How To Tint Car

How To Tint Car

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  1. With the hype over how illegal the use of auto tint is, why should you tint a car?  There are many benefits.  Interiors can be up to 60% cooler,  it offers a change in dangerous UV transference saving your interior.  It also blocks dangerous UV light from reaching you.  Privacy, what a thief can’t see he can’t steal.  In an accident, it offers protection from shattering glass.  It also offers safer driving by reducing the glare from  surfaces outside your vehicle.

    Don’t be fooled into thinking the darker the tint, the more protection it offers.  For cheaper tint like dyed film, this may be true, metalized films such as sputtered and disposition, this just isn’t true.  They may cost more, but the technology may keep you from a ticket and in some states a jail sentence.  So tint your car carefully!

    Types Of Film

    spray – I wouldn’t suggest using spray tint because it has to be sprayed evenly, which is nearly impossible coming from a can.  It’s easy to scratch and is nearly impossible also to get a good repair.  It usually doesn’t adhere to the glass and will start peeling in sunlight.

    dyed – This type is simply a dye, which absorbs heat.  Dyed film helps to disperse heat by storing it in the glass where it can be dissipated by the moving air outside the window.  This action even when the car is sitting still, keeps your vehicle up to 60% cooler in sunlight.

    deposition This technology is some what complicated.  The film is drawn through a tank containing metal ingots. A vacuum is created by reducing the pressure in the tank, which is then flooded with argon gas and the ingots are heated instead of like chrome where you are electrolyzing without the vacuum. The heat causes the metal to give up particles that migrate to the film’s surface. The density of the metal deposition is controlled by the speed of the film through the chamber.  So you would be bonding the metal into the tint, rather than plating.

    sputtered – This technology is even more complicated. Also done in a vacuum, sputtering is completed on the atomic level.  Using an inert gas, like Argon, the particles are bombarded through electrolysis, which would lead you to believe that this process is more like plating, but, this is simply a process called "atomic billiards."  This process isn’t that much different from deposition.  Your still implanting the metal into the film rather than plating.

    hybrid – To further complicate the issue, many films contain both dyes and reflective metals. By combining dyes and metals, the negative effects of each can be reduced without sacrificing performance. A good example is gray dye and titanium coating. If used alone, dye would darken the film significantly, while the titanium would produce a highly mirrored surface. When paired, less of each can be used, resulting in a film that is relatively bright and non-reflective.

    You should also make sure to check whether the tint will be compatible and not interfere with your satellite radio or navigation systems, especially if you are using a metallized tint film.

    The Law And Window Tint –  A good source of keeping up with the local laws is  Find your state on the list.  It is always a good idea to check with your local enforcement agency to see what the individual laws are and how to avoid being ticketed for illegal tint.  Some states will ticket out of state drivers and some even go so far as to make it a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine and/or 12 months in jail. 

    Most states observe the AS-1 eyebrow rule, which is based on the average height of the drivers view through the windshield.  It would be safe to not go past those little marks on the windscreen that are marked AS-1.

    Do it yourself or a reputable shop?   For most situations, your answer here would be to find a reputable shop.  It would be good for you to find a shop by talking to various auto dealerships and paint/custom shops to see who they would use.  don’t be afraid to caparison shop for the best bid, but also be aware that you almost always get what you pay for.

    Do It Yourself

    Your Tools -a hair dryer or heat gun, a 4" rubber squeegee or a Bondo hard card, a spray bottle with about 15 drops of Baby Shampoo mixed in, a five-in-one tool (also called a painter’s tool) a cutting surface if you haven’t ordered a pre-cut kit, butcher paper (plastic coated on one side-for making patterns), a snap off razor blade knife or a utility knife, razor blades, and paper towels (preferably blue shop towels), various screw drivers and such for removing trim or third brake light housings.

    Step Oneordering the kit (precut or roll).  Roll tint may be purchased at your local automotive parts store, but most of your local tint films will be the cheaper dyed film.  There are many places to order online and a simple Google search will turn up more than I can list here.  I suggest ordering precut, this will keep you from having to make patterns of your windows and possibly miscutting a piece and having to reorder.

    Step Twocleaning the windows  This might seem like an insignificant step, but if your windows are not completely dust free you will have tiny bubbles that cannot be removed, and if there is any oily or waxy build up from cigarette smoke or ArmorAll.  My suggestion is to scrape the entire window using a razor blade scraper, then clean it with a non-build up cleaner.  Be sure to use a towel that will not leave lint behind.  And if possible, don’t even touch the clean window with your skin.  As this will leave an oily residue as well.

    A special consideration is the window defroster lines. Be careful not to gouge these lines as any break in them will make them quit working completely.

    Step Threeapplying the tint  First make sure your piece is the correct size by holding it in place.  You should be able to tell if it needs trimming. Precut pieces are usually cut by a computer program to be very accurate, they should not need any trimming.  Trim rubber at the top of you door panels should either be taped out of the way with masking tape, or the door panel removed to make installation easier. 

    If you purchased a window film that has a removable layer that protects the glue, remove this piece now.  Often you can grab the edges with two opposing pieces of masking tape and pull apart.  Spray the window with the soap solution.  Place the piece where it aligns at the top usually staying a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch from the outside edge.  Using your heat gun and a squeegee start pressing the soapy solution out from behind the film.  Careful not to press the squeegee to hard or you could scratch your film.

    Continue this process on all windows.  Any heavily concave windows such as windshield eyebrows and rear windows, should have special considerations as to actually seaming smaller strips together.  This process will vary from vehicle to vehicle.  Another consideration, as mentioned in the cleaning process, is the window defroster.  You will not want to cover these lines with the film. The film will bubble and because of the heat applied the film could turn loose as well.

    Step Fourcare of the tint during the curing  It is normally best not to roll down your windows for about 48 hours after installation.  It would be good to park the vehicle in the sun and let the glue bake for a few day as there will be small bubbles of adhesive occasionally that will clear out as the moisture evaporates.  It is also good not to use any cleaners for a few days until the adhesive has cured.

    Step Fivecare after installation  Taking care of your new tint should not be a hassle.  Most tint films are fairly resilient to care and cleaning.  Just don’t use any abrasive cleaners or any cloths that may have a foreign substance that might scratch the film.

    Your should notice almost immediately the change in the feel of your car’s interior.  And hopefully you are impressed about the change in appearance as it typically gives the vehicle a more aggressive appeal that us car guys are always looking for. 

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