The universal rule for all vehicles is to be extra cautious while driving at night, and the same goes for Toyota Tacoma. Headlights of the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck play a significant role in safety. The wrong height of the lights can cause serious disturbance while driving at night.
When you notice the light projection from the headlight is uneven, take immediate steps to align the headlights. Before you do this, it is mandatory to know how to adjust Toyota Tacoma headlights in the right way.
If you are new to Toyota Tacoma, you may wonder how you align Toyota headlights. In this post, I have shared the detailed process that anyone can follow regardless of expertise.
When to Consider Headlight Adjustments for Toyota Tacoma?
The headlight adjustment on a Toyota Tacoma may need for several reasons. It could be because the truck is old and the headlights are misplaced due to shocks. Especially Tacoma owners who mostly drive the vehicle off-road may find this issue.
A good chunk of Tacoma owners lifts the vehicle for several reasons. After lifting a Toyota Tacoma, the headlights also need to be adjusted according to the new height.
The wrong positioning of the headlight can flood other drivers on the road. Or, if the headlights are too low, it will be hard to understand the road. Particularly, the curves on the road won’t be visible properly.
In all these cases, Toyota Tacoma headlight adjustment is essential.
How to Adjust Headlights on Toyota Tacoma – 7 Easy Steps
Toyota Tacoma headlight adjustment needs some essential steps, and no technical knowledge is required. You can follow the same method, whether it is a 2nd gen Tacoma headlight adjustment or a 3rd gen Tacoma headlight adjustment.
Here we have shown the process in simple steps. Follow them one by one for the proper headlight adjustment.
Before you start the steps, gather the essential stuff. You need—
- A Tacoma headlight adjustment screwdriver
- Whitewall to focus the projection
- Measuring tape
- Marking tape to adjust the headlight
Step 1: Clean the Headlights
The projection from the headlight of Toyota Tacoma will come better only when it is clean. Apply some headlight cleaning or glass cleaning liquid on the headlights’ surface. Give a good wipe with soft clothing. It will remove all the dirt and debris from the light’s surface.
Step 2: Choose a Parking Garage
While testing the headlight’s projection of the truck, it should stay on a flat surface. As the vehicle needs to park at a certain distance for headlights adjustment, we do recommend using a parking garage. The garage walls should have clear white walls to check the lights properly.
Find any nearby parking garage where you will have enough space for moving. During the headlight adjustment, moving the vehicle forward and backward will be necessary. Once you get the right place, park the vehicle there.
Step 3: Park the Vehicle
Park the vehicle 25 feet away from the white wall where you want to project the light. This will give the real experience of the proper light projection.
Now, closely check the headlights to find the beams. In 2nd and 3rd generation Tacoma, it used to be 39 inches above the ground. However, it could be low or higher because of different vehicle parts. Let’s say the center of the headlights on the vehicle is 40 inches above the ground.
Measure 40 inches from the ground with the measuring tape and mark it on the white wall. Use the masking tape and mark it as straight lines on the walls. This marking will tell if the projection is in the right place or not.
One crucial thing to remember at this point is if you have lifted the vehicle. Suppose you have lifted the Toyota Tacoma 3 inches. In that case, mark on the white walls 3 inches lower than the ground to the center of headlights height because you don’t want to blind the upcoming traffic on the road.
Step 4: Project the Headlights
Turn on both of the headlights on Tacoma. Project the headlights on the white walls in front of the vehicle. Find out where the center of headlights projection is happening. If it matches the height of the ground to the center of the lights, the projection is perfect, and no adjustment is needed.
Find the gap between the required height and the actual projection height if the measurement doesn’t match. Then go to the next step.
Step 5: Adjust the Headlight Screws
As the marking and the headlight projects are not matching, it is time for Toyota Tacoma headlight adjustment. Open the engine cover of the vehicle. There, back of the headlights, there will be the Tacoma headlight adjustment screws.
Get the screws and start adjusting them so that the center of the headlight comes low or up. If you move the screws clockwise, the headlight will go inward. If you move the screws anticlockwise, the headlight will go outward. Make the adjustments accordingly to avoid errors.
If the projection was happening under the actual height, you need to up the headlights. If the projection is happening too high, you need to low down the headlights.
Step 6: Check the Projection Area
Now that you have adjusted the height of the headlights focus the projection on the same wall from the same distance. If this time it matches the required height, you are done with adjusting the headlight.
If still there is some error with the required height, make another adjustment.
Step 7: Side Adjustment
Sometimes the headlight’s projection could happen a bit sideways. It is a big issue while you are driving off-road. The projection goes wrong means you won’t get the proper idea of the road. If the headlights have issues regarding the sideway, make some adjustments by moving the screws clockwise and anticlockwise.
Headlight Adjustment Legal Issues
There are certain laws for the height of the headlights. You can’t just use the height you want and blind up the drivers in the opposite direction.
According to law, in most of the states of the USA, the height of the minimum headlights needs to be 24 inches from the ground. The maximum height it can go is 54 inches. You can’t focus too many lights on the same thing.
Frequently Asked Questions about Tacoma Headlight Adjustment
Here is some additional info regarding the headlight adjustment for Toyota Tacoma:
How do you align Toyota headlights?
You can align the headlights by projecting them on a white wall and drawing an area for the projection. Then measure the height with a measuring tape. Adjust the height of the headlight and align it with the required height.
Which way do I turn my headlight adjuster?
You can turn the headlights inward or outward by moving the screws on them clockwise and anticlockwise.
How to make 3rd gen Tacoma headlight adjustment?
The headlight adjustment methods described here are applicable to almost all the models of Toyota Tacoma. You can, however, follow some unique ways if you want.
This article has clearly described how to adjust Toyota Tacoma headlights. It doesn’t require being an expert. You can simply start with the essential tools and make the adjustment.
If there is no parking area available, use any white wall that you can manage. Adjust the headlight projection according to the lifting height if the truck is already lifted.
If your state has specific rules and regulations for headlight adjustment, you must follow them.