VW Electrics Headlight Adjustment

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Round headlight adjustment

(Penned by Covkid)

This article is for round headlight adjustment only although the principles should apply for square headlights too.

If you remove front grill you will see two adjustment screws at the positions shown by the coloured dots in photo below. Red denotes vertical (up & down) adjustment and blue denotes lateral (side to side) adjustment. These units are actually combined DRL units but this has no bearing on how they are adjusted.


Accurately adjusted headlights are not only a legal requirement, it ensures you can see where you're going with maximum light on the road and importantly - without dazzling others. The settings are made on dipped beam only. Full takes care of itself. You could have them professionally aligned but I've come across just too many instances where the lights on dipped are too high and now ALWAYS set my lights as here.

If you want the maths, there is a prescribed setting for adjustment: http://www.motuk.co.uk/images/lights_diagram1.gif

But theres a much easier way to carry out headlight adjustment and still get them right...

These are my headlamps (round ones) on dipped on a dark country road. There is a good spread of light but they still conform. There are basically two things you need to get right, the placement of the kicks (where the light goes off at an angle) and where the cutoff point (light at bottom, dark at top) sits in each lane. Confused? You won't be. Its actually very simple.


For reference below photo is where those 'kicks' should be and the cutoff points on an average flat road (along the blue line) to ensure you can see but not blind other drivers.


If you're not sure what I mean by 'headlight kicks' take a look at this next pic as I go round a bend.


At that distance you can see both 'kicks' clearly. You can set them on a garage door to some extent but you'll only get a 'near enough' adjustment and other than putting them in front of headlight aligners (which are not always as accurate as they should be), setting them up on the road is not only perfectly possible, you should be able to get them spot on.


Going back to a straight road once more, you'll see that the kick on the left is designed to help pick out road signs etc, and should start at the kerb edge. If you look at the right kick and its angle to the white dotted line on the road, it effectively directs light away from oncoming traffic and for that reason should start at centre line of road. What little light is left on the opposing lane (horizontal line) needs to be below eye level of oncoming traffic.

You only have to look at height of the beams then. Make minor adjustments to height to allow for suspension bounce so that your lights aren't continually straying into the eyes of others on rough roads but cover the dipped area well. Headlight aligners simply get you to that point but even when set by the book, they often need tweaking. Quite a few places actually set them too high in my experience. You should NOT be lighting up the backs of drivers heads. Set them like this and they will be right.

Remember, dipped beam should give you enough light to see a good proportion of the tarmac in front of you but in no way in the eyeline of others or lighting up trees. On full it doesn't matter. MOT testers are only concerned with dipped beam and how that might affect you and others.

Each headlight has two adjustment screws - one for height, the other for lateral side-to-side adjustment.