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What You Should Know About Tinted Windows

Have you ever returned to your car in the middle of summer and found the inside scorching hot? Sure, you can crack a window to let some air in. However, that can open you up to bugs and moisture problems if it rains.

The best way to keep the sun out of your vehicle and increase its privacy is with tinted windows. This involves putting a layer of film onto your vehicle’s windows in order to reduce light passing through.

Here’s everything you need to know about tinted car windows and if they’re the right choice for you.

Types of Window Tinting Films  

The first thing you should know is that there is a wide range of different car window tinting options available for purchase. How they work and how you care for them will depend on the type. Some may also cost more than others but provide more durability.

Dyed Film  

One of the most affordable window tint options is the dyed film. Dyed variants block sunlight using multiple layers of infused dyes. These dyes absorb solar energy and can reduce the inside heat of your vehicle.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind with dyed film, though.

First of all, some films only have the dye applied to the surface. This makes them less durable and prone to fading.

Additionally, the dyed film doesn’t provide much protection against UV rays. However, it is available in a variety of shades and opacity levels for a lower price.

Metalized Film  

A metalized window tint is a step up from dyed film. The film uses small particles of metal as the UV ray blocker instead of dye. As a result, you end up with a much shinier finish than the alternative.

What you end up with is a stronger window that is more effective at blocking heat and UV rays. It’s a good option if your car tends to run hot or if it has weak air conditioning.

Carbon Film  

Where you start to get the most tinting health benefits is with carbon film. These tinted windows present a matte finish that blocks a little under half of all infrared radiation. There’s no need to worry about glare or excessive shine.

Since there’s no metal used, it won’t mess with your cell phone signal. It won’t fade over time and will last for several years. The only downside is the higher price tag.

Ceramic Film

Ceramic film is the best kind of auto window tinting currently available. It’s the best in the world and has a price point to match. This type of film is made using small ceramic-based particles that reduce heat and don’t interfere with your phone signal.

On top of that, ceramic film provides shatter resistance to your windows and blocks almost all UV rays.

How Window Tinting is Applied  

There are multiple steps that go into applying a window tint. It’s not just a matter of replacing your window or spraying on a coating.

While you can put on a window tint on your own, it’s advised that you let a professional do it. Tint that hasn’t been installed properly will still let in heat and will not strengthen your car windows.

Keep in mind that car insurance may not cover tinted windows. You’ll need to let them know about any modifications and if you can adjust your policy.

Cleaning and Prep  

First of all, you need to prepare your vehicle before tinting car windows.

Your vehicle windows first need to be assessed for any kind of damage that will interfere with the tint application. The auto detailer may need to remove old tint film and strip away any oil or grease. They need a clean slate before they can apply the new film.

Next, they’ll need to measure the windows so you can get a seamless installation.

There should be no gaps where light spills through. Most of the measuring and fitting will happen on the outside of your vehicle.

Cutting and Application  

Your certified window tint installer will then cut your tint to size by hand. They may also have pre-cut tints based on your manufacturer’s specs.

Even though they measure the window from the outside, it’s applied on the inside of your vehicle. This is generally the shortest part of the job but can vary depending on how easily they can access the windows.

Once your vehicle has been returned, drivers will need to take special care not to roll down their windows. The film can take upwards of a day to fully adhere and bond to the glass.

Consider Laws in Your Area  

Should you tint your cars’ windows, though? While there are many benefits, you have to consider whether you’d be breaking the law.

In Ontario, professional window tinting is legal. However, it all depends on the type you purchase.

For example, there is a ban on aftermarket tinting on windshields for all vehicles. You can have a factory tint on the top 75 mm portion of your windshield, though. Side windows can only have as little as a 70% VLT.

The backside and rear windows have no limit as long as you have functional side rear-view mirrors.

Percentage of Tint  

The percentage of tint refers to darkness and efficiency at blocking light. A 70% tint has a low opacity. Going as dark as 5% tint would make it very difficult to see inside of a vehicle and provide the highest efficiency at keeping your car cool.

Maintenance of Tinted Windows  

Proper car maintenance is key if you want your tinted windows to last as long as possible. However, you can’t clean them exactly as you would have beforehand.

Clean the windows in the shade to make sure streaks aren’t left behind if your cleaning products dry too quickly.

Avoid soaking the edges of the film or you may cause peeling. Use a soft material so you don’t scratch the windows.

As for what cleaners to use, opt for a gentle ammonia-free solution. You can also make a homemade solution out of baby soap and rubbing alcohol.


Tinted windows are a great investment if you want a cooler car and health benefits. They only take a few hours to install and can last years if treated well. However, you’ll need to make sure you aren’t getting too dark of a tint and end up breaking the law.

Our services include headlight, audio stereo, and window tinting installation. Contact us to learn more and get a quote.

About AudioMotive

For over 10 years, AudioMotive has and continues to be, Ottawa’s premier vehicle upgrade experts. With more than 25 years of combined industry experience, we proudly specialize in all things related to HID lighting and mobile electronics sales and installation.