Car Window Tinting

by Don Elliott on October 26, 2011

If you believe the automotive window tint seller’s advertising, you could assume it is pretty amazing stuff. Not only does window tinting create a different appearance for your car, window tinting also makes the driving experience a safer one. Window tinting blocks cancer causing ultraviolet rays, protects your eyes from harsh sunlight and headlights, makes it harder for thieves to break windows, and protects passengers from flying glass in an accident. Window tinting also keeps your car’s interior cooler in the summer, making your car more comfortable. Finally, window tinting keeps your car in better condition by protecting your seats from fading and cracking.

There are a wide variety of window films and installation services available. The prices of window films range from $40 for the do-it-yourself kit to $400 or more for a professional installation. The amount of window tint varies from just a slight tint to film that makes the windows appear almost opaque. To complicate the selection process, each state has different regulations regarding window tinting. Legal window tinting in one state might get you a ticket in another state.

Window tinting is a polyester film that ranges in thickness from 2 to 7 millimeters thick. An adhesive activated by moisture and pressure is applied to one surface. Then it bonds to the outside of the exposed surface on the inside of the car. There is a scratch resistant coating available.

The window film is dyed to absorb heat and block sunlight. This is the most basic technique used in the less expensive window films. The more dye used, the darker the windows will be. Darker windows will absorb more heat and light.

A layer of metalized film can be added to absorb more heat without making the windows darker. The reflective metals provide a slight mirrored appearance without making the tint too dark. These films are more expensive because of the additional bonded layers and complicated technology. Your automotive locksmith might have an issue with metalized films because the films have been known to block remote car key and security alarm signals.

Applying the window film is not difficult, but it can be frustrating. First, ensure the window glass is very clean. Wet film is placed on the inside of the car’s window. Air bubbles and excess moisture are pressed from between the film and the glass using a squeegee or rigid plastic card. Some processes require a blow dryer to mold the film and activate the adhesive. Excess film is trimmed away and left to cure for 3 or more days before the windows are rolled down. The tinted window film can be cleaned with any normal non-abrasive window cleaner and a soft towel after 30 days.

Properly applied, window tinting can improve your used car value and provide comfort for the driver and passenger for many years.


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