Car window tinting, a popular practice for vehicle owners, involves applying a thin film to car windows. This film, often made from a polyester base with various additives, serves multiple purposes. It enhances the vehicle’s aesthetic appeal, increases privacy, blocks harmful UV rays, and helps regulate the interior temperature. Typically, tint is applied to the inside of car windows, maximising durability and effectiveness. But this raises an intriguing question: is it possible to apply window tint outside car windows? This exploration delves into the feasibility and implications of external window tinting on vehicles.

Feasibility of Exterior Tinting

Exterior tinting of car windows is possible, though it’s far less common than interior tinting. While the option exists, it comes with notable drawbacks. The primary concern with exterior tinting is its vulnerability. Being directly exposed to the elements, exterior tints are more susceptible to damage from rocks, road debris, and harsh weather. This exposure significantly reduces their lifespan compared to interior tints.

Despite these challenges, the market does offer specialised exterior window films. These films are designed with stronger, more durable materials to withstand environmental stressors.

However, even with enhanced durability, they typically don’t match the longevity and resilience of interior window films. This difference is a crucial consideration for car owners contemplating exterior tinting.

Here at EverClear Window Tinting, we strongly recommend tinting the interior of your car windows instead of the exterior.

Advantages of Interior Window Film

Interior tinting offers several protective benefits, primarily by shielding the tint film from external wear and tear; others include:

  • Protection from Elements: Shields tint from external damage, such as debris and harsh weather.
  • Durability: Less prone to peeling or bubbling, maintaining appearance and effectiveness longer.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Easier to install, with less risk of damage during daily use.

Disadvantages of External Tinting

  • Limited Range of Tint Shades: External tinting options may be limited compared to internal tinting. The available range of tint shades may be less extensive, limiting customisation options.
  • Challenging Installation Process: Applying tint film to the outside of windows requires precision and expertise. The installation process can be more challenging than internal tinting, often requiring professional assistance.
  • Legal Restrictions: Some regions have specific regulations and restrictions on external window tinting. Researching and complying with local laws is crucial to avoid potential fines or legal issues.

Weather and Environmental Factors

Various weather conditions, climate patterns, and environmental factors can influence external window tinting. It is essential to understand how these elements can impact the performance and longevity of your tint.

  • Extreme heat: High temperatures can cause the tint film to expand, potentially leading to bubbling or distortion. Choosing high-quality tint materials that can withstand elevated heat levels is advisable.
  • Cold weather: Cold temperatures can cause the tint film to contract, which may result in cracking or peeling. Opting for tint films specifically designed to handle frigid conditions can help mitigate these issues.
  • Humidity: High humidity levels can affect the adhesive properties of the tint film, potentially causing it to loosen or peel. Regularly maintaining your tinted windows and keeping your car’s interior dry can minimise these risks.
  • UV exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause the colour of your tint film to fade over time. Additionally, prolonged UV exposure can weaken the film’s adhesive, leading to deteriorated performance. Choosing tint films with superior UV protection can help prolong their lifespan.

For car owners residing in different climates or facing specific weather challenges, here are a few considerations:

  • In hot climates, opt for tint films with high heat rejection properties to minimise the heat entering your car’s interior.
  • In cold climates, choose tint films that are engineered to withstand freezing temperatures without compromising their effectiveness.
  • In areas with high humidity, regularly clean and dry your car’s interior surfaces to prevent moisture buildup under the tint film.
  • Select tint films with high UV protection levels for locations with intense UV radiation to shield you and your car’s interior from harmful sun rays.

Maintenance and Care

Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial for maintaining externally tinted windows’ longevity and optimal performance. To ensure your tinted film stays in pristine condition, follow these recommended practices:

Regular Cleaning

  • Use a soft lint-free cloth or sponge to clean the tinted windows.
  • Avoid using abrasive materials, such as rough cloths or scrub brushes, as they can damage the tinted film.
  • Use a mild soap or tint-safe cleaner diluted with water for cleaning. Avoid ammonia based cleaners as they can deteriorate the tint.
  • Gently wipe the windows in a circular motion to remove dirt and grime.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water to ensure all cleaning agents are removed.
  • Allow the windows to air dry or use a soft, clean cloth to pat them dry gently.

Protection from Scratches

  • Avoid using sharp objects or abrasive materials near the tinted windows, as they can scratch or damage the film.
  • Be cautious when placing items on the window sills to prevent scratches.
  • When rolling down or up the tinted windows, ensure there are no obstructions that could cause damage.

Addressing Common Challenges

Despite regular care, some common challenges may arise with externally tinted windows. Here are a few potential issues and their solutions:

  • Bubbles or Wrinkles: If bubbles or wrinkles appear on the tinted film, gently heat the affected area with a hairdryer and apply even pressure to smooth them out. Alternatively, take your car to a window tinting professional like the team at EverClear Window Tinting.
  • Peeling Edges: In the case of peeling edges, while you can try to use a small amount of clear adhesive or tint-safe adhesive to reattach the film, we’ve found that this will rarely lead to a satisfactory outcome and the tint will actually need to be replaced.
  • Stubborn Stains: Mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and water for stubborn stains. Apply the mixture to the stain and gently scrub with a soft cloth, then rinse thoroughly and dry.

By following these recommended cleaning and maintenance practices, you can keep your externally tinted windows looking great and ensure the longevity of the tinted film.