The ultimate tint guide
Alright I have been seeing a lot of threads on tinting and have decided to make a thread about tinting the windows.
, tinting is something that can probably only be done correctly by a professional. You can do it yourself but its going to take you a couple of tries and really will never look as good. Most shops charge $150-250 for the ZX3 front 2 door windows and the rear windows. The ZX5 body style will cost a little more and will probably be $150-300 as well as the sedan, wagons also will be around this price.
How does tinting work?
Tinting is done by placing a film over the inside of the windows, it is applied using a water based glue. Right after it is applied it is common to notice swirling or water visible on the inside of the tint between the window. These will go away as the tint dries. Most tints now adays are scratch resistant so if you happen to bump the seatbelt metal against it when you are getting out no harm done, but tint is fragile so be careful even though it is scratch resistant doesn't mean it can't happen.
You can find your states tinting laws here: www.tintdude.com/laws.html
this is a good info source and just in case you Michigan owners are curious it is illegal to tint the door windows in the front but most shops will do it as long as you sign a release form.
What type of tint is right for you?
Well, there are a bunch of different shades of color and tinting darkness. The color is all about personal preferance. But the darkness level actually has a legality issue involved plus personal driver saftey. I would say don't go too low otherwise at night you won't be able to see out the back of your car and might be endangering yourself. But like I said it's your car not mine and personal preferance is all up to you. The % is how much light is being let in so 50% is 50% of the light outside shining down coming in, the lower the tint percent 35%, 25%, 5% are getting darker in that order.
Risks involved with tinting:
When you tint a car you are adding something that wasn't there from the factory so you run a risk of it looking not as nice as you thought. It is very hard to get a perfect tint done without minor imperfections. Dust and such can be cleaned off only to a point. Most tinters will leave small small patches of dust which might be noticable to you while looking right at the tint but you must remember *you shouldn't be looking directly at the glass for imperfections * stand back about 4 feet away from the car and look through the tint. Another risk is that the dot matrix pattern on cars can leave a whitish grainy apperance around the windows because the tint will not properly stick, one way to resolve this is to have the tinter sand down the pattern so the tint will stick to it. Another problem is bubbling. Bubbling is caused by a mirid of things, people using windex on the windows the tint not being cut properly or attached, or just the tint getting old and needing replacement. Last but not least is the law, the law can always stick their hands up you know where and ticket you for tinting and have you remove it and come back for a light test. This is why if you are thinking about going really dark, try and make the rear of the car darker than the front, this will give it a more "factory" look.
OK so now you've decided to tint, where to go?
Take your car to a place you have heard good things about, word of mouth is usually a good way to hear about tint shops. But look for places that have had professionals working in their shops for a while and have done tint on your style car, don't let your car be the test mule. Look for a shop who can give you a lifetime warrenty. This will ensure if you ever have a problem you can just take it back into them and they will replace your tint for free, this is a definate plus if you plan on having your tint for a long time. Also shops that back their work will probably do a better job.
So now its tinted how do I keep tint clean?
Well there are a couple ways of keeping your tint clean, remember the most important thing is NEVER USE AMMONIA, this is in products like windex and other brand glass cleaners. Ammonia is used to remove tint so dont put it on the inside of your windows! You can use it on the outter glass but never use it inside. To clean the inside use a combo of water and soap or try and find glass cleaners that say "tint safe" on them and make sure they don't have ammonia.
NEVER USE AMMONIA!!!!
Well I hope that helps feel free to add anything I may have missed in this. If you're looking to get your tint done good luck and you'll probably really like it! I know I do.
(((((goinloco1's thread has been merged with this thread. no reason to have 2 tint stickies. this thread was created first and has more information. goingloco's tint law post can be found at post #73.