Many automobile owners tint their car windows. There are many practical reasons. Tint film on car windows, can reduce the summer heat inside the car, up to sixty percent. Ninety-nine percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV) is blocked from entering the car: Reducing the chance of getting skin cancer (UV – A, and UV – B), and preventing the ultraviolet rays from damaging the car upholstery, or leather from cracking and fading. During an accident, tinting film helps prevent shattering glass from injuring the driver and occupants. Tinting reduces the glare from the sun and other headlights, securing a safer driver. Tinted film windows provide privacy and inhibits burglar from seeing any contents within a car.
Tinting is manufactured usually by clear polyester film with a very thin layer of dyes (absorbs the heat), and two processes: Depostion technology (vacuum coating/metalizing), and Sputting technology (advanced metalizing) deposits a layer of metallic particles, that provide a reflecting coating. Layers of film are bonded together. On one side is pressure sensitive or water – activated adhesive. Chemical UV blocker (cyclic imino esters) is added, for purpose of blocking – out the ultraviolet radiation. Some tinted windows contain hybrid film, which combines mounting adhesive, dyed polyester film, laminating adhesive, metalized film and scratch resistant hard – coat. Hybrid film last for five years, and Sputtered or Deposition window film can last for a decade. A reputable tinted window dealer will use quality film and provide a window film warranty for five years or lifetime warranty. The tinted film reflects a percentage of visible light (VLR), absorbs light (VLA), and transmits visible light (VLT), which has the highest percentage. Depending on the quality and type of tinted film that is applied, either VLA or VLT will have a higher percentage. Drivers that have poor vision should have only lighter tinted windows.
Many States have laws regarding tinted windows, either permissible or with some limitations. For example: State of Florida limits the amount of visible light transmission percentage on front, back and rear windows. Also, prohibits any Windshield tinted windows.
Cost for tinting car windows, depends on several factors. Some cars are harder to tint then others. If a car has steep and curved windows or electronics that require panels, and speakers to be removed, there is an additional cost. Station Wagons, and sports utility vehicles require more tinting, then other types of vehicles, because additional square foot of window glass. Cheaper tinting film will cost less, compared to more expensive film, however need to be replaced sooner than later. A warranty will add to the cost, but should considered to save money in the future. “Color – Safe Warranty” is the best protection, if the tint ever changes color will be replaced. A transferable Warranty will allow the owner of the car to transfer ownership with free cost to replace the tint. This adds value to the vehicle.
Caring for the window film, should only apply soap, water or a mild dish – washer soap, with a towel, on the inside. Using 100 percent mineral sprits (not lacquer thinner) to remove chewing gum, Crayon marks, or stubborn garbage from the film. Never use harsh cleaners such as Windex or ammonia that will shorten the life span of the window film.
Eventually the window film or tint will deteriorate, because nonmetallic dyes in the film break down and change color over a period of time, which causes the film to bubble to the surface, and adhesive weakens by drying out. Process removing the film from a vehicle, may take up to three hours by a trained professional. The time is necessary to prevent any damage to the defroster lines and radio reception. This process maybe expensive, unless under warranty. The longer the owner waits to remove the film, the more likely tint will become brittle and then has to be scrapped with a razor, which may cause damage to the defroster lines. The film can be removed by the owner using an ammonia, nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol (Using a spray bottle) onto the film, however this process can take three hours to complete, very unpleasant smell, require using a razor blade, window glass cleaner, steel wool, trash bags, and caution to prevent damage to the car speakers, rear lights, and upholstered surface. Also, window tinting removal kits are available for purchase.
Companies that manufacture car window film: Sun-Gard, Huper Optik, Solar Gard, LLumar Window Film, and V – Kool.