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Tinted Windows: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Tinted windows

Have you considered tinted windows for your car? Tinted windows do more than just look cool, they also offer a number of benefits for you and your vehicle. While you can request tinted glass windows when you order a car, there are also aftermarket options such as window tint films that can be installed by professionals or in your own DIY garage.

Tint It Up Tinted windows on a SUV

Many car owners are choosing to tint their car windows — and with good reason. Here are some of the benefits that darkened windows will confer upon you and your vehicle:

  • One of the primary purposes of tinting your car’s windows is to filter incoming light or hide the interior of your vehicle from the thieves’ roving eyes. Partially filtering out the sun generally improves your vision, helping you to drive more safely. It is thermally selective and can reduce the amount of solar heat that passes through into your car by up to 60 percent, according to The Washington Post.
  • Window tinting also blocks a lot of ultraviolet (UV) light, which serves to protect both your car’s interior and passengers’ skin. UV light is directly linked to skin damage, cataracts, accelerated aging and even skin cancer. Ultraviolet light also degrades interior upholstery and trim, whether fabric, plastic, vinyl or leather, causing them to fade, crack, split or become brittle.
  • Window tint film also serves as a protective barrier. While the windshield is made of a glass and plastic laminate, the side and rear windows are made of tempered glass. In case of an accident, they shatter into thousands of tiny chunks. Window tint film keeps the majority of these from flying around, adding an extra safety measure in case of an accident.

Potential Drawbacks

The very same things that make window tint film so beneficial can also be a problem, particularly depending on what kind of film you use. Here are some of the potential hazards of tinting your windows:

  • If you opt for a dark-tinted film, you may experience impaired vision in certain conditions. Remember, if you can’t see, you can’t drive, especially in low-light conditions like driving at night or through a tunnel.
  • There may be laws regarding the exact amount of window tinting allowed and where it can be used. You should check with your local department of transportation and police department to determine any restrictions or regulations before you take the plunge.
  • Aftermarket tint films may crack, bubble or peel, which is unsightly and can significantly reduce your visibility. If your film is damaged, you’ll have to strip the old tinting off and reapply it, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Starting with a carefully installed, high-quality window tint film can go a long way in preserving your tint film.

While there may be a number of reasons to consider tinted windows, you should carefully weigh the benefits and review local laws to ensure that it is even a possibility. By choosing a quality window tint film and installing it carefully, you can protect your car’s interior and your skin — not to mention your privacy, security and image — for years to come.

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.

Image courtesy of Flickr


Benjamin Jerew View All

Ben has been taking things apart since he was 5, and putting them back together again since he was 8. After dabbling in DIY repairs at home and on the farm, he found his calling in the CGCC Automobile Repair program. After he held his ASE CMAT for 10 years, Ben decided he needed a change. Now, he writes on automotive topics across the web and around the world, including new automotive technology, transportation legislation, emissions, fuel economy and auto repair.

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