Window Tint - worth it?

Hi guys,

I have a 2008 Honda Fit which I like a lot but the air conditioner is underpowered. I hear advice that window tint will help cool the car. It doesn’t make sense to me (I could understand a reflective surface on the outside helping. I would think that the tint would absorb sunlight and heat the window and thus the inside.)

What do you guys think about tint reducing air conditioning load?

Have you heard other comments about the Fit air conditioning system?

There are different tints on the market, some have better heat rejection than others. The tint, even the ones with less heat rejection, reduces the amount of the suns rays from hitting your skin, so you don’t get those uncomfortable hot spots.

As far as for darker tint absorbing more heat, that is true, but it also radiates more heat, half of it to the outside. The same rays if allowed to pass into the interior will hit an interior surface where it will be absorbed and then reradiated all to the interior. So the tint does help keep the interior cooler.

A 5% strip at the top of the windshield is a real bonus if you drive in the morning or evening. These are allowed in most states at the top 6" if the windshield. If you drive into the sun every morning and again each evening on your daily commute, its a real Godsend.

Before tinting windows, check your local ordinance about how dark the tint can be. I have a friend who drives up from Texas to Minnesota. And he’s been pulled over by the highway patrol in Minnesota because his window tint is too dark for the state ordinance. But he just shows them the Texas State Vehicle Inspection sticker on the windshield of the vehicle, and they have to let him go.


There is a great reason why laws exist concerning window tint. When you are stopped at a light, stop sign or for any other reason and there is a pedestrian waiting to cross in front of you, there is always silent communication between the pedestrian and driver. The pedestrian looks to the driver who either acknowledges that he sees what’s about to transpire (ie I’m about to cross the road) or the pedestrian sees that the driver hasn’t seen him/her at all! When the windows are too heavily tinted this silent communication no longer exists which greatly increases the chance of miscommunication and possibly a nasty accident. Be sure that two way sight line still exists after the tint.
As a footnote to all of this you can replace the word pedestrian with “another vehicle”

That’s not the reason in Minnesota. If the window tint is too dark, and you get pulled over by law enforcement, the officer can’t see inside the vehicle as they walk up from behind. This makes law enforcement officers very nervous when they can’t see what’s going on inside the vehicle.


Another great reason!! Interesting that my reason comes from Canada and yours from the U.S. Don’t get me wrong…I’m very pro United States… just interesting about the difference in a country with a strong gun culture and a country without :slight_smile:

Tinting the windows will allow the car to remain cooler on the inside. I purchased a Sable station wagon years ago with untinted windows and these cars, while having a very good A/C system, seemed to struggle a bit on those 100 degrees + Oklahoma days due to all of the glass.

I tinted the windows and it made a night and day difference; not only as to temps inside the car but also aided in preventing my left arm from becoming sunburned.

In OK anyway there’s a limit on how dark the tint can be due to the reason Tester mentioned; the inability of a police officer to see inside the vehicle. The cops carry a small card that is held against the glass and if they can’t read the card the tint is too dark.

As to gun culture, a criminal who is willing to use a firearm in the commission of a crime is not going to care about gun laws, darkness of the tint, or even what the cops think about either one.

Here in Dallas it definitely helps. As for laws, they often only apply to the front doors and windshield, so if you don’t mind different levels of tint, you can go darker on the rear windows and hatch (Suburbans come that way from the factory). You don’t want to tint the windshield at all, and make sure you find a very high quality shop. The tinting can go bad after a few years, turns purple, others get bubbles.