It has been a week since the time change of setting our clocks back and I'm still not jiving with it. The only positive that I get from this time change is that it's not dark when my kids wake me up before 6am. Over the summer I was lucky enough to buy a new-to-me car. I'd leave while the sun was up and get home before the sun set. So I rarely needed to drive with my headlights on. The other night I headed out around 5pm to run a quick errand. Not thinking much about the fact that it was already dark, but just that I forgot something for dinner at the store. Off I start to drive, turning on the headlights, and I cannot see more than 10 feet in front of me! My headlights, being of no use to me over wonderful summer, are pointing pretty straight down! The store is right around the corner from my house, so I wasn't too worried. I'm telling you about this because as I write blog posts about getting your vehicle ready for winter driving (not really different than summer driving here, haha) I've never really thought to include checking the position of your headlights. Most of us are commuting home from work when it's dark now and we need to be able to see! Here is a step by step guide to help you avoid what happened to me:
1. Make sure your vehicle is level. Remove heavy objects from the trunk or bed and park on as flat a surface as possible in front of a garage or wall
2. Turn your headlights on and mark the position of the beam on the wall. Mark the vertical and horizontal center line. The centerlines should not be any higher than 3.5' from the ground. Use a carpenters tape to verify the centerlines from each headlight are even. If one is higher, mover the higher mark down to the lower mark.
3. Back up the vehicle 25 ft from the wall.
4. Check your owner's manual to see if your vehicle has vertical and horizontal adjusting screws. If so, then find the screws and adjust one headlight at a time. Use a chair with a jacket on it to block the headlight that you are not adjusting.
5. Adjust the vertical field. The screw on the top of the housing should be turned clockwise to raise the light and counter clockwise to lower the light. Adjust the headlight until the top of the most intense part of the light beam shines directly on or just below the center of the tapeline on the wall. Make sure you turn the lights off to adjust then turn them on the view the adjustments.
6. Adjust the horizontal field. The screw on the side of the housing should be turned to get the right/left adjustment corrected. Try to aim the most intense part of the light beam just to the right of the vertical line.
Good luck!! Only 10 days until Thanksgiving! I love the feast.