A sunlight-drenched home, the rays piercing the clouds, baking your floors, and warming your pooch, is a damn fine thing. The fishbowl that is your car, where the sun literally cooks you from the outside in, however, is not great, Cotton, not great. Thankfully, window tinting is a thing.

Tinting your car’s windows has been around for decades, but it isn’t as widespread as one might think. Likewise, a lot of the particulars about tinting your windows—i.e. how much it costs, how it’s applied, and if you can do it yourself— aren’t guaranteed to be known by the general public.

Luckily for you, Car Bible’s editors swear by window tints and have all the answers. It’s time to dim the lights!

What is Window Tinting?

Essentially, window tinting is the act of making your windows darker so it reduces sunlight or visibility into the cabin.

How Does Window Tinting Work?

Tinting your car’s windows involves taking a transparent piece of darkened film and applying it over your car’s windows. This reduces the amount of sunlight allowed into the vehicle, while also reducing visibility for those outside looking in.

What’s the Difference Between Factory and Aftermarket Tint?

The primary difference between a factory tint and an aftermarket tint is who’s doing the tinting. For factory tints, the car’s manufacturer is installing a tint that conforms to the legal code for nearly the entire country. These are usually fairly minor tints and are backed by the car’s factory warranty.

An aftermarket tint is one you have done after you’ve purchased the car and through a third-party retailer. These can be done by yourself or by a professional tint installer. These are usually backed by the tint manufacturer’s warranty, though that may depend on if you get it done by a professional or not.

How Much Does it Cost to Tint Your Windows?

Here’s a basic assessment of how much tinting your windows is going to cost.

  • Professional

Getting a professional to tint your windows is going to be pricey. Labor is expensive, and installing window tint is an oddly laborious process given all the necessary cutting, measuring, and alignment. You’re looking at a minimum of $100, for what can only be described as “that doesn’t quite look right,” to a couple of thousand dollars for your high-end tints on high-end cars.

  • DIY

If you’re going to be doing it yourself, which you should, tinting will cost way less than having a professional do it. Really, your only costs are going to be your tinting supplies. That ranges between $50-400 depending on the brand of tint you use and how much material you need. We’d hedge toward the middle of that range. You don’t want cheap, as those will fade, but you don’t need super high-end for your clapped-out Honda Civic.

How Do You Remove Window Tinting?

Easy, follow the How To Remove Window Tint guide from our friends at The Drive!

Car Bible’s Glossary for Window Tint

Welcome to Bible School!

  • Squeegee

A squeegee is necessary to apply a new window tint to your car. You can also use something called a hard-card, which looks similar to a credit car.

  • Tint Percentage

Tint percentages specify how dark the tint is. Different states have different legal limits for how dark you can make your car’s windows. Check your local laws to see what’s what in your home state.

  • Pre-Cut

Pre-cut window tint is a tinting application that’s already been cut by the factory and should apply directly to your specific car.

  • Legality

As mentioned above, some states have different legal limits to what’s allowed and legal. Some states outright ban window tinting, as well. Check with your state’s DMV to see what the deal is with yours.

The Car Bibles Questionnaire

Car Bibles answers all your burning questions!

Q: Is It Legal to Blackout Your Car Windows?

A: No.

Q: Does Window Tinting Increase Your Car’s Value?

A: Depending on if your tinting was done professionally or very well-done, it may. Enthusiasts and families alike use window tinting to reduce the amount of sun inside the cabin or reduce the amount of visibility within. It can also be easily undone, so it can’t hurt your car’s value.

Q: Can You Tint a Financed Car?

A: You can. You can also put it on a leased car, as tinting your windows isn’t permanent. When you have to turn it in, you can just take it off.

Q: How Much Does It Cost To Remove Window Tint?

A: Depending on if you do it yourself or have a professional do it, it can cost between $0-$50.

The Window Tinting Video Tutorial

Car Bibles’ editors understand that not everyone is a text-based learner. For those kinesthetic people out there, we have your back with a video showing you exactly what window tinting is, how it works, and how much it costs. We pulled it from one of our favorites, and most trusted, sources and it’s a great additional resource.

Car Bibles’ Favorite Window Tinting Products

You can buy window tint and tools at almost every auto parts and home improvement store. As well as online stores like Amazon. You have a sea of options to select from. That’s where we come in and offer our best suggestions for you! Isn’t that easier? Check’em out.

Window Tint

Microfiber Towels

Window Cleaner

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