Purple car with tinted windows (Photo: @rohane via Twenty20)

How to Tint Car Windows

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Purple car with tinted windows (Photo: @rohane via Twenty20)
Tinted car windows can offer many benefits, including preventing exposure to UV rays, maintaining your privacy, and protecting the valuables you have in your car. But while tinted windows are a nice luxury, the rules and restrictions around them vary from state to state. If you don’t follow the rules closely, you could be in for trouble if you’re caught. Here’s how to check your state laws, choose the right tint for your vehicle, and even install the tint yourself.

How to Tint Your Car Windows

Step 1: Know your state’s laws. There are different rules about car window tinting depending on what state you live in. Before purchasing anything to tint your windows, make sure you understand the tinting rules and regulations about what percentage is allowed where you live. Failing to do so can result in fines and may require you to remove the tint. Rayno Window Film has a complete list of percentages by state. (Tinted tail lights are also subject to regulations.)
Step 2: Choose a window tint. A tint film is most often used when adding a tint to an existing vehicle because it’s the cheapest and easiest to install. Tint films options include dyed, metalized, carbon, and hybrid tinting films. Tint films also vary by how much light they allow in. Looking at examples is a good way to determine what your preferences are and what will look good with your vehicle.
Step 3: Clean your windows. Thoroughly clean the windows that you plan to apply tint to. You should clean both inside and outside to remove all dirt and grime. Anything trapped underneath once the film is applied will leave bubbles in the film and make your tint more vulnerable to wear and tear.
Step 4: Measure and cut the film. Measure the dimensions of your windows before you cut the film. Be sure to leave a minimum of one inch excess so that there is more than enough film to apply to the window. It is better to leave too much than to cut it too short.
Step 5: Trim the excess. Starting with your window rolled up, align the film along the bottom edge of the window and apply it directly to the glass. This should leave an excess amount of film at the top of your window. Once it’s lined up on the bottom, roll your window down and apply the remaining film to the top of the window. Use a knife to cut off the excess film that remains, but be careful not to damage the glass.
Step 6: Spray the application solution. Peel back the layer of film and spray on an application solution. This can be made at home or purchased online.
Step 7: Replace the film. Put the film back in place once the solution has been applied. Wear eye protection and gloves during this step to avoid potential injury.
Tinting your windows can help make your car feel unique. And, once you’ve made sure your state allows tinting on your car, your new look will go a long ways toward maintaining privacy, keeping you safe from harmful UV rays, and protecting whatever you keep in your car.