Why don't my headlamps hit the road in the right place? Can I adjust them?

Headlamps hit the road

The headlamps on your vehicle were properly aimed at the assembly plant. But if you’ve had extra weight in the back of your vehicle (by hauling a boat or trailer, for example), your headlamps may need to be adjusted.

Here’s the proper technique for determining whether your headlamps need adjusting:

Before you start:

  • You’ll need some masking tape, a Phillips screwdriver, and a measuring tape.
  • Park your vehicle about 25 feet from a wall or garage door with your headlamps turned on and aimed at it.


  • Measure the distance from the ground to the center mark of the headlamp and place strips of masking tape on the wall at the same height.
  • Determine the type of headlamps you have by looking for the VOL or VOR marks at the bottom of the lamps.
  • Depending on your headlamp type, the light should either hit the tape or two inches below.
    For Halogen lamps (VOR), the beam should be right on the tape.
    For HID lamps (VOL), the beam should be about two inches below the tape.

Here’s how to adjust your headlamps:

  • If your headlamps do need to be adjusted, consult your Owner Manuals for the location of the vertical adjuster for each headlamp.
  • Use a Phillips screwdriver to turn the adjuster either clockwise of counterclockwise in order to adjust the vertical aim of the headlamp.