How To: Mk6 Jetta Headlight Aiming

Stealth TDI

Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 13, 1998
Location
Newport News, VA
TDI
2017 GTI APR Stage 3 (395 hp/376 lb-ft)
Hello,

EDIT: Hit REFRESH to reload updated images.

I recently picked up a 2014 Jetta w/Premium for my wife. Details HERE. We're both very pleased with the car. Our gripes are few. One of them is that the headlights were aimed entirely too high and were compelling other drivers to think we had our high beams on and flash us. I wanted to return to the dealer and have them fix it. But, in my opinion, every trip back to the dealer is a day-long affair and a chance for them to goof something up. No thanks! :p

I tried searches here and at Vortex. But the results did not show headlight adjusting bolts that looked like mine. So I decided to figure it out and write a DIY. I found a good photo of a headlight removed in JaredC01's HID thread. It shows the adjustment screws, one of which is very difficult to find when the assembly is in the car:



The adjusters are the white pieces with small gears. Outboard is tow (left/right) and inboard is elevation (up/down). Turning the tow adjusment clockwise moves the beam inboard, toward the car's centerline. Turning the elevation adjustment clockwise moves the beam upward. Don't worry if you forget. The beams move quite a lot in as little as one turn. You'll KNOW which way you need to go. That said, here are the steps:

First, park the car on level ground in front of a wall and mark the center of your headlight beams with some masking tape.
(Note: There is a sidewalk between my bumper and this wall...)


Once you've marked the beams' positions, back up 25 feet. The beams should still be centered on the tape (image below).
Some say it should look like this borrowed photo. But I felt it was too low (details later):


In my case, the beams were aimed too high and they crept up the wall the farther I backed away.
Here are the adjustment screws on the passenger side, using the fuel filter as a reference:


The tow adjustment is actually beneath the fender. In my case, I could not see or find it initially because it had a black protective cap. The photo above shows it without the cap fairly well. Good luck getting the caps off without losing them; better luck putting them back on afterwards. Mine are gone forever. HAHA!

The adjustment bolts require a 6mm allen wrench. The bolt is plastic; so don't turn it too hard. It moves freely, but it may strip out if you turn it until it stops.

The tow is adjusted by inserting the allen wrench through the cutout in the metal:


The left beam has a very sharp cutoff point. You should be able to see if the distant beam crosses into the oncoming lane as you drive. Mine was pretty far to the right. I moved it very slightly leftward to fill MY lane without crossing into oncoming traffic after taking the photo below.

I initially adjusted my elevation so the beams were completely below the tape (note the rightward bias of the beams at 25 feet):


The angled cut-offs of our beams makes the adjustment just a little more tricky than with symmetrical beams like the one depicted in the borrowed drawing. It didn't take much driving for me to see the new aim was too low. I turned the elevation bolts one full turn clockwise and achieved what seems to be a very good position.

I do not have a photo of the final adjustment because I had already removed the tape from the wall and left that location. Perhaps aiming them to CENTER on the tape is good. Regardless, I think this procedure will get you really close, with both beams aimed alike, with the ability to fine-tune once you've road tested.

Safe Driving!

Scott
 
Last edited:

sinnettc

Active member
Joined
May 7, 2014
Location
Oregon
TDI
2014 Jetta TDI DSG w/ Premium
Thanks. My driver's side appears to be higher than the passenger side, so I suspect an adjustment is in order. The only time I've been blinked, though, was when I had to bring 4 teenagers home one evening. Could have used air bags in the rear suspension that trip!
 

crewcabrob

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Location
Nebraska
TDI
2014 Jetta 1.8 TSI SEL
Thanks for the write up.

I'm not sure if changes were made just for the 2014 Jettas, so it will be interesting to see what changes from the two write ups.

My Driver side headlight looks too high also. Seems there is a hot spot that sits well above the passanger side hotspot.

Rob
 

Stealth TDI

Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 13, 1998
Location
Newport News, VA
TDI
2017 GTI APR Stage 3 (395 hp/376 lb-ft)
Good Morning,

After a busy day dealing with a disabled Mk3, I finally got out to do this alignment correctly. I've updated the top post to detail the CORRECT procedure. I've also added and/or modified the photos. Press REFRESH to replace your cached photos with the corrected version.

Thanks,

Scott
 

crewcabrob

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Location
Nebraska
TDI
2014 Jetta 1.8 TSI SEL
Thanks for the write up! Will need to make adjustments tonight. I keep getting flashed. I drive at lot at night on two lanes so the proximity to the oncoming trafic doesn't help I'm sure.

Rob
 

Stealth TDI

Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 13, 1998
Location
Newport News, VA
TDI
2017 GTI APR Stage 3 (395 hp/376 lb-ft)
There is no adjustment difference between the high and low beams. They are in the same housing (overall) and use the adjustment bolts move that housing as a whole. I also noticed the high beam are high AND bias to the left.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Hey Scott, I edited your thread title for you. Thanks for the write-up. :)
 
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