Do you want your car to look sleek and stylish? Perhaps, you want more privacy or a cooler cabin, especially now that it’s officially summer? Well, the best way to address your concerns is by putting tint on your car windows. Tinted windows not only help keep your cabin cool from the summer heat, they also serve numerous purposes including safety, privacy, and convenience.
Getting Started With Car Tinting: Your Location
The first thing to consider before applying tint on your car windows is the state you live in. Each state has its own law regulating window tints. Usually, restrictions disclose the percentage of light permitted to penetrate the tint film. This is referred to as a Visible Light Transmission Percentage (VLT%) – though you need to double check if the percentage value is declaring the amount of light being ‘blocked’ by tint, which is entirely the opposite of the aforementioned. In addition, there are some states prohibiting car owners from tinting their windshield, while some allow tinting only the top portion.
For example, people who reside in New Jersey and Minnesota are not allowed to tint their windshield at all, but people in California can have tinted glass four inches from the top. There are also varying limits for the front side, back side, and rear windows per state. Say you’re from Michigan; you can have the darkest tint on the back side and rear windows, but you can only tint your windshield and front side window four inches from the top. You may refer to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) rules and regulations to know what’s legal and illegal before you tint your car.
Different Types of Window Tint Film
Before delving deeper into the benefits of tinting, here are the known types of tint films you can apply on your car windows. Knowing the four main types of tints can help you decide what to put on your car.
This is the most affordable and basic type of window tint you can get. The dyed film has a sticky back side, which you attach on the glass with the help of a heat gun. It is faster to apply compared to the other ones on this list, though the dye can fade over time.
Metalized window tints use tiny metallic particles to help block sunlight. Unlike dye, metalized tints appear more reflective and make your window stronger by improving its shatter-resistance. Metalized films are also scratch-resistant. It’s a better alternative than having dye window tint film due to its ability to block more heat effectively.
In contrast to metalized films, carbon tints have a matte surface to help block 40% infrared radiation, which is the major culprit for heating the cabin. Aside from being extra attractive with a different finish from the other tint films, carbon film also impedes upholstery fading better than the two types previously mentioned.
Ceramic tint films use ceramic particles which are known to have non-conductive properties. What’s good about ceramic tint is that it can block up to 50% of the sun’s heat without compromising visibility, plus the bonus of enhancing your glass’ shatter resistance. The downside is that you may find your phone signal reduced while inside your vehicle, as ceramic naturally blocks signals.
Benefits of Having Your Car Windows Tinted
Do cars look better with tinted windows? Well, that’s a question of personal preferences. Asking if your car looks better with tint is like asking “Are girls prettier with make up?” or “Does having a mustache increase masculinity?” Thing is, tinting offers more than just making your car look good.
1. Better privacy
Oftentimes, you get stuck in traffic and come across annoying drivers that stare and scan the inside of your cabin. Simply avoid this scenario by installing a window tint on your car.
2. More peace of mind
Feel a little bit more secure leaving valuable items inside your car by having tint that make it more difficult for just any passer-by to see what you have stored inside your vehicle.
3. Healthier skin
Car tints block significant amounts of UV rays from entering your cabin. UV radiation is harmful to human skin, including your cabin’s upholstery.
4. Cool cabin
Your cabin can get really hot after being parked for hours under the sun. The heat of the sun that passes through your windows gets trapped in the cabin, just like how heat gets trapped inside the Earth’s atmosphere due to the greenhouse effect. This turns your car into an oven effect that can potentially bake the plastic materials inside. Application of car tint can reduce the amount of UV and infrared radiation entering the cabin.
5. Reduces glare
The effect of light passing through a glass is called glare. This is a hazard to your eyes, especially when driving, as it could temporarily blind you and lead to an accident. Fortunately, tints help reduce the amount of light penetrating the window, which lessens the glare.
6. Helps bring your resale value up
Selling a tinted car will fetch a higher price rather than a car without one. Tinted windows mean that the buyer doesn’t have to spend more to have tint installed. It is a small thing that you can consider a good investment.
Having tinted windows surely helps with a lot of things. Spending around $300 to tint your whole car can save you from probable inconveniences. Just make sure to inspect any sign tinting defect upon the release of your car. Things like bubbles and cutouts along the edges are the most common signs that the tint was not properly applied.