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tundra-lover

Window Tinting

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I've got a 97, and the windows were just tinted. From what I've understood about Lexus cars, BMW's, and some other European cars, the tint will cause loss of AM signal due to metallic film?

I haven't really noticed any problems other than I had to put a different film on because the film didn't like to conform to the larger than normal defrost lines? I thought this might be interesting to here any problems you guys may have encountered with this for future reference.

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I put a quality (made by Sun Guard) "metalized" window tint on my 01 ES and have not had any problems with radio reception on AM or FM bands. I've heard some people that have had problems with this type of tint as well as the antenna is in the back window, but if it's professionally installed not may problems exist. I've heard stories that the actual installer "cut" one or more of the lines on the back window when shaping the tint to the window, effecting radio & rear window deforster performance but that's about it. If that happens, they are responsible to take off the tint (big job & pain in the :censored: ) repair the problem & re-tint the window.

:cheers:

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The advice I got from a professional window tinting company is to avoid metalized films in cars that have embedded antennas for the radios (AM or FM Bands), and especially if the car came equipped with a Navigation System. You should use a dye type of film instead. This is also mentioned in the Owners Manual from '02-'04 ES's.

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The owner of the shop that tinted my windows last year told me that some customers had complained about decreased radio reception when metalized film was used on rear windows having antennas. Since I also depend on the phone antenna in the rear window, I had them use a dye time film on the rear window and a metalized film on the side windows. The colors seem to match and the shop owner said that he would replace the rear window tint at no cost if it ever deteriorated. When I asked a Lexus dealer service writer, I was told that a metalized tint on the rear window would not cause a reception problem - but I did not want to take a chance.

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Here's a page from the 2003 Supplemental Owners Manual. Read the first notice about metalized window films:

Tintfilm.jpg

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So far no problems with the metalized tint on my ES with radio reception. I only have a small bubble on my rear passenger window that the tint shop said should go away in time (been almost 3 weeks & it won't cure). :blink: I've tried to "press" the tint but that has done no good....I'm going to take the car back to the tint place next week to get corrected as it has a lifetime warranty.

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I did this test with my neighbors car which is exactly like mine, except he has the metalized tint in the rear window.

1-Parked both cars next to each other.

2-Turned on both radios to the same radio station, either on AM or FM.

3-Switched cars positions to see if it would affect the sensitivity.

Here are the findings:

If you're tuned into a station with a strong signal there was no difference in the reception, with or without the tint.

On stations with a weak signal, I was still able to get decent reception with my car without the tint, but on my neighbors car the station would not even stop at that frequency when using the scan function, or even if it did there was considerably more background noise.

The metalized tint definitely affects the sensitivity of a car radio that uses this type of embedded antenna(as said in the page from the Owners Manual posted above).

Embedded antennas have never been the best solution to give you optimum signal strength as opposed to a staff type antenna, and that's why I never liked them. ;)

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Just pop in a CD or cassette if the reception get a bit staticy lol. :)

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