Auto window tinting is a fairly popular procedure and it can either be done as a standard option at the factory, while a car is being manufactured, or at any other time later on in a vehicles life. There are a number of reasons why vehicle owners may choose to have their windows tinted and these can range from the practical, to the more aesthetic. If your windows have not been tinted as standard from the factory, then depending on the vehicle in question, and what exactly you are looking to achieve, you can either have your windows professionally tinted, or perform the task yourself, as there is the option of purchasing tinting film over the counter.
It should be noted however, that unless you have previous experience in auto window tinting, or are generally very handy and are completely confident you can do it yourself, it is advisable to get your windows tinted professionally as it is very easy to get it wrong and jeopardize the final outcome. A professional installation, will ensure a proper fitment and high quality finish that should last for years.
One of the main reasons that a vehicles windows are tinted from new, is to protect the interior and its inhabitants from the suns strong and potentially harmful rays. A good quality window film will filter out any harmful UV rays and this is especially important if the car is going to be used to transport young children and babies. In hot and sunny weather, a vehicles interior can quickly become sweltering, especially if it has been left sitting without any air conditioning running, or air flowing etc and auto window tinting also effectively helps to regulate and keep a vehicles interior cool.
If you have a vehicle that hasn’t had its windows tinted at the factory from new, they can easily be tinted later on in the vehicles life, again, to help keep the interior cool in hot weather but for other reasons also. Many people tint their vehicles’ windows for styling reasons. It is an especially popular practice with car modifiers, as, when done correctly, it can completely transform the look of a car. For example, a black vehicle can look much more ‘complete’ with darker windows which match with the paintwork and help give a more uniform look. Or, if you have a white, or lighter colored car, tinted windows can provide a welcome contrast against the paintwork and can even give an eye catching two tone look, if other parts of the car, like the wheels for example are painted in a dark color.
Auto window tinting can, of course, also be done to increase privacy, and this is actually one of the main reasons it was first used. Tinted windows are almost always found on cars transporting celebrities or government personnel etc, but in reality, anyone who simply doesn’t like the idea of strangers being able to freely see into their car can have their windows tinted for privacy. This also has security implications because a car with tinted windows is much harder to see into and opportunistic thieves are less likely to spot things inside to steal. Also, if a window is broken, the tinting film holds all of the broken glass together and makes it much harder to gain access to the car, so again, this may also deter potential thieves from breaking into, or trying to steal your car.
You should be aware however, that in most ‘western’ countries at least, it is actually illegal to have the front windows of your vehicle tinted beyond a certain gradation, which can usually be measured with a visible light transmission meter by law enforcement, to see if the tints fall within the allowed range. Therefore, when getting your windows tinted it is sensible to find out exactly what the actual legislation is, regarding window tints in your area, or consult with whoever is installing them before the work is carried out, or you may find you will be made to remove them at a later date.
The actual auto window tinting process itself is fairly simple; it comprises of a very thin, darkened film being applied to the inside of the window. The film has a strong adhesive backing and is usually applied in conjunction with an appropriate lubricant to allow it to be positioned correctly, before any excess liquid and air bubbles are pushed out from in between the film and the glass with a squeegee, allowing it to then adhere to the glass properly, much like when applying a vinyl wrap or company livery to a vehicles exterior. Any excess film is then carefully trimmed away leaving the fully tinted window.
Although the process may sound fairly straight forward, it can actually be a very awkward task to perform. The angle of many interior windows can make applying the film very hard, and parts of the interior trim regularly have to be removed to provide enough access to allow the film to be applied to the very edges of the windows. Also, because the tinting film is so thin and light, it is very easy to crease, puncture and tear it and so this is why it is advisable to get your windows tinted by a professional with plenty of experience to prevent any mishaps that may likely occur if you attempt it yourself.
Window tinting is a semi permanent process, so if applied properly and kept well looked after they should last the life of the vehicle. However, if for whatever reason the tints need to be removed then that is an option. It can be a fiddly and time consuming job but once taken off, and any adhesive transfer removed, the film will not have damaged the glass in any way. Once fitted, tinted windows should be maintained as you would normally clean your glass, using an appropriate glass cleaner and micro fiber towel. It is however, not advisable to use a glass polishing product directly on the film as it may marr and inflict damage that may look unsightly and detract from the overall look of the tinted glass.