How To Adjust the Headlights - 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Long-Term Road Test

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Long-Term Road Test

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: How To Adjust the Headlights

January 13, 2014

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

Kelly wasn't exaggerating, the headlights in our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe seem to be horribly mis-aimed. They throw a puddle of illumination in front of the nose that extends only fifteen feet, I'd say. I drove our Santa Fe at night recently and had to use the high beams to see road signs. They're bad.

Because I had another long stretch of night driving ahead of me, I figured I'd see about re-aiming them myself. Easy, right? The owner's manual (above) suggests this is a job for a professional. But, really, how hard can it be?

Turns out these headlights require a fancy service tool to turn their little adjuster wheels. There was no way I could do it with bare hands and no tools. Dang. Another blind drive.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    This seems like the kind of issue that shouldn't be subject to Edmunds' sometimes lackadaisical attitude towards bringing a vehicle in for service when the issue doesn't involve engine/transmission/brake problems.

  • dg0472 dg0472 Posts:

    Consumer Reports, the only organization I know of that actually rates headlights, noted the distinct cutoff but said that the low-beams reached a good distance. BUT they always check alignment before they do their tests. So sounds like it's time to take it in for a check. No need to discuss HIDs or auto-leveling in a '13 model as in the linked post's comments because there was no such option for MY '13.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    How hard can it be? Well, it's hard enough that after almost 4 months, you're only now figuring it's time to confirm that they're not aimed right. So probably right before you get rid of it, you're going to address the issue - ? Or not.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Just do yourself a favor and get it aimed by a dealer with an actual optical aimer. If you do it yourself, you're probably going to get it close, but you'll either be glaring other drivers more than you should or sacrificing seeing distance. Don't let the dealer shine the lights on a wall and simply raise them a little. I hate it when they do that.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    "How hard can it be?" Do you never watch Top Gear?

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Maladjusted headlights straight from the factory seem to be the norm these days. Add to that the DoT rules that screw us all out of decent lights.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    The Department of Transportation does not screw us all out of decent headlights, manufacturers have decided that the NA market doesn't really care about lighting. Regulations on headlight performance here are pretty lax, if that's what you mean, and that's because those same manufacturers pushed for it to be that way, so they could employ low cost options.

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