Monday, June 25, 2012

Auto Window Tinting 101 – What You Need to Know

When it comes to adding style to your vehicle, there are few things that can do more than window tinting. However, it also offers many other advantages, including helping protect your interior from UV damage, keeping your car cooler and can even offer protection for those with medical conditions aggravated by sunlight. Of course, there are a few things you should know before you slap a sheet of tint on your windows.

Seasonal Considerations

Many drivers don’t realize that adding window tint to their cars can have a huge impact on their comfort throughout the year. For instance, just a slight tint can help block sunlight and heat during the summer months. This can make a drastic difference in your comfort levels, particularly when getting into a car that’s been parked in the sun during the summer. Of course, you should still use a windshield sun screen to really cut the amount of heat buildup in your car. During the winter, you won’t notice any adverse effects from tinting, either.

Health Considerations

Some individuals actually have a medical reason for adding window tint. For instance, medical conditions like lupus and eye health problems can be severely aggravated by direct sunlight. Other conditions include skin cancer, allergies to sunlight and photosensitivity. Adding window tint can save pain and suffering for these individuals.

Save Your Interior

While it might seem benign, sunlight is actually a damaging force of nature. All you have to do if you need proof is look at an item left in direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time. Paint fades, vinyl cracks, fabric fades and loses elasticity – sunlight is actually a slow death for the interior of your car. For instance, if you have leather interior, you’ll find that prolonged sun exposure can cause serious damage in a rather short period of time. However, adding window tinting to your vehicle can block the UV rays responsible for drying, cracking and fading your leather interior. Not only does that prolong your interior’s life, but it can have a beneficial effect on your time and finances as well. Less damage means less time and money spent on conditioners and protectants.

Legal Considerations

Of course, adding window tinting is not as simple as you might suppose. You might think that all you have to do is head down to your local aftermarket shop and buy a roll of tint. That’s wrong, though. Most states in the US have some very specific rules regarding the amount of tint (the darkness of the tint) that you can have on your windows. There are even laws that determine which windows can be tinted and how much tint is legal for each window. Understanding your state and local laws is vital. The best place to find out what your state requires in the area of window tinting is your state’s DMV website.

Which Windows Can Be Tinted?

Most states allow you to tint all your vehicle’s windows except the windshield. However, you do need to be aware that the degree of tinting varies with window placement. For example, rear passenger windows can have a darker tint than the driver window. Failure to comply with these laws can result in fines, and you might find yourself forced to remove the tint that you just paid good money to have installed.

As you can see, window tinting for your car can be a huge benefit, but there are some specific laws that you need to know prior to having it applied. You also need to remember that if you move to another state, your car might not comply with their regulations, so find out what to expect beforehand.

Don Elfrink is the owner and operator of AutoMatStore, an auto flooring company based out Columbia, Missouri. Before AutoMatStore Elfrink was the operator of a automotive production site. AutoMatStore focuses on all-weather, logo, carpeted and molded car mats.


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    1. Hi Adam,

      Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked the post by Don Elfrink of You have a great site also at

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      -Larry and Dee Blackman, LDJ Auto Body & Mechanical, Gibsonton, FL

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