As I write this, my hometown of Portland, Oregon is experiencing uncharacteristic subfreezing temperatures. So, naturally, I find myself fantasizing about warm weather and riding around in my vintage CJ-7 again soon!
I also find myself fidgety and eager for a Jeep project or two — now that the holiday rush is behind me.
DIY window tinting, anyone?
In a nod to both sunny skies and do-it-yourself New Year’s resolutions, following are my best tips for tinting your Jeep windows yourself.
That’s right, there’s no need to hire a professional to do the window tinting — unless you enjoy spending more money, that is.
By being prepared and thorough in your approach, applying the Jeep window tint on your own is a piece of cake.
Reasons To Tint Jeep Windows
Window tinting is something every Jeep owner — regardless of make or model — can benefit from.
Tinting your windows will:
- Reduce troublesome (even dangerous) glare
- Help reduce the temps inside your Jeep
- Increase the privacy of your ride
- Block out harmful UV rays
- Help shore up the strength of your Jeep windows
While it wouldn’t have occurred to me to tint my Jeep windows in the wintertime (especially in the rainy Pacific Northwest), these low-teen temperatures we’re experiencing have brought along some winter sunshine — which makes me realize how the better part of the country experiences this season.
In other words, glare is a year-round problem for many Jeep drivers.
Tinting Jeep windows is a relatively inexpensive upgrade, and one that you will benefit from exponentially. Plus, if you’re thinking about trading in your Jeep or selling, tinted windows will only enhance your Jeep’s value.
Know What The Window Tinting Laws Are
Before you apply the Jeep window tint, it’s important to educate yourself on the regulations surrounding vehicle window tinting in your city, state, or county.
Different localities have different regulations when it comes to car window tinting.
For example, in the state of Oregon, you’re only legally able to tint the side windows, rear windows, and the top 6 inches of the windshield of your vehicle. Furthermore, Oregon law 815.221 states that the tinting material must have:
- a light transmittance of 50% or more
- a light reflectance of 13% or less
- a total light transmittance through the window of 35% or more
Here’s a list of window tint laws by state.
By paying attention to these details, you’ll save time, heartache, and money down the line.
Trust me, I have friends who tinted their Jeep windows with incorrect transmittance and reflectance values, so they had to remove what they’d done and then apply the correct Jeep window tint.
How To Do The Window Tinting Yourself
So, the actual process of tinting your Jeep’s windows is relatively straightforward and simple — as long as you’re methodical, exact with your measurements, and (most importantly) patient.
While you can buy rolls of uncut window tinting film relatively cheaply, I highly recommend purchasing a pre-cut window film kit that is customized to your particular make and model. Although it’s more costly, you’ll still spend half of what you would for professional window tinting!
That’s what I did with my CJ-7, and it worked out extremely well.
Here’s what you can expect to pay for DIY window tinting vs professional window tinting.
Once you have a Jeep window tint kit in hand, the actual application of the film to your windows is the critical step. This is also where patience comes into play. With each window, you’ll want to go slowly — to avoid any bubbling or creasing.
To achieve this, I found the following tips to be helpful:
- Always begin each tinting application with a clean window that’s free of dust, dirt, and streaks.
- Follow the instructions that came with the window tint kit exactly.
- If possible, have a friend help you align the film to the windows for a precise fit.
- After applying the window tint adhesive, press your squeegee firmly and slowly across the entire surface.
- Repeat this last step every time for every window.
More Tips For Tinting Jeep Windows
Before you start, I would encourage you to do a quick Google search to find these 2 things:
- A tutorial about DIY window tinting for your specific Jeep
- A tutorial featuring the type of tinting kit you bought (if available)
You can definitely learn a lot from watching DIY window tinting videos first.
I recommend viewing at least one professional window tinting job as well — that way you’ll have an idea of how the pros do each step:
One thing to keep in mind is that clear, soft-top Jeep windows may require specialized film — so be sure to check with the kit manufacturer first.
Here are examples of window tint percentages.
In the end, the benefits of window tinting (particularly do-it-yourself window tinting) can’t be beat! This cold weather, however? Now that’s a different story.
I’m a Jeeper from Portland, Oregon. In addition to jeeps, I enjoy sustainability and environmental issues, water quality, art history, and arts education. When I’m not exploring in my vintage CJ-7, I can be found trail running with my 7-year-old Golden Retriever or enjoying downtime with my 2 daughters.