What are the Auto Tint Laws in Washington State?

tinting car window

Tinting windows has a variety of benefits. By blocking the brunt of bright sunrays, drivers can protect their upholstery from sun bleaching, maintain a more comfortable temperature inside the vehicle with less stress to the air conditioning system, and shield car passengers from harmful UV rays. Darkening windows also leads to more privacy and security, preventing people from easily seeing inside the vehicle and finding valuables.

There are many reasons drivers choose to tint their car windows. Before you tint, be aware of any relevant laws. Auto tint laws vary from state to state, so it’s very important for drivers to be aware of these laws so they can ensure to follow the laws properly in their state.

How Much Tint Can Be Applied?

In Washington state, the maximum level of auto tint material to be applied to any window (except the windshield) must have a total reflectance of 35% or less, and a light transmission of 24% or more for sedans. For SUVs and vans there is no limit to the darkness of tint that can be applied to the rear side windows and back glass. If a car is operated by or carrying a passenger a person who has a written medical exemption from a licensed physician, then a higher degree of light reduction is allowed on all windows and the top 6 inches of the windshield. Car owners may apply a clear film to the windshield if the film reduces or eliminates UV light.

There are several types of tint that are not allowed in Washington state, including: black, gold, red, or yellow material; mirror finish products; or liquid tint that is sprayed or brushed onto the window. There may not be any more than a single sheet of sun screening material to any window.

Devices to diffuse sunlight may be applied to all windows behind the driver as long as the device 1) reduces the driver’s field of vision uniformly and 2) reduces vision by no more than 50%. If drivers place a sunscreen device on the rear window, the car must have outside rearview mirrors on both sides.

These are the basics of window tint laws in Washington. Lucky Dog Auto Glass shares this information with our valued customers as a convenience, but we do not offer window tinting. We do offer auto glass repair and installation in Kent, Washington. Contact us today to make an appointment!

How to Tell If Your Windshield Has Been Installed Incorrectly

car windshield

When you have your windshield replaced, it’s essential that it’s done correctly because it plays an important role in the safety of your vehicle. Not only do windshields protect you and your passengers from the elements, but they also provide structural support in the event of accidents. For example, the windshield provides up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin in a front-end collision and up to 60% in a rollover. An improperly installed windshield may not provide enough strength to keep the cabin safe or be able to withstand the impact of a deployed airbag.

With that in mind, how can you tell if your windshield has been installed incorrectly? Here are a few of the most common signs:

Technician Mistakes

If you’re able to see the windshield repair process, one of the first signs that the windshield is not being installed correctly is if the windshield wipers are still attached and propped up while the windshield is being installed. This shortcut is a practice called stuffing that can cause air leaks and poor bonding of the new glass to the vehicle. Proper windshield installation takes requires the removal of the wipers and cowl to ensure proper decking and installation. A second mistake to look for is the technicians not wearing gloves. Since windshields are installed using urethane (which secures it to the vehicle) they shouldn’t be handled by bare hands. The oils in the skin can break the urethane down and reduce its ability to adhere properly – which can result in leaks or premature failure.

The Windshield Sits Unevenly in the Frame

If the windshield pokes out or sits unevenly in the frame, that’s another sign that it’s not installed properly. This could have been a mistake made during installation or the installer could have chosen the wrong windshield for your vehicle.

Rattling and Leaks

After you’ve had a new windshield installed and it’s had a chance to properly adhere, it’s always a good idea to take it out for a test drive. If you notice any rattling or whooshing sounds coming from the windshield at a moderate speed, that’s a sure sign that it wasn’t installed properly. Taking your car through the car wash can also help you check to make sure there are no leaks in the seams of the windshield. Be sure to wait the specified period of time after the installation to do this as the urethane needs time to properly cure.

Other considerations

If the technician or installation company tells you that you can drive immediately after your windshield’s been installed, this is also a red flag. The adhesive that’s used to secure the windshield to your vehicle should be allowed to fully cure, which takes approximately 30 minutes – 8 hours depending on the urethane that is used. This is known as the Safe Drive Away Time and that time should be noted when the vehicle is returned to the customer. Lucky Dog proudly uses a 30 minute cure urethane made by SIKA to ensure a quick and safe drive time.

Avoid Windshield Woes by Choosing a Reputable Installation Company

One of the best ways to avoid the above issues and the hassle that comes with them is by choosing a reputable installation company, like Lucky Dog Auto Glass. We’re a local family-owned and operated company that understands auto glass installation shouldn’t be seen as an assembly line commodity, but rather an essential safety feature of your vehicle. We take every step to ensure that your auto glass is installed correctly, the first time. If you’ve recently had a windshield installed and would like an assessment, or you’d like a free estimate on your cracked or chipped windshield, contact us today at 253-569-9403!

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