Window tint: which is best?

Messages
671
Location
Houston
I've had several cars tinted during my lifetime, but I've never really paid much attention to which brand of tint was being used by the shop. Does anyone have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions on the various brands of window tint (3M, etc.)? I'm looking at doing something like 30% all the way around on my car. Any comments are appreciated.
 
Messages
2,698
Location
Silicon Valley
ANY comments? I recommend avoiding any aftermarket tint because of the safety hazard of poor visibility, both from inside at night and through the vehicle for other drivers. I also haven't seen any tint hold up much past 3-4 years, from either scratching, bubbling, or clouding. I don't like tint.
 

AstroVic

Thread starter
Messages
671
Location
Houston
Hey, I appreciate what you're saying, Tosh, but the fact of the matter is I live in Houston and it gets hotter than a pistol in the summer. Driving in a car without SOME window tint (or fancy built-in "clear" tint like new BMWs have) is kinda like walking through a snow storm in your whitey-tighties. It's hard to find a car in Texas, particularly in the Houston area, that doesn't have window tint on it. Heck, my POLICE CAR has window tint on it!
 
Messages
2,698
Location
Silicon Valley
Oh yeah? Well, I've survived driving in Florida for over 15 years without tint by parking in the shade and using sunshades front and back. My night vision is superb, and I find it very scary driving a tinted car at night. Tint to keep cool sounds like a good idea at first, but there can be visibilty problems down the road, and tint can be very difficult to remove from some rear windows if you ever change your mind.
 
Messages
3,435
Location
FL
there is a difference in brands i had tint done on my old car that is still good and it is at least 10 yrs old. however i appologize that i can not remember the brand. if you list some brands i will recognize the name. lunar? something like that but it is also just as important to find someone that is very good to install it.
 

AstroVic

Thread starter
Messages
671
Location
Houston
I've removed tint from rear windows, so I know what you're talking about. In fact, I removed all of the tint from the car in question, a 1995 Crown Victoria, because it was getting the "old tint" look. (And the Crown Vics have the rear defroster and antenna built into the rear window.) The "old tint" look is precisely the reason why I'm asking about the quality of various tint brands. I, too, have superb night vision. I spent eleven of my thirteen years as a police officer patrolling the graveyard shift. Modest tint (30% - 35%) doesn't have much impact on my ability to safely see out of it. I've certainly never been involved in any traffic accidents due to window tint. Window tint also spares the interior of the car from getting that dry-rot, baked in an oven look. And since my 1995 Crown Vic LX is nearly flawless, I'd like to keep it that way. As a benefit, me and my wife and kids will get to stay a few degree cooler during the brutal heat of a Houston summer. Your comments are appreciated and I take them with due consideration, but the issue of getting the tint vs. not getting the tint is not at hand here. It's GOING TO happen. I'm just trying to solicit some good information on the various qualities between brands.
 
Messages
2,276
Location
Cincinnati
AstroVic: I've had several cars tinted over the past twenty years. I've always used the same aftermarket installer in my area (SolarTint) and they use 3M products. I've had ZERO problems with visibility (day or night), nor have I had any problems with clouding, bubbling, or scratching. Tosh: I like tinted windows! No problemo! AstroVic: I recently saw a car with the front window tinted, which I will draw the line at. TINT MY RIDE!
 

AstroVic

Thread starter
Messages
671
Location
Houston
My understanding is that it is against the law in every state if you tint the front window lower than the AS-1 line (or whatever they call it). It's certainly against the law in Texas. I've never had any problems with bubbling or peeling or anything like that. I *have* seen window tint fade a little bit and get that "old tint" look I keep talking about. 3M is probably a winner.
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
I agree totally with sprintman. I've had many different brands; all the same as far as longevity and performance. But when put on by a crappy installer, any brand will look like heck. Oh, and I agree vic, tint is the way to go in high heat. Keeps the car much cooler; don't have to have the A/C cranked quite as much. I feel naked in a car without it.
 
Messages
23,728
Location
CA
Lots of 3rd Gen Acura TL guys use the Ceramic Tint (whatever that is) over on AcuraZine. I heard that it doesn't interfere with the Navi's reception (from memory, could be wrong)...but I know nothing about tinting. [I dont know]
 
Messages
1,268
Location
SoCal, CA USA
I just got my tC done with "SolorGard" "HP Titanium" film and it's fantastic. Lifetime warranty to not fade or turn purple as many cheap films do. I got 32% all around, which is a nice looking and not-too-restrictive shade. Too dark tint looks ridiculous and is dangerous, IMHO. As for "parking in shade or under trees" - yeah, if the world were perfect, which it ain't [Smile] It sure makes driving in the sun more enjoyable. Scott
 

blupupher

Site Donor 2021
Messages
6,926
Location
Katy, Republic of Texas
AstroVic, do you plan on doing it yourself or having a place do it? I have a tint guy in Humble that does excelent work and has a lifetime warranty (been in business for over 15 yrs). Let me know if you want their info. Ceramic tint is way nice, but is also way expensive. Around $400-500 for a car starting.
 

AstroVic

Thread starter
Messages
671
Location
Houston
I'm going to have it done. I used to take all of my cars to Tino's Car Vision in Pasadena, who has always done excellent work, but I'm having a hard time working it into my schedule since he usually wants the car for half the day. If you don't mind, please send me the info on the guy in Humble. I appreciate it!
 
Messages
4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
I like the dark "limo tint" (usually allows 5% of light through). It looks good, keeps the car cooler in summer, provides privacy, and, most importantly, it dims headlights from behind enough that I haven't used the rear-view mirror's night adjustment for years. I'd like to put a light tint on the front side windows, but we're allowed tint from the B-Pillar back here so that's what I do. The only visibility issue I have is in backing up in very dark area at night: if there's nothing behind you you can't see anything, but if there is the back-up lights illuminate it, so it's never really been a problem. I've had good experiences with Llumar and SolarGard. The installer should provide a lifetime warranty.
 
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