Tips on Buying a Window Louver
Whether it's to keep the sunlight from heating up the car interior or to give a sporty accent to the rear and side windows, a window louver can be a fresh new addition to any car. But with so many choices available on the market, it can be hard to decide on the right window louver. So if you are planning on getting a new set of car window louvers, here are some tips that might help you make the right choice.
ABS or aluminum?
Window louvers as basically made from one out of two materials: ABS and aluminum. ABS is a kind of thermoplastic that is injection molded to form the louver. ABS window louvers are known for their extremely light weight and high resistance to heat and shock. They are also much cheaper than their aluminum counterparts. However, ABS louvers tend to warp and discolor if left out in the sun for too long, making it unadvisable for cars that are parked outside 24/7.
Aluminum window louvers, on the other hand, are more expensive than ABS louvers but are more durable and will not warp or discolor from sunlight. Also, unlike plastic louvers which can crack into shards when damaged, aluminum louvers will only bend and dent. This makes it a better, albeit costlier, choice for more safety-conscious buyers.
How will the louver be installed?
Another thing you need to take into consideration when buying window louvers for your car is how the louver will be installed onto your vehicle. Different louver models have different methods of installation and may modify the structure of the car itself. For example, some window louvers for sale have to be attached to the car windows using a series of bolts. And in order to accommodate the bolts, holes have to be drilled across the windows, permanently modifying the car exterior. There are also adhesive-based louvers, however, which use tape and silicon sealant to keep the louver in place on the car window. But these are not as stable as bolted-on window louvers especially if the tape and seal are not affixed properly and is exposed to moisture.
Before you purchase a window louver, make sure to check first how it will be installed on your car. If the louver you've bought requires its hardware to be drilled onto the car body, it will be difficult and costly to restore it to its original state once you grow tired of the louver.
How to Install a Car Window Louver
A window louver can give a car that classic sporty look and protect it against sunlight with only minimal obstruction. So whether you're installing one for the first time or replacing an old one, a new window louver can be great addition to your car. And with just a few simple tools, you can install one yourself in your home garage.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Razor scraper
- RTV silicone (black or clear depending on the car color)
- Silicone gun
Step 1: Using soapy water, clean the window glass on which the automotive louver is to be attached to. Use the razor blade scraper to remove solid contaminates stuck in the window. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Step 2: Wipe the glass with a 50/50 mixture of alcohol and water and allow it to dry.
Step 3: Attach the hinge plates and other installation hardware to the louver based on the instruction manual. Once all the necessary hardware is installed, place the louver on the glass. Check if the louver fits properly. Make sure the louver doesn't interfere with the trunk lid as well, by raising the trunk lid to check whether it comes in contact with the louver.
Step 4: Remove the louver from the glass and mark the installed position of the hardware and hinges with a grease pencil.
Step 5: Remove the backing from the tape on the hardware. Install the hinges and hardware into place. Be extremely careful when sticking onto the tape onto the glass; lifting and repositioning an incorrectly placed tape can lessen the strength of the adhesive.
Step 6: Press firmly on the hardware to maximize the contact of the tape on the glass surface. Seal the edges of the hardware with silicone and allow it to cure for at least a day.
Step 7: Once the silicon has been cured, install the louver onto the hardware and hinges.
- Don't rush. Spending additional time cleaning the window and installing the louver hardware carefully will prevent tape failure.
- Make sure that the edges of the hardware are properly seal. An improper seal may cause the tape to lift when exposed to moisture and humidity.