We talk to customers daily who are researching window films and tint companies, and we will tell them to look at the same few items:
Find out who the window film manufacturer is.
If a window tint company or auto dealership doesn’t want to tell you, or says they don’t know what film they are using, leave and don’t go back. This is a great indicator that they are constantly switching films and/or using metallized or low quality films. Purchasing this for your vehicle will cost you expensive removal charges and additional re-tinting charges in the very near future.
Find out what the warranty covers AND make sure a warranty card will be issued to you.
All large film manufacturers have film specific warranties that detail out what is covered, along with contact info to find an installer, nationwide. Companies who don’t issue warranties will most likely offer to *honor* a lifetime warranty as long as you provide proof that it was tinted through their facility, but you will have no guarantee that they will be replacing it with the same film you originally purchased. In addition, if you move across town, out of state, or the company goes out of business, you will no longer have warranty coverage on your tint. It’s best to cover yourself and get that warranty card issued and keep it with your original receipt.
Ask for the numbers.
All of the major film manufacturers have printed and published numbers for each line of their window films. What you, the consumer, should be concerned with overall is the TSER%. TSER is the amount of heat being rejected and you want to read this number as the higher the % number, the better the film. We like to tell customers here in Arizona, that you want to stay away from any TSER less than 40%. Newer films come with an IR coating (infrared heat rejection) and have a TSER rating of over 50% into the 60% range. Keep in mind that as the TSER rating goes up for a product line, the price generally does as well.
Check the window tint installation company’s credentials.
How many years have they been installing? Do they tint 3 cars per month as a side business out of their garage, or do they specialize in the industry tinting 10-15 cars per day? Find out if they have a controlled environment to install in and ask to see the space where the work will be done. If they install outside on a windy day, or on the back lot somewhere, it will most definitely show up in the finished install.
Window tint can be a large investment for you vehicle and with a quality film, it should last for the life of you owning the vehicle. Any established, honest window tint company, or auto dealership offering window tint services, should have no issues showing you published film numbers of the product you purchase. A few simple steps taken before the installation will lead to a better overall experience that won’t need to be repeated 2 years down the road.