How To Choose A Car Tint? (8 Minutes Read)
You’re interested in getting a car tinted for your brand new car. Now what? There are tons of ‘kedai tinted’ nearby and there are so many brands out there, how do you choose? Some questions pop up like, What are the JPJ compliance rules for tint? What does security tint do? What should my budget be? Fear not, we will explain in detail everything you need to know regarding how to choose a tint.
The main reason to get a tint is to protect you from the Sun’s scorching heat in Malaysia’s weather. Seeing that Malaysian spend lots of time in the car, commuting to work, going out with friends & family and being stuck in traffic jams, it is crucial to protect yourself and your loved ones from the heat in the car. How much heat should the tint reject to keep your car cool? Well, as much as possible. You will be looking at specifications and terms that may sound confusing, but let’s break it down.
- Darkness of the tint : Visible Light Transmission (VLT%) – The higher the VLT, the brighter your tint
- UV protection : Ultraviolet Rejection (UVR%) – The higher the UVR, the more the protection against harmful UV ray that will harm your skin
- Heat from Infrared : Infrared Rejection (IRR%) – The higher the IRR, the better the protection against Infrared Heat
- Total heat protection from the sun : Total Solar Energy Rejection (TSER%) – The higher the TSER, the better the overall heat rejection of the tint
For simplicity sake, the main thing you need to focus on is the TSER for the best heat rejection. TSER of 50% and higher are considered as better quality tint in the market. TSER is like the average of all the other 3 (VLT,UVR,IRR) and is the most accurate way to compare heat rejection. Some shops may try to sell you on the high IRR (more than 90%) and mislead you to believe that your heat rejection is more than 90% but that is simply not true.
Another way to understand heat rejection is to feel the heat that it rejects from the tint shops as well. Most of the tint shops today have a demo tool to allow customers to feel the heat to better visualize how it will feel. To some, it is confusing to look at the numbers to compare but feeling it will give a different perspective towards the expectation on the heat rejection.
Type of film
If you look into more details, the type of film plays a big role as well in determining the right tint for you. There are a few types of tint in the market.
|Type of Film||Description|
|Multilayer Sputtering Film||Ultimate heat rejection, highly resistant to colour fading, high clarity, glare reduction, heat reflective|
|Sputtering Film||High heat rejection, highly resistant to colour fading, high clarity, glare reduction|
|Ceramic Film||High heat rejection, highly resistant to colour fading|
|Carbon Film||Moderate heat rejection, does not fade|
|Metalized Film||Moderate heat rejection, interferes with cellular reception/GPS and radio signals|
|Dye Film||Poor heat rejection, colour fades easily over time|
Most of the catalogues and brochures will state the type of film used. Else, it is essential to ask for this information because it is crucial. The popular ones now are the top 3 types of film: Multilayer Sputtering, Sputtering and Ceramic type due to the high heat rejection and resistance to fading properties. Traditionally, people use carbon or metalized film but due to the downside, most of these are obsolete in the market. Dye films however, are the cheapest but provide very little protection from heat and fades over time and are sadly still available in the market until today. Some of the car dealers include free tint to their customers as a package when they purchase a car and most of the time, they are of poor grade Dye film, simply because it is the cheapest. Afterall, these tint are paid by the salesman themselves right from their own pockets. Who could blame them? Customers who understand the importance of tint are usually willing to top up some extra money to get a better grade tint. Personally, we would recommend getting the Multilayer sputter type or at least the sputtering type of film for best results. Additionally, some of the films have a technology incorporated to them to provide better Night Vision, being more comfortable driving on the road at night and easy on the eyes for people with astigmatism. This does not only provide less strain to the eye but also an additional safety feature to consider especially for people of age.
Another factor to look at is whether you want to have a security tint installed. Security tints are mainly the strong adhesive mechanism of the tint that is able to reduce the shattering of a glass it was installed onto. Some may notice that the security tint is indeed thicker than normal tint (thickness is often measured in the unit of mil, not mm!) and that is true. Thicker tints come from the extra thick layer of adhesives it has. Security is purely a safety feature as it does not offer any other benefits other than reducing the shattering of your car window preventing you from getting hurt from glass shards. Also, do take note that the security tint is only installed on the side windows and not the front and back windscreen. This is because you may need an easier escape from the front or the rear windscreen during an emergency. It is normally recommended to get a security type of tint for the added protection if it fits the budget. Safety is always the number one priority!
One of the reasons to install a tint is to darken the car windows. This will provide more privacy to the people in the car and also somehow makes the car look a little bit more classy. However, in Malaysia, there are rules from the JPJ that car owners have to comply with. The JPJ regulations are for the front windscreen to be VLT 70% and front sides to be VLT 50%, the rest of the windows does not have any ruling to it. If you choose not to follow the JPJ regulation, it will be at your own risk as you may be fined. Darker tints also does not mean better quality tint, that is a common misconception. All the different quality tints have different darkness as a choice. A cheap tint vs a high grade tint can both have the same darkness but have very different heat rejection and lifespan. One more note to take is that some tints offer a better night visibility, this will be a better choice because having a clear vision driving at night is crucial for safety as well.
Now that we have understood some basics on the tint, let’s go into the budget. Traditionally, people tend to go for a cheaper tint that doesn’t last as long. However, today, technological advancement has brought us a wide variety of tint that could last way longer. Thinking long term, it is definitely better to get a good quality tint that doesn’t have to be replaced until you change your car. You could expect a typical decent quality tint to cost you from around RM1000+ to RM2000. There are better tints that could cost even more. You may also notice that some brands may be more expensive than others and this is normal. Bigger brands tend to have higher cost for carrying the brand or royalty fees included inside the retail price. Some may argue that underrated brands could offer a similar quality tint with a lower price. We would recommend you to do your own diligence, research and compare to get the best value for your money.
As for choosing tints, warranty is one of the topics that you can not run away from. Like all products, warranty is essentially a guarantee provided that the product will last for a certain amount of years. Some shops offer warranty for bubbles, peeling and blurriness that occurs due to the tint within the certain period of years offered. There is also another type of warranty whereby they guarantee the durability of the tint. This means the colour and the heat rejection doesn’t fade away after a while. Some tint have great specifications right after installation but gets degraded and fades after a while. It is a good idea to check with the shop on these warranty as well. Usually, there is a meter available to test the current specification of your tint easily, so don’t get scammed out there.
Last but not least, during this day and age where everything becomes more and more transparent and information is widely available everywhere, a quick research on getting to know a tint shop before going to them is a good idea and it is quite simple too. You can simply check them out on their social media page like Facebook or Instagram, Google Reviews or even forums to see if there is any poor feedback from other customers as well. How else are you going to know if the workmanship is good or not? Sometimes the feelings shared by other customers can give you a perspective on how they will treat your car.