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Some Key Issues When Tinting Automotive Glass

It is critical to understand that when an aftermarket window tinting film is applied to a vehicles glass there maybe some noticeable differences and not just with the shade of the glass. Below are some things to be aware of.

Dot Matrix

Often on motor vehicle glass there will be distinctive border of raised dots on the inside of the glass surface acting as a defining edge differentiating the clear glass to the black ceramic like etched glass which is designed to hide the resin/Sika-Flex used to bond the glass to the frame work of the car.

Most people don’t pay attention to this distinctive border until a piece of film is laid over the top creating a more high-lighted effect, and typically the darker the film the more noticeable the effect will be. The visual change will look like a silvering outline which occurs due the water and air being trapped between the film that has been applied the raised dots.

The annoying part is that regardless of preparation and best practices followed, after installing film this silvering can have different effects from vehicle to vehicle and even on the same glass or car. It’s not uncommon for this silvering to sit up inconsistently despite the installer’s best efforts to create a uniform and consistent result.

Acid Rain

Another often noticeable occurrence is the visibility of acid rain/industrial fall out which is often formed on glass and the paintwork of your car typically from being parked outside and exposed the elements.

Often this will go unnoticed until a piece of film is laid onto the interior surface of the glass creating a dark background which will in turn create a high-lighted effect of these imperfections. This even occurs on brand new cars.

Don’t worry too much as this can be treated via an acid removal product with no damage either through the purchase of some products from an auto store or most detailers will be aware of this issue and be able to rectify the stains.


It is not uncommon for scratches to be present on vehicle glass from very light to quite severe and often will go unnoticed until a piece of film is laid onto the interior surface of the glass creating a dark background which will in turn create a high-lighted effect of these imperfections. This even occurs on brand new cars.

Hot Spots

Again it is quite common for glass to have imperfections randomly though out the glass from the heating process when it is manufactured, again this often this will go unnoticed until a piece of film is laid onto the interior surface of the glass creating a dark background which will in turn create a high-lighted effect of these imperfections. This even occurs on brand new cars.

Scuff/Rub Marks

Usually more evident with older cars though can be seen on new/newer vehicles as well , usually occurs when a hard object has been rubbing against the glass over a period of time causing a burn in the glass which typically will have a very silver appearance to it. This is often caused by camping gear in 4Wd’s or trade person’s vehicle from various tools etc.

Internal Weather Strips

In recent years there has been a situation where car manufacturers have been producing their vehicle internal weather strips which often makes up part of the door trim itself are no longer having a protective felt strip, instead they have opted for a raw rubber finish which creates complications for window tinting.

The biggest issue is that over time of normal use of the windows operating up and down the film will become scratched. A solution to this issue is applying an aftermarket felt strip to the vehicles rubber edge, however this isn’t fail proof and additional charges are applied for the installation and unfortunately does not come with any warranty. Over time this after market felt strips adhesive fails from the combination of heat and the up and down motion of the operation of the window which can create a mess and also may damage the tint which to rectify will be additional charges down the track.

The options are:

  1. Not to apply the felt, and have high likelihood of film scratching
  2. Apply aftermarket felt and have high likelihood of film being damaged
  3. Not to apply film at all and be exposed to the damaging effects of the sun

Existing Films and Glues

Often vehicles will be booked with for us for tint installation and upon inspection of the car there will be evidence of existing films and glues. This often goes unnoticed by the customer (and sometimes ourselves) until we are inspecting the glass in preparation for the install.

If it is only what we consider to be a minor left over amount of hidden glues we will just clean this as part of the process at no additional costs, however in the situation where a customer has attempted to remove the films and glues themselves it typically makes it a lot more difficult for the installers to then attempt to prep the glass for the install if it hasn’t been done correctly and thoroughly and additional charges will apply.

In addition once the film has been tampered with it is often the case that small tiny pieces of film and glues are left behind and for the best chance of contamination not to occur with your new install it is best practice that the removal be left to the professionals.

If you do an adequate job of the cleaning process i.e. glass cleaned thoroughly of all existing films and glue to an immaculate level there will be no additional charge.

Demister Bars & Other Vehicle Elements Etc

Unfortunately when it comes to the removal of an existing film from your vehicle there are a few issues you must be aware of. It doesn’t matter the age of the existing film or the condition of the existing there is a real possibility that that the bars/elements maybe damaged slightly or completely when removing the product.

There are recommended best practices that should be undertaken to remove the existing films and glues to give the best opportunity of a successful outcome without damage such as passively steaming every square inch of films from inside the car as opposed to aggressively scraping each window.

The issues of damage can still occur regardless of how much care and attention is devoted to the removal process. When you engage Class One Window Tinting to carry out a removal of existing film from your vehicle we will have you read and sign an acknowledgement form that you understand that this is the case, and that you accept the risks involved with damage occurring to the bars/elements and that you are willing to proceed with the works without Class One Window Tinting being liable for any damages that may occur.

Windscreen Tinting

It is illegal to tint windscreens as noted on our website, however some people request for them to be done. There are several issues to consider before electing to install tint on your front windscreen other than just vision. A considerable amount of heat is applied to the glass area in the preparation and installation process which can cause thermal stress, this can also occur through heat transmission when the windscreen is exposed to the sun, resulting in cracks occurring in the glass. The second major issue that can occur is water damage to critical electrical components below your cars dash, as a fair amount of slip solution is required to apply the film to the glass. If you would like to proceed with a windscreen install it will be an all care no responsibility approach from Class One Window Tinting. We strongly recommend against tinting the front screens of motor vehicles.