Window Visor Buyer's Guide
- A window visor is an acrylic or plastic attachment that can be installed on a vehicle’s window frame. It prevents overly bright light, rain, and wind from pouring into the cabin through an open window.
- There are two types of side window visors: the peel-and-stick visor and the in-channel visor. Both types are easy to apply to most vehicles and do not require special tools, which lends themselves well to DIY installations.
- Also called a tape-on visor, a peel-and-stick visor goes over the window frame. This type of deflector uses strips of automotive-grade adhesive tape to stay attached to the vehicle.
- The other type of deflector is the in-channel window visor. It has mounting flanges that slip into the soft channel at the top of the window, the horizontal part that cushions the edge of the glass.
- The choice of window visor lies with your personal needs and preferences.
- Both in-channel and stick-and-peel wind visors are available on CarParts.com and they cost anywhere between $18 and $150.
- Wind visors are available in sets of two or four. Finding a set guaranteed to fit your vehicle’s window frames or channels is as easy as entering its year, make, and model in the filter tab.
There are times when you want to drive with the window down. Perhaps you’re parked in a sunny spot and find yourself in need of natural ventilation rather than relying on the A/C.
However, rolling the window down even a little makes it likely for loud winds or water from a surprise rainshower to enter your vehicle. For such situations, side window visors can help keep your open-window driving experience a delightful one.
What are window visors for?
A window visor is an acrylic or plastic attachment that can be installed on a vehicle’s window frame. It prevents overly bright light, rain, and wind from pouring into the cabin through an open window.
Also called vent deflectors, they came out at the same time as the first windshield visors. Like their windshield-mounted counterparts, they protect the driver from getting blinded by glare. They also keep rain from getting inside a partially open window and reduce the loud sound caused by wind at high speeds.
Window visors never became as popular as windshield visors. Notably, the latter enjoyed more interactive features and a wider array of designs such as remote control systems.
However, side window visors earned their niche with some drivers and passengers wanting or needing natural ventilation with little exposure to harsh weather conditions.
Types of side window visors
There are two types of side window visors: the peel-and-stick visor and the in-channel visor. Both types are easy to apply to most vehicles and do not require special tools, which lends themselves well to DIY installations. Each visor has advantages and disadvantages, so potential users will want to carefully consider what to get for their car or truck.
Also called a tape-on visor, a peel-and-stick visor goes over the window frame. This type of deflector uses strips of automotive-grade adhesive tape to stay attached to the vehicle.
Since it is mounted on the frame, a peel-stick visor doesn’t directly touch the window itself. It cannot damage the glass or interfere with the opening or closing of the window.
Furthermore, the placement of the peel-and-stick visor on the window frame means that it extends further than its counterpart. It offers more cover from the rain around the window channel.
Unfortunately, peel-and-stick visors are fragile. Aside from the usual wear and tear, this type of visor is also susceptible to damage during a car wash.
It is also a pain to deliberately remove a tape-on deflector from the vehicle. The adhesive strips leave glue gunk, stains, and even pieces of window visor tape on the window frame. Owners will have to remove the residue and clean their car afterward.
Finally, not everyone will appreciate the way that a peel-and-stick visor sticks out so much. The jutting deflector may ruin the sleek lines of the vehicle.
In-channel window visors
The other type of deflector is the in-channel window visor. It has mounting flanges that slip into the soft channel at the top of the window, the horizontal part that cushions the edge of the glass.
This type of deflector presents a much cleaner appearance than its glue-reliant counterpart. Its lower profile helps preserve the vehicle’s original silhouette.
The in-channel visor is also sturdier. It mostly relies on the tightness of the channel to hold it in place. Some models feature small strips of double-faced tape on the flange to further ensure that they don’t fall out of the channel.
Last but not least, it is a breeze to uninstall an in-channel visor. It will not leave any sticky residue behind.
Understandably, in-channel visors also have drawbacks. Most one-touch power windows have a safety feature that cancels the operation if the glass hits something on its way to the channel. Thus, a visor with a thick edge may stop a power window from closing.
In-channel visors are also harder to attach to a car. Since they must fit tightly in the window channel, you must be very careful during installation since it is easy to break a visor. Also note that after a year or so, the deflector can get loose and start rattling about or even fall off.
Lastly, an in-channel visor comes into direct contact with the window. The deflector and the glass may scratch each other over time.
Picking the right window visor for your car
The choice of window visor lies with your personal needs and preferences. If you want a hassle-free installation and don’t mind going the extra mile cleaning up afterward, go for peel-and-stick visors. Installing them is as easy as picking a design that complements your vehicle’s looks, peeling the tape covers away, and placing them on the window frame.
There are also sleeker deflector models that follow the contours of your vehicle more closely. They don’t offer as much protection from the elements, but they look more natural on your car.
For those who prefer their deflectors to be easily removed and safe for car washes, pick in-channel visors. They only need a little bit of force to pop out during replacement, and the designs with tape have the adhesive part inside the channel, protecting it from degradation.
As much as possible, look for the in-channel visor kits that resolve the issue with power windows. These deflectors feature slender metal clips that assist the window glass in fully closing against the visor.
Some manufacturers also offer lifetime warranties on their window deflectors. When combined with the tough acrylic or composite materials that make up the side window visors, you can be assured of enjoying a drive with the window rolled down for a long time.
How much is a replacement window visor?
Both in-channel and stick-and-peel wind visors are available on CarParts.com and they cost anywhere between $18 and $150. Please be advised that this price range is exclusive to our website and you may come across higher price tags in the market. Wind visors are available in sets of two or four. Finding a set guaranteed to fit your vehicle’s window frames or channels is as easy as entering its year, make, and model in the filter tab.
How to Install a Window Visor
With a window visor, you don’t have to worry about bugs, rain, or debris getting inside your vehicle even when the windows are rolled down a bit for some fresh air. However, in order for this accessory to effectively deflect debris from the window, it has to be properly installed. Fortunately, attaching this accessory is easy. Here’s what you need to do:
Required skill level: Novice
- Mild detergent
- Clean rags
- Washable marker
Prepping up your ride
Before you install a visor, you have to make sure first that the surface you’re planning to attach it to is clean. So start by washing the car or the surface with water and some mild detergent. This way, all traces of dirt and grime are removed.
Rinse the surface well, and apply a bit of rubbing alcohol with a clean rag. The alcohol will dissolve any remaining grease or glue residue if you’re replacing an old visor. Keep in mind that an adhesive strip won’t properly stick to a dirty surface. So to prevent the visor from easily falling off, clean the surface well with the right products.
Testing the fit of the visor
Before removing the backing of the visor’s adhesive strip, test the fit first by holding it in place. Once the visor is properly aligned with the window’s edge, mark the spot with a washable marker. It’s better if you have someone else holding the visor in place while you trace the outline using a washable pen.
Attaching the new visor
Once you’ve marked the spot, remove the backing from the adhesive strip. Then position it carefully onto the window frame. Make sure it’s properly aligned with the outline you made in the previous step. Apply some pressure to make sure the visor sticks in place. If you’re planning to install visors on your other windows, simply repeat the steps.
Tips to remember
- Use a paint roller when pressing the visor in place to ensure an even and smooth application.
- After installation, get rid of fingerprints, swirl marks, or glue residue by wiping the visor clean with a cloth or rag dipped in a bit of alcohol.