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Frequently Asked Questions About Car Window Tinting

Everything You Need to Know About Car Window Tinting in San Diego

No matter where in the country you live, window tinting offers plenty of benefits year-round. But if there were ever a list of cities where vehicles could most benefit from professional window film installation, San Diego would be near the top. Not only does window tint keep cars cooler in the sweltering summers, but it also lowers energy costs and increases privacy and security. If you’re considering getting your car’s windows tinted, let us help you out by answering some of the questions we hear about window tint installation.

What is window tint film?

Window film is most often made of several thin layers of a polyester material, plus a scratch-resistant coating, that blocks UV light, heat, and glare. In order to block sunlight and UV rays, window tint film also has different additives incorporated to minimize the amount of sunlight that’s allowed into the vehicle. These additives depend on each manufacturer and tint type, but can be anything from synthetic dyes to ceramic particles. Car window tint film comes in a variety of shades and performance levels depending on your needs. Film percentage numbers refer to the amount of light that is allowed through the film; the lower the percentage, the darker the film.

How durable is window tint?

Window tint film is installed on the inside of the glass for maximum durability - there’s no risk of damage from road debris, scratching branches, or extreme weather. Additionally, quality window film comes with a hard, scratch-resistant coating to protect from kids, pets, and other wear and tear from everyday use. However, that doesn’t mean window film is indestructible. You’ll still need to take care when loading and unloading objects with hard edges, like boxes or sporting equipment, into your car, truck, or SUV. Fortunately, window tint cost on a single window replacement is relatively inexpensive.

Why is blocking UV rays with tinted windows beneficial?

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are dangerous to people and car interiors alike. Long car trips with the sun shining through the window can result in sunburns and premature wrinkles (skin cancer is also a concern), and the same energy that burns your skin also fades car upholstery and carpets, as well as deteriorates dashboards. Many types of window tint film block close to 100% of harmful UV rays, so most car window tint will help keep your vehicle’s interior - and your body’s exterior - looking great for years.

Is window tint film energy-efficient?

Anyone in San Diego knows what happens when a car sits out in the sun all day - all that accumulated heat turns the interior into an oven. But window film reflects the hot sun, blocking about 35% to 60% of the heat from settling inside. That means less energy used and less strain on your air conditioning system to get the inside of your car down to a comfortable temperature.

Does window tint film prevent glass from breaking?

While it isn’t made for this purpose - and there’s never a guarantee your glass won’t break - due to the strong adhesives used to bond window tint to glass, the film will help hold pieces of shattered safety glass together in the event that the window breaks. Not only is this safer for you if you happen to be inside the car at the time of an accident, but it also means a much easier clean-up job for you or the auto body shop fixing your car afterward.

How does window tinting film increase security?

As mentioned above, window film holds shattered glass in place, but it also increases security and privacy. Dark window tint film will prevent others from seeing inside your car, which means you can feel at ease loading up the backseat with shopping bags or leaving your sweet car audio system unattended, without worrying about potential thieves.

What are the benefits of reduced glare?

The bright sun glaring against your windows is more than an annoyance - it actually causes eye fatigue and can lead to blind spots, a dangerous combination when driving. Window film can reduce glare by 50% to 90%, so even if you’re wearing sunglasses, your eyes will thank you.

How long does the window tinting process take?

Window tint installation typically ranges from one to four hours, depending on the vehicle type and how many windows are being tinted. Also, if your car already has window film that will need to be removed, that will add at least two hours to the process. But of course, time estimates are just that - estimates. Complications could crop up to extend the installation time, so keep that in mind when scheduling your appointment. Taking your vehicle to a reputable window tint installer, like San Diego Car Stereo, will minimize any issues or headaches along the way.

Why do my newly tinted windows look hazy?

Don’t worry - this is a completely normal and temporary part of the installation process. The haze is actually moisture that remains between the film and the window glass until the adhesive completely cures and the moisture evaporates through the porous film. This can take up to several days, and in some cases a month or two depending on weather conditions - window film dries fast in hot and sunny weather (lucky for us in San Diego), while cool and cloudy weather will slow the process.

How soon after window tint installation can I roll down my windows?

If windows are rolled down while the film is still curing to the glass, the tint will most likely peel off. In order to allow the tint ample time to cure, it’s recommended that you leave your windows rolled up for at least 24 hours after installation (some window film installers even recommend waiting two to four days).

What should I use to clean tinted windows?

At first, it’s a good idea to wait about a week before cleaning the inside of the window (outside cleaning via car washes is fine). Once you do clean it, use a window-specific cleaner without ammonia and a soft cloth or rubber squeegee (not paper towels). Foaming cleaners are great - there are even some made especially for tinted windows - not only because they’re usually ammonia-free, but also because they tend to be streak-free. You can also use vinegar and water or soap and water, as long as the soap is non-abrasive and ammonia-free.

Why does some window tinting turn purple?

The short answer is cheap window tinting film. Quality window tinting brands - like SolarGard, the brand we carry - feature color-stable film that won’t fade to purple. Another mark of inferior window tint is a bubbling effect that’s caused by excessive heat build-up. Cheaper window tinting film brands don’t block as much heat, and the adhesives can’t stand up to high temperatures. That’s why it’s always best to have your window tint installed by a professional instead of taking the DIY route.

Get the best window tinting installation in San Diego at Stereo Depot

If you’re ready to beat the heat, scare away glare, protect your belongings, and look good doing it, Stereo Depot can help. We offer tinting products from top manufacturers like SolarGuard and SunTek, plus a lifetime warranty on installation labor. Yes, we really are that confident in the quality of our supplies and the experience of our trained specialists.

Give us a call at our San Diego location at (619) 736-9964 or our El Cajon location at (619) 873-4641.

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