Tinting your car is an excellent way to protect your car interior from fading and offer a comfortable driving experience. After all, harsh solar rays can destroy your leather interior and plastic dashboard, causing cracks and making them colorless, especially during summer.
Applying window tint film to your car windows will help limit the sun’s damage and improve comfort while driving. What’s more, tinting your back and side windows helps enhance privacy in your car.
Whether you are looking for privacy, increasing comfort, or improving your car’s look, tinting your windows can make a huge difference. Read along to learn more about car window tints.
Why Install Car Window Tint Film?
Tinting your car is not just about the aesthetic; it’s about comfort, safety, and improving the condition of your car. To that end, here are the benefits of tinting your car.
Blocking Harmful UV Rays
Exposure to UV rays can cause damage to your skin and your car. Luckily, high-quality window tints help reduce the number of UV rays passing through your windows. Specifically, window tint film protects your vehicle from the sun rays and minimizes the damage from UV light. In the end, your car will be safe from fading, cracks, and interior damage.
What’s more, your skin will be protected from UV exposure, meaning you won’t need to worry about sunburn when driving.
Besides protecting you and your car interior from UV rays, tinting your car will also save you from the scorching heat. Ideally, the added layer of darkness will reduce the amount of UV light passing through your windows, making your car interior cooler. This will be beneficial, especially if you live in areas with a lot of direct sunlight that can make your car unbearable during hot days.
Driving in bright, harsh sunlight can significantly affect visibility and create glare. Since window tint film increases darkness, it can help reduce glare. However, you shouldn’t choose a shade that’s too dark either, as it can affect visibility as well. For better visibility, choose a medium-dark tint that will help reduce the glare.
Attractive Exterior Style
UV protection and increased visibility aside, tinting your can will give your car an excellent exterior style. Tinted windows look cool and give the option to choose different levels of darkness and thickness to meet your style.
Tinting your side and back windows make it impossible for people to see what’s inside your car. Of course, you should consider tinting laws in your area while choosing the level of darkness for your windows.
Saves Energy Costs
Although this might sound ridiculous, tinting your windows can help improve fuel efficiency. As earlier stated, tinting your windows will keep your car cooler, meaning you won’t have to crank your AC more often to cool your car when driving during hot days, which will mean less fuel consumption.
What is the Darkest Window Tint Film You Can Have On Your Car?
Whether you want to tint your new ride or want to change your current one, knowing the maximum legal tint darkness is paramount. The legal and illegal tint varies from state to state and is also dependent on your window type. Therefore, before you invest in car tinting, take time to learn more about legal window tint numbers allowed in your state. To that end, here are things to keep in mind before you invest in car window tinting.
VLT or visible light transmission percentage refers to the amount of light a film can block and how much light can pass through it. For instance, a window tint with a 70% VLT keeps 70% of the sun’s rays out of your car.
Even so, it is critical to understand that a higher VLT percentage does not mean a darker window tint. The percentage refers to the number of sun rays that can pass through the window tint. That means if you apply window tint film with 70% VLT, it will block 30% of the solar rays. If you are looking for a darker tint, choose the lowest VLT percentage allowed in your area.
Why You Want to Tint your Windows
Your reason for tinting your windows will play a significant role when choosing tint darkness right for you. For example, if you want to keep your interior cool, you can opt for a window film with a 50% VLT or more. Although such a tint will look clear, it will effectively block sun rays and make your car cooler.
On the other hand, you might need to choose a darker tint if you want to increase privacy in your car. Again, you must consider the limits in your areas as completely opaque windows are illegal in most states.
Figure Out the Legal Window Tint in Your State
Although some car owners would want completely opaque windows, that may not be possible due to tinting limitations. As earlier said, each state has different laws regarding the VLT percentage allowed. That’s why it’s imperative to research the tinting laws in your state before investing in any product.
For instance, here are some tinting laws in Georgia:
- Tinting is not allowed in front windshields
- Rear window and side/door windows – less than 32% VLT
- Rear windows and side windows are exempted from these restrictions except for right and left driver windows, school buses, churches, limousines, and vehicles permitted by federal law.
Choosing the Best Window Tint
Car window tints are available in a wide range of films, with each having different VLTs. Depending on quality and effectiveness, tint films come with different price tags. The first thing to remember when choosing a car tint is the reason you intend to use it. Different materials are used to make each type of window film, with each having its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at the different types of window tints.
Dyed Window Tint
Dyed window films are more popular, especially among people looking for window tint products on a budget. Ideally, these tints are the least expensive, although they are less effective and less durable.
A dyed window tint won’t make your car cooler because its materials aren’t reflective. However, it will protect you from UV rays that could otherwise damage your vehicle.
Another reason to use dyed window tint is that it doesn’t contain any metal content, meaning it won’t interfere with cell phones, GPS, radio, tire pressure monitors, and other car electronic systems.
Metalized window film contains a UV-protective outer layer, an adhesive layer, and a metallic layer in between. This type of window tint film offers UV protection to you and your car’s interior. They also help keep the inside of your car cooler and reflect UV rays, meaning you don’t need to overwork your AC when you use this kind of window tint.
The main disadvantage of metallic tints is that the metal content interferes with your car’s communication system, including GPS, radio, and cell phones.
Carbon tint has a dark, matte finish that reflects about 40% of infrared light. They are fade-resistant and help cool your vehicle, thus increasing energy efficiency.
Ceramic window tint film is the recent introduction by tint manufacturers. Compared to all other tints, ceramic tints are the most effective tints, blocking about 99% UV rays and heat. Another advantage of ceramic tints is that they don’t contain metal particles, meaning they won’t interrupt electronic systems in your car.
Is there a Good Time to Tint Your Windows?
If you are planning to tint your windows, you may wonder whether there’s a good time for car tinting. Depending on the tint you choose, it may take between two and four hours to tint all the windows of your car. Usually, the tinting process starts with cleaning the windows (both inside and out) before the window film is installed. After the tint has been installed, it will require time to heal (in most cases, 3 to 4 days in ideal weather conditions). Since humidity and temperatures play a vital role in the tint’s healing time, you need to be careful when you tint your windows.
Be Careful During Summer and Winter
Although your tint will cure faster during summer, high humidity levels can complicate the tint installation process. Installing a car tint during cold weather means you will need to wait longer for the tint to cure.
That being the case, you should install tint during winter in a climate-controlled environment and be ready to wait longer for windows to cure.
Spring and Fall are the Best Times
If you want the tint to adhere to your windows properly, tint your car during spring or fall. These times have mild temperatures and low humidity, which are ideal for tint installation. Of course, rain and humidity can be a challenge during spring (especially in southern parts of the country), but these times are more ideal for window tinting than other times.
Crucial Things to Remember After Car Window Tinting
What you do in the first few days after tinting your car will determine whether your car will have a perfect look or not. That’s why you need to know what to do after tinting your car to ensure durability and a cool look. After all, small mistakes can make your window tint vulnerable and give your vehicle a not-so-perfect look.
To that end, here are crucial things to help ensure that your tint goes well.
Don’t Worry About Window Tint Bubbles
Although dreaded air bubbles are a common problem in low quality and cheap window tints, you shouldn’t be worried about tint bubbles that come after an install. These bubbles are due to moisture and usually evaporates after a few days as the tint dries. Of course, how long the tints take to cure will depend on the weather, so be patient.
Avoid Washing Your Car the First Few Days after Tint Installation
Window tints are installed inside your car, meaning you can drive around even in areas with dirt and mud after your car is tinted. However, you should avoid going to the car wash the first few days after tinting your car.
Ideally, going to the car wash immediately after tinting your car will delay the tint drying process. It will add moisture, making your window bubbly. Instead, wait for a few days before washing your car to ensure the tint is completely cured.
Allow the Tints to Dry
Your tint is more vulnerable to damage when not completely dry. That’s why you need to be extra patient to allow the windows time to dry. As earlier said, tint drying time depends on the current weather condition in your area.
Window tints will dry faster in summer (usually after two to four days). On the other hand, it will take more days during colder seasons. Parking the car inside the garage during snow and rainy days or parking it in direct sunlight during sunny days will help speed up the tint drying time.
Don’t Assume the Tint Makes the Window Scratch-Proof
Although window tints will make the car scratch-resistant, you still need to take care of them. For instance, seat belts can damage the tints when they heat the windows, so you need to be careful about that. Sharp objects can also damage the tint, so be cautious.
How Long to Wait to Roll Down the Windows After Tinting Them?
If you are looking to know when it is safe to roll down your windows after tinting them, pay much attention to this part.
Your tint is likely to peel off if you roll down the panes before the tint dries off. That’s why you need to wait up to four days after installing the tints before rolling down your windows. Of course, some tints will dry off within 24 hours, but that depends on various factors, including the type of glass. To avoid incurring double costs, wait until when the tint is dried up to roll the windows.