How to Install Tinted Windows in Your Car

Installing tinted windows in your car isn’t a particularly difficult process, but it does require some patience. If you aren’t careful when applying the window tint, you can easily leave behind the air pockets or the folds that you often see on home-applied window tints. Window tint, when properly installed, lowers the temperature of the interior of your car and helps to prevent the washing out of the seat fabric and the parcel shelf fabric.

You’ll need to begin not by buying supplies, but by determining what level of window tint is legal in your community. Tinting comes in a variety of shades, ranging from limo black, which is virtually impossible to see through, to 5%, which is what many auto makers apply to vehicle windows. Usually, you will see 20% and 35% window tint as well. In many areas, the darkest window tint you can legally apply to your vehicle is 20%. You can check for window tint legality by contacting your local police department. They will let you know what tint grade you can apply to your vehicle without getting pulled over regularly.

Once you have purchased the window tint that is legal in your area, you will also have to purchase a squeegee. This will allow you to press water from between the window tint film and the window and ensure a flat installation. Use a rubber squeegee rather than a hard plastic one, as the hard plastic can scratch the window tint film or even tear it in certain conditions. You will also need a spray bottle filled with water, glass cleaner, and a razor blade.

Begin by cleaning the window thoroughly. Do this by holding the razor blade at a 45-degree angle and scraping any accumulated debris or stickers off of the window that you will be installing the tint onto. You can also use steel wool for this process, if you wish. Steel wool will eliminate the need for using glass cleaner. If you use a razor blade, however, wipe the window with glass cleaner and a clean cloth to remove all traces of dirt or other gunk that may have built up on the window and was not removed by the razor blade.

Next, unroll a portion of the window tint film. There are two sides to the film. One is a clear protective barrier for the window tint adhesive, and the other is the window tint itself. Cut off a length of the window tint that is slightly longer than the window on which the tint will be applied. Hold the tint on the outside of the window and use the razor or a pair of scissors to trim the tint to approximately one inch larger than the window on all four sides. The tint will be applied to the inside of the window, not the outside.

Spray the inside of the window with the water until the entire window is wet, and then remove 1/2 of the adhesive backing from the window tint. Spray the adhesive of the window tint with water, then align the tint over the window so that the four corners of the tint line up with the corners of the window. Use the rubber squeegee to begin gently pushing the tint against the window glass and working out all the air pockets that form. Do not press down hard on the tint until all of the air pockets are worked out. Once all the air pockets have been worked out of the first half of the tint, begin working the tint out of the second half, slowly peeling back the adhesive backing as you work your way across the window.

Trim the excess window tint from the window with the razor blade to complete the installation process.

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