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How to Adjust the Headlights on a 1989 Toyota Camry

Headlight adjustment is something that can be done at home with a certain amount of preparation and an attention to detail. Improperly adjusted headlights can pose a hazard to other drivers at night since they can temporarily blind oncoming drivers and cause an accident. If you feel you have not adjusted the headlights correctly, have them checked by a professional. The measurements below come from the Haynes Repair Manual.

Tools Used: Masking tape, Screwdriver, Tape measure

Adjust Headlights

Park the car 25 feet away from a wall.

Mark the following lines on the wall with masking tape; the center line of the vehicle, the horizontal center line of the headlights, and the vertical center line of each headlight. To get the measurement for the horizontal center line for the headlights, measure from the ground to the center of the headlights on the vehicle, then place the tape that far from the ground on the wall. To measure the vertical center line for each light, measure from the center line of the car to the center of the headlights, then place the tape that far from the marked center line on the wall.

If the lights are sealed beam, meaning the bulb comes encased in the reflector, the adjusting screws are on the top and the side of each light. The top screw will adjust the vertical aim of the lights; the side screw will change the horizontal aim of the lights.

If the lights are bulb type, meaning the bulb alone gets replaced, the adjustment screws are on the top and bottom of the lights. The top screw will adjust the horizontal aim of the lights and the bottom screw will adjust the vertical aim of the lights.

Turn on the low beams and use the adjustment screws to aim the headlights two inches to the inside and two inches below the center point of the headlights where the horizontal and vertical lines cross for each headlight on the wall.

After working with the low beams, turn on the high beams and adjust the screws to aim the high beams to the headlight horizontal and vertical center lines on the wall.

Tips & Warnings

Headlight adjustments are best made while the car is on a level surface and no heavy loads in the vehicle.

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