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car factory tint vs tint films

How to Find Out Your Car Window Tint Percentage

Whether you bought a new or second-hand car, it’s important to know what your car window tint percentage is. This is ­particularly vital if you are looking to further tint your windows and to ensure that the darkness of your tint adheres to your local law enforcement’s regulations. 

There are many reasons why ­you would want to tint your windows, ranging from climate control to UV protection, or even for safety reasons in the event of a crash. But how can you be certain what your window tint percentage really is and whether it’s a legal percentage?

We will take you through the process of how exactly you can determine and calculate your car window tint percentage.

First Things First, What’s the Darkest Legal Tint?

This will differ depending on the country and area you live in. Currently, the darkest legal tint films allowed in Western Australia is 35% on the front windows and 20% on the passenger and rear windows. You can read more about the darkest legal window tint in Western Australia here.

What Does the Tint Percentage Represent? 

The tint percentage represents the amount of visible light that can pass through the tinted window. So, if your window tint is 5%, it only allows 5% of light to come through and will, therefore, be a very dark tint. If it is 80%, it will be significantly lighter and will allow for 80% of visible light to pass through.

So, in a nutshell, the lower the percentage is, the darker the window will be. 

Factory Versus Aftermarket Tint 

There are two kinds of tint that you should consider. The names say it all, really. When your car was made, it came with factory tinted windows. Aftermarket tint is when you apply another layer post-manufacturing.

This also means that factory tint is embedded in the actual windows and therefore cannot be removed but you can only build on it with aftermarket tint. It’s important to consider both when calculating the overall percentage of your car window tint.

Another thing to consider is that, regardless of whether it is factory or aftermarket tint, chances are that your back windows will be darker than your front windows so always ensure that you calculated both separately. 

How Can I Calculate My Car Window Tint Percentage?

The first thing you will have to do is to check what tint percentage your actual windows are. In other words, the factory tint it came with as we explained earlier. 

Then, once you know what VLT percentage your original windows are, you multiply the VLT of the film you applied or are going to apply to the window. So, for example: if your Factory VLT is 60% and Film VLT is 7%, the equation to calculate your final overall tint percentage would be: 7×60/100 = 4.2%. 

That means that your combined factory and aftermarket tint percentage will be 4.2%.

But what if I don’t know what my factory tint percentage is?

If you cannot find out what the factory tint percentage of your car windows is, you can always find a tint meter to check the percentage. Simply roll down your window halfway and then measure the tint with the meter.

This is also the method that law enforcement uses to check car window tint percentages.

How can I get rid of window tint film that is too dark?

Realised that your tint is too dark? There are a few ways that you can remove the tint on your windows from the comfort of your own garage. 

Soap Method 

For this method you will need: 

– Dish soap and water

– Glass cleaner

– A knife or blade 

– Paper towels 

The first step would be to ensure that your windows are clean with no stickers. Then commence by slowly peeling away the tint by lifting it with your blade, starting in the corner of the window. Just a tip, perhaps test this on one of the smaller windows to avoid making unsightly mistakes. 

Hairdryer Method 

For this method you will need: 

– Hairdryer

– Glass cleaner

– A knife or blade

– Paper towels

– Cloth 

Ensure that you have an extension cord ready so that you can reach the car with your hairdryer. On the highest setting, blast the corner of the window with the hairdryer until the heat causes the tint to curl in the corner. This will allow you to carefully peel away the layer of tint. 

 Cleaning it Up

Whichever method you opted for, there will most likely be some adhesive residue left on the windows. Using your spray bottle, spray the soap and water mixture onto the windows and then scrape off the residue with your blade. Alternatively, you can use the hair dryer to heat the residue and then scrape it off with your blade. 

Finally, spray a generous amount of glass cleaner on the windows and clean it off with the paper towels. Your windows should be aftermarket tint-free now. 

Want advice about tinting your car windows?

You can chat to us about your preferences as we have a wide range available. All our window tint is made in America and is metal films that last longer, as opposed to simply using dyed films and all comply with the window tinting regulations in Australia

Contact us today so that our tinting specialists can help advise you on which tinting film is best for your needs and car while adhering to local regulations.