All About Window Tinting
Window tinting is a relatively low-cost way to give your vehicle a new touch of class, an added elegance that transforms a previously ordinary car or truck into an eye-catching road machine. But it’s not just an ornamental luxury; it also enhances your overall comfort and driving experience. In this article, we’ll cover the whole spectrum of window tinting knowledge, so you can make an informed decision if you’re considering adding it to your ride.
For most of us, a car or truck is something of a personal statement, like classy clothes or a nice home, so the cosmetic enhancement that window tinting bestows on a vehicle—for a relatively small investment—is definitely a big benefit. But window tinting can also block up to 99 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. This lowers your risk of skin cancer and keeps your interior from fading and cracking. In terms of heat reduction, window tinting film keeps your car’s interior an average of 60 percent cooler. It’s provides a considerably more comfortable driving experience in the summer, and it may save you a couple of bucks on fuel because you don’t have to run the air conditioner as much.
Darker windows also make it more difficult to see what’s inside your vehicle, like the stereo, the GPS, and other valuables. Most thieves are less likely to spend the extra time it takes to evaluate the rewards of breaking into a car if they can’t easily see inside.
Window Tint Installation
Installation is a fast process but one that takes skill and expertise. The procedure usually doesn’t take more than an hour or two and can be a relatively cheap customization. Some shops even offer services starting at $50. The process is one of precision and craftsmanship, as the tint adheres to the glass immediately as it’s applied, and therefore not easily removed. Do-it-yourselfers sometimes find themselves feeling like they’ll be been caught in a spider web, and poor workmanship can lead to bubbling.
The State of the Art of Window Tinting
Basic window tinting technology was born in the 1960s when 3M introduced a flexible film that blocked UV rays. In recent decades, the technology has found its way into auto glass applications, but tint films and application techniques vary from shop to shop, and the cheapest option is seldom the best one.
There are even DIY kits available to do your own window tinting, but kits—as well as lower quality professional installations—can leave you with discoloration and bubbling a few months after application, so it’s important to find a good window tinting shop with a proven track record. Your window tint should look great when it rolls out of the shop, free of wrinkles, discoloration, bubbles and scratches. These kinds of impairments interfere with driver visibility, reduce the life span of the product, and let’s face it: they look awful, which is not what you’re going for when you get a window tint.
Removal and Updating
When it’s done well, and high-quality materials are used, window tinting should last at least 10 years. Still, like any other part of your vehicle, the film should be maintained with proper cleaning, and it should be replaced if damaged areas or natural wear start interfering with driver visibility.
Window Tint Care
Window tint film is tough stuff, but a little common sense in order, if you want to keep it looking great:
It’s best to wait one to two weeks after initial installation before cleaning the film because the mounting adhesive needs time to cure properly and fully adhere to the glass. After that, any glass cleaner—or plain old soap and water—work great. Use only a soft cloth or sponge to avoid scrapes and scratches. Avoid abrasive scrubbing techniques, paper towels and bristle brushes. Clean your film often to keep it free of dirt and debris, as this can cause minor scratches during cleaning.
2. A Little Extra Care
Use caution when you load and unload the vehicle cabin, being careful not to scrape objects against the film. And pay a little more attention to safety belts as you put them on and take them off, as some of the hardware many blemish the film.
Window Tinting Laws in Kansas and Elsewhere
Extremely dark window tints can make people inside the vehicle invisible to people on the outside, and some state and local law enforcement agencies consider this a safety concern for their officers, who want to be able to see inside vehicles during traffic stops. Some states have no regulations whatsoever, some limit tint darkness to 20 percent visible light transmission (an 80 percent reduction in visibility), while others only allow 70 percent. In Kansas, 35 percent is the maximum allowed. Here’s the Kansas regulation.
Some window films contain metallic components, giving them a mirrored look. Not only does this have the advantage of reflecting more light, it can also repel more glare and heat. However, some states have laws about reflective window tint, as it may momentarily blind other drivers.
A Good Investment in Your Driving Experience
Window tinting is a relatively inexpensive addition to any vehicle. It improves your driving comfort, enhances vehicle security and guards against harmful ultraviolet radiation. Oh, and it makes your car or truck look sharp, really sharp. If you’re thinking about a new tint for your vehicle, give us a call at (316) 262-8888. We’ll have you looking and feeling cooler in no time, without breaking the bank.