Different types of window tint (which to avoid & best for a car)

Have you ever wondered what makes a car look fancy? Is it the brand sign on the hood of a vehicle that exceeds its level of coolness? Maybe the color of the metal surface or even the shape gives it the look of money. Those things matter, but not as much as tinted windows. When you look at any car and cannot see its inside, you become fascinated by its level of stylishness.

white car with tinted windows

What is it?

Car window tinting has been popular for decades, mainly because of its effective reduction of UV rays. It is a process in which the vehicle’s windows are darkened so that only a small percentage of rays will get through them. However, it does not necessarily mean that tinted windows should always be dark. 

There are two types that the car can have. More and more cars go through factory tinting when they are in a stage of production. Manufacturers frequently incorporate color matter into the prime material, which cannot be removed in any way. This type prevents about 80% of the light from getting into your vehicle.

Still, not all the windows get factory tinting. Only the rear windows usually have it. For all the others, you should get an aftermarket option. This one involves applying a film on the inner side of your vehicle’s windows. It often gives 90 % protection from light rays. It is often made from polyester. 

window tint on a grey car

The good news is that you can afford to make your windows opaque. The average cost of tinting your vehicle varies from $100 to $400. It is expensive but still affordable. Considering all the advantages, there’d be no doubt that the money spent is worth it.

However, there are always chances to purchase something for a lower price. If you get tempted, don’t follow your desires to save money. You would not have to deal with premature damage if you invested once in a high-quality option. You’ll be able to enjoy the luxuriance of your vehicle for a long time.

Fun fact: Did you know that putting a piece of black paper behind glass makes it a mirror?

pros and cons of window tinting

window tint on a side door

Having windows protected by the film is more advantageous for you than having them transparent. Do you know that drivers are more often diagnosed with cancer than passengers? This interesting fact points straight into one of the advantages of tinted windows. They protect passengers from UV rays, which often cause skin cancer and make people age faster. That’s why window film tinting means caring about your health as well. 

The sun does release not only UV rays but also heat. During hot days of more than 90° F, there is nothing worse than being stuck in a hot car. With some of the vehicles having conditioning systems to keep you cool during extreme heat, there is also a possibility to protect your car from the heat with the help of tinted windows.

Tinted windows can screen about 65% of the sun’s rays and save your fuel at the same time. Remember that the hotter your car is, the more effort it takes for it to cool down and reach the proper temperature. That’s why you save money on fuel by investing in windows.

The sun is not only dangerous because of its UV rays and hot temperature, but also it damages objects. The direct rays of the sun make the material of the car interior fade away in the case when there’s nothing in between them. Window tint here works as a barrier. When solar rays go through that barrier, they lose their force. Without power, they cannot worsen the state of your leather seats. 

As you know, accidents are common on the roads. The more cars there are in the city, the more accidents happen per day. That’s why there is no guarantee that you will not get your car crashed next time you drive it. For that reason, it’s important to make your vehicle as durable as possible.

window tint on red car

Film on your windows is one of the most precautious protections from serious damage that you can take. If the glass breaks down due to a crash, the tint prevents debris from flying inside the vehicle. The pieces of glass stick to the tint, which protects passengers from being hurt. 

The other advantage that makes car accidents less hurtful is the other tint’s protective ability. If someone attempts to break your window, they will struggle to do that. The dark film enhances the window’s strength, making it challenging to break. This advantage is profitable not only against thieves but also against possible accidents. 

Do you always get irritated by passersby who stare inside your car and try to see what’s inside? Privacy is important to us at home, and our vehicles are no exception. No one wants to be stared at while minding their business in their car.

Obscure windows are also great protection from thieves. Those dishonest people often sneak around cars to see what’s valuable inside. If you take that pleasure from them, you will secure yourself from robbery. 

The other point for tint is that it increases the general safety of your vehicle. There are different reasons for car accidents. Very often, they happen because of a glare from the sun. When the glass is not protected, and the sun shines brightly, the drivers often can’t see the road distinctly. Without a clear view, there is a great chance of crushing into something. Window film reduces glare. In that way, you’re safe to drive on the road.

Last but not least, tint give your car a fancy aesthetic look. If you can’t afford the expensive car, you always wanted but still want to look cool with the one you have. They are just the choice for you. They will make your car appear more expensive than it is with little effort on your part. 

When it comes to the disadvantages of having opaque glass, there aren’t many. As with everything, too much is not healthy. When your tinting is too dark, you won’t be able to see a thing. It will give you great protection from the sun, but accidents always follow bad visibility. It is especially dangerous during the night.

It is also legally forbidden to put an extreme tint on your vehicle glass. In the US, cars are not allowed to be tinted on the driver’s side by more than 27%. Before deciding how much more transparent you want your windows to be, check what the state law says. Make sure you do it because ignorance does not absolve you of responsibility.

The thing you might not like about tints is that they often block the signal of radios and GPS. Some types have bigger signal interference issues than others. If you often drive your vehicle on unfamiliar terrain, you should think about choosing an appropriate tint that won’t distort the signal. 

Before taking your vehicle to auto service, look at the different types. After doing so, you’ll know which to avoid and which is best for a car. This will make you secure in your choice.

best types of tint for car windows

window tint

As it is clear by now why aftermarket options are a popular and advantageous choice, it is necessary to look at the options on the market.

1. Dyed tints

Dyed tints are the most common ones. Car owners are often attracted to its low price compared to the other alternatives. As is often the case, a low price does not imply durability or high quality. They have an alluring aesthetic appearance, but they will lose their attractiveness after some time. You’ll have to change them to new ones when they fade. 

Dyed window tints are made of layered colored plastic. They can have different levels of transparency, but even the darkest ones do not guarantee high protection against UV. Compared to other types, they are less resistant to mechanical damage. 

If you care more about low price and aesthetic value, this type is for you. However, be prepared to change it once in a while.

2. Metalized window tint

The clue to how this type works lies within the name. Metalized window tints have metallic fragments within themselves. Those fragments allow them to effectively arrest UV rays and protect the car from mechanical damage

These advantages do not come for free. Metalized films cost quite a deal. At the same time, they’ll last longer than other alternatives. Remember that metallic fragments within these tints can also block the GPS and radio signals. If you’re a traveler, you’d better consider different options for your vehicle.

3. Hybrid type of tints

If there are two incomplete variants, why not combine them into one greater product? A hybrid window tint is between a dyed and a metalized one. It effectively protects against UV rays and, at the same time, looks as luxurious as dyed film. It is also resistant to scratches and other mechanical damage. The downside of hybrid tires is their expensiveness. The issue of signal interference is also not resolved.

ceramic vs. carbon tints

The most energy-efficient types of window films are carbon and ceramic tints. The first ones consist of carbon fragments that effectively protect not only from UV rays but also from heat. While having carbon films in your car, you’ll console yourself both in summer and winter at the same time. That is because carbon tints prevent the heat from coming in or out equally. 

Ceramic tints will not cause any signal loss for your GPS or radio. They are made of ceramic fragments, the most efficient protection from sun glare. You’ll never experience dissatisfaction while having these tints at your disposition. The only downside to ceramic tiles is that they cost the most of the options listed above.

Both ceramic and carbon films are of high quality and do their protective tasks better than any other type. They also have an aesthetically pleasing look. However, ceramic ones have the best grades in comparison to other alternatives. If money is not an issue, you can base your decision on the best product on the market.

Tint that is only dark on the outside

If you want to ensure the safety of your car, dark films should be your choice. With tints, it is often the case that they are too dark to see anything through them during the night. That is why tinting the vehicle is regulated by law. However, you can get a ceramic film to ensure your safety at night and protect your car from thieves. 

When looking from the outside, it’s almost impossible to see your vehicle’s interior. On the contrary, you can see everything from the inside, even at night. This will give you the privacy you deserve and will not cost you a bit of your safety.

window tint colors

Not only are there different types of transparency, but you can also choose between different variants of color. The classic colors for window films are black and gray. The first one will give the windows a stylish look, while the second will mingle with the color so that it will be almost invisible. 

You can also choose a charcoal color, which has the same ability to blend in with natural glass color. Still, it will make your car appear richer and more fancy because of the slight shade of brown. The last two colors you can get are gold and bronze. 

The bronze is used more often in cheaper cars, whereas the cold one looks more luxurious and expensive. Before you decide which one you want for your vehicle’s glass, see what the laws are in your state.

best window tint brands for cars

If you want to update your vehicle with a new tint, there are many brands to choose from. One of the best options on the market is the MotoShield Pro. They offer a fully equipped kit with films for all your car windows. If you need to change the tint on one window, there is an option to buy it separately from the kitCeramic window tint is one of MotoShield Pro’s best products. You can choose an appropriate percentage ranging from 5% to 75%.

If you want a durable window tint, Mkbrother is the right choice. This brand also guarantees a 99% UV rejection rate. If you decide to use professional help with installation, Mkbrother is a good choice because their film is mostly uncut to window shapes. It will not cause much trouble for technicians to do it. However, the brand also offers pre-cut products.

If you don’t want any trouble with tinting, films from Lexen are for you. They provide pre-cut options at relatively low prices. Depending on what will suit your car best, you can also choose a 5%, 15%, 35%, or 50% tint.

different window tints percentages

Each tint percentage provides different levels of VLT (visible light transmission). The lower the percentage is, the less light is transmitted through window glass. A car with 5% VLT has darker tints and lets in less light than a car with 15% VNL. 

Most vehicles have about 15% of window tint inserted into the glass by the manufacturers. It means that your car windows can block about 85% of visible light before aftermarket film. The result is not bad, but you can still prove your car’s VNL abilities by applying additional film to the windows.

FAQ

Does tint keep a car cooler?

Yes, it does. Window tint prevents sun rays from getting freely into your car’s interior. That way, your vehicle’s temperature does not rise to extremes during hot days. The better UV protection, the easier it will be for your car to stay cool.

Is carbon tint better than ceramic?

No. Ceramic tints are the better option when it comes to UV protection, glare and heat reduction, strength, and lack of signal interference. Despite the fact that the ceramic one is more expensive, it will last longer than the carbon one. If you don’t have a tight budget, your car deserves to have the best.

What is the best window tint for heat rejection?

Carbon or infrared tints are the best choices for heat rejection. They’ll protect your vehicle from the sun and UV rays more than other options.

Who tints windows?

There are two options that you have. Either go to auto service and hand over your car to professionals or do the tinting yourself. If you want to save money, you can try doing the work by yourself. You only need to buy a suitable film and follow the DIY guide. You can also purchase an online installation tool kit that will make your task much easier.

Is 5% or 35% tint darker?

A 5% tint is much darker than a 35% one. In fact, it is dark to the extent that you’ll be unable to see anything. It is illegal to have this percentage in the US because of the high risk of accidents. 5% tint is used only for private cars or limousines for security purposes.

What tint is most popular?

Most cars have a dyed tint because of their low price and fancy aesthetic appearance. If expensive ones are out of options because of a low budget, quality cannot be the main reason for your choice. Still, they manage to do the job relatively well. Their main disadvantage is their short lifespan.