One of the most frequent questions our specialists get asked about automotive window tinting is to explain the difference between factory tinted windows and aftermarket window tinting.
It very common for vehicles to have some tinting applied in the factory. Most newer models, especially SUV’s and Mini-Vans have a factory installed tint with approximately 15% visible light transmission on most windows except the windshield and driver and front passenger windows.
What are the benefits to aftermarket automotive window film? The truth is the factory tinted glass doesn’t provide nearly the same benefit as professionally installed window film. Tint from the factory is really more of a cosmetic enhancement, and while it slightly reduces glare, factory tint doesn’t deflect heat or protect the vehicle occupants from damaging ultraviolet UVA and UVB rays.
At top tier shops with the Autobahn™ seal of approval, you will find dealers that maintain the cosmetic aesthetics of your vehicle, to ensure you drive away safe, satisfied and looking great. Here’s how they do it:
Achieve Cosmetic Consistency
We ensure our after-market tint matches the factory tint in both shade and degree of reflectivity. At Autobahn™, we have a large selection of window film in a wide variety of shade levels, as well as tints that are reflective and non-reflective. In most cases a non-reflective window film will match perfectly to the factory tint on the rear glass.
The aftermarket, professionally installed films by Autobahn™ prevent 99.9% solar heat, and UVA and UVB from getting in through those windows. This means your vehicle will remain cooler all summer long, and have to rely less on your air conditioning system. This results in tangible fuel savings, that add up over time.
Our aftermarket window films can also protect driver and passengers from injuries caused by glass shattering. In the event of a motor vehicle incident or a crack from a stray pebble or rock, the adhesive on aftermarket window films acts as a protective layer that holds glass together in one piece instead of shattering all over the inside of the car.
Autobahn™ dealers have creative solutions to almost any challenge. Some SUV drivers want window film installed on the inside of their factory tinted windows, to gain double the heat rejection and UV protection without adding any reflectivity to the glass.
We Know the Limitations
We are aware of the local laws around aftermarket window film. We follow the guidelines to ensure each tint installation meets window visible light transmission films statutes. In most provinces, the installation of window film on a windshield is limited to a small strip across the top of the windshield, and is not permitted on front driver or passenger side windows.
We also are aware of technological advancements in the rapid growth of on-board electronics, and can reassure our customers that our aftermarket window film won’t interfere with the operation of their Bluetooth, GPS signals, radar detectors or premium satellite radio options like XM or Sirius.
More Protection is Better
If you are looking for increased heat rejection in the summer, better heat retention in the winter, improved security and privacy, and 99.9% rejection of UV rays in your vehicle, aftermarket tint is the only way to go. Give us a shout today, we would love to answer your questions and help find a qualified dealer near you.
After a tint job, motorists will often experience cloudy or blurry windows. This is very common problem. Autobahn technicians are trained to ensure that your window tint is perfectly installed from the moment you pick up your vehicle. Even still, there may be a bit of haze on your windows for the first few days. Here is why it happens, and what to expect after your tint job is complete
Climate and Window Film Installation
With traditional installations this is completely normal and temporary. For the first few days after your windows are tinted they might appear cloudy, hazy, and you may see little water pockets forming underneath the film. When windows are tinted, the squeegee can only remove a certain amount of the water from between the film and the glass. As the film dries, the remaining water may form little bubbles. Window film is a porous material that allows water to evaporate, so these water pockets will simply evaporate and go away by themselves as the film fully cures to the glass. The amount of time before your new tint will be totally dry is determined by the skill of the installer, the amount of sunlight it gets, and the type of film chosen. If it’s cloudy and overcast outside, it will take longer, if it’s hot and sunny, then the film dries very quickly. With a typical installation this could take anywhere from 3 days to one week. In the winter you can expect this to take a bit longer because of the moist cool air slowing down surface evaporation.
Two Types of Haze
Installation Haze: Installation haze is what is described above. Tiny molecules of water are trapped between the film and the glass and evaporate over the course of a week or so. This effect can be minimized by spending extra time with a heat gun during application, or making a few extra passes with a squeegee during installation. Give it a few days and your windows will be perfectly clear, just as expected.
Tip: Avoid any extra stress on your windows during the curing period, this includes rolling the windows up and down. You are best to leave them closed until the films are fully cured.
Low-Angle Haze: Low-angle haze is a completely different sort of blurriness altogether. This type of haze refers to a fuzziness in the windows that is only visible when looking at a steep angle through the glass such as a windshield or a side window in front of you. This is not seen in all films, but it is visible in some ceramic “nano dispersion” films. To create a ceramic film of this type, the polyester film is surface coated in a solution with tiny particles of ceramic. If you were to look at them under a microscope you would see that they are not completely round, they are actually more of a pebble shape. That means that when light hits them at a very low angle there is a slight disruption in the light transmittance that causes a blurry effect.
Tip: To combat this problem, you should consider going with Hüper Optik Ceramic films. Where traditional blends cause low-angle haze, Hüper Optik Ceramic’s particles are “sputter coated”one titanium nitride molecule at a time forming more of an organized structure than the random orientation of a “dispersion” film.
Whether you’re driving, at home gazing out at your garden, or sitting by a window at work, you actually may be suffering continual skin damage. That is why the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends window films.
exposure to the sun
What does “sun exposure” mean to you? Most likely you’re imagining a day at the beach or being outside for an extended period of time, but the truth is millions of Canadians are getting a large dose of sun exposure in two places they least expect it- in their homes and vehicles.
Whether your favourite chair is next to a nice big window, or you have to commute to work in your car, if you are unprotected, you’re putting yourself at risk for irreversible skin damage. It’s recommended that you take protective measures like full-coverage clothing, applying sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and donning a hat and sunglasses while driving-especially if you drive a convertible.
Those solutions are fine in theory, but it’s easy to forget sunscreen and a long sleeve shirt might be simply too hot to bear. So, if you’re frequently near a window at home, in your car or even at work, the single best safeguard against UV damage is transparent window film, or “window tint”. Protective window film is treated to screen out damaging UVA and UVB rays, and can be applied to your home, commercial or vehicle windows.
Preventing Car Trouble
One of the main selling features of a vehicle is a sunroof, and number of windows. Unfortunately, the laminated windshield is the only window that comes with both UVB and UVA protection. The side and rear windows, even if the glass is tinted darker, provide almost no UV protection.
Advanced window tint is rated to block up to 99.9% of UV rays, and can go a long way to prevent skin damage to the driver and the occupants. Each province has different regulations around how dark a tint is allowed and how many windows it can be applied to, but even clear UV rated window tint can almost eliminate skin damage from the sun.
Car Exposure Facts
Sun Protection In your Car, Home & Office
Vehicle, residential and commercial window tint comes in a variety of tints has many benefits. In addition to blocking out the harmful UV rays that accelerate skin damage, vehicle, home or commercial window tint also: