How to Adjust Headlights on a Jeep Wrangler

It was a dark and stormy night as I drove my trusty Jeep Wrangler down the winding forest road. The rain was coming down in sheets, and the trees lining the street blurred in darkness.

Suddenly, through the clouded windshield, I glimpsed a pair of eyes staring back at me from the side of the road. I slammed the brakes, but it was too late—I had hit something! My heart raced as I opened the door and emerged into the storm, grabbing my flashlight from the center console. 

How to Adjust Headlights on a Jeep Wrangler

When I shone the light into the brush, I was shocked to find not a deer as I had feared but rather a drenched and disheveled mechanic waving his arms. “Just the person I was hoping to see!” he shouted over the rain.

“My truck broke down, and I can’t see a thing out here with your Jeep’s headlights aimed too low. Think you can give me a hand adjusting them?” And so began my late-night lesson in how to adjust headlights on a Jeep Wrangler, which I’m happy to share with you here.

Necessary Items for Headlight Adjustment

Before you begin adjusting the headlights on your Jeep Wrangler, there are a few items you’ll need to have on hand. These include:

  • A screwdriver (usually a Phillips head)
  • Tape or markers for marking the current headlight position
  • A level surface to park your vehicle on
  • Some patience and a willingness to get dirty!

10 Steps on How to Adjust Headlights on a Jeep Wrangler

Step 1: Park Your Jeep on a Level Surface

It’s important to park your vehicle on a level surface for accurate headlight adjustment. This will ensure that the headlights are lined up properly and give you an accurate reading of their current position.

Step 2: Locate the Headlight Adjustment Screws

Once your Jeep is parked on a level surface, you’ll need to locate the headlight adjustment screws. These are usually located on the back of the headlight assembly and can be accessed by opening the hood.

Step 3: Identify Which Screw Adjusts Which Part of the Headlight

Before making any adjustments, it’s essential to understand which screw adjusts which part of the headlight. The top screw typically controls the vertical aim of the headlight, while the side screw controls the horizontal drive.

Essential to Understand Which Screw Adjusts

Step 4: Mark the Current Position of Your Headlights

Use tape or markers to make a small mark on the headlight housing to avoid losing your current headlight position. This will allow you to return to your original post if needed quickly.

Step 5: Turn On Your Headlights

Before making any adjustments, it’s essential to turn on your headlights and see where they are currently aimed. This will give you an idea of how much adjustment is needed.

Step 6: Adjust the Vertical Aim

Using a screwdriver, adjust the top screw in small increments until the headlight is aimed at the desired height. It’s best to have someone stand before the vehicle to help determine the correct size.

Step 7: Adjust the Horizontal Aim

Next, use a screwdriver to adjust the side screw in small increments until the headlight is aimed at the desired angle. Again, it’s helpful to have someone standing in front of the vehicle to assist with this step.

Use a Screwdriver to Adjust

Step 8: Test Your Headlight Aim

After adjusting, turn off your headlights and step back to see if they are correctly aimed. If not, make further adjustments as needed.

Step 9: Repeat for the Other Headlight

Once you have adjusted one headlight, repeat the process for the other side.

Step 10: Clean and Check Your Headlights

Before hitting the road, clean your headlights and double-check that they are aimed correctly. This will ensure maximum visibility while driving at night.

Clean Your Headlights

Adjusting the headlights on a Jeep Wrangler is a simple process that can significantly improve your visibility while driving at night or in inclement weather. With just a few tools and patience, you can quickly adjust your headlights and return to the road. Just be sure always to drive safely and watch out for those late-night mechanics!  So, being prepared and knowledgeable is always essential when maintaining and adjusting your vehicle’s headlights.

8 Things to Avoid When Adjusting Your Headlights

1. Making Adjustments While Parked on an Uneven Surface

As mentioned, parking your vehicle on a level surface is crucial when adjusting the headlights. Otherwise, you may have an inaccurate aim that can be dangerous while driving.

2. Ignoring Local Laws and Regulations

Some areas have specific laws and regulations regarding headlight alignment. It’s essential to research and follow these guidelines to ensure that your headlights are not too high or too low, which can be a hazard for other drivers on the road.

3. Using Incorrect Tools

Using the wrong tools to adjust your headlights can result in damage to the screws and cause more harm than good. Use proper tools, such as a Phillips head screwdriver, for this task.

Use Proper Tools Such as a Phillips

4. Not Checking Your Headlights Regularly

Headlight aim can shift over time due to wear and tear on your vehicle. You must check your headlights regularly and adjust as needed for optimal visibility.

5. Adjusting Only One Headlight

Adjusting both headlights simultaneously is crucial to ensure they are correctly aligned and aimed in the same direction. Otherwise, you may end up with uneven lighting while driving.

6. Using High Beams to Compensate for Misaligned Headlights

Using high beams instead of properly adjusting your headlights can be dangerous for other drivers on the road and may result in a ticket if caught by law enforcement.

7. Rushing the Adjustment Process

Adjusting your headlights takes time and patience. Rushing through the process can result in inaccurate aim and potential damage to your vehicle.

8. Forgetting to Turn Off Your Headlights

Before making any adjustments, be sure to turn off your headlights. This will prevent any accidental movements or changes while adjusting the screws. Safety first!

Adequately adjusted headlights improve your visibility while driving and contribute to the safety of other drivers on the road. Following these ten steps and avoiding common mistakes, you can easily adjust your Jeep Wrangler’s headlights and be ready for any nighttime adventure. Always drive safely and take care of your vehicle’s maintenance needs.

8 Additional Tips for Maintaining Headlight Performance

1. Forgetting to Mark the Current Headlight Position Before Making Adjustments

As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to mark the current position of your headlights before making any adjustments. This will ensure you can quickly return to your original post if needed.

2. Cleaning Your Headlights Regularly

Over time, dirt and grime can build up on your headlights, reducing their effectiveness. Clean them regularly with a soft cloth and mild cleaner to maintain optimal visibility.

3. Replacing Bulbs When Needed

If one headlight is significantly dimmer, it may be time to replace the bulb. It’s essential to have both headlights working properly for safe driving.

4. Checking for Foggy or Yellowed Headlights

Foggy or yellowed headlights can significantly reduce visibility, especially during nighttime driving. If your headlights are looking dull, consider purchasing a headlight restoration kit or replacing the entire housing.

5. Inspecting and Replacing Damaged Headlight Housings

If your headlight housing is cracked or damaged, replacing it as soon as possible is essential. A damaged housing can allow moisture to seep in, resulting in foggy headlights and reduced visibility.

6. Using High-Quality Headlight Bulbs

Investing in high-quality headlight bulbs can significantly improve your visibility while driving at night. Look for bulbs with a higher wattage or lumens for brighter, more precise lighting.

7. Checking the Headlight Alignment After Hitting a Pothole or Bump

Hitting a pothole or bump in the road can cause your headlights to become misaligned. If you notice any changes in headlight aim after encountering rough roads, readjust them as necessary.

8. Seeking Professional Help if Needed

If you need help adjusting your headlights or encounter any issues, it’s always best to seek professional help. This will ensure that your headlights are correctly aligned and your vehicle is safe for driving.  Overall, regular maintenance and proper adjustment of your headlights can significantly improve your safety while driving at night. Be sure to follow these tips and always use caution on the road.


In conclusion, knowing how to adjust headlights on a Jeep Wrangler is essential for any Jeep owner. It ensures your safety and visibility on the road and helps you avoid potentially expensive tickets or accidents.

Always consult your vehicle’s manual and use caution when adjusting. You may need to gather some tools, such as a tape measure or screwdriver, but the process is relatively simple and can be done in just a few minutes. 

Take the time to align your headlights and make any necessary adjustments properly, and you’ll be rewarded with improved visibility and peace of mind while driving at night. Feel free to seek professional help if you feel uncomfortable or unsure about adjusting your headlights.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently hit the road with your well-adjusted headlights and enjoy all the adventures that your Jeep has to offer!

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