PennDOT urges headlight aimer spring tune-up

May 7, 2019 | Member News


PennDOT is urging service technicians to give their headlight aimer a spring tune up, since it receives frequent complaints about misaligned headlights.


Every safety inspection station is equipped with a headlight aimer. PennDOT urges service technicians to clean it, lubricate the wheels on portable aimers and calibrate with aimer to all applicable bays, if equipped, and record the calibration setting and learn to use it properly. Stations and inspectors should expect their quality assurance officer to ask about the station’s headlight aiming equipment during audits.


Headlight aim inspection is a required procedure on every vehicle being inspected. Due to changes to the vehicle during the year, headlight aim can change. Headlights may be replaced, tire changed, vehicles have repair performed, suspensions changed, etc. All vehicles must meet the headlight regulations in order to receive their renewal sticker. If a vehicle’s headlights are out of alignment, according to the inspection procedure, the vehicle will fail the safety inspection.


All headlights emit a white light; however, some headlamps appear to have a blue tint halo around the outer circumference, but the actual light is white. Place a plain white sheet of paper in front of the headlamp an the result should be a white light. Anything other than white is rejected. Light color shall be consistent with the vehicle’s manufacturer. There shall be no tinting of any color on or inside of any light or reflex reflector.


No obstructions in front of any required lamp are allowed, with the exception of bike racks on city buses. No tape or material inside of, on the outside of or in front of any required lamp is allowed.


All stop lamps must be steady burning. For safety inspection purposes, a stop lamp that is not steady burning would be rejectable under 175:80 (A)(9): check the lamps and lenses and rejct if one or more of the following apply. (i) an external bulb or sealed beam, if originally equipped or installed, fails to light properly, except ornamental lights.


Any adjustments to the headlights must be approved by the owner.


Source: Pennsylvania Automotive Association