The Consolidated 3rd Gen "how to aim your headlights" thread - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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The Consolidated 3rd Gen "how to aim your headlights" thread

The instructions below apply to the 3rd gen HALOGEN headlights. Instructions for the HID/LED units with the motors in the housing on the GTs may be different.

(If someone wants to make edits/additions to this for the GT, please PM me, and I'll add them in)

From the factory, the headlights are generally aimed very low. So, before exploring a bulb upgrade, it's a good idea to get your lights aimed correctly first.

The headlight adjusters are on the back of the headlight housing. The top edge of the bolt head has a toothed ridge, and the center is a hex head - this allows you to adjust the aim with either:
  • a long (8" or longer) #2 phillips screwdriver OR
  • your 8mm socket/wrench/nutdriver of choice
Philips method is a LOT easier to do, IMO. but, if you choose to go the 8mm route, the clearances are tight. ratcheting wrench is probably your best bet. (If you don't have a long screwdriver, it's a $5 investment at your local hardware store)

There's only one vertical adjuster for the headlight assembly. it moves BOTH the low beam and the high beam. Be sure to test the high beams when you do a test drive post-adjustment - if your aim is too high, they will become useless.

Remember - small steps are better than big ones (especially when raising the lights), and if people are flashing you while you're out of the roads, odds are your lights are aimed too high.

Full factory instructions for adjusting the aim (the "how high") can be found here: HEADLIGHT AIMING


Helpful extras - screwdriver method:

  • The pics attached to this post will help you locate the right holes in the body for the screwdriver.
  • clockwise raises the aim. counter-clockwise lowers.

Helpful extras - 8mm nut method:
(h/t to @jsouth)
  • The relay/fuse box on the drivers side can be unbolted (a 10mm nut and 10mm bolt) and moved slightly to allow access with a nutdriver and 8mm socket to the driver's side adjuster.
  • On the passenger side, I used a 1/4" drive ratchet and short extension with the 8mm socket and reached it easily.
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Last edited by blitzoid; 01-22-2016 at 04:38 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Detailed instructions for adjusting the 2016 GT with the LED headlights and auto-levelling:
(credit to @theoreticaljerk and @Trippp)

1. Put car in ACC by pressing the Start/Stop Engine button twice with your foot NOT on the brake. (this keeps the auto-leveling system from canceling out your adjustments)
2. Turn on headlights if they are not on.
3. Have a 1/4" socket wrench, a 6" 1/4" extension, and an 8mm 1/4" socket. (the off white plastic head of the adjustment screw is 8mm in size and also has a place to adjust with a flat head screwdriver but the space is so cramped, it's easier to use the 8mm)
4. Looking at the headlight housing from the back of the car, turning it counter-clockwise will raise the headlight while clockwise will lower it. Basically, set your socket wrench to loosen a bolt which will raise the headlights...tighten would lower them.
5. Refer to images. Do the drivers side without the extension and the passenger side with.
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Last edited by blitzoid; 02-08-2016 at 04:46 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Updated with instructions for the 2016 GT.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 04:47 PM
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Thanks for the 2016 LED updates guys. Will look into readjusting my LED headlights just a tad bit only.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 05:24 PM
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So I am going to undertake this tonight. Quick question: How much did you actually adjust it? I will be referencing on a wall about 4-6 feet in front of me. If you have any suggestions on how far to go, without glaring others, that'd be great.

Thanks in advance!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-25-2016, 07:45 PM
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Anyone? *sad face*
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2016, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovell88 View Post
So I am going to undertake this tonight. Quick question: How much did you actually adjust it? I will be referencing on a wall about 4-6 feet in front of me. If you have any suggestions on how far to go, without glaring others, that'd be great.

Thanks in advance!
Not knowing which model you had, hard to say what's right. For my car (and every car will be different) it took ~10 half-turns with the philips on each side.

However, I've since lowered it a tiny bit, because I live in an area which happens to have a number of slight uphill inclines near intersections - got tired of getting flashed by others while waiting for the light.

Suggest you start with 8 half turns, drive for a week, see what happens, and then adjust a bit higher if nobody makes a fuss.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovell88 View Post
So I am going to undertake this tonight. Quick question: How much did you actually adjust it? I will be referencing on a wall about 4-6 feet in front of me. If you have any suggestions on how far to go, without glaring others, that'd be great.

Thanks in advance!
You'll be too close to get an accurate adjustment. You need to be at minimum 20 feet (25 is recommended but I typically do 20).

Here is how it should done (stolen from Google):

Find a level surface and a vertical wall or garage door. Park the vehicle close to the wall. Using masking tape, mark the low-beams' horizontal centerlines.

Now mark the vertical centerlines of each beam and the center of the vehicle with masking tape. Marking the vehicle centerline is helpful to determine side to-side alignment, or lack thereof.

Move the vehicle 25 feet straight backwards. Turn the horizontal-vertical adjusting screws to position the low beam hot spots two inches below and to the right of the taped centerlines.

This seems to work best for me whenever I need to readjust or have put in new headlights in the past.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 11:32 AM
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I know I'm a bit late on this topic but I'll offer a small tip. If you have the auto leveling (I think the 14-15 GT's have it standard with the adaptive lighting not sure about 15-16) after you make a bit of adjustment, hop in the car and see how the lights auto-level up and down when you add your body weight. I didn't realize they adjusted as soon as you added weight in the car ( I assumed it was part of the adaptive system when the car was moving only) but after I thought I was done I hopped in the car and they adjusted down a bit on me. I hopped in and out a few times and each time they would shift down slightly when I got in the car. Just something to keep in mind when making these adjustments. I was much happier with the light output after making these adjustments.
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