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Can You Tint Side Mirrors

Can You Tint Side Mirrors?

When glare from the sun or another driver’s headlights hits your side mirrors, the brightness can make it hard to see the road. Although special night-driving surfaces are available for installation on some vehicles, these mods are often expensive.

One way to reduce the glare issue while driving is to install a window tint over each side mirror. It is far cheaper than using self-dimming technologies while accomplishing a similar result.

Although the legality is up to you to decide, several factors must get considered before going ahead with this modification. Since you’re changing a safety device, a litigation case could be made that your alterations were responsible for the conditions that led to an accident.

Window tinting might also change how you see reflective images on the side mirrors.

Can You Tint Side Mirrors?

Although window tint on side mirrors isn’t technically illegal in most jurisdictions, the modification isn’t the best idea. Since this is a safety device, you could inadvertently void your warranty, create a fault factor for an accident, and alter how the surface reflects light to create images.

It can get frustrating to drive in sun glare or have a driver from behind turn on their high beams. Although window tints on your side mirrors could solve those issues, you can end up creating several more problems for yourself.

The first concern is durability. Since a mirror provides a reflective surface, the installation process is slightly different from standard glass. You’d need to purchase a specialized product that can cure on that material to have a successful outcome.

Since most DIY tinting products aren’t made with side mirrors in mind, you might need to take your vehicle to a window film specialist to complete the work.

Secondly, there could be insurance issues to manage. Your automobile coverage is based on specific factors that include your vehicle’s condition. If you modify a safety device, even if it is for a positive reason, the policy might get voided.

Thirdly, you have the mirror laws to manage. If you already have a dark tint (often 35 VLT or greater) on your rear glass, you’ll need side windows with clear visibility to with today’s motor vehicle laws. If you also tint both mirrors or only the driver’s side, some jurisdictions might consider that an obstruction.

A final thought here is that the tint could change how the light gets seen with the mirror. This safety feature comes with slight magnification. That’s why it says, “Objects may appear closer than they are.” Since the window film filters the light, you could potentially misjudge what you are seeing while driving.

How to Install a Window Film on a Side Mirror

Before installing a window film or tint on a side mirror, you must consider all legal, insurance, and litigation compliance possibilities. This content is not a recommendation for any driver to modify a safety device on a vehicle. You are responsible for whatever outcomes occur if you decide to follow these steps.

If you’ve decided that installing a window film on your side mirror makes sense because you’re tired of the glare, here are the steps to follow so that you have a successful experience.

  1. Place a piece of paper over the mirror’s surface. It helps to press down on it with your thumb until the shape is clearly visible. Once you’ve achieved this step, trace it on the sheet with a pencil.
  2. Cut the traced shape with sharp scissors. You’ll want to be careful to maintain the exact size and dimensions as this component serves as the tinting stencil.
  3. After trimming the stencil to an appropriate size, place it on a 20 VLT blue tinting sheet, cutting carefully around the paper to ensure you have the correct size for applying the film to the mirror.
  4. Wash the side mirror with warm water and a paper towel. You must remove all dirt, dust, and debris from the surface before applying the tint. Use a second paper towel to ensure it is dry.
  5. Remove the adhesive backing from the window tint.
  6. Spray the glued side of the tinting product with an even coating of water. You’ll want to do the same for the side mirror receiving the application.
  7. Press the film onto the mirror. The goal is to match the shape as accurately as possible. After taking this step, you can slide it into place so that there aren’t any remaining untinted surfaces to cover. If you cut the product too small, you’ll need to start over at the first step to ensure the job gets finished correctly.
  8. Draw a small squeegee across the mirror’s surface, moving from the left to the right, to remove any air bubbles. Then move the squeegee from top to bottom.
  9. If you’re putting a window film on both side mirrors, you’ll want to repeat steps 1-8 for the other one. You cannot use the same stencil because the other mirror could have a slightly different shape from the manufacturing process.
  10. Allow at least 24 hours for the window film to dry before driving the vehicle with the tinted side windows.

What If I Tint the Front Windows Instead of the Side Mirrors?

Since the primary issue that triggers the question of tinting the side mirrors involves sun or headlight glare, an alternative to consider is to place a high-quality window film on your front windows.

Although darkness levels might be 70 VLT or higher in some areas to meet legal requirements, new ceramic nanoparticle technologies can still deliver a positive outcome.

Ceramic and carbon window films provide an excellent protective barrier against blinding glare because the nanoparticles work to deflect the light. Once installed, you’ll notice an improvement in the cabin’s temperature profile while sitting in the sun.

This benefit is similar to what you can receive with metallic window films since the reflective qualities are excellent. The advantage that a ceramic tint delivers is that you won’t have signal or cellular interference.

You’ll need to review the window tint laws in your jurisdiction before applying a front film. If nothing is allowed, anything contributing to a darker profile could be tested and deemed illegal.

Your driving habits must also come into consideration when tinting the front windows. If you go to different states or provinces, their tint darkness laws apply to your vehicle. What is permissible where you live could get you a ticket somewhere else.

A Different Way to Solve the Glare Problem

Although headlight glare can be a problem, it is usually for a few seconds before it goes away. You can tilt the rearview mirror down to reflect the light better while turning the side just a bit to avoid having it come straight in your eyes.

When you’re dealing with glare from the sun, you might need something that offers long-term benefits. That’s why investing in a high-quality pair of sunglasses is often better than applying window tint on your side mirrors.

Even if you invest in name-brand sunglasses, the cost and convenience are a better combination than the hassle of installing a window film on a mirror.

Here are the best sunglasses you can wear while driving today.

1. Oakley Conductor 8 Sunglasses

If you don’t like wearing polarized sunglasses, this metal frame design delivers a durable experience while offering a UV protection coating.

The lens width on the Oakley Conductor 8 metal rectangular sunglasses is only 60mm, making them lightweight and comfortable.

It features integrated spring hinges, silicone nose pads, and comfortable earsocks for all-day wear. It takes a little time to get the fit right, but the investment is worth making.

2. Ray-Ban Chromance Mirrored Square Sunglasses

When you prefer polarized lenses for your wearing experience, the Ray-Ban Chromance mirrored sunglasses can dramatically reduce the brightness levels of any shiny surface. You’ll experience less eye strain with sun glare, being around large bodies of water, or in the winter with the snow.

You won’t believe the added clarity that happens!Your investment provides access to the brand’s six layers of anti-reflection treatment to achieve one of the best wear experiences in the market today.

3. Versace VE4369 Pillow Sunglasses

Although this pair comes with a plastic frame and lens, you receive a mirror coating with the right darkness level to avoid glare.

If you purchase the Versace VE4369 Pillow sunglasses as a kit, you’ll receive cleaning supplies, a key chain, and other bonuses. The lends width is 58mm, giving you the right amount of vision when dealing with sun glare.

You’ll drive in comfort and style once you slip them on – and see the world differently!

Are you thinking about tinting your side mirrors? If so, it is a better idea to consider every alternative before modifying this safety device. You’ll find that placing a film on your front windows or upgrading your sunglasses can provide a world of difference when dealing with glare issues.


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