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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So...I've got a problem.

I was pulled over for the window tinting being too dark. In Pa, the darkest the tint can be, to my knowledge, is 70%. My tint was 30% up front and 16% in the back. They did not give me a "fix it' ticket but he told me to take it off. So, my question is, what is the best way to take it off? I would think the windows would have to come out to be a complete job, and to not hurt the interior.

The real problem that I think I'll have is actually the back window, as the defroster lines will most likely be destroyed with a razor blade. So what's better? Sell the windows and replace or try to take it off myself.

I just don't understand this "law," as this tint is legal in Florida but not Pa. Sure it's hot in Florida but it's also hot in Pa in the summer...

I guess I'm saying, what would you do in my situation?

Thanks for any input!

Ryan
 

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If it's anything like New York, then the problem is with the front windows. Rear side windows and rear main window are not an issue.

EDIT: I stand corrected. Front and rear windows must allow at least 70% of light through. You can make your back window as dark as you want though. In New York, at least.
 

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So...I've got a problem.

I was pulled over for the window tinting being too dark. In Pa, the darkest the tint can be, to my knowledge, is 70%. My tint was 30% up front and 16% in the back. They did not give me a "fix it' ticket but he told me to take it off. So, my question is, what is the best way to take it off? I would think the windows would have to come out to be a complete job, and to not hurt the interior.

The real problem that I think I'll have is actually the back window, as the defroster lines will most likely be destroyed with a razor blade. So what's better? Sell the windows and replace or try to take it off myself.

I just don't understand this "law," as this tint is legal in Florida but not Pa. Sure it's hot in Florida but it's also hot in Pa in the summer...

I guess I'm saying, what would you do in my situation?

Thanks for any input!

Ryan
Ryan-

Best way to remove tint is with a steamer. This loosens the glue that binds the tint film to the window, and will allow you to safely remove the tint on all desired windows without risk of damaging parts, such as the defroster. Windows do not need to be removed, and using a razor is not recommended nor necessary. On all windows except the rear with the defroster, if the film is within 5 years old, you should be able to lift a corner with a razor blade (upper corner preferably). Lift the corner, and with blunt initial force, pull downward. You should be able to remove the tint in 1 piece. The initial is the most important, and will allow you to remove the remainder in 1 piece, ensuring you don't need to pick it at with a razor. Again, if you have access to a steamer, it's all you need. This is how tint shops remove your tint when you bring it back for such items as a law enforcement ticket.

Good luck!

PS: If it's anything like CA, just find a "friendly" cop to sign off the ticket. BUT, in your case, since you did not get a ticket, continue as-is until you do. Unless you really do not want the tint, then see my post above ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ryan-

Best way to remove tint is with a steamer. This loosens the glue that binds the tint film to the window, and will allow you to safely remove the tint on all desired windows without risk of damaging parts, such as the defroster. Windows do not need to be removed, and using a razor is not recommended nor necessary. On all windows except the rear with the defroster, if the film is within 5 years old, you should be able to lift a corner with a razor blade (upper corner preferably). Lift the corner, and with blunt initial force, pull downward. You should be able to remove the tint in 1 piece. The initial is the most important, and will allow you to remove the remainder in 1 piece, ensuring you don't need to pick it at with a razor. Again, if you have access to a steamer, it's all you need. This is how tint shops remove your tint when you bring it back for such items as a law enforcement ticket.

Good luck!

PS: If it's anything like CA, just find a "friendly" cop to sign off the ticket. BUT, in your case, since you did not get a ticket, continue as-is until you do. Unless you really do not want the tint, then see my post above ;)
I'll have to look into that streamer. I've taken off tint on my beater and was that a pain! If I wouldn't have been able to take out the back windows that would have been a nightmare! I would really like to keep the tint, as it helps wonderfully with the heat and honestly just helps to protect the interior. I just don't want to get stuck with a "fix it within five days or you're going to get fined" line. Thanks for the idea!

Ryan
 

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Just my opinion, but you shouldn't do jack until you understand EXACTLY what the law is in your state. This is 2011 -- use the Internet to search and find the answer. Example -- 35% is the darkest tint allowed in Virginia, and the percentage means light allowed IN, not light blocked.

Get the facts, then decide on course of action. Here's a start: Window Tinting 101 - ThirdGen.org
 

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I agree with the above post. 70% sounds like a light blocking spec vice a light transmission spec so you need to check to be sure what the law actually says.

Having removed tint on a couple vehicles I have found that ammonia or ammonia-based liquids like Windex work absolute wonders; takes minutes to un-tint a vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just my opinion, but you shouldn't do jack until you understand EXACTLY what the law is in your state. This is 2011 -- use the Internet to search and find the answer. Example -- 35% is the darkest tint allowed in Virginia, and the percentage means light allowed IN, not light blocked.

Get the facts, then decide on course of action. Here's a start: Window Tinting 101 - ThirdGen.org
I did actually look up some laws, and a lot of them are not explicitly stated. The Pa law prohibits tinting that "does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle." The law also states the windshield, side windows, OR side wing. It doesn't say "and." They don't seem to have real specifics, although it did say that it allows tinting as low as 30%...which the back windows are still less than that. So, overall, the laws seem contradictory and unnecessary. So, honestly, I don't understand exactly what it says, but I still need to read some more sites. Thanks for the link though!

Ryan
 

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That's pretty weak -- Pennsylvania not having a clear law. But it also seems pretty clear that if you go to 30% you are giving the cops an excuse to use their discretion: What is Legal Tint in Pennsylvania?
 

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Tint is always something annoying to deal with when you run into a stickler. I put 35% all round (obviously except windshield) and almost couldn't get away with it, because the limit in MD is 35% and the car has factory 97% i think.

At the same time, if it's so subjective in PA, it might also be something you could go to court for. I guess the state would have to prove that they can't see inside the vehicle. Pretty hard to prove, if there is no quantitative indication to go with it.

If you do take it off, steam or heat in general is good. You want to soften the adhesive. Another trick I've seen done was doing windex and placing a trash bag on the window, to get the tint to stick to the trash bag. Then you can pull it off easier. Definitely sucks tho.. tint is awesome.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Definitely it sucks. I pretty much don't think I can get away with it, as they tested the front windows to be 30% and the back windows to be 16%. The one thing that I wonder now is they never asked my permission to test the windows. They just said, "I'm waiting for the tint testing device" and "Please roll down your windows." I wonder if they need permission...just a "what if" kind of thing. I really would like to keep it, as the 90 degree sunny days are a lot less abusive with that tint.

Ryan
 

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Don't think you can really keep them from testing your car. I guess if they really wanted to be a#$##$# they could impound the car. I guess you just have to bite the bullet and take it off. Can always put tint back on, just go with something lighter (like 35%).

Also, whenever getting pulled over, especially at night, turn on all interior lights. It makes the tint seem less dark, since the cop can see inside the car better.
 
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I had a similar problem when I first tried to register my car. The tint was too dark and would not pass inspection, which leads to a host of other problems down the road. I could have remove most of the tint myself, but the back was kind of a pain. Long story short, I paid a professional shop to just remove the whole thing and they did a pretty through job with a steamer and a razor. A few minor spots remain way in the back, but the rear defroster was left completely intact with no damage.

If memory serves me right, it was about a $120 and took about 45-60 minutes total. The rear took most of the time. Expensive, but saved me the time and pain of removing and potentially damaging the interior.
 

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I find it surprising you US guys get in bother for the rear side windows, if I've read this thread right. Us UK guys get in bother for the front sides, if you've gone daft with some sort of limo tint, but the rear sides are not checked, you can buy (the first daft example that springs to mind...) a Fiat Punto and tint the rear windows as much as you like, because you can also buy a commercial version of that car with no rear windows and just solid panels, akin to a small van.

This is my understanding of the law, anyway, and is why I have no worries even though I have the factory tint, just rear and sides, but no front sides.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I find it surprising you US guys get in bother for the rear side windows, if I've read this thread right. Us UK guys get in bother for the front sides, if you've gone daft with some sort of limo tint, but the rear sides are not checked, you can buy (the first daft example that springs to mind...) a Fiat Punto and tint the rear windows as much as you like, because you can also buy a commercial version of that car with no rear windows and just solid panels, akin to a small van.

This is my understanding of the law, anyway, and is why I have no worries even though I have the factory tint, just rear and sides, but no front sides.
My problem is both the front and the rear. The front I can personally "see in" but the back is pretty dark. Yeah, it's really only this state that it's a huge problem. Since the law doesn't explicitly say what percentage is legal, the police decide what they think is legal.

Ryan
 

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If you get pulled over here, the police have a hand-held meter that will measure the light transmission through the tint there and then. You would then be issued (usually) with a producer, should the car fail the test on certain windows, meaning the car will be inspected in 7 days and must have the issue corrected. This is what I have seen previously, others in the UK might have seen different.

It's also been known many times for the police to ask you to remove the tint before they will allow you to drive off. They demand it be done there and then. I've never been sure of the legality of this, but I know it happens. Usually only at get-togethers in McDonalds carparks, granted, but it does happen.

From what you describe, the biggest problem you have is no fixed number to ensure you're on the right side of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you get pulled over here, the police have a hand-held meter that will measure the light transmission through the tint there and then. You would then be issued (usually) with a producer, should the car fail the test on certain windows, meaning the car will be inspected in 7 days and must have the issue corrected. This is what I have seen previously, others in the UK might have seen different.

It's also been known many times for the police to ask you to remove the tint before they will allow you to drive off. They demand it be done there and then. I've never been sure of the legality of this, but I know it happens. Usually only at get-togethers in McDonalds carparks, granted, but it does happen.

From what you describe, the biggest problem you have is no fixed number to ensure you're on the right side of.
That's the problem. The meter can actually not be used in court since there is no fixed number. Unfortunately, I have heard of the police trying to make someone rip off the tint right then and there. I would probably not go for that. No need to scratch my windows! :crying:

Ryan
 

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Absolutely, I can't imagine they would try and take that sort of tone if you were reasonable and didn't drive some sh!t-tip chavmobile.
 

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Ryan-

Where exactly in PA do you live/did you get pulled over? As you've stated Pennsylvania is fairly vague about their tint laws and basically it comes down to whether or not an officer feels comfortable approaching the vehicle. Having grown up in an area in Jersey where had reason to worry about the vehicles they were approaching it's always been my habit when pulled over to roll down all my windows as far as they go, turn on the interior light if it's nighttime, and wait for them to approach while I keep both hands on the wheel. Bottom line is, the more comfortable they feel about you having nothing to hide, the more lax they will be about your reasons for having the tint. I have 30% all-around and have never been questioned about it in PA. My friend has limo tint and was stopped once here but never again. It really comes down to presentation.
 
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Ryan-

Where exactly in PA do you live/did you get pulled over? As you've stated Pennsylvania is fairly vague about their tint laws and basically it comes down to whether or not an officer feels comfortable approaching the vehicle. Having grown up in an area in Jersey where had reason to worry about the vehicles they were approaching it's always been my habit when pulled over to roll down all my windows as far as they go, turn on the interior light if it's nighttime, and wait for them to approach while I keep both hands on the wheel. Bottom line is, the more comfortable they feel about you having nothing to hide, the more lax they will be about your reasons for having the tint. I have 30% all-around and have never been questioned about it in PA. My friend has limo tint and was stopped once here but never again. It really comes down to presentation.

Good advice, just remember they do not know you from convict johnny. If if make it easy for them to see in the car and see your hands Officers feel more comfortable and safer.

If the law if that vague, just find a trooper or go to a police station and have a traffic officer explain what is legal and not. Most states allow x amount of rear and rear door tint, and none to very light in the front. And no they do not have to ask permission to check your window tint. The traffic stop is based on probable cause. The Officers visually sees a violation (tint) and conducts a stop. The tint meter gives concrete evidence to support the probable cause and gives a reading to show the tint is out of legal limits. It is just like radar guns. Officers first make a visual estimate on your speed, the radar gun gives concrete evidence.

O and if it is a good cop and not a traffic cop, the stop for your windows is just to contact you and see what else he can find. IE guns and drugs that is probably why he did not give you a citation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ryan-

Where exactly in PA do you live/did you get pulled over? As you've stated Pennsylvania is fairly vague about their tint laws and basically it comes down to whether or not an officer feels comfortable approaching the vehicle. Having grown up in an area in Jersey where had reason to worry about the vehicles they were approaching it's always been my habit when pulled over to roll down all my windows as far as they go, turn on the interior light if it's nighttime, and wait for them to approach while I keep both hands on the wheel. Bottom line is, the more comfortable they feel about you having nothing to hide, the more lax they will be about your reasons for having the tint. I have 30% all-around and have never been questioned about it in PA. My friend has limo tint and was stopped once here but never again. It really comes down to presentation.
I got pulled over in a pretty small town, about an hour from Pittsburgh. I really don't think they have anything to worry about, as hardly anything happens in that town. There has been a couple of robberies (over a long period) but nothing against police officers that I've heard. I think more of the "problem" is that the cops are just bored. I've gotten pulled over twice, where the first time I was driving my dad's truck. A cop pulled me over because the "lights were too bright" on it (my dad put aftermarket fogs which the lights are legal). He then proceeded to follow me to my friend's house just to make sure I wasn't lying to him. I don't think the cops really have anything to worry about here, just that they need to do something better with their time. I will say that the tint in the back of the car is very dark, but if they carry a flashlight, I really don't see the problem.

Ryan
 
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