Have you ever thought about car window tinting? If you get it done correctly, this solution can be wise and convenient since it has numerous benefits, including improved safety and adding a touch of elegance to your vehicle. One more thing! You can even save on gas since you won’t need to turn on air condition so often. Can you imagine that?
Is It Legal to Tint Car Windows?
Not every state has the same laws when it comes to car window tinting. Each one has precisely defined VLT (visible light transmission) percentage. For example, Wisconsin laws require that windshield and front side windows need to allow more than 50% of light in. However, the requirement is just 35% for a rear window.
Furthermore, most states allow some level of window tint on the windshield. However, in Oregon, the law restricts car window tinting to your side windows, a rear window, and top 6 inches (15 cm) on the windshield.
The owner’s responsibility is to know local regulations and respect them. If you drive outside your state, you need to research the laws of the state you visit. That way, you will avoid getting a ticket if you go to Utah or Ohio, for example. Their requirements for car window tinting are stricter.
Advantages of Tinting Car Windows
- Protecting privacy – The first thing that will probably come to your mind when thinking of a tinted window is discretion. By applying window film for day and night privacy, you will prevent others from taking a peek inside your car. Moreover, it lowers the risk of stealing since potential thieves can’t see your possession inside.
- Improving safety – Car window tinting improves safety when you drive. Not only will the sun’s glow bother you less, but also, in the event of a traffic accident, window glass won’t shatter into pieces. So, you are less likely to get hurt if glass breaks.
- Blocking ultraviolet rays – Tinted windows block ultraviolet rays up to 99%. Therefore, they protect your skin and sight, as well as your vehicle car seats and vinyl from fading. Even more, you won’t need to purchase car window shades since minimum sunlight is coming in your car.
- Reducing the temperature – Depending on a type, car window tinting can even lower the inside temperature. Professionally tinted windows can drop the heat for more than 60% and make your ride more comfortable. You will also save time waiting for the air conditioner to lower the temperature so that you can enter the car right away even on the hottest summer days.
- Decorative effect – Let’s not forget the decorative effect tinted windows have. Although you shouldn’t use too dark shades for windows, window tint certainly adds to the car’s charm. Moreover, not only enhances the beauty of your windows, tinting may increase its value thanks to a wide range of grades and designs.
Risks of Tinting Windows
Before you get windows on your car tinted, there are a few things to consider:
- Compromised night vision – One of the biggest problems with window tint is that it reduces visibility during the night drive. The same goes for driving through the fog or any other low light situations. Unfortunately, this may lead to a car accident, especially if you have a problem with your seeing or you drive tired and sleepless. Therefore, be careful and find a way to get benefits of car window tinting without putting yourself in danger.
- Potential break of regulations – If you bought a used car, you may not be aware of the degree in which the previous owner got windows tinted. If he or she lives in another state, you need to double-check the laws of both states.
- Fading and air bubbles – In case when you decide to go with low price tinting, you will notice that windows go from dark to purple over time. In some cases, even bubbles can appear on the surface of the glass. Before making such a choice, keep in mind that removing unprofessionally tinted windows also costs a lot. Applying new, high-quality car window tinting means avoiding all these additional expenses.
- Increased insurance – Every time you modify your vehicle, you need to report it to your insurance company. Keep in mind that some companies have their own regulations about the level of the car window tinting. Therefore, you may want to check your insurance policy on time to avoid unnecessary fees.
Types of Car Window Tints
Not all types of window tint are the same. They can vary in quality, price, durability, and, most importantly, their effectiveness. Professional tinting services may offer you one of several basic types of polyester-based film used for car window tinting:
1. Dyed window tinting
Nowadays, many car owners prefer going for the dyed film since it is the most affordable and the darkest type of tinting. It consists of one or more layers of non-reflective dye and a final top-coating, which provides some level of protection from scratches.
However, this type of window tint often loses color over time or even causes layers to separate. The cause is mainly UV light damage or improper installation. Therefore, you may need to replace it or repeat the process of tinting.
2. Metallic window tinting
Made of tiny metal particles invisible to the eye, this multilayer window tint has a higher reflection, and you can easily recognize it by shiny appearance. It also prevents breaking glass into pieces upon impact by increasing its strength.
On the other side, due to the metal layer, which it contains, this type of tinting may interfere with the mobile phone signal and GPS transmission. You may even notice your radio doesn’t have any reception.
3. Carbon tinting
Nowadays, manufacturers make an attractive dark and matte type of car window tinting that allows the signal of networks and GPS inside the car.
This tint combines dyed and metallic features. Moreover, its durability is a huge advantage since the carbon molecules prevent fading and discoloring.
4. Ceramic window tinting
Made from the adhesive layer and microscopic, nonconductive ceramic particles and third protective layer, ceramic window tint is the most expensive type of tint you can find on the market.
However, experts consider it worthy of its price. It doesn’t interfere with the functionality of radio and cell phones. Plus, it possesses heat rejection properties and provides better UV light and sun protection than other types of window tint.
Tint Your Car Windows by Yourself
When you do your research and choose the type of film you want, it is time to decide whether to install the window tint alone or hire a professional to finish the job. While the first variant may cost less initially, it is still advisable to leave the work to someone with more experience.
The most significant risk about car window tinting is that you can’t be sure you have done everything according to the law. Most stores that provide material can’t tell you much about regulations on the tinting level.
For a beginner, it can be a difficult task, as well. Even if you buy a precut installation kit, you may have trouble fitting it right, and the slightest dash of wind may ruin your effort.
If you still decide to do the job by yourself, make sure to work someplace indoor with minimum dust. Also, follow tutorials and prepare yourself for hours of messy work. Be patient and as neat as possible, to avoid experiencing any cracking or peeling on window glass later.
When you finish tinting your windows, you should wait for a few days before rolling them down. Otherwise, you may risk wasting all your effort if the window tint is not entirely dry.
Tinted windows don’t require any special maintenance. However, you should thoroughly clean the glasses with a soft paper towel and ammonia-free cleaner before taking your car for a ride.
When you decide to pay someone to finish car window tinting for you, ask for recommendations. Find out how long that service is on the market, what type of film does it offers, and what the prices are. If your local service is among the cheapest ones, don’t expect the best quality.
Keep in mind that you pay insurance that the window tint on your car follows the law when you hire a professional.
Finally, there are window tint brands, which may give you a warranty without extra cost. By choosing warrantied tints, you will have a cover for any damage on tint in the future. Plus, you can be sure that your tinted windows are high-quality work.
Since every state has different laws about the car window tinting, you should tint them by following the law. After checking your options, you should do it since it is a safe option that offers more privacy. Furthermore, it is a healthy solution because the window tint reduces the UV rays, prevents sunburns, and allows you to enjoy a more comfortable ride.
Nowadays, with a spectrum of different shades, prices, styles, and materials, car window tinting becomes a necessity rather than a matter of luxury.