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Adjusting/Aiming Headlights

Hi there.

I swapped out the headlight assemblies on my 2008 Sonata (since they were so incredibly foggy) and when I put them in, the headlight aim on one side is quite low (the other is only somewhat low). I found the little dial on the back of the headlight assembly and saw the arrows pointing for U and D (Up and Down! Genius!). I turned, and I turned, and I turned and I blew the house down… no, wait… wrong story. I turned the dial by hand repeatedly and saw no difference. I took the housing out, used a drill to spin it faster, no noticeable change.

Is there something I’m missing? Or does this just require an immense amount of turning to raise the light up?


these adjustment screws are supposed to be operated by a screwdriver, not so many turns you would need to get them positioned

from what you describe, adjusters are broken

did you get an original replacements or some cheap ones?

some time ago, I’ve published a short write-up on how to make foggy OEM lens work again:

I got them from Amazon, and although they look exactly the same as the originals I removed I imagine they’re cheap ones.

Thanks for the quick reply! Is there any other way to adjust them?

amazon accepts returns for free if your item is DOA…

the $75 housings are junk. they look good but never seem to throw light like the factory ones. you are stuck with them. unless website will let you exchange them for projector style instead. i have heard that those style seem to work better in a cheapo replacement mode

I’d return the amazon ones and polish and reinstall my originals.

I’ve buffed out a number of foggy old headlights with great success.
I simply mask off the surrounding paint, then use a well-wetted (in a bucket) round sponge mounted on an arbor in a variable speed drill. I spread polishing compound on the lenses, wet the sponge, and polish away using modest drill speed. It takes a few minutes, but you’ll see them clear up before your eyes. Then wash them well and coat them with car wax.

Here’re photos of some of my results.

Never had to replace the housing on my 25 year old Corolla, but I’ve changed quite a few headlight bulbs over the years. I’ve never had to turn the adjustment screws more than 3 or 4 rotations to get the beam back to where it was. hmmm … ok, I think one time I did have a little problem with the left highlight being too bright so hard to get it down far enough with the adjusters. What I ended up doing, I swapped the left and right bulbs, then the adjustment was no longer a problem.