A Cool Way To Beat The Heat, Give Your Vehicle A Makeover

Who doesn’t enjoy driving around in a car with tinted windows? Darkened glass obscures the interior and reduces the amount of ultraviolet rays the cabin absorbs.

"Modern vehicles are designed with larger windows to allow more sunlight in. The downside of that for some people is feeling like you're driving around in a fishbowl," said Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association. "Even if people don't mind the openness, there are clear window films that reduce exposure to UV rays."

Window tinting is a widely used term with a very specific meaning. Tinting refers to glass manufactured in a specific shade or color. Windows can also be shaded with a piece of film affixed to the interior portion of the glass.

Below, Smith a 30-year veteran of the window film industry, offers distinctions and care tips for shaded glass:

  • Tinted glass doesn't require special care. Traditional glass cleaners don't pose a threat to the finish.
  • Tinted windows are commonly backed by a manufacturer's warranty. This wasn't always the case and offers consumers more protection for their purchase.
  • Film (which applied to the window instead of part of the fabrication) may need to be replaced over time. Installed properly, window film lasts years and years, while improper installation allows air bubbles and impurities to reduce the product's efficiency and lifespan.
  • Don't pick at it. Film that starts to bubble or tear will need replacement, and picking at the film will only erode things further.
  • Clean window film with a soft, non-abrasive cloth and window cleaner. Any standard window cleaner can be used with today’s window films, even those containing ammonia.