Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2013 Nissan Altima - Headlight Adjustment/Fix for Beam Height


Make your 2013/2014 Nissan Altima safe to drive at night. Seeing 60 feet in front of you is bad enough at 30mph, but down right scary at 60+mph.

This is a very simple mod that anyone can do. I could not find any clear directions online on how to fix the Altima headlight problem (lights only shine 60 feet in front of the car), so I did some digging around on my car while changing the oil. At a minimum you will need a screwdriver, but a jack will make your life a lot easier. I have my tire removed for the picture, but when the car is jacked it creates enough room that wheel removal isnt necessary. This process can also be used for changing the headlight bulbs too. (The oil filter has the worst location I have ever seen on any car)

1. Jack either the passenger or driver side, so that it will open the wheel well up so you can get in there easier.

2. Remove the plastic clips on the wheel well cover with the screwdriver, so you can pull the wheel well cover down and get to the headlights in front of the wheel.

(The yellow markings are where the most important clips to remove are located)


3. Pull the wheel well cover down like in the photo below. It will bend so dont worry about breaking it.



4. To adjust the headlight beam, you need to turn the silver screw (circled in the photo below) in a counter-clockwise direction to raise it.



5. Lower your car and check your beam height. When you get it to where you want it, put the clips back in the wheel well and you are done.

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for your info on how to adjust the headlights on a 2013 Nissan Altima - great!

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  2. Glad I could help. When I went to adjust mine (since it was almost impossible to drive the car at night), there was so little info out there. I felt this was needed, even for something so simple though the access is kinda hidden. Definitely some strange designs on the 2013 Altima. Dont get me started on the oil filter location.

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    Replies
    1. How much did you turn the screw

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    2. Hey does this have to be done on both sides? And what type of philips screwdriver would be needed?

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    3. Each side has to be done. If you have a long enough flat head screwdriver, you can turn it from just having the hood up. I couldnt get a screwdriver to reach. You can turn it by hand if you do it the way I show pictured above.

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    4. Hey thank you so much for the very quick response. Quick question. I was able to locate the screw, but that screw doesn't look like a flat head would work. Would you clarify? Thanks again

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    5. It may be a Philips (+) screwdriver. I have never done the adjustment with a screwdriver, so I cant really say what works. Just going by what others have said. Never seen what the top of that adjuster looks like either, so it was just a guess.
      http://s135.photobucket.com/user/not_a_leader_of_men/media/20140825_205903_1%201_zpsui1vgslx.jpg.html

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    6. the screw has a 5/16 he head but it's probably a metric size which would be 8mm
      I just adjusted my left side as it was noticeably lower than the rt.

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  3. there is a small hole with the hood open that you can stick a long philips screwdriver in and turn that same screw with the vehicle on the ground

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    Replies
    1. Where is there a space to put the screwdriver up top. I looked and must have overlooked it. I would really love to be able to adjust these without taking off the wheels.

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    2. I think I found the opening on the top but I am still not sure it would work because how the screw on the light is. I think that way might be just as frustrating.

      Also, on the way I showed above, you dont have to take off the wheel. I had the wheel off to change the oil (get to the filter easier). If you just jack that wheel up a little, it will give you enough room too pop those pieces off. You might be able to do it with out jacking the car up by my arms are too big to squeeze in there.

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  4. Anyone have problems with the "Horizontal light," I notice that stop signs don't get illuminated as I pull up to them, and when I turn at night there is very little light horizontally from my head lamps where I am turning to. Is the adjustment only for forward or can the lamps be adjusted outwards sideways too?

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  5. As the person said above, a long Philips screwdriver is all you need. About 10-20 turns of the screwdriver clockwise is all I needed. Makes a big difference.

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  6. How can you come down from the top with a long phillips screwdriver and adjust a hex head bolt that faces rearward?

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  7. If you look at the bolt it has "gears" on the back side of the washer that you can turn with a Phillips screw driver. You are going at the screw from the top at a 90 angle.

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  8. If you look at the bolt it has "gears" on the back side of the washer that you can turn with a Phillips screw driver. You are going at the screw from the top at a 90 angle.

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  9. do i need to do this on both sides

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  10. I tried to look at mine from above, can't get to neither one. Also, I'm not sure which direction is correct to raise the lights, since there are two different answers on here. I turned my passenger side counter-clockwise and I can swear it lowered it. Now I can't turn it clockwise. How do I fix this?

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  11. I'm impressed by your work on the post. I convinced by you article You've posted. Thanks a bunch!

    Philips D3S Bulb

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  12. There is a much easier way to adjust the headlight height of a 2013-2015 Nissan Altima. You'll need a long flat head screwdriver. Measure the distance from the ground to the center of your headlight bulb because modifications to suspension, wheels/tires, etc., will change the bulb height on each vehicle. My height is 27" so I subtracted 1.2% from that to get 26.6" which is where you want the top left of the headlight beam to be on the wall or garage. If you notice under the hood to the center of each headlight there is a marking next to a headlight emblem that says 1.2%.

    1. Park 25 feet from a wall or garage door on level ground.
    2. Place a piece of painters or masking tape on the wall or garage at the measurement you calculated using the instructions above.
    2. Turn on your headlights and pull the hood latch
    3. There is a whole in the felt padding on the drivers side that extends down to the headlight adjustment screw. Put your screwdriver in the whole and turn.
    4. Repeat the steps on the passenger side. (the hole is under the rubber hood padding)

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