February 14, 2023

An Informational Guide to Automotive Window Tint

automotive window tints Phoenix AZ

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  1. Understanding Automotive Window Tint: An overview of what automotive window tint is, its purpose, and benefits.
  2. Types of Automotive Window Tint: Detailed information about the different types of window tints available, including dyed, metallic, carbon, and ceramic.
  3. The Science Behind Window Tinting: An exploration into how window tints work to block UV rays, reduce heat, and enhance privacy.
  4. The Legal Aspect of Window Tinting: A look into the laws and regulations related to window tinting across different regions.
  5. Installation Process: A step-by-step guide on how window tints are applied.
  6. Care and Maintenance: Tips and tricks on how to keep your tinted windows in perfect shape.
  7. Cost Considerations: A guide to understanding the cost factors involved in tinting your vehicle’s windows.
  8. Choosing the Right Tint for Your Vehicle: Factors to consider when selecting the best window tint for your specific car and needs.
  9. FAQs on Automotive Window Tint: Addressing common questions and misconceptions about window tinting.

Automotive window tinting is more than a mere aesthetic upgrade. At TINT 360, we believe it’s an important aspect of vehicle care that combines style, comfort, privacy, and protection.

  • Understand the different between dyed, metallic, carbon hybrid, crystalline and nano-ceramic auto window tints
  • Determining which window tint shades are legal based on state laws and providences
  • Understand the legal terminology for legalities and tint laws
  • Choosing a window film grade and professional automotive service center for auto tint
  • The application process of automotive window tints

By now you’re probably familiar with the hot dreadful summers in the desert, whether you live in Las Vegas or Arizona, you know just how hot and brutal the heat can be. Like many car owners you want to be as cool, and as comfortable as you can be when driving. Who likes the sun and heat blaring in their line of sight or on their skin while in their car? Not us. With the help of our skilled and trained professionals car owners like you can reap the amazing benefits of window tint for your car(s).

Window tint for cars comes in a variety of materials, shades and unique attributes. There are automotive window tints that are more transparent, some designed for visual enhancement, and others that provide infrared protection, and UV protection with superior clarity. With so many different types of automotive window tints, materials, and brands of tint in the marketplace today, it’s not a surprise to learn that many of us car owners simply don’t have all the facts.

It’s our duty to bring you all the information and detailed information that you need. We will touch on the different types of tints, how they are manufactured, the application techniques, how long they will last, and some tips determining which tint is best for your individual needs.

What are the different types of auto window tint for cars?

There are thousands of individual brands of window tints for cars in the marketplace today. With so many options, choosing the right auto tint is usually a time-consuming and frustrating process for the consumer. With that said, there are roughly 6 different types of tinting for car windows. With each grade or type of auto tense, comes different benefits, and price points.

Here are the top six types of window tint for automotive applications.

Dyed Window Tint

For a car owner, who is looking for an entry-level option for auto tint film, a dyed variant provides an affordable option. The main benefit of this tint is to block sunlight via multiple layers in a few ways that absorbs solar heat, and reduces the potential of increasing cabin temperature. However, it doesn’t provide protection against UV exposure. It’s available in multiple visible light transmissions which makes it more of a visual enhancement type of window tint.

Metallic Window Tint

A level up from the dyed window tint is a metallized window tint. It is made of metalized materials. Instead of using dyed materials these films are infused with small particles of metals to block the sunlight. A metal East End produces a rather rich, shine, or luster, but also provides added strength to the window – which reduces the potential of window shattering.

There are several benefits to metallized Window Films, including:

  • It’s effectiveness of blocking heat from entering into the vehicle
  • The tints effectiveness to reduce glare tremendously
  • The effectiveness at blocking harmful UV rays, but it’s still not the best option available amongst all automotive window tints

Hybrid Dyed & Metallic Window Film Blend

The hybrid auto tint is a good option. If you were looking for the best of both tints listed above. This type of window tint typically consists of a gray dye and titanium metallic flakes. This auto tent option is not too dark, nor reflective, which makes it a good option for blocking UV rays, reducing skin, sun exposure inside, while providing a mid-level tinted film that doesn’t negatively impact nighttime driving.

Carbon Window Tint

The three window tint options listed above are considered the ‘entry level’ – carbon infused and elevated material. Now this is where the tinting health benefits begin to play part, by creating a more comfortable cabin experience. Its finish helps block nearly 40% of infrared radiation – which is the main contributor to increasing internal cabin temperature. It also does a good job at blocking UV exposure – which is what leads to feeding and aging of interior materials, like plastics, leather seats, and dashboards.

Another positive attribute of the carbon tint film is that it does not fade like those mentioned above. As such it tends to last longer and hold up for several years. The trade-off of course is an elevated price point.

Crystalline Window Tint

A lot of car owners seek comfort, and cooler temperatures along with protective benefits of car window tints, but without the darkening of socks. This is possible by choosing a Crystalline window tint. This automotive window film is designed to block UV radiation, along with infrared radiation – which ultimately keeps the inside of your vehicle much cooler, reduces the potential of extended wear and tear of the interior of the vehicle based on the darkness given by the window tint. In a nutshell, this is a reasonable option for a car owner, who wants the heat rejecting benefits, the protection and wants a clear and less darkened window tint on their car.

Nano-Ceramic Window Tint

Now that you’ve seen that all of the auto window tint options are a whole ball of wax. With all the different options that we’ve already introduced, there’s still more. Next is ceramic infused window film for your vehicle. This is the best of all worlds as it’s developed and manufactured using small ceramic – based particles that are highly non-conductive. This means that it does not reduce electronic transmissions from cell phones, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or other communication devices.

The ceramic window tents also can block up to 50% of solar heat without any reduction invisibility; they produce exceptional, shatter resistance, reduce glare, or fading, and effectively block 99.9% of UV exposure. Now the ceramic window tint is quite different from ceramic coatings. We can explore more of that in the future article.

Which car tints are legal?

Within the United States and Canada, car window tinting laws are all based on the individual state or providence. There is no centralized window tint rule for legality across the entire country. The American automobile association, or AAA has a detailed list of window tint regulations based on each US state and Canadian providence. We have also prepared an article for you to review the specific regulations within the United States by clicking this link.

Window Tint Definitions for Legality

Some of these terms are a bit confusing and technical so here is an easy to understand breakdown list of the technical language that you’ll find.

Tint Darkness: the darkness of window tint is measured by the visible light transmission percentage. This is often and abbreviated as VLT%

Front Side Windows: When a regulation talks about the front side window, they are referring to the two windows directly next to the driver and passenger seats. In a sedan, this would include the front doors, while a coupe would include the only two doors on the vehicle.

Rear Side Windows: The side windows or rear side windows will refer to windows that are behind the driver and passenger seat. For multiple row vehicles such as SUVs, this will include any windows on doors behind the front or solid windows molded into the body. There are also regulations for rear window installations, but they are usually not as stringent as other vehicle window locations.

Window Shade Band: The front windshield may receive a window shade band, which is applied to the top section of the windshield. The size of this film and the tint darkness percentage will vary based on individual states and provinces.

AS1 line: Each glass manufacturer includes an AS1 marking near the top left or right side of the windshield. This certifies that the tinted window complies with US or Canadian Department of Transportation regulations. In most cases, the AS1 line can’t be blocked.

Tint Reflection: As we mentioned above, some window films such as metallic window tint have a reflective quality.

The / Symbol: Typically – state regulations will document different factory tint percentages and other criteria based on the type of vehicle. If you see different tint legal numbers or percentages that are separated by a “/” symbol, it will separate two types of vehicles. The first number will indicate ‘cars’ including a coupe or sedan, while the number after the / symbol will be specific for SUVs or multiple passenger vans.

Within all of the different types of window tints come multiple shades of darkness of the tent itself. We will discuss the legality of these tint percentages below.

Automotive Window Tint by Percentage

Which Car Window Tint Is The Most Popular?

There are two paths you can travel when choosing any car window tint for your vehicle. The first option and most popular is having a professional auto center complete the tent service for you. The professional shop will handle all of the proper custom fit the window tint, apply it, and in some cases, offer a warranty for longevity.

Several window tinting shops can also complete paint protection film services like a plain paint protection film and ceramic coatings, so you can honestly have everything done to your new car at the same time

The other option is the do-it-yourself method. This is becoming increasingly popular with DIY enthusiasts, as technology has made it easier for the average detail or to purchase pre-cut windows, film and apply themselves. Most of these DIY window tint film products are intended to block harmful UV rays versus blocking IR heat. UV protection is an important attribute that any window tint film should possess.

That will be the first decision you make N as DIY car window tint options are limited. It’s similar to the DIY ceramic coating world. DIY window tint. Film is designed for easier installation as opposed to advanced protective qualities. This limits your options considerably.

With professional installations, the sky is virtually the limit – as are the tinting benefits. A growing training, professional tinting are those infused with ceramic substances. This helps to block UV and IR and keeps the interior of the vehicle much cooler for longer. They are also available in multiple tint percentages.

How to Know Which Car Window Tint Is Right For Your Car (Ask Yourself These Questions)

If you are considering a new window, tint sound for your vehicle, you’ll have to make a few important decisions before coming to your final decision. A few of the important questions you need to ask yourself to determine which window tint is right, for your car includes:

What is most important to me?

With all of the different attributes that vary amongst the different types of auto tents, you will have to ask yourself what is the most important to you. Like the entry level dyed window tints they are mainly for aesthetics only, and to make the windows appear darker from the outside. With that it will not be your best choice when it comes to heat, rejection and UV protection. There are ceramic tinting products that give you the best of all worlds. So, before you decide which tinting is best for you – right down the attributes that are important to your specific application.

How much am I willing to financially invest?

The cost of the window tint and installation is an important factor to determine. The cost of window tint is based on several variables, including the type of tint and the cost of labor.

Lower grade window tents (such as a dyed window tint) will be much cheaper (not only in quality but also in price), while the advanced technology in ceramic or carbon-based window tint, will have a premium price. It’s similar to comparing ceramic coatings. Spray on hybrids are cheaper than longer than lasting 9H ceramic coatings.

How long are you keeping the vehicle?

A big question to ask yourself is how long you plan on keeping your vehicle. This is important to know before purchasing a window film for your car because you want to purchase an auto tint product that will last as long as you own your ride. If you plan on keeping your vehicle forever, then it would be wise to go with a high-grade nano ceramic window tint for your vehicle that will last as long as you on your vehicle.

How Many Years Will I Get Out of My Window Tint?

Nearly all window tints have a life expectancy from 3 to 5 years. But there are new window tint, entering into the market in 2022 that can hold up even longer. There are several variables that will impact the longevity of auto car tinting which can affect the cars, resale value, including:

The quality of the tint: not all auto tint are made equally. Auto window tint is no different than any other car care products, as some manufacturers put more effort, engineering and technology into their finished products. In general, the quality of window tint is based on the type of int (as explained in the first section of this article), did he said, find, which helps to stick to the glass, and the application technique.

The exposure to direct sunlight: Auto window tints main job is to block harmful, UV or IR heat from entering the vehicle. However, it has its limit as to how much it can absorb. If a vehicle is parked outside frequently, it can prematurely wear the window tint. This is especially true in hot climate regions like Phoenix, Arizona.

The application: While it’s lower on the list, the application of the window tint is arguably the most important factor for longevity. Professional auto 10 installers are trained on installation techniques for the specific window tint they sell to customers. They take time to ensure the correct prep work has been completed, ensure the tint is correctly bonded, and has occurred prior to releasing the car back to its owner. To get the most out of your auto window tint, always refer to an experienced and professional installer.

The Auto Window Tint Application Process

The auto window tint application process breaks down into a four end step process for a professional installer. If you are looking for tips on how to install window tint yourself, it’s always best to refer to the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer that you purchased the film from. For those who, like a general understanding on how window tint is applied, this video on window tint installation will provide some great information.

Step 1 – Prepping the windows

It’s especially important to prepare the windows of the vehicle thoroughly prior to installing the automotive window tint to your car, truck, or SUV. Once you have selected the type of window tent, the tent, percentage/shade, and other custom factors, your installation specialist will begin the process by prepping the windows that the tint will be applied to.

Preparation is always customized by the automotive center, completing the tent installation based on a few different variables. First, the condition of the existing window. If you have a new car – direct from the factory, the amount of grime or other cleaners/treatment is going to be less severe than an older vehicle. If you have a vehicle with an existing car window tint, it will have to be removed, which can be tricky and very time consuming.

The main objective with prep work is to ensure the installer has a perfectly clean canvas to work with. They use special cleaners and preparation solutions to ensure there is no oil, Grace, or film left on the window prior to the new window tint application.

Step 2 – Measuring and Fitting Film

Next is fitting the window tint to the window for a seamless installation. Most professional 10 installers will complete most of the measuring, fitting, and final cutting on the outside of the window glass

The process within the step will vary based on the exact type of window tint you’re purchasing. Some are pre-– and cut based on the manufacturer specs, others must be custom measured, fitted and cut by hand. There isn’t a benefit either way – especially if you’re having a certified window tint installer complete the service.

Step 3 – Applying the Tint

Again, the auto window tint is always applied on the inside of the window glass, so several variables, including the access to the windows, how much fabrication (or removing trim pieces and such) is needed, and simple ‘moving around space’ can extend the time for the installation.

This step will also vary based on the specific window tint material, and the techniques required for this application of the window tint. The time it will take to complete the application project depends on the type of vehicle, the type of window film and the method used for the application. With all vehicles being different when it comes to shapes and sizes every vehicle completion time is different.

Professional auto centers, such as TINT 360 will provide a transparent estimated completion time based on your specific vehicle type, the amount of windows you want to tint, and other expenses associated.

Step 4 – Curing Process & Clean Up

Before your vehicle is heading back over, the professional installer will take the time to ensure everything is cleaned, the window film has secured, and you’re aware of any post purchase restrictions. Most auto window tint require the car owner to not roll down windows for a day or two, to ensure the adhesive has dried and fully bonded to the window glass.

Step 5 – Wrapping Up

As you can see Ende, there is a lot of information attached to automotive window tint for your car. The best advice we can offer is to always seek out the advice of a professional auto center that offers window tinting services near you. Here at TINT 360 in North Phoenix, AZ we are happy to lay out all of the pros and cons, explain different window tint options, the benefits related costs, to help you make a confident and informed decision that matches your needs and expectations.

If you’d like to request a complimentary consultation for your car, click the button below to begin the process.


In Summary

When it comes to auto window tint for your car there are many options to choose from, but it’s critical to understand the difference between each brand and grade of window film. Educate yourself on the different products, how they are different and how they are being installed. Doing your research can save you time, money and headaches down the road just by knowing the basics of automotive window tints.

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