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Thread: What's the best tint film?

  1. #1
    Sponsor (& Model S Owner) pete8314's Avatar
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    Icon5 What's the best tint film?

    I've never tinted my cars before (though a couple came tinted from the dealer), so I've no real idea what to look for. My Audi dealer had a lame demo in an office showing the benefits of ceramic tint, and I've seen different posts on here, I guess 3M crystalline (sp?) appears the most popular? So, questions....

    - I see its legal in TX to do the windshield, I assume that's well worth doing, baring in mind my car sits in an open parking lot all day long.
    - is there a particular film I should be looking for? Looking at the website of local shops, they all seem to have different products, all of which are somehow the best on the market!
    - my S is grey, and I'm only tinting for protection from heat, and aesthetics. That said, I don't want it to look 'pimped out', so what's the normal tint percentage for something subtle, but noticeable?

    Anything else I should be considering?
    Delivered Feb 8 2013 - VIN 4287 - 85Kwh/Dolphin Grey/Pano/Tech/Sound/Air/shelf/HPWC/Passport 9500ci/19" TSportline wheels
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  2. #2
    P85 #6649 "Magic Carpet"
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    I've had the Huper Optik tint on three prior cars, and absolutely LOVED its heat resistance. I'll be re-evaluating the choices that are available to me now in case I find something better, but I was really pleased with that stuff. One of those cars was sold but I still get to see it around sometimes, and the tint is still in good shape seven years after I tinted it.

  3. #3
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    I got the 3M Crystalline product installed today.

    70% windshield
    60% front windows
    40% rear windows and hatch

    I could notice the difference immediately. I have a skin condition that increases my sensitivity to the sun.

    The product is nothing short of amazing. In the San Diego heat, my AC fan speed went down from level 3 to level 1. My skin didn't get burned or irritated.

    My sample is only one day, but sometimes the effects are so dramatic its irrefutable.



    Quote Originally Posted by pete8314 View Post
    I've never tinted my cars before (though a couple came tinted from the dealer), so I've no real idea what to look for. My Audi dealer had a lame demo in an office showing the benefits of ceramic tint, and I've seen different posts on here, I guess 3M crystalline (sp?) appears the most popular? So, questions....

    - I see its legal in TX to do the windshield, I assume that's well worth doing, baring in mind my car sits in an open parking lot all day long.
    - is there a particular film I should be looking for? Looking at the website of local shops, they all seem to have different products, all of which are somehow the best on the market!
    - my S is grey, and I'm only tinting for protection from heat, and aesthetics. That said, I don't want it to look 'pimped out', so what's the normal tint percentage for something subtle, but noticeable?

    Anything else I should be considering?

  4. #4
    hey pete,

    I also like Huper but there are a lot of cool products out now. There is even a clear ceramic tint that blocks UV heat as much as the tinted. I use this guy Trey Pappas in Addison (look up Speedshield) and he can tell you what is available. I also don't like a pimped out dark look. With the newer ceramic tints, you get as much heat rejection as a very dark normal tint, plus the ceramic tints never fade. I think I got about 70% on my roadster but will have to look.

    Also, I think you might be mistaken on tinting the front. You CAN tint it but only down 5" below the top.
    TxDPS - VI Window Tint Program

    Trey has been tinting some cars front with that clear film to get by this, the only downside is he has to cut a section out for our inspection stickers and toll tags...I didn't want to have to deal with that but might reconsider it again this summer in the roadster.

    Bob

  5. #5
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    This is a subjective question. It depends on a number of factors, but based on those factors there are definitely clear winners and losers. The main factors are 1) looks and 2) UV/heat rejection. For looks, 40% tint by one company will look differently than 40% tint by another company. Same goes for different product lines within the same company (e.g. 40% 3M crystalline vs 40% 3M ceramic). That being said, the top quality brands IMO are 3M Crystalline, 3M Ceramic, Forumula One, Huper Optic, and Madico Wincos. 3M crystalline is generally known as the cream of the crop as far as 'technology' comes. Something like 250 nanotechnology layers and 99.9% UV/heat rejection. That product line is your best choice for UV/heat rejection out of all possible tint. It is probably the most expensive tint too. It has a bit more bronzish look vs blueish hue that Madico Wincos has. 3M Crystalline will run you about $500-$600 for all windows (except windshield). It is not uncommon for people to put the highest % of 3M Crystalline on all their windows (including windshield) just for the UV rejection alone. Is was not designed to look dark. It is a very light tint in comparison to others. You cannot get lower than 40%. This is what I went with because I feel it gives the car a much more 'classier' look than a blacked out 'ghetto' look. Madico Wincos wouldn't really look right on mine because my S is black and the blueish hue wouldn't look right. If I wanted to go with a darker look, Huper Optic and Formula One would be good choices too. Again though I think this is a subjective question, and you'll probably hear different things from different people. I think you would be satisfied with any of the above choices.
    P85. VIN05837. Mileage (05/13/14): 48,000mi, Black | Tan Leather | Perf Seats | Obeche Glossy | Pano | Tech | Sound Studio | Air | Spoiler | Parcel Shelf | Twin Chargers | HPWC | Fog | Extended Trim | Alcantara | Premium Lighting, Aftermkt: XPEL | 40/20% Tint | Lighted T | 19" Tsportline TST Grey Turbines | 255/45ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S3

  6. #6
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    I also used crystalline for the first time on my current car; I did 90% on the windshield (which is not legal here :x), but at 90% it is optically clear and virtually undetectable (which would be nice for someone who wants heat rejection but no darkening). I did 40% everywhere else. It is about as dark as my 32% HU was on my previous car... a little lighter and a little more grey as opposed to blue, but I like it. In terms of performance it really is amazing in my experience. I'll drive with the sunroof tilted up and no A/C as warm as ~28-30C with no problems, and when the A/C is on I don't need to crank it. The only downside is it is roughly 100% more cost compared to HU around here.

  7. #7
    Sponsor (& Model S Owner) pete8314's Avatar
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    Thanks all, very helpful. I think if I did it I would still want to put something that's discreet on the windshield, and I wondered what they did about the tags, so at least I know. I was surprised nothing melted/warped in my A5 that baked in the sun for 3 years, but I suspect the Model S is much less tested for that kind of thing, so I want to protect the interior as best I can. I did look at Speedshield already (recommended on the Dallas thread), and another place a little nearer to me. Will let you all know the outcome!

    P.s. how long does it take? Do they have the car for a few hours?
    Delivered Feb 8 2013 - VIN 4287 - 85Kwh/Dolphin Grey/Pano/Tech/Sound/Air/shelf/HPWC/Passport 9500ci/19" TSportline wheels
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  8. #8
    Model S: P6931 gocken2's Avatar
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    The front windshield of the Model S already has some sort of ir/uv blocking.
    I looked into different brands of tint. I live in Phoenix and the most important aspect of tint is the heat rejection. Here is a list of the highest heat rejection tints that I could find. I used the manufacture website data. (Sorry about the formatting) Metallic tints block electronic signals.
    Tint, visible light transmission, total solar energy rejection, ultraviolet ray protection
    Huper Optik X-Treme Ceramic 30%, 30, 63, 99.9
    Huper Optik X-Treme Ceramic 35%, 34, 60, 99
    Huper Optik X-Treme Ceramic 40%, 44, 54, 99
    Huper Optik Drei (metalic), 35, 70, 99
    FormulaOne Pinnacle 30, 33, 57, 99.5
    FormulaOne Pinnacle 35, 39, 54, 99.5
    Llumar CTX 30 Charcoal, 31, 50, 99
    Llumar CTX 40 Charcoal, 43, 47, 99
    3M Crystalline CR40, 39, 60, 99.9
    3M Ceramic CM30, 36, 59, 99
    3M Ceramic CM40, 44, 53, 99
    V-Kool 40 (metalic), 42.8, 64.5, 99
    Madico Wincos 30, 31, 59, 99
    Madico Wincos 45, 45, 53, 99
    Suntek CXP CXP35, 33, 53, 99
    Suntek CXP CXP45, 40, 50, 99
    P6931 - 40 kWh, Blue Metallic, Tan Leather, Obeche Matte, Pano Roof, Active Air, 19" Wheels, Tech Package, Sound Studio, Parcel Shelf, Paint Armor

  9. #9
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    The only issue I ever had with HO is that on a lot of cars the installer can not physically get it on the rear window, due to the curvature of the window and the thickness of HO film. I asked like...10+ local installer who use HO here and none would put it on my rear window without using 2 to 4 pieces. They all said I would get HO on the sides and Suntek or crystalline on the rear if I wanted one piece rear (they all contended it wouldn't matter, and it likely wouldn't but I am oddly anal); so I just went with crystalline all around this time. pete8314 - the guy who did mine took about 3 hours.

  10. #10
    R#664, Model S#1526 BryanW's Avatar
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    Does anyone have any experience with, or recommendations for a 3M Crystalline installer in the Salt Lake City / Provo area?
    These posts are intended as part of a conversation among the Tesla Motors Clubs membership. Please do not quote my words outside the Tesla Motors Clubs forums without my consent.

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