Your car's windows and windshield face a host of enemies throughout every day of driving, from the sun's rays to precipitation to a stray pebble from the vehicle in front of you. Fortunately, your car's glass can be more than just glass, as there are a variety of coatings that can be applied to change the appearance of your vehicle, block light and heat, or save you from expensive repairs. Here is an explanation of four common types of auto glass coatings.

Hydrophobic Coating

For many drivers, their windshield wipers are the only things that keep their line of sight clear in heavy rain or snow. Unfortunately, windshield wipers always seem to wear down faster than you expect, leaving you with long streaks of water on your windshield that can create an unsafe driving condition. Many people do not notice this problem until they are already out in inclement weather.

You may be surprised to learn that buying new wiper blades is not the only thing you can do to help keep your windshield free of water streaks. Hydrophobic windshield coatings cause water to bead in large drops and run off of your windshield instead of streaking. These coatings are completely clear and do not impede visibility in any way, and they can provide the clarity that you need to get home safely when you're caught in a heavy storm.

Tinting Film

When you mention auto glass coating, tinting films are often one of the first things that people think of. Tinting films are one of the most common and customizable types of auto glass coating available, and they come in several different varieties. Dyed window film is an affordable option that creates a non-reflective appearance. This type of tinting film is effective at blocking sunlight and reducing glare from headlights and other light sources on the road, but it is somewhat prone to discoloration over time.

Metalized tinting film is an alternative to dyed film that is designed to block both sunlight and heat. Metalized film is more expensive than dyed film and produces a shiny appearance rather than a matte one. Some companies are now producing hybrid dyed and metalized tinting films that attempt to maintain the heat blocking property of metalized films without sacrificing the matte aesthetic of dyed films.

Impact and Anti-Scratch Coating

Windshield cracks are so common and yet so varying that many auto glass shops now classify them by type. This makes it obvious that protecting your windshield from scratches, chips, and other types of impact damage is an essential part of maintaining the appearance of your vehicle and the safety of your windshield.

Anti-scratch and anti-impact coating is designed to accomplish just this task. These coatings are typically made from polymer resins that are especially effective at slowing and redirecting the force of a small object impacting your windshield. While some consumer anti-scratch resins can be found, the highest-quality anti-scratch coatings need to be applied by professionals auto glass technicians.

Low-Emissivity Coating

Sun damage to the interior of your vehicle is a danger that you should be especially wary of if you have a leather interior. While window tint can provide some protection from UV rays, the highest level of UV blocking is found in low-emissivity auto glass coatings.

These clear coatings are typically made from a compound of silver that is applied to the outer layer of your vehicle's windshield and windows. In addition to protecting your vehicle's interior from damage, low-e coatings improve your vehicle's ability to hold heat in the winter and keep heat out in the summer, allowing you to run your heat and air conditioning less often and improving gas mileage.

There are many different auto glass coatings available, and each is designed to serve a specific purpose. Visit a local auto glass shop like SML Window Tint to learn more about the coatings they have available so you can be sure your vehicle's glass is protected from precipitation, sunlight, and impact damage.