment.


If ever in doubt as to the placement of the light beam on the marked wall, always default to lower and more to the right to prevent your lights from shining into oncoming traffic.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Steve Bradley is an educator and writer with more than 12 years of experience in both fields. He maintains a career as an English teacher, also owning and operating a resume-writing business. Bradley has experience in retail, fashion, marketing, management and fitness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and classics.