Auto Appearance Center, Maryland Window Tinitng | Maryland Paint Protection, Maryland Auto Detailing
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Window Tinting
Paint Protection Film
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Elite Auto Detailing
What is paint protection film and why do I need it?
Paint protection film, or "clear bra" as it is sometimes known, is one of the best ways to preserve the showroom quality finish on your vehicle. The tough, durable, virtually invisible urethane film will keep your vehicle looking newer longer, without changing the design features or color, by creating a barrier and protecting vulnerable areas such as front bumpers, hoods, side mirrors, door handle cavities, door edges, rocker panels, and rear fender panels. Preserving the finish of your vehicle with paint protection film (PPF) keeps your vehicle looking newer longer, and can enhance the resale value of your vehicle in the future.
What paint protection film do you use?
We only use XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film. It is 100% Made in the USA and it is the best self-healing paint protection film in the world. XPEL Paint Protection Film is a rugged eight mil (.008") clear Urethane plastic employing a clear-coat finish for maximum shine. This durable material has been used successfully for years by the military, various auto manufacturers, and NASCAR race teams in rock chip prone areas with incredible results.
How does XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film heal itself?
XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film uses a special polymer in its clear coat that flows even though it is cured. This allows the clear coat to find its natural level again after being disturbed on the surface.
How deep a scratch will heal?
The clear coat is designed to heal surface scratches and common swirl marks that occur during routine washing of the car. If the scratch penetrates through the film's clear coat, it will not heal.
How long does it take for a scratch to heal?
The time for a scratch to heal depends on the severity of the scratch and the ambient temperature. Minor scratches usually heal in one hour at room temperature (72°F). In warmer climates, healing time will be shorter. The healing process can be accelerated at any time by pouring hot water over the scratched area.
How long will the clear coat last?
Depending on how the film is cared for, the clear coat can last indefinitely. Regular washing and waxing will keep the clear coat in top condition for years to come.
How does XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film resist staining?
The clear coat on XPEL ULTIMATE has a very low surface energy, which makes it extremely difficult for organic compounds to stick to the film. Insects, bird droppings and environmental contaminants (which would normally cause yellowing) such as road oils, exhaust smoke and pollution can be removed during regular washing. An example of a similar technology would be Teflon, where a Teflon pan is easy to clean because nothing will stick to it.
What if a stain does not come off the film during normal washing?
If ordinary car wash or soap and water will not remove a stain, there are a variety products available to do the job. In most cases simple isopropyl rubbing alcohol will remove anything on the surface of the film. In cases of more severe staining, or where something has been left on the film for a long period of time, a sparing amount of lacquer thinner can be used. Bug and tar remover available at any auto parts store is also effective
How is care of XPEL ULTIMATE different than other films?
XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film requires less maintenance than any other brand of film on the market. Our general care instructions are:
• Wait 48 hours after installation to wash your car
• Remove insect or other stains with bug and tar remover
• Stubborn stains can be removed with 99% isopropyl alcohol or lacquer thinner. Take care to keep these chemicals off the vehicle’s paint
• Seal with XPEL Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant at least once every 3 months to preserve high gloss
• Light scratches in the film will self-heal in 20-30 minutes at room temperature. In colder conditions, or to accelerate the process, pour warm water (120°F) over the affected area.
Can I wax the film when I wax the rest of the car?
Unlike most paint protection films on the market, XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection film can be waxed and sealed just like your paint. Though XPEL Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant is still the preferred product, any automotive wax or sealant may be used.
Will XPEL ULTIMATE make the paint underneath the film fade at a different rate?
No. XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film allows UV to pass through the film and fade the paint underneath at the same rate as the exposed paint.
Does XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film install the same way as other films?
All paint protection films on the market install at least slightly different from one another. This is due to differences in adhesive chemistry, clear coat density, etc. XPEL ULTIMATE is an extremely installer friendly film when applied using XPEL's recommended installation guidelines.
Does XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film install the same way as other films?
All paint protection films on the market install at least slightly different from one another. This is due to differences in adhesive chemistry, clear coat density, etc. XPEL ULTIMATE is an extremely installer friendly film when applied using XPEL's recommended installation guidelines.
Can I stretch the film if it has an automotive clear-coat on top?
XPEL ULTIMATE can be stretched just like any other paint protection film. The only difference that will be felt is that some extra force will be needed to stretch the film due to the greater density of the clear coat.
What does the XPEL ULTIMATE 10 year warranty cover?
XPEL warrants XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for ten (10) years from the date of purchase. Covered defects include: yellowing, staining, cracking, blistering and delaminating. This warranty does not extend coverage to damage caused by normal wear and tear, road debris impact, accidents, collisions or intentional damage of any kind.
Does the warranty include labor to replace the film?
Yes, for customers in the United States. Reimbursement for labor charges covered by the warranty will be made directly to the Authorized XPEL Dealer performing warranty replacement. Specific rules and restrictions apply, Authorized XPEL Dealers should ask their Account Manager for specific terms and conditions
What is Paintless Dent Repair?
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR), is a method of removing minor dents and dings without removing any paint from the vehicle. This is done by very patiently massaging the dent out from the back of the panel, or sometimes from the front using specialized tools.
What are the benefits of Paintless Dent Repair?
The most important benefit is quality. This method is the closest you can get to the dent never happening in the first place. No grinding, bondo, fillers, or primers are needed because your original factory paint is not disturbed. There are no problems with filler or paint shrinkage months after the repair as is typical with most conventional repairs. Cost is also a major benefit of Paintless Dent Repair. A typical estimate for a minor dent from a body shop usually ranges between $350 - $500 or higher. That same dent can usually be repaired for $75 - $150 using Paintless Dent Repair. Time savings is yet another advantage. That same dent can often be fixed in less than an hour. A body shop will take 3 - 5 days, or longer.
Will my paint be damaged?
No. Today's factory paints are very flexible and will not be damaged in any way by this process. Paintless Dent Repair is the only way to repair a dent and still keep your factory paint.
Will my dents be 100% gone?
On minor dents, in most cases, yes. The deeper the dent, the more difficult it is to repair. Even on larger dents, once we're done, most people are amazed at the results. We always explain in detail how your dent will likely look before any work is started.
Will my dents come back?
Absolutely not. Once a dent has been removed properly with Paintless Dent Repair, it never comes back. Most dents repaired conventionally develop a ring around the dent, or sand scratch marks 3 - 6 months after the repair. This is never the case with properly performed Paintless Dent Repair.
Can any dent be fixed?
No. The most important factors in determining if a dent can be repaired by Paintless Dent Repair are depth and location. Dents the size of a dinner plate or larger can be fixed successfully, as long as they are not too deep, or twisted. On the other hand, some dents that are as small as a dime, but very deep, cannot be fixed using Paintless Dent Repair because the metal is too stretched. Cracked paint can also be an indication that a dent is too deep. The most common dents fixed are the size of a golf ball and under. About 95% of minor dents can be repaired, leaving about 5% of minor dents that can't be fixed due to depth or location. Areas such as some quarter panel opening lips, some forward areas of heavily braced hoods, or the very edges of some panels are examples of bad locations.
What does "no drilling" mean?
It has become common practice by many Paintless Dent Repair technicians to drill or punch holes in places like door frames, quarter panel jambs, inner wheelhouse panels, etc. to gain access to a dent with their tools. Most of the time, the customer is not even informed of this. I have seen "repairs" where as many as 7 - 10 holes were drilled to access one dent. Dentworks of Austin will always take the extra time to try and repair a dent without drilling. In the event that there is no other way to repair a dent except to drill a small hole, or if it is less expensive to drill a small hole, it will be rust-proofed and plugged.
Do you do scratches or paint work?
No, we don't. There are too many quality problems with the quick, mobile paint repair systems. If your vehicle needs paint work, I'll be happy to refer you to a quality paint shop in your area.
Can Paintless Dent Repair help me with my LEASE RETURN vehicle?
We sure can. We can remove those dents for a lot less than you will be charged for "excessive wear and tear on your vehicle's exterior." If your lease is up soon, give us a call; you'll be glad you did.
I've got lots of dents, do you have a discount for more than one dent?
Yes, we offer discounts for multiple dents. If you have more than one minor dent on a panel, we can generally include those dents for very little extra, depending on the sizes and number of dents. If your car has a lot of minor dents, we offer a per car price that is very reasonable.
Can Paintless Dent Repair help me SELL MY CAR?
Ever hear the saying "Image is everything"? Most people judge a car by its appearance. If it looks good, they assume it has been well taken care of. Used car dealers and wholesalers know this. They also know what they spend on Paintless Dent Repair will increase the price of the car, and will help them sell the car more quickly. If you're selling your car, Paintless Dent Repair is one of the best ways to get top dollar, more interested buyers, and a quicker sale.
Why is detailing a necessity?
Your car accumulates numerous particles that can harm the finish. Pollutants, mud, salt, dirt, sand, bugs, tar, rain, sun, etc. are extremely harmful to the paint. Detailing leaves microscopic layers of fine wax particles that provide a deep shine and forming a clear chemical bond that protects the paint and its original clear coat. Detailing guarantees longevity to the paint and retains the value of the vehicle. Professional detailing is not just a luxury, it is an investment that has become a necessity!
Why is detailing a necessity?
Your car accumulates numerous particles that can harm the finish. Pollutants, mud, salt, dirt, sand, bugs, tar, rain, sun, etc. are extremely harmful to the paint. Detailing leaves microscopic layers of fine wax particles that provide a deep shine and forming a clear chemical bond that protects the paint and its original clear coat. Detailing guarantees longevity to the paint and retains the value of the vehicle. Professional detailing is not just a luxury, it is an investment that has become a necessity!
What is the difference between detailing and washing?
Washing removes loose contaminants, dirt and grime. Detailing removes blemishes, oxidation and etching marks that are caused when contaminants penetrate the surface. Rub your hand across an upper surface. If it is rough, you need to detail your car. It prevents the paint and its clear coat from deteriorating. Retain the value of your car; have it detailed by one of our technicians this week.
What is the difference between detailing and washing?
Washing removes loose contaminants, dirt and grime. Detailing removes blemishes, oxidation and etching marks that are caused when contaminants penetrate the surface. Rub your hand across an upper surface. If it is rough, you need to detail your car. It prevents the paint and its clear coat from deteriorating. Retain the value of your car; have it detailed by one of our technicians this week.
My vehicle is new. Does it need to be detailed?
We frequently receive phone calls from customers who have recently purchased a new vehicle. When asked what detail service they would like, they often reply “well, it’s a brand new car so it doesn’t need much”. Unfortunately that statement often proves to be a bit off base.
Just because your vehicle is new doesn’t necessarily mean the paint finish is flawless. Often times when a vehicle leaves the factory there are many paint imperfections that are missed by quality control personnel. Some of these imperfections are dirt specks, run lines, wet sanding marks, pig tails from a D/A sander, and hologramming from improper polishing techniques.
If the vehicle is shipped from out-of-state or travels by train, it can be subject to many contaminants along the way with no protection. Then when it arrives at the car dealership, many times the vehicle is washed improperly by inexperienced lot attendants causing scratches and swirl marks. Ideally before you take delivery, ask them not to wash your vehicle.
Here is how our New Car Detailing service works. Just schedule an appointment for an exterior wash. First we will gently wash your vehicle, then we will put it under our lights and start our quality control inspection. If we find any paint imperfections we will give you an onsite estimate for our paint correction service. If not, then we will finish the detail and you will be all set.
We also offer new car protection services at a fraction of what the dealers charge and the protection products we offer are much higher quality compared to the products used by the dealer. Often times, dealerships will offer a “lifetime paint sealant” and say if you purchase this you will never have to wax your car again. This idea of a paint sealant or coating that will protect your vehicles paintwork forever is a great one and we wish it were true, but unfortunately there is no such product on the market. However, there are some paint sealants and coatings available that will last well over one year with regular maintenance. We import our paint sealants and coatings from the U.K. and most are German made. These are the finest paint protection products made. We also offer sealant for your wheels, leather and fabric guard and rain repellant windshield coatings.
I am selling my vehicle. Can you make it look new again?
We hear this quite often. While having your vehicle detailed just once in its life time right before you sell it will help its first impression on a potential buyer, most likely by this time your vehicle has deteriorated, interior soiled, exterior oxidized, and the clear coat damaged.
We can, however, remove most of the stains inside and polish out most of the oxidation on the exterior; but, unfortunately your vehicle will never look as nice as if it had received detailing and maintenance in the past. This means you’ll probably get much less than you’re asking for. If the clear coat is damaged or peeling off then the vehicle would have to be repainted. A high quality paint job can cost several thousand dollars as opposed to a few hundred a year to properly maintain your vehicle’s factory finish.
Not only does having your vehicle detailed hold its value throughout its lifetime, but it also provides a more enjoyable driving experience. A clean vehicle can portray self confidence and a high level of professionalism. It is one of the most important maintenance services for your vehicle.
Why should I have my vehicle detailed during the winter or when it’s raining?
Contrary to some belief, winter is a very important time to have your vehicle detailed. We all know it’s nice to enjoy your shiny paint, wheels, and glass when the sun is out without contaminants on their surfaces. Some of these contaminants include but are not limited to mud, road tar, grit, grim, salt, acid rain and industrial fallout. When these surfaces are protected with sealant or wax most of the contaminants are repelled away from these surfaces. Any contaminants that are not repelled away are actually sticking to the sealant or wax, not the paint surface therefore can be removed much easier than if your vehicle is not protected. A vehicle without a fresh coat of paint sealant or wax is exposed to the brutality of the elements. Exposure to adverse conditions can doom your precious paint to oxidation, scratches, swirl marks and corrosion. By the time summer rolls around your vehicle is in bad shape. The detailer will have to spend more time cleaning and polishing your vehicle. Its definitely more cost effective to maintain your exterior throughout the year plus you get the luxury of always having a clean car. In order to maintain your vehicle’s finish properly you must have it polished and protected at least twice a year with regular maintenance. It’s also very important to keep the interior of your vehicle clean all year. The contaminants from the road can easily get inside and stain your carpets, seats and upholstery. The interior of your vehicle can also create health issues. Over time food particles, mold, mildew, skin oil, and pet hair will turn into bacteria and grow inside your vehicle causing you and your family to get sick. We have had some mini vans in our shop that actually contained the bacteria level of an entire daycare center. Just like your vehicle’s exterior. It’s all about cleaning, protection and maintenance.
I lease my car, why should I care about my car?
Chances are, you’ll care when the lease ends. If you check your contract, you’ll find that you’re probably responsible for the appearance of your vehicle when it is returned. If the paint is dull and lifeless (because it was never washed, polished or waxed) you could be hit with a reconditioning fee ranging from $500 to $2,000! Take care of your investment!
What is a CLEAR COAT?
“Clear Coat” is a name given to the multi-stage paints used today. A “base coat” (frequently water based) is applied with a pigment (color). Then, a top layer of clear paint is applied over the top of the base coat to add depth, brilliance and provide protection for the base coat.
Clear Coats still require the same care as the old single state paints. Just because the topcoat of paint has no pigment in it doesn’t make it impervious to environmental conditions. Topcoats of clear paint still oxidize, and the softer paints used today also allow contaminants to easily embed in the surface. These softer paints require modern formulations and technology to protect them against damage.>br> In short, the need for proper care and maintenance of clear coat paints is just as important as years ago. Actually, because of their softer, fragile nature, they really should be maintained BETTER than the older single stage paints.
What is a CLEAR COAT?
“Clear Coat” is a name given to the multi-stage paints used today. A “base coat” (frequently water based) is applied with a pigment (color). Then, a top layer of clear paint is applied over the top of the base coat to add depth, brilliance and provide protection for the base coat.
Clear Coats still require the same care as the old single state paints. Just because the topcoat of paint has no pigment in it doesn’t make it impervious to environmental conditions. Topcoats of clear paint still oxidize, and the softer paints used today also allow contaminants to easily embed in the surface. These softer paints require modern formulations and technology to protect them against damage.
In short, the need for proper care and maintenance of clear coat paints is just as important as years ago. Actually, because of their softer, fragile nature, they really should be maintained BETTER than the older single stage paints.
What does detailing do to a Clear Coat Finish?
Let’s first define Clear Coat Finish: today’s modern Finish consists of a dull layer of paint called a Base Coat. It provides the color on your car. Over this base, a clear layer of paint is applied. This is called a Clear Coat. It provides the shine and protection. The result is a two-layer painted surface known as a “Clear Coat Finish”.
When the Clear Coat Finish becomes dull, it requires special attention. Our detailing technicians apply high quality fine surface polish and wax to remove the elements that dull the Finish. When detailing is completed, the Clear Coat Finish has been cleaned and properly restored.
What is the difference between paint sealant and wax?
Paint sealant forms a clear chemical bond that protects the finish of the vehicle and maintains that new car appearance. It is guaranteed to keep its shine for at least one whole year with proper maintenance. Waxes leave microscopic layers of fine wax particles providing deep shine and protection. With regular maintenance and care, the deep shine can last between 3 to 12 months depending upon the quality of the wax and car storage. We use only the highest quality wax in the industry today.
What is the difference between waxing and polishing?
Polishing is designed to bring out the gloss. Waxing is for protection. Polishing is what makes the wet-look, deep gloss possible, especially effective on dark-colored cars. How long a wax lasts depends on a variety of factors such as the environment and how the surface is prepared. Our detailing experts are trained to meet your needs and requests.
How often do I need to wax or polish my car?
It depends on the environmental elements your car typically endures. If your vehicle is kept garaged on a daily basis, then a polish or wax can last as long as four to six months. If your car is kept outdoors under harsh conditions, then it will need to be waxed as often as once a month. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that a light colored car be polished and waxed at least every two to three months. Dark colored cars on the other hand, will usually require more frequent and specialized attention.
What is a sealer or glaze?
When applied before waxing, a sealer and glaze helps hide minor scratches, spider webbing, swirl marks and other surface imperfections. It enhances clarity and shine, while giving darker colored paints that deep, wet look. If left unprotected, a sealer and glaze will not last long. It therefore needs an immediate coating of protective wax to truly have long lasting benefit.
How often should I wash my car?
As often as practical. Most enthusiasts wash their vehicles at least once a week. Some folks wash their cars almost every day. At World Class Auto Detailing, we have a program called “Hand-Wash & Quick Wax conditioner”. This program brings a unique formulation that restores your vehicle’s show car shine in-between waxes.
What is a clay bar?
Auto detailing clay bars are used to remove embedded contaminants from painted surfaces. With today’s soft paints, any contaminants that sit on your paint can quickly become embedded. These contaminants aren’t easily removed, even by washing or waxing. If you can feel bumps in the paint after washing and drying or waxing, chances are you’ll need to have it clayed first. In most cases, the wash ‘n wax program you see at the car wash facilities do not include claying. Our full detail package include claying services.
What causes swirl marks?
Swirl marks are actually microscopic scratches in the finish. They are essentially scratches that have been put into the top layer of the paint. These scratches then act as tiny prisms, bending the light and creating a dull rainbow effect. These are often caused by the use of a buffer with the wrong type of polishing pad and/or wax/polish. Automatic car washes also can cause swirls, especially on clear coat paints. Another culprit is hand application or removal of product using a harsh material, or pads and cloths that have picked up micro abrasives from falling on the ground or improper storage. To avoid swirls, thoroughly wash all dirt particles from your finish before applying polish or wax. And always use a micro fiber towel, because its nap draws any contaminants on the surface up into the towel instead of letting them scratch the sensitive paint. At World Class Auto Detailing, we take extra precautions to ensure that we do the job right.
What is oxidation?
Most modern car finishes consist of a base coating that contains the color, topped with a protective clear coat that is designed to keep the pigmented paint from oxidizing. This outer clear coat adds UV protection that helps prevent the sun’s rays from drying out the base paint. Oxidation was an obvious problem ten years ago because you quickly saw the color fade. Now that the outer layer is usually clear, oxidation is less obvious, yet it still occurs. The sun dries out top paint layers and natural oils are lost. If these oils aren’t replaced, the paint oxidizes and the surface gradually becomes duller and duller.
Even more than yesterday’s paints, today’s clear coat finishes look faded whenever the surface becomes contaminated by airborne pollution, acid rain, industrial fallout, and countless other factors. If the contamination isn’t removed frequently, it reduces the reflective quality of the finish until it looks dull and lifeless. If the contamination is left on the car for some time, it can begin to etch into the thin clear coat paint layer and expose the base coat to direct UV rays and even greater damage. Once the clear coat protection is gone, the car usually requires costly repainting.
**The overspray is recent, we can safely remove the contaminants and restore the structural integrity of the finish. In some cases, the overspray may have already penetrated into the clear coat. At which point, repainting may be necessary.
What is the difference between paint correction, polishing and buffing?
Paint Correction is a professional term for polishing. They both are similar except for paint correction covers all areas above and beyond general degradation. This includes removal of all imperfections including deep scratches, swirl marks, oxidation, etching, paint overspray, run lines, orange peel, and most surface damage. Many of these issues can be resolved using advanced wet sanding and polishing techniques.
Buffing is a generic term often confused with paint correction or polishing. When we as professionals hear the term buffing, to us it means just a quick shine by hand or any average machine with usually an abrasive wool pad, high grit compound, fill in glaze, silicone or wax. Not a good combination. This highly unskilled approach to try and improve a vehicle’s finish is usually performed in a home garage or low quality establishment and the results are always worse than before they began.
Unlike buffing, not just anyone can execute paint correction. This technique is a labor intensive process and must be performed by a master technician that has several years of experience. There are also certain products that must be used to achieve paint correction. These high quality polishing products are developed using Nanotechnology and contain super micro abrasives. They are carefully selected and imported from around the world. Each of these fine products are used for different levels of paint correction and the technician must be familiar with how to use each product individually. The art of safe, modern and proper polishing techniques is what separates the true professional detailer from all the rest and is a skill set that is mastered by very few.
What is the difference between carnauba waxes, synthetic polymer paint sealants and Silica based paint sealants or coatings?
Carnauba wax is produced by the Brazilian tree of life. This wax is preferred by car collectors and car enthusiasts because of its rich, warm glow. It transforms the paint into a deep, liquid pool that shimmers under changing light conditions.
A carnauba based wax will protect your vehicle from UV rays, heat, moisture, oxidation and environmental contamination. An application of carnauba wax usually lasts from 6 to 8 weeks. If your paint is corrected first expect even more durability.
Synthetic paint sealants are kind of the anti-carnauba. They are more durable, easy to apply and there is nothing natural about them. Synthetic paint sealants are made of polymers, which are composed of tens of thousands of synthetic particles that are linked together. When a synthetic polymer sealant bonds to your vehicle’s paint, it forms a rigid shell. They are glossy and slick, but do not have the warmth and depth of a carnauba wax. Synthetic polymer paint sealants will last from 4 to 6 months. However, a growing number of enthusiasts simply refuse to choose. Instead, they coat their vehicles with a layer of synthetic polymer sealant for long lasting protection and then top it off with a layer of carnauba for a dazzling shine, commonly referred to as “stacking”.
Silica based paint sealants or coatings were developed using Nanotechnology. These advanced coatings are technically man made ceramic and glass nano-particles. They do not just adhere to the vehicles surface, but rather become a part of the surface themselves. These coatings also enhance the appearance of automotive paint on a timescale of years rather than months. The process involves using a wet sol-gel to lay down a self organizing microfilm of Silica and other nano-scale components that chemically bond to painted surfaces on a molecular level. This invisible glass-like coating not only provides excellent protection against all environmental contaminants, but also partially mimics the self-cleaning properties of the Lotus plant leaves in nature (the Lotus Effect). This will make washing and drying your vehicle much easier. Your wash mitt will glide across your paint surface like never before and drying is near effort-less due to the Hydrophobic properties of these coatings.
Please note that both carnauba waxes and paint sealants are meant for protection only. In order for these products to be effective your paintwork must be corrected first. Remember only when your paintwork is polished will it achieve a true shine. Carnauba waxes and paint sealants will then enhance that shine and protect your corrected paintwork.
What is window film?
Window film is a thin, multi-layered polyester material that incorporates the many different layers to control different properties, including Ultra-Violet (UV) light, heat, glare, and privacy. After-market window films use a self-adhesive pressure-sensitive film that is carefully applied to the inside of the window. Window film comes in a variety of performance levels and shades.
How long will it take to install window tint on my vehicle?
Installation time is about 1 to 2 hours depending on how many windows are being tinted and what type of vehicle it is. A typical tint installation includes all side windows and the rear glass. The only tint that can be applied to a windshield is a sun-strip which covers up to 6 inches of the top of the windshield. Sun-strips can be applied as an option.
Who makes the films you install?
We use films developed by CPFilms Inc. in Martinsville, Virginia. They are the largest manufacturer of window films in the world and use the same advanced, patented technology used in space to protect astronauts from the harmful effects of the sun. Just like comparing low-priced cars to a Porche, there are wide performance and cost differences in window films. Low quality films can be cheap, but as with anything, you get what you pay for. Our films are covered by a Manufacturer’s Nationwide Lifetime Warranty!
Cheap films may look good at the beginning, but they block only a minimal amount of heat and almost no UV rays; and of course, cheap films are subject to failure in as little as 6 months. Our films block up to 60% heat and nearly 100% of UV rays, thus protecting the interior of your vehicle and protection your skin from the premature aging the sun causes to your skin
Somebody told me that only 35% film is legal on cars. I'm pretty sure this refers to how dark the tint is but what if I want it darker?
Darkness of tint is measured by Visible Light Transmission percentage (VLT%). This percentage refers to percentage of visible light allowed in through the combination of film and the window. The percentage number refers to how much light is allowed through the film under a specific set of circumstances. The lower the percentage the less light is transmitted and is subsequently darker. It is important to keep in mind that there can be a wide variance in perceived darkness of a window tint dependant on many factors including how big the windows are, the interior color of the car, and how dark other windows are tinted in the vehicle. We are always happy to share our knowledge in recommending the best tint for your purposes!
MARYLAND TINT LAW:
Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 5 inches of the windshield.
Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
Back Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
Rear Window: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
VIRGINIA TINT LAW:
Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed along the top of the windshield above the manufacturer's AS-1 line.
Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 50% of light in.
Back Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
Rear Window: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
WASHINGTON, D.C. TINT LAW:
Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed along the top of the windshield above the manufacturer's AS-1 line or 5", whichever comes first.
Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 70% of light in.
Back Side Windows: Must allow more than 50% of light in for cars or 35% for multi purpose vehicles.
Rear Window: Must allow more than 50% of light in for cars or 35% for multi purpose vehicles.
Can you have window tinting applied to your windows in wet or cold weather?
Yes! With the modern adhesive systems found on today's window tinting products, it is possible to have your car windows tinted even in freezing weather. However, the curing time may be extended in adverse conditions. Professional installers take the weather into consideration during installation, allowing more time to apply heat to the edges of the tint to activate the drying process.
Should I drop off my vehicle or wait?
Both options are available and you can do what works best with your schedule. We do have a waiting area with free WiFi, cable TV and magazines for customers who choose to stay for the installation.
I've heard that I won't be able to roll down my windows for some time after an installation. Is this true?
Yes. We recommend that you do not roll down your windows for three to five days (depending on the season) from the time of installation, so it is a good idea to plan ahead to accommodate for this. Window films generally take a few days to 'cure' properly and adhere to the window. Rolling down a window prematurely can lift the tint requiring you to bring the vehicle back to us to reapply the film.
Will my radio, GPS, XM Radio and other electronics work?
Yes! All of our films are technology friendly and are designed to allow all electronics in your car to work properly.
Can I darken vehicle factory window tint?
Yes. As long as it is factory window tint, we can install window film directly on the glass. Factory window tint’s color is actually a pigment in the glass. Aftermarket window film also has many more solar benefits than factory window tint. Factory tint only rejects part of the UV rays, and only rejects a small amount of heat. Our window films reject almost 100% of ultraviolet rays and between 35%-60% of heat, depending on the film level used. In addition to these benefits, darkening factory tinted glass will give you more privacy for storing your personal items in the back of the vehicle.
I just had my windows tinted and they look a little hazy. Is this normal?
Yes, this is completely normal and temporary. For the first few days after your windows are tinted they might appear cloudy, hazy, and you may see little water pockets forming underneath the film. This is very typical. When windows are tinted, the squeegee can only remove a certain amount of the water from between the film and the glass. As the film dries, the remaining water will form little pockets. Window film is a porous material that allows water to evaporate, so these water pockets will simply evaporate as the film fully cures and adheres to the glass. The amount of time before your new tint will be totally dry is determined by the amount of sunlight it gets. If it's cloudy and overcast outside, it will take longer, if it's hot and sunny, then the film dries very quickly. This time frame can range from 2 days, up to 1 month. When the water evaporates completely, your windows should have excellent clarity.
On close inspection I've seen small bubbles or particles in a friend's newly installed window tint. Is this normal?
A certain amount of small “bubbles” may be apparent in a window film installation and is quite typical. As a general rule one should stand at least a few feet back from the window and see if these micro-bubbles are still visible. It is impossible to get an absolutely perfect tint without being in a hermetically sealed lab removed of all dust and hair particles! However, it is important to keep in mind that we do our absolute best to install your tint using industry standard methods and care. If you have any concerns, please feel free to bring the car in for us to see! To ensure the best results it is highly recommended to have your car's interior vacuumed and cleaned thoroughly before your appointment!
I've heard of some back windows using a one or two-piece tint installation. What exactly does this mean and which is better?
We prefer to install rear windows in a one-piece installation. Unfortunately, two or more piece installations are done by other shops and consist of strips of window tint used to cover the rear window. Two-piece films are considered standard and quite acceptable, but we always opt for a one-piece installation. One piece requires higher skill and more time, but the result is cleaner with no visible seams.
My window tint looks great since being done a week ago but I noticed a corner has lifted on one of the windows. Can this be fixed under my warranty?
Absolutely! It is somewhat common for a recent tint installation to lift or show a 'finger' along one of the edges due to many possible factors over the course of curing within a couple of weeks, including weather temperature changes. Generally, they just need a quick touch-up that is covered by the warranty.
What do I use to safely clean my windows?
After your windows are tinted, you need to wait a couple of days to clean them. Basically, you don’t want to risk pulling the tint loose before it has a chance to dry. Once your vehicle has been tinted the windows will have been lightly wiped down, but will probably need a proper cleaning with a soft paper towel and any non-ammonia cleaner. Do not use the blue "Windex with Ammonia-D" or any blue colored cleaners because they usually have ammonia in them. We suggest using Vinegar Windex (Green), or any of the citrus Windex's. There are other cleaners made specifically for tinted windows such as “Ammonia-Free Spray Away-Foam Spray,” which work very well. You can also use soap and water, vinegar and water, or really anything without ammonia or abrasives. Never scrape the film with any type of blade or clean your tinted windows with anything abrasive, as it will scratch the film.