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A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide

Jason ┬Ě Jul 3, 2021 11:00 AM

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 01

You know the drill. When you take delivery of your new car, getting it tinted is the most important thing. As with most things, you will probably do your market survey, gather opinions from friends and try to make an informed decision. 

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 02

With that in mind - helping you make informed decisions -, we try to simplify window tints and help you understand what some terminologies mean, why the difference in prices and which one suits you the most.

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Heat rejection

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 01

Now, the foremost reason for applying tinting is to keep the interior of the car cool. Obviously, our Malaysian weather doesn't help things one bit. So when it comes to heat rejection, what does one look out for? 

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 02

First is total solar energy rejected TSER. As the name implies, this index will tell you how good the film is at rejecting solar energy, and consequently, heat. The rule of thumb is, the higher the TSER percentage, the better the heat rejection.

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 03

The other common index that tint companies bandy about it the infrared rejection IRR. Yes, infrared rays also contribute to the heat build-up in your car's cabin. The lesser infrared rays that penetrate your car, the better. 

On top of that, a good window tint should also block out ultraviolet UV rays as well (yes, they're harmful to your skin). Most modern, good quality window tint films now block out 99% of UV rays. So, don't get shortchanged. 

Visible light transmission 

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 04

This is where the biggest misconception of window tints come from. The general perception is that: the darker the shade of tint, the better it is at cooling down your cabin. This is not true at all. Visible light transmission is just to determine how dark your windows would be, nothing more.

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 05

As mentioned in the point above, the cooling capabilities of a window tint lies in the film's ability to reject solar energy (TSER), infrared rays (IRR), and also ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 06

While darker shades of tints are perceived to be more stylish, it does make driving at night harder. Also, there are rules governed by JPJ (our Road Transport Department) about how dark your window tints can be, as detailed in the picture below. 

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 07

It is absolutely plausible to have a window tint that has excellent heat rejection capabilities that is not very dark. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to pull a quick one. 

Solar or security?

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 08

Lastly, another factor to consider when choosing tints is the type of film. What does that mean? Well, fundamentally, there are two types: one for purely rejecting heat (solar tint), the other one is a safety/security tint, which makes the car's windows harder to break into.

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 09

In essence the safety-type film will give you a bit more peace of mind when it comes to car break-ins and snatch thefts (something quite rampant in Malaysia obviously), but it goes wihout saying that safety/security tints do cost more. 

Of course, this depends on your budget and needs. If you think you just want to reduce heat in your cabin, then by all means just get solar tint films. For some, they would prefer the added layer of safey/security tint. 

Type of tint film

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 10

There are many types of tint film, and they all vary in terms of their attributes. We break down the four most common type of tinting films found in the market. 

Types of tint
  Metallized Dyed Hybrid Ceramic
Cost High Low High

Very

High

Risk of
bubbling
Low High Medium Low
Discolouration No Yes Yes No
Heat/Ray
rejection
Good Moderate Good Very 
Good
Radio 
signal 
interference
High Low Low Low

Looking at the table, it can be deduced that the ceramic-type tint film has all the right attributes that you'd want. However, it also costs a pretty penny. In any case, it's best to choose one that not only suits your budget, but also your preference in terms of other attributes like we detailed above. 

Conclusion 

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 11

Armed with these information, you can now head to the tinting showrooms and make an informed buying decision. In any case, find a tint that is suited to your budget. However, it's never a good idea to skimp on tints.

A simple guide to window tints. Read this before you decide 12

I'm sure you've seen your fair share of bubbles forming on the windows of poorly-tinted cars. So, survey your options, choose according to your budget and preference, but uf it's too good to be true, it probably is. After all, in a country like ours, not having a tint is out of the question.

Jason

Road Test Editor

Jason's foremost passion is all things automotive, where he spent his formative working years as a Product Planner and Trainer. An Advanced Driving Instructor by training and an all-round enthusiast, Jason loves going into intricate details about driving dynamics. Will drive anything with 4 wheels and a steering.

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