Car Window Tint Basics

Car window tint adds a sleek, shady look to your vehicle. It also blocks UV rays that can fade your leather seats, plastics and other trim pieces. It reduces the heat in your car, which can save you money on fuel costs. Plus, it protects you and your passengers from cancer-causing sun exposure.

Car tint isn’t a cheap upgrade, but it’s worth the investment in your comfort and safety. It can be installed by a professional at most auto body shops, and costs from $100 to $400 or more depending on the brand, car, shop and installation services.

The brand of window tint you choose will influence its performance and durability. A higher-end brand will usually cost more, but it will also last longer than a lower-end brand. The best brands will have warranties and endorsements from other customers, as well as a network of professional installers across the country.

Before you get tinted windows on your ride, make sure to research the laws in your state. Many states have different legal levels, and a few have bans on certain tint percentages on passenger vehicles. In some cases, you may be able to apply for an exemption from the law.

A good tint job takes patience and precision. The professional detailer you choose will take time to measure and cut the film, making sure that it’s a perfect fit for your car. This will help prevent unsightly bubbles and wrinkles from forming in the future. They will also ask you to keep your windows closed and clean for a day or two to allow the adhesive to cure fully.

If you decide to do the tinting yourself, be sure to purchase a model-specific kit that includes a pre-cut piece of the film for your specific vehicle. This eliminates any mistakes from cutting the tint too small or large, and saves you the cost of reordering new window film and paying for shipping and installation. You’ll also want to invest in a high-quality tool to avoid damaging your glass or accidentally tearing the tint.

There are six main types of tinting for your car’s windows. They range from dye-based to carbon-based, with each type offering a different benefit. Dye-based tints are usually cheaper, while more advanced carbon-based and ceramic tints have a premium price.

Some car tints have a reflective quality, while others are dark and non-reflective. Clear tints, such as 3M’s Crystalline Series, block UV rays and infrared rays and provide an SPF of 1000. However, they can interfere with your cell phone’s GPS signals. You should avoid tints with a reflection if you’re planning to use GPS apps often. Other tints have a light reflective quality, such as metallic films. These provide a sleek, modern look, but they can also interfere with radio and satellite signals. You should avoid metallic tints if you plan to use your mobile device frequently while driving.

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