Tinted windows are a great way to keep the sun, and prying eyes, out of your vehicle’s cabin — and it doesn’t hurt that they also add a substantial amount of style in the process. Not all window tints are created equal, however, and you’ll have to keep a few things in mind when installing and caring for tints on your car.
Here are some window tint tips that will keep your ride safe, legal and looking great.
Choose a Quality Film
If you are going to install tints yourself, choose your film carefully. A quality window tint film will last longer, block UV rays more evenly and be much easier to apply than a cheaper version. Why set yourself up for frustration? Make sure you pick up a reliable tint film and use the same product for every window.
Consider the Laws
Keep local laws in mind when choosing how dark to tint windows. Most states require that front windows let in between 35–50 percent of light with more lax restrictions on rear passenger and back window tints.
Even if your state allows as low as a 25 percent tint on the front windows, consider whether you’ll be able to safely see pedestrians, cyclists and even other vehicles at night if you go that extreme. You don’t want to make things dangerous out on the road for the sake of style. A tinted windshield might look cool, but have you given any thought to how much of a hassle it could be when driving at night? If the tints on your side windows are too dark, you can always roll them down. The windshield, however, is there to stay, so it’s a good idea to either skip the windshield or choose a less extreme tint.
Keeping It Clean
The safest cleaning product you can use on tinted windows is one that is ammonia free, as ammonia is notorious for stripping film from glass. Stick with something citrus based or a product that’s designed specifically for tints. You can also use vinegar or a vinegar-based cleaner in a pinch. It’s also important to avoid anything that could chip or scratch the tints, including an abrasive rag or sponge.
Installing window tints can give your car a brand-new look, but it can also lower visibility. Remember to prioritize safety when deciding how much to tint your windows and enjoy a stylish addition to your ride.
Check out all the vision and safety parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on tinted windows, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.