9 Pros and Cons of Tinting Your Vehicle’s Windows
Tinting a vehicle’s windows can look really sharp, but there is a lot more to tinting than just making your ride look good.
- Theft deterrence
- UV protection
- Glare reduction
- Decrease in solar gain
- Protection in accidents
- Reduced visibility in dark conditions
- State laws differ widely
- Potentially high cost
- DIY disaster risks
Before you tint, take some time to consider the potential benefits, and the possible disadvantages, that you could encounter.
To Tint or Not to Tint
Theft deterrence can be a great advantage to window tinting. When a potential criminal can’t see into your car or truck and see something worth taking, they are more likely to move on to better targets. After all, it’s not worth the effort of breaking into a car if there isn’t anything worth stealing.
On the flip side, though, if a thief can’t see into your vehicle, neither can law enforcement, so it’s recommended that if you are pulled over, to roll all the tinted windows down. The officer can then see that there isn’t anything hiding behind the tint to be worried about
UV, or ultra violet, protection is a major reason many people choose to get tint. UV radiation can slowly damage and fade upholstery, carpeting, and the dashboard. Preserving the interior means less money spent on replacements or repairs. It can also help increase the value of the vehicle when it comes time to sell it.
Glare reduction might seem like a small perk but when you’re driving a machine that could cause a lot of damage, any help in operating it safely is a good thing.
Tint levels can vary widely, but any kind of shading can make it easier to see the road, other drivers, and potential issues. Avoiding accidents means more than just saving money on your car insurance - it can save a lifetime of guilt.
Decreasing solar gain is another phrase for keeping the temperature cool inside your ride. When you park in the sun, the interior heats up. With tinting on the windows, some of that heat is deflected, and so the heat rises much more slowly. This means the inside of the vehicle feels less like a blast furnace, and allows your AC to reach a comfortable temperature faster.
Protection in accidents comes in the form of reducing flying glass. Tint is applied as a film, and when a window breaks during a collision, the film can hold much of the shards in place, and decrease the chances that you or your passengers will be struck and cut.
Reduced visibility is a consequence of tinting when the weather is poor, or it’s dark outside. During bright, sunny days a tint is great for reducing glare but when you reduce the light the tint may make it harder to see details while night driving.
This can potentially make driving safely more difficult, so consider it when deciding to tint, and how dark you’d like your tint to be.
State laws differ widely which means that the level of tint your car or truck has could be violating the local laws. This can apply even if your vehicle is registered in another state, and your level of tint is legal in the state you live.
For example, Georgia will enforce it’s tinting regulations on any vehicles on their roads, regardless of where the vehicle is registered or where the driver is from. This can be an expensive disadvantage if you happen to do a lot of inter-state travel.
Each state has their own rules about Variable Light Transmission, or VLT, and law enforcement often carry equipment to check the VLT of your vehicle’s tint so they can do it right on the spot, and issue a citation if it’s found to be too dark. Take some time to research the VLT rules so you can avoid a costly ticket.
Cost is a major factor in deciding to tint the windows, or spend the money on a different modification. There are several different kinds of window tinting, and the prices can range from nearly a thousand dollars to just over one hundred.
This wide range represents a number of variables, including whether you install the tint yourself, or hire a professional, and the tint that you decide to use.
- Ceramic tints are the top of the line in terms of quality, and UV protection, as well as generally increasing the value of your vehicle, and resists fading so it looks good long after you’ve had it installed.
- Carbon tints give a matte finish, which can be a desirable aesthetic. It also is really good at resisting solar gain, as well as losing interior heat during the winter.
- Metallic window tints are akin to carbon tints but usually have a shiny, reflective surface. They can interfere with radio signals and with tire pressure monitoring systems, so they often aren’t the go-to solution.
- At the bottom of the scale are dyed films, which makes them fairly inexpensive. However, they don’t block nearly as much as other kinds of tints, and the layers of film can separate over time and look shabby.
DIY disasters are always a risk when there is any element of Do It Yourself to car modification. There’s an inherent conflict in wanting the best but not wanting to pay a ton of money to have the best installed by someone else, especially on something that appears as easy as tinting.
The truth is that if you already have some experience, and you have a solid block of time you can spend then you will very likely have a great outcome.
However, if you’ve never installed tint before, and you aren’t naturally a patient person, then it will be worth the investment to hire someone. Installing tint yourself is a process that involves being very careful and having a high level of attention to detail. Rushing the installation can result in very ugly, bubbled film.
9 Pros and Cons of Tinting The Windows of Your Vehicle
Tinting is not strictly necessary, but it’s a highly desirable modification. However, due to the potential issues, and the number of options, it’s one that you want to think about carefully before moving forward.
You’ll need to consider which kind of tint you want, your budget, whether you want to install it yourself, and of course, be sure to check with your local tinting regulations to ensure you are following state laws.