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branshew

Anyone Tinted Their Windows?

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My brother is getting his done on his Impreza, and I was there with him while he set up the appt. today. I managed to talk the manager into giving me 1/2 off if I also scheduled to have mine done. I told my brother that I would split the difference so I will get 5 windows done for $125.

I have been thinking about it for a while since it will cut back on the UV rays that are killing my leather as well as providing some heat relief from the hot southern summers.

The shop is reputable and has been around for a while. Their film is from 3M.

Does anyonne have any tips/advice etc?

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The owner of the shop that tinted the windows in my 00 LS in December told me that he has had complaints about radio reception being compromised when metallic tint film is used on rear windows that have imprinted antennas. Since both my radio and phone antennas are imprinted on the rear window, I asked that he install non-metallic film on just the rear window. He used metalic film on the side windows. Although one would hope that the installer would do a good job of cleaning your windows before applying the film, it might be a good idea to clean them thoroughly before you take your car in. Be aware that using a standard amonia based window cleaner can quickly distroy window film. Spend the extra bucks to buy the special cleaner for tinted windows and only clean the film with a soft 100% cotton cloth - never with a paper towel.

Another thing I did was to ask that the film installer to not install film behind the high mounted brake light. He did a perfect job in cutting the film around the brake light housing so that the brake light is still just as visible as before.

I used to think that window tint was silly - just people trying to look "cool". But now I understand that it is a great product and does wonders to improve comfort and reduce sun damage - not just to cars but even on one's left arm which happens to be the only place where I have sun damage that has required a bit of medical attention.

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I just looked at the DIY instructions and it dosen't look too difficult, but I am overly anal about my cars. Given the fact that it would be my first attempt, I would likely not do the best job ever and then I would just get PO'd at myself for messing it up. I think this one is better left to the pros. Besides, $125 sounds fairly reasonable.

I also have an external antenna so I'm not too worried about the metallic coating. Thanks for the warning though. My Benz does have the antenna in the glass and if this goes well, I may do that ride as well.

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I am also looking to tint my windows. I am not going to DIY, I also am anal and DONT have a steady hand. I am too worried about those little bubbles, that would drive me nutz. So I am looking into getting it done by a "proffessional".

One thing that being a Virginia Resident you need to be aware of is the cops will pull you over and ticket you just for having your windows tinted too dark. Friend of mine got a ticket, what he missed and the "Professional" missed was that when you are tinting (lets say 50% on the side windows) that it goes on top of the cars own light tint. Thereby making it over the Virginia Max and that is not an exuse that the cops will accept. Just FYI.

Also Anyone in the No. VA area that has gotten their windows tinted, could you recommend anyone?

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I helped my best friend open a tint shopseveral years ago, and here's what I learned in the process:

Generally, you have two choices, metallized film and dyed film. Metallized film is usually slightly more expensive, but is worth the cost for several reasons. Metallized films usually have a lifetime manufacturer's warranty against fading and purpling. Dyed films do not. I'm sure you've all seen cars with purple tint... that is dyed film. Usually, dyed film will fade and purple within five years. The benefit of dyed films is that for the first year or so, they will be darker and blacker (is that a word?). Metallized films will be more gray/brown/green/blue in appearance, depending on the manufacturer. These colors are barely noticeable.

The metallic film shouldn't hinder the performance of your antenna (this is rare), as the film is installed underneath the antenna. I've got metallized film on my car, and haven't had any problems whatsoever.

The best time to tint your car is right after you've had a safety inspection. Because your Lexus has factory privacy glass (slightly tinted), this will allow your new tint to fade slightly, and in most cases will fade enough to bring your tint to the legal limit (depends on the state). Also, if you can wait, tint your car in the winter. Business is SLOW, and you'll get a great deal.

Also note that darker films do not have more UV rejection. Some tint shops even have clear films that provide the same amount of UV rejection as their darkest film... this is an option if you don't like the look of tint, but you want the UV rejection qualities.

Lastly, DO NOT TINT YOUR CAR YOURSELF!!! Unless you've got some experience, you will always be able to tell that the tint is a do it yourself job. The rear windshield especially, will be obvious. The curvature of the glass requires heat shrinking techniques, and in some cases the film has to be applied in two pieces and seamed. In most states, the brake light can not be covered by the tint... let a pro cut it out. The rear windshield also has a dot matrix pattern toward the top that can be beastly to tint. And, in the rare case that your rear defrost gets messed up when tinting, a reputable tint shop will have insurance to replace it. It's worth it to pay a pro.

Don't have your car tinted at the Lexus dealership. Dealerships usually outsource, and then tack about $100 - $200 onto the price. Find out where they take the cars, and take the car there yourself.

Whew... sorry about the long post... I just can't help myself... :whistles:

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Tint is very nice in summer, and helps cut down the HID glare from behind as well. Also, consider a colored tint that will complement your body color. For example, I have a light bronze tint on a dark green body color. BTW, $125 is a for the whole car is good deal to me. Just be sure the front windows are not too dark or Johnny Law will have a word with you. Good luck!

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How can you tell if you have metallic or dyed film? Mine is from 3M, but thats all I know. And from the looks of it, its gray in color up close, FWIW. Thanks.

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I noticed that rear window tint interferes with operation of the automatic anti-glare inside and outside mirrors on my LS. The mirrors don't darken as quickly at night when a car is behind. I forgot the brand of the film (it is not 3M) that was used, but the non-metallic tint on the rear window is the same brand and color as the metallic tint on the side windows. The warranty on both types is 10 years although the installer provides his own "as long as you own your vehicle" warranty. Fortunately he has been in business a lot longer than 10 years. I expressed the same concern about the non-metalic film lasting. He did not think this would be a problem but said that he would be glad to steam it off and replace it if it ever failed. My main reason for using non-metallic tint on the rear window was to ensure that operation of the phone antenna imprinted on the rear window would not be impaired. Even a little degradation in signal strength would be problem.

I also recommend having a "pro" tint your windows if only because they have those PC controlled laser film cutters that cut the film to the exact size of each window. $210 I spent last time seems pretty cheap for a perfect job.

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Also keep in mind that metalicized tint can interfere with your navigation system if equipped.

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One thing that being a Virginia Resident you need to be aware of is the cops will pull you over and ticket you just for having your windows tinted too dark. Friend of mine got a ticket, what he missed and the "Professional" missed was that when you are tinting (lets say 50% on the side windows) that it goes on top of the cars own light tint. Thereby making it over the Virginia Max and that is not an exuse that the cops will accept. Just FYI.

Thanks for the heads up. I was looking at 35% in the back and 50% in the front. My windows aren't too dark as it is so I don't think that it will be too much of a problem. I also don't think that the cops here in VB are too bad unles you're a high school kid or young Navy "squid"* in a souped up ricer. I usually drive around in a suit and tie for work so I'll probably get a little more respect if I get pulled.

*Please realize that I mean abslutely NO disrespect to those that currently or previously served our country in the Navy. I hold the utmost respect to those who have made that sacrifice.

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