Properly adjusted headlights are critical for safe nighttime driving. Misaligned headlights can shine light where it is not needed and leave dark spots where illumination is required. Fortunately, adjusting the headlights on your Honda Accord is a relatively simple process that can be done in your driveway or garage in less than an hour. This article provides a step-by-step guide to help you properly adjust the headlights on your Honda Accord.
What You’ll Need
Adjusting your Honda Accord’s headlights requires just a few basic tools and supplies:
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Tape measure or yardstick
- Chalk or tape to mark lines on the wall
- A flat, lightly colored wall around 25 feet from the front of the vehicle
- Assistant to help if available
Why Proper Headlight Alignment Matters?
Properly aligned headlights are important for several reasons:
- Illuminates roadway optimally – Headlights aimed too low or high fail to properly light the road.
- Reduces glare for other drivers – Lights aimed too high blind oncoming drivers, creating dangerous conditions.
- Enhances visibility of pedestrians, animals, and objects – angled lights leave dark areas and create risk.
- Complies with legal requirements – Most states require properly adjusted headlights to pass inspection.
Taking the time to properly adjust the headlights on your Honda Accord improves safety and compliance. The adjustment process is quick and easy to do yourself.
How To Adjust Honda Accord Headlights?
Follow these steps to properly adjust the headlights on your Honda Accord:
- Prepare the Vehicle
- Mark the Wall
- Turn Headlights On
- Locate Adjustment Screws
- Adjust Headlights Vertically
- Adjust Headlights Horizontally
- Confirm Alignment
- Complete the Process
Prepare the Vehicle
- Park the vehicle on a level surface 25 feet from a light-colored wall or garage door.
- Make sure the vehicle’s suspension is settled by gently rocking the vehicle left and right.
- Ensure the vehicle is unloaded with just a driver or approximate weight inside.
- Clean the headlight lenses and check beam alignment. If severely out of alignment, an issue may need repair.
Mark the Wall
- Measure the distance from the ground to the center of the headlight bulbs and make marks on the wall at these heights using chalk or tape.
- Make sure measurements and marks are the same for both headlights.
Turn Headlights On
- Turn on the headlights, including high beams. Do not use fog lights.
- Observe where hot spots focus on the wall relative to your marks.
Locate Adjustment Screws
- Open the hood and locate the vertical and horizontal adjustment screws for each headlight housing.
- Vertical screws change the up and down angle. Horizontal screws adjust the left or right angle.
Adjust Headlights Vertically
- Turn the vertical screws using a Phillips head screwdriver to adjust the brightest part of the high beam vertically to the marked line.
- Adjust both headlights up or down evenly so they match.
Adjust Headlights Horizontally
- Adjust the horizontal screws so the headlights point straight forward, centered on the marked lines.
- Focus the brightest part of the beam on the tape marks by turning the screws in opposite directions.
- View the adjusted headlights shining on the wall from the driver’s seat.
- The brightest part of the high beam should be centered on the marks for both headlights.
- The left and right aim should match precisely. Make minor adjustments until both lights are properly aligned.
Complete the Process
- Turn off headlights and close the hood once alignment is complete.
- Remove any chalk or tape marks from the wall.
- Test drive the vehicle at night to confirm proper illumination of the roadway.
Tips For Adjusting Honda Headlights
Follow these tips to help ensure proper headlight alignment during the adjustment process:
- Refer to your owner’s manual for model-specific instructions. Steps may vary slightly for different Honda Accord model years.
- Work in a dark area for easier beam observation. Use a trouble light if needed.
- Have a helper observe and guide adjustments from the driver’s seat for best accuracy.
- Adjust both headlights evenly, turning screws the same amount to prevent misalignment.
- Make small adjustments and recheck alignment frequently during the process.
- Confirm results by test driving at night on a dark road without street lights.
Signs Headlights Need Adjustment
Watch for these signs that your Honda Accord’s headlights may need realignment:
- Oncoming drivers flash high beams frequently at night
- Headlights only light up road directly in front of the vehicle
- Rearview mirror reflects headlight beams shining high
- Shadowed or dark areas at the edges of illumination
- Vehicle fails state safety inspection due to headlight aim
- Changing direction on curves does not shift lighting
Professional Adjustment Option
While adjusting the headlights yourself is simple and inexpensive, some drivers prefer having the work done professionally:
- Auto repair shops can adjust headlights, usually for a modest fee
- Dealership service departments can perform adjustments, but cost is higher
- Mobile mechanics will come to your location to adjust lights
If you do not feel comfortable adjusting the headlights on your Honda Accord, consider having a professional mechanic complete the alignment to ensure optimal and safe illumination.
Maintain Proper Alignment
Once aligned, regularly check that headlights remain in adjustment:
- Inspect headlight aim every 6 months or after any front-end collision repair
- Adjustment screws can slowly shift over time with vibration
- Realign lights immediately if beams seem off center
Properly aligned headlights are a simple way to improve night driving safety. Following the step-by-step process outlined above will help you accurately adjust the headlights on your Honda Accord so you can drive with optimal illumination.