Windshields are getting much more expensive to replace as more technology is added to vehicles. From defrosters built into the glass and all the high-tech gadgets such as adaptive cruise control, autopilot cameras, heads-up displays, and so on. Even if the glass itself ends up being inexpensive, the calibration of those sensors will add up quickly.
There are several different kinds and brands of windshield protection films available on the market today. Generally, they were always used for weekend or track cars that did not need to use wiper blades and faced minimal exposure to the elements. Now it is becoming increasingly popular to use on daily drivers as windshields have become more and more expensive to replace if damaged. And it seems like more and more road debris is causing chips and cracks to windshields today.
The Truth About All Windshield Films
Many people buy windshield film expecting it to act like glass but tougher. This is simply not the case. Windshield films are a film applied to the outside of the glass. They will become damaged over time, and scratch from using the wiper blades over time if the blades are not cleaned regularly. These kinds of film are designed to be temporary, and removable. They were not made to last the lifetime of the vehicle like the glass is.
The other expectation is that the films would be as optically clear and perfectly flawless as the glass is. Being a clear film means that even the slightest imperfections, either in the film or the glass, would be very visible when looking through it. No installation of a windshield protection film will be flawless, nor will the film itself be flawless. This is a film being applied and not glass or a liquid application like rain-x.
Stek’s film is one of the newest on the market and sets itself apart from other films by being more like paint protection film than a window tint as other brands of films are. There is no shrinking needed for this film, making fitting it to windshields easier and therefore resulting in a better fit than other films. This can also help with reducing distortion in the film.
The film guards your windshield against scratches, chips, cracks, and even stains so that your vision remains unobstructed. DYNOflex is crack-resistant. Composed of highly elastic layers that effectively absorb and disperse shocks.
It also offers 99% UV rejection. Is hydrophobic, and offers a topcoat for better protection than other window films can offer. It is still recommended that you regularly clean your wiper blades off to prevent deep scratches to the film when you do need to use them.
Clearplex is another top film in the market. Though it is more like window tint, it has to be shrunk to fit, which can often result in distortion visible when looking through the material. It is a clear film that offers impact absorption to protect the glass.
A common use for Clearplex films is for track cars or weekend-only vehicles. The film is scratch-resistant and offers faster snow and rain runoff than standard glass would. It also offers 99% UV protection.
How to Care for Windshield Film
The best way to clean the film is to thoroughly rinse it off with water to remove any large debris particles. Use a mild car washing detergent, the same as you would use on the whole vehicle. Follow up with just a detail spray if it needs further cleaning. It is not recommended to use any kind of window cleaner or other cleaners on the films as it can cause damage to the film.
It is also recommended to regularly wipe off the windshield wiper blades to clean any debris off the blades to avoid scratching the film. Using rubbing alcohol and a mild detergent to clean them.