How much do you charge to window tint my car?

Generally the cost varies on the type of vehicle, window film type, and the amount and size of the window (s) to be done. Prices for window tinting usually range as follows….

Pricing is based on complete auto window tinting jobs ( excluding front windshields and sunroofs ) to cars with ” Clean ” Glass that has had no previous window film applied. Film removal is priced at $75 per hour…. Average removal time on 4 door cars is approximately 2 (on most) to 3 (on most severely sun baked, but not all) hours. Prices do vary on particular removal jobs depending on the age and quality of the original window film. We do accept cash and major credit cards. You can call us for exact quotes at A Shade Darker Window Tinting in Santa Rosa Ca (707) 546-2827 during our normal business hours.

Note* We have a lot of customers that come in with film problems to get an estimate on removing film they just had installed by someone who installed it for “cheap” only to find their “cheap” deal turned into not so cheap, due to the added removal costs. As a consequence the customers tell us that when they returned to the place of origin to have repairs done, only to find the shop no longer exists or the warranty “doesn’t cover that”. Keep in mind our business has been open and locally owned for 30 years.

So what we’re trying to convey by this notation is not to discredit the window tinting industry (because it’s a great industry) but to make you weary of ridiculously low priced jobs or buy this and get this free gimmicks. It is unfortunate that these deals are not designed with your best interest in mind and are usually last resort measures for their interest only. Window tinting of any kind should not be viewed just as a commodity because there is more to it than that. Good window tinting jobs can not be done for next to nothing. Quality jobs take time, knowledge, skill, and a highly advanced film to achieve a level of perfection. These ingredients do cost more, but are well worth the investment for you and your vehicle’s well-being.

How does window film work?

Tint is created when tinting film is bonded onto a piece of window glass. Tinting film is usually made out of clear polyester film with a very thin and even layer of tinting agents such as dyes and/or metals deposited onto the film.
A common misconception is that window tint is dark, and night-time driving is impossible when a car is tinted. The truth is that there are films of ANY darkness to suit your preference. Also, unlike sunglasses that do impair your ability to drive at night, tinting film is designed to reduce glare and not to impede night-time driving. State window tint laws also protect consumers against illegal tint that may put them in harm’s way during night-time driving.

Another misconception is that window tint is bonded onto the outer surface of auto glass. Window tint is applied on the inner surface, which protects the film itself from flying debris outside the car.

Once tinting film is applied to a window, the characteristics of how visible light comes into the car changes. Normal auto glass without tint reflects around 5% of visible light (known as VLR%), absorbs another 5% (known as VLA%), and transmits 90% of visible light (known as VLT%) into the car.

Depending on the type and quality of tinting film applied to a window, these percentages change dramatically. Some film tint is more reflective, and others absorb more light. The number you will most commonly see is the VLT% (Visible Light Transmittance). VLT% tells you how much visible light is allowed to shine into the car, and also indirectly how dark the tint looks.

Tinting film does not only block visible light, it also blocks harmful cancer-causing ultra-violet (UV-A and UV-B) rays as well as infra-red (IR) rays that cause heat to build up in your car. However, the effectiveness of film blocking these rays depends on the type of film, the manufacturer, and the quality of installation.

How long does window film last?

All window tinting has a life span. The cheaper economy versions ( which we don’t and won’t sell ) usually will last you here in California 2 to 4 years if you’re lucky ( depending on who put the window tint on ). You’re higher quality window films will last you a lot longer. We usually recommend and specialize in two particular types of XPEL window films with different warranties for different needs. These auto window films do very well for us and are quite predictable. Naturally everyone you talk to is going to tell you that their product is the best. What we’ll tell you is that we have tried all sorts of films over the years and we like how the XPEL window film holds up over time. XPEL gives you a lifetime nation wide warranty.

Should I wait for a nice sunny day to tint my windows?

Any day is a nice day to have your windows tinted! Weather conditions during window tinting installations does not affect the final outcome of the installation (unless you’re in a hurricane or tornado). We’ve Installed window film on days when it was 115f as well as 30f, rain or shine. The only thing we noticed is the curing time varies by a few days. People find that rainy/cold days are sometimes better for window tinting because of less crowds (from weather misconceptions about installations) which means quicker turnout times for you.

How long will it take to window tint my car?

Usually we tell people to figure on 1 day in most cases ( drop it off in the morning and pick it up in the evening ). Sometimes customers have to wait with their cars while the window film is installed. In this case figure on 3 to 4 hours to do it right without rushing through the installation. We suggest customers, if interested in having window tint installed, give us a few days notice to set up an appointment so everything rolls smoothly. Most window film jobs are completed within 1 day. Figure on a 2 to 3 day drying period after installation meaning that the window (s) can not be rolled down or worked during that time. The fresh window film appears a little blurry during the drying period which is not to be mistaken for imperfections. We usually tell people to give things a week. And after this time if something still doesn’t look right then please don’t be bashful and let us know. Window films do take two weeks to fully cure (in most cases) to look like they are supposed to, but the window (s) can be rolled down and worked 2 to 3 days after installation.

How do I care for my window film?

We usually tell people just to treat their window tinting like the paint on their car (except no waxing) and do not let it get so dirty that you can grow potatoes on it. Clean your window film with mild soap and water on the inside (which is where the film is installed) and on the outside of the car feel free to use whatever you’d like.
* Note* Use of harsh cleaners such as Windex TM or other ammonia based cleaners if used on any window films WILL shorten the life span of the window film.

We only recommend using a damp towel (like the towel you have just dried your clean car with at the car wash) or a mild dish washing soap and water solution mixture (ratio we like is 1 small drop of liquid soap, or baby shampoo, to 1 quart of water (1 quart spray bottle) or a professional silicone polish/cleaner made specifically for use on window film only. You can remove stubborn garbage such as tar (from road hazards or repairs), chewing gum and crayons (kids), old tape adhesive (from paper license plates or stickers stuck to the film) etc… by using a very small amount of 100% mineral spirits (not lacquer thinner!) and a soft towel if not done on a regular basis and used very moderately.

Will removing window film from my car ruin my rear window defroster?

Usually we don’t see many problems with defrosters and auto window film removals if good quality film had been used previously. The problems we do see is when someone’s window film dies (when it wears out ” bubbles “) and it is left on the vehicle in a ” dead state ” through a couple of hot summers. The film tends to become ” sun baked “. In these conditions the window tinting becomes brittle and usually has to be scraped with a razor, thus sometimes causing damage to defroster lines. Try to keep in mind that people usually have their window tint repaired when it first starts to look worn from the sun ‘s effects. These cars usually never have defroster problems associated with film removal. This is where the quality of the film comes into play. We feel ( just like parachute purchases or any thing else ) that you might pay a little more up front for better quality, but the long run benefits out weigh the initial cost difference.