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Redusernab Asks: Do You Tint Your Windows?

Robert Emslie March 6, 2017 Redusernab Asks 29 Comments

The sun: life giver, tan-line maker, afternoon squint inducer, it’s literally the center of our universe, or at least our soar system. The thing is, the sun really doesn’t like car interiors. For years car makers have strived to make interiors out of materials that will stand up to daily exposure to things like the Sun’s damaging rays, inadvertent entry of rain, and even denim clothes. They’ve done a pretty good job but there’s only so much you can do, and sometimes car makers screw up. One of the most famous instances of this was when the British car maker Rover sold a bunch of Sterling cars here in America with grey leather interiors that within a little more than a year turned a sickly green.

How does a car owner fight back against so uncompromising a foe as the Sun? Usually with window tint. Illegal in some areas, and required in others, the demand for aftermarket tint has engendered a booming business as it seems many car owners like wearing car-shaped sunglasses. We’re curious if that audience extends to you. Do you tint your car or truck’s windows? If you do, how dark did you go, and did you do it for aesthetic or practical (like living in Phoenix) reasons? 

Image: Kustom Works Buffalo

  • P161911

    Even though I live in Georgia, I have only felt the need to go beyond factory tint on one of the many vehicles that I have owned, mainly for security reasons (don’t want people seeing what’s inside). My K-5 Blazer had the big rear side windows clear when I got it. I had the two rear side windows and the rear window tinted.

  • I have 35% on the front sides of the 4Runner. The shades almost matches the rear but is slightly darker.

  • 0A5599

    Depends on how dark the glass is from the factory, and how much heat is retained in the parked car. In the interest of maximizing air conditioner efficiency, I think my new wagon will visit the tint guy before summer.

  • Sjalabais

    Scandinavia calling, why would you keep the sun out?

    Best
    Living in the shadow of a mountain october-february

    • GTXcellent

      Ja, samme her i nordlige Minnesota

      • Sjalabais

        Haha, nydelig norsk! Lots of laws about that here, too. I associate dark windows with boy racers, and I can’t even go with sun glasses that colour shape my vision – so really nothing I lust after. Panoramic roofs that open up the sky though…yes, please.

  • dukeisduke

    My Tacoma came with privacy glass, so the rear window (backlite) and rear door windows were tinted, then the distributor (Gulf States Toyota) did the front door windows with 3M film. The Sienna has privacy glass, and our recent acquisition, the 2010 Forte Koup (my daughter’s car) was tinted by the first owner.

    I had the windows done on my ’76 Vega GT, but then when I got the ’95 F-150, I never did get its windows tinted.

  • Alff

    No. It’s all I can do to keep my hoopties roadworthy, much less work about frivolous things like tinting.

    • Kiefmo

      My DD still lacks such frivolities as HVAC and a radio, so yeah — tint is waaaay on down the line.

  • dukeisduke

    My Tacoma came with privacy glass, so the rear window (backlite) and rear door windows were tinted glass, then the distributor (Gulf States Toyota) did the front door windows with 3M film. The Sienna has privacy glass, and our recent acquisition, the 2010 Forte Koup (my daughter’s car) was tinted by the first owner.

    I had the windows done on my ’76 Vega GT, but then when I got the ’95 F-150, I never did get its windows tinted.

    A couple of pics of the new addition to our stable (5-speed manual!):

    • Kiefmo

      Don’t mind me, I’m just gagging from the smell-memory of the gallon of Armor All used (by the dealer detailer, I assume) in your new car’s interior.

    • Sjalabais

      Congrats! That’s a Kia I’ve never seen before. It’s a brilliant tactical move to give your daughter a manual coupé…that’ll attract the correct breed of son-in-laws (unless that’s fixed already).

  • I understand when people do it, but especially light greenhouses with thin pillars (as we all like them on our 80ies and 70ies exotics) become heavy and ruin the looks, imo.

    • Sjalabais

      When I drove my ’77 242 to Germany one winter in the early aughts, on studded tires, no less, people commented A LOT about the non-tinted windows. They just felt I was so visible inside the car. The news of my arrival in our village travelled so freaking fast, all my childhood friends knew already I had arrived before I could call/text them.

  • Dean Bigglesworth

    Went with 35% back in 2003 for privacy. Ideally all windows would be tinted or none of them, darker windows at the back kind of ruin the symmetry. Kind of like jeans which are half normal jeans, half jorts. I don’t really care anymore as far as this car is concerned, it’s starting to be a bit beat to shit after nearly 14 years which is why I don’t really have any recent pictures, so here’s an older one. Untinted front windows, 35% from rear doors back.

  • Fred Talmadge

    Yes 35% here in TX, which I think is the max allowed. It helps a little with the AC

  • The windows on the Audi are tinted to roughly 35% light transmission.

    It’ll be back to about 95% when I’ve washed it for the first time this year.

  • Jaap

    Dark Tinted windows are uncool. Green-tinted windows however are cool.

    • Timothy

      Cracked me up! I had a blue tint (70% sides and rear) put on my blue Roadmaster. Most don’t like it, but then again they also don’t like the whitewalls.

  • Zentropy

    No. I absolutely hate the look of it. I don’t live in a state where the sun blazes year-round, so I don’t need it.

  • Alexis L

    Yes, I was that guy who tinted an eight year old Saturn Ion (I know, I’m a car guy. Horrible.) I have very sun sensitive skin, and even living in Toronto it’s possible to catch a pretty decent one-sided burn just stuck in traffic on a summer afternoon.

    Now that I have a Focus ST, I think I’ll throw a light tint on this one, too. It is $300 well spent.

  • outback_ute

    I prefer non-tinted windows because it is helpful to be able to see where the driver of the other car is looking, and newer cars have UV-tint anyway.

  • In HS I tinted my Camaro and Monza myself and intended to tint the Pulsar but never got around to it. I tinted the rear doors and back window of our 1992 Saturn SL2 (that compound curve back window was painful). When dad handed me down his 1988 Grand Caravan with no tint I bought the film but never applied it. Since then the urge to tint has been slight.

    I like the look but can’t see paying several hundred dollars for it and while I can DIY, it’s never high on the priority list.

  • Windbüchse

    SoCal here. Been tinting every car since 1972. Some myself (student days) now professionally right after purchase. Typically, as dark as possible on the rear and 35% on the front. Windshield strip bottom to match the horizon for those late afternoon, into the sun drives. The high desert sun is not friendly in the summer (fall or spring either).

  • Krautwursten

    Nope. First of all it’s not necessary here due to climate, also tinting the windshield and front side windows beyond factory is forbidden for good reason, and only doing the rear windows looks stupid in my opinion.

  • Ed

    I have 20% on my car. Having black leather interior + parking out in the sun all day in south Florida + 86 degrees in February pretty much means that tinting is a must in south Florida.

  • ninjabortion

    No thanks, i wear sunglasses for my own eyeballs during the day so i can take them off and see at night. Too hot in the car? Crank up the ac. Park it out of the sun to avoid sun damage.

  • TechEd

    It’s almost a compulsory accessory in Australia where the UV levels are higher than any country in the Northern Hemisphere. Maximum allowed, legally, is 35%. Its effect is very noticeable.

  • TechEd

    It’s almost a compulsory accessory in Australia where the UV levels are higher than any country in the Northern Hemisphere except Nepal & Southern China. Maximum allowed, legally, is 35%. Its effect is very noticeable.

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