Finding a reputable shop is one of the most important aspects of car window tinting. After all, you want one that’s capable of getting the job done right the first time. When it comes to professionally applied window tint, the last thing you want is to save $20 going with the cheapest guys in town, only to end up with a botched job that takes time, effort and money to have corrected. It all comes down to asking your tint shop the right questions before making a final decision.
Questions to Ask:
Before you schedule that appointment, it pays to ask a few questions. The last thing you want is to be in the dark about any shop, plus it’ll keep you from making the wrong decisions about who to turn to for window tinting. Here are a few important questions you should ask your shop and yourself before having your windows tinted:
- How many cars does the shop tint? If the shop tints a lot of cars on a regular basis, chances are the people working there know their stuff. But keep in mind that high volume doesn’t always mean quality service.
- How long does it usually take? The time a shop takes to tint an entire car varies depending on the type of film used, the type of car, amount of window surface area and a variety of other variables. In short, it usually takes anywhere from an hour-and-a-half to two hours for an ordinary sedan and three hours or more for SUVs, coupes and other cars with unique and complex window designs. If old tint has to be removed it could add several more hours of time.
- Can you see examples of the shop’s work? Any professional shop will be proud to show you the fruits of their labor, so you can have an idea of what the end result might look like for your vehicle. If a shop refuses outright, you might want to reconsider giving them your business.
- What are the local laws? Car window tinting laws vary between states, so what may be legal in one may not be in the other. Any reputable shop should have knowledge of the latest state tint laws. To avoid legal troubles down the road, always double-check the statutes yourself before having your window tint installed.
- What is the shop’s guarantee? Many shops will offer a warranty on their installation. This usually covers bubbling, peeling and other flaws that come from mistakes during installation. Some shops offer five-year warranties, while others guarantee their work for the life of the vehicle.
- What brand and type tinting does the price include? Budget tint jobs under $100 are bound to have low-cost brands and types of tint, while high-end tint jobs around the $300 to $450 range usually include the best available tint. Always check the brand and type of tint before any car window tinting work begins. Don’t forget to learn about the warranty for the tint offered.
- How does the shop finish the top edge of roll down windows? Is there a gap, or no gap? Some shops will leave a small gap or a micro-edge at the top edge of the roll down windows. Other shops will apply tint up to the edge of the glass, but this takes longer and involves more skill on the installer’s part. If you don’t want any gaps whatsoever, you might want to go the extra mile and ask for the latter or find a shop that’s willing to do the latter. Keep in mind this takes extra time so it will likely cost more.
- Will the rear window be installed in one piece? In most cases, rear window tint gets installed in one piece. It’s a tough task, but any professional shop will be able to get it done without any issues. Only in a few select cases (like dealing with compound curves or aftermarket defrost lines) will installers add rear window tint in several strips.
- What happens in the dot matrix area on the back window? Most cars feature a black ceramic dot matrix edge that makes it harder for tint film to adhere to the area. Some shops may take the easy way out and simply leave a noticeable gap between the rest of the window and the dot matrix area. A professional shop offering quality tint installation will usually sand away the dot matrix before applying the tint or cover the area with flat black paint.
The Bottom Line
Any professional car window tinting shop should be more than willing to answer just about any question you have about their services, craftsmanship and warranties. If you feel like you're not getting the answers you want or if the shop is clearly not up to par, don't hesitate to walk away. Better yet, call our experts at the Chux Tint ShopYou can always find another car window tinting shop that's willing to treat both your vehicle and your wallet the right way.By: Chris Ripper