Understanding the Different Levels of Window Tinting

window tintingDo you want heads to turn when you cruise past a crowd? If so, window tinting is one of the hottest modifications to a car or truck.

Not only does window tinting look good, but it has many other benefits.

Many people don’t know that window tinting helps retain interior quality and keeps the car cooler.

Window tinting is so effective that it blocks out up to 99% of ultraviolet rays. This protects interior upholstery and leather from fading.

Passengers are also spared the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays.

In addition to protective qualities, is it calculated that tinted windows reduce the temperature inside the vehicle by roughly 30 degrees.

In order to fully realize these benefits, consumers must be knowledgeable about the different levels of tinting.

Read on to learn more about tinted windows and these different variations.

What Level of Window Tinting Does the Factory Provide?

Car and truck factories typically provide tinting on rear windows. They use a different method than aftermarket car shops.

Tinting is achieved by dying the glass prior to the car being put up for sale.

Tinted windows are graded by how much it reduces Visible Light Transference (VLT). Darker tints lower the VLT percentage. An untinted window has the highest VLT percentage.

That being said, factory tinted windows have a VLT of 74-85 percent. Essentially, this means that roughly a quarter of sunlight is transferred or blocked.

Tinting Upgrades from the Original Equipment Manufacturer

If factory tinting is insufficient, you can elect to get a custom upgrade from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This is more common for European OEMs than North American or Japanese companies.

An OEM upgrade can achieve any VLT that you request. However, the OEMs will strictly follow state laws and not deviate in any way.

In all likelihood, it will also be more expensive than an aftermarket car shop. This is because you are subject to full market pricing and the work is done at the OEM rather than locally.

OEM tinting is applied by including a special additive to the glass during manufacturing.

How Does Aftermarket Tinting Differ?

Aftermarket car shops can achieve any VLT that you request and are generally more flexible than OEMs. They use two methods to tint the windows.

The first is a film tint, which is the most popular. For this method, the window glass is pre-treated and a polymer film is carefully applied to the windows.

Film tinting kits are sold commercially, but buyers should beware of do-it-yourself jobs. Often the quality is poor and the film will have visible air bubbles in it.

One consideration for this method is that film generally has an operating life of roughly 5 years.

Certified aftermarket car shops are also capable of applying the tinting additive that OEMs use.

Wrapping It Up

Tinted windows are great for making a car or truck stand out. In addition to improved appearance, tinted windows also reduce interior temperature and protect the interior from sun damage.

For more information on window tinting, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll help you get tinted in no time!

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