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Window tinting keeps your car cooler, protects interior surfaces and offers privacy. Save money by learning how to tint your car windows yourself.
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Tinting your car’s windows adds style, reduces sun glare and keeps the interior cooler. It blocks up to 99 percent of ultraviolet (UV) rays and filters 90 percent of the sun’s infrared (IR) radiation. This helps protect interior surfaces from damage from sunlight and allows the air conditioner to operate more efficiently.
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The National Institute of Skin Cancer recommends reducing exposure to UV rays as an effective defense against UV rays, the leading cause of skin cancer. Read on to learn how to install window tint yourself, saving you hundreds of dollars.
Window tinting is a plastic film applied to your vehicle’s windows that darkens the glass. This helps reduce visible light transmission (VLT), the amount of visible light (VL) that passes through glass. Sunglasses are rated by their VLT. The higher the VLT percentage/number, the more VL lets in.
Almost all vehicles sold in the United States come standard with tinted glass. To stay within your state’s legal limits, it is important that you compensate for the factory VLT before adding an aftermarket window. Check your state’s laws before choosing the VAT percentage.
You can buy pre-cut window tint for your car, or on a roll that you cut to fit.
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Think about your motivation, your safety, and above all about your state’s color laws before choosing the type and ratio of VLT.
Install window tint in a clean, dry, shaded, dust-free area – preferably in a garage. Be patient and don’t rush. Follow each step carefully to get the job done right. It can take 30 minutes or more to properly apply window film to each side window.
Use soapy water to keep your fingers wet. Do not crimp the film during installation. An extra set of hands is helpful.
Make sure you have everything you need before starting the installation. Consider purchasing an inexpensive installation kit that includes some of the items listed below:
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NEVER use commercial glass cleaners or those with ammonia. They can change the color of the toner.
Vacuum the interior to remove dust and dirt. Wash the windows inside and out well with the soapy water. Lower the window to clean the top of the glass, then raise the window to the closed position. Wet the window again. Use the razor scraper to remove dirt, grime or sticker residue.
Thoroughly clean around the window edge, gaskets, seals and any nooks and crannies that may hide dirt or grime. Dry the glass completely with the damp and dry microfiber cloths. Wrap a cloth around the moisture to dry under the window edge and seals.
It is important to decide which side of the film has the adhesive. Do not remove the adhesive lining. In this step, you do not apply the color, but use the outside of the glass as a template. Starting with the front passenger side window:
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Repeat these steps for each window. Once done, do not lower the windows for at least seven to 10 days to allow the glue to fully cure.
Bob Lacivita is an ASE and General Motors award-winning automotive technician, educator, and freelance writer who has written about auto repair and DYI vehicle maintenance. His work has been featured in The Family Handyman, a Reader’s Digest book, and Classic Bike Rider magazine. He has been a vocational and technical teacher for 25 years teaching automotive technology, as well as writing grants for state, federal and institutional grants. He also helped design a unique learning model that seamlessly integrates rigorous, relevant academic standards into career and technical education.
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* The percentages above are based on the percentage of visible light passing through the film called VLT% film. The lower the VLT%, the darker the color of the film.
* AS-1 is the line extending from the letters AS-1, found on most motor vehicle windshields that will run parallel to the top of the windshield.
* Mississippi state window tinting laws are always subject to change each year. Some cities and counties in Mississippi may also have city ordinances that may be a factor. Double check with your window tinting professional before using or keeping your existing window tint.
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Check the local Autoclude directory below to find a window tint specialist to either help install and/or remove your existing window tint from your car.
Related listings for windshield repair, glass coating and tinting, auto glass, panels, windows, etc., window tinting, window repair, replacement and installation
Since sunscreens also help control UV rays, they can help reduce your chances of getting skin cancer from overexposure. One factor that can affect the effectiveness of your blinds is how dark you choose to keep them. While you may want to opt for window shades that are too dark, there are laws you need to follow as well as things to consider.
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While you may want as much privacy as possible by using curtains, it could end up being a safety hazard. For example, if your windows are too dark, it may be difficult to see when you drive. You might think this doesn’t apply to side and rear windows, but it does. If you install curtains that are too dark, blind spots will enter your line of sight.
On the other hand, the law provides for curtains for security reasons. Take the example of a police officer approaching your vehicle. They may want to see the driver and look at anything inside the car. In a nutshell, the laws relate to the light transmission and reflectivity of your windows.
Different states have different color schemes. For example, a state might allow drivers to have at least a 70% VLT (Visible Light Transmission) rating, meaning all vehicles should have at least 70% visibility. If the VAT is less than 70%, you are not complying with the law. However, some states may have more relaxed requirements than others, and it all depends on the state’s weather conditions.
For example, in Alaska, where road visibility is quite poor, the VLT is quite high compared to Florida. For the former, the risk of using blackout curtains is mitigated by the fact that there is enough sunlight to let light into your car. Even in states with great weather, there must still be a minimum VLT percentage to allow adequate visibility for law enforcement officers in your vehicle, especially in the front seats.
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You need to watch for different darkness in window tints depending on the location of the windows you are dealing with. For example, California has strict limits on how dark tinted car windows can be. Tint laws allow front windows to have a minimum VLT of 70%, meaning they let in 70% of available light while blocking only 30%. The back windows in the car, including the back seat and the rear windows, can be any tint. While in states like Arizona, a minimum VLT of 25% is allowed on the front and rear side windows, with the rear window getting at least 10%.
When it comes to windshields, most state laws require little or no window tinting. Some laws also have provisions for the number of stickers and decals that can appear on your windshield as well as information about where you put them. As for the tint, most states oppose reflective, one-way glass, or other opaque materials. This is because it is easy to remove these items visibility.
Shadow laws have exceptions. This mainly applies to individuals with certain medical conditions that can be exacerbated by excessive exposure to the sun’s rays. Different states include different diseases in their exclusions. Some
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