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Thread: Wish I had not tinted

  1. #1
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    Wish I had not tinted

    So I ponied up for ceramic and it's been "curing" a full week now.

    Tinting is awesome!

    I could only find one guy within an hour's drive of me that would do 3M ceramic (widely praised) tinting for me. A couple other places told me it's because ceramic is only done in climates much hotter than northern California. Luckily, the one guy is authorized by 3M, open Saturdays, he's on my way to work, and of his 36 yelp reviews 35 are 5-star! He's a super nice guy, been doing this 25 years, and happily answered all my many questions.

    Ok, tinting isn't magic, but it's good.

    For crystalline on the windshield, ceramic the other 7, I could only talk him down to $700. But you get what you pay for. He wasn't sure where I was seeing 3M ceramic only cost 20% more than Color Stable, but he pays like triple, and it needs to be applied differently. So $700. And my car was going be so much cooler, both in appearance and interior temperature, for its entire life. When I picked up the car, before I paid him, he promised me those spots were all going to disappear and the tint would look perfect. I should give it a week parked outside at most for the normal, trapped residual water to disappear. He looked puzzled when I asked how the water got out, and explained to me that sunlight heats up water and hot water evaporates. A quick googling confirmed some water pockets are totally normal and temporary.

    Tinting is a total scam industry and I'm a fool.

    A week later those obvious water bubbles are still there. And all the little bubbles I started seeing on closer inspection are there also. I still have 5 to 20 little 1-2mm blemish/bubbles on each window showing no signs of going away. The handful of little 1-inch long wrinkles on the windshield are still there too. I'll be going back tomorrow to demand satisfaction. He'll tell me what I'm seeing will go away eventually, or is within tolerance, or I'm the first person to think this it's an issue, and refuse to correct it. I'll let him know I'll be posting a negative review. It won't help.

    Worse, I'm noticing no difference in internal temperature when my car sits in the sun at work. Which is the reason I spent the $700 in the first place. I thought the main reason the interior got hotter than the outside temperature was visible and IR light transmission through the glass, and that this tint's roughly 50% Total Solar Energy Rejection would kill a fair amount of that. But parts of the dash/doors in direct sun still feel too hot to touch on an 80 degree day. Driving along with the A/C up, sunlight on my arm/lap still feels uncomfortably warm. I do think this guy is using genuine 3M products (I at least saw 3M branded boxes and legit displays, and he's in good standing w/ 3M), but I don't think my comfort or the longevity of the soft-touch and leather parts of my interior have been significantly improved.

    And I'm learning other consequences of tinting that I somehow missed in my optimistic research. Like that headlights behind me now reflect off every defroster line. Was thinking it might just be me, or that it just needs to "cure" more, but I'm glad to see all the tint professionals chiming in on tintdude.com saying that nighttime unusabillity of you rear window because of this defroster line glare is totally normal; it's my fault for trying to see out my back window. Or that I'll need to choose between slower driving or more frequent speeding tickets, because even during the day that slight rippling over the defroster lines means I can't see my rear view clearly.

    Anyway, this isn't the first time I and my money were easily parted. But I'm posting this as advice to any considering first-time tinting. If I had the choice again and could get it done a couple hundred bucks cheaper, without any noticeable blemishes, I wouldn't. Visual clarity is reduced. It looks like I'm looking through a thin piece of plastic stuck to my glass. I know, duh. I went 30% on the 2 front windows, which isn't dark enough to really look cool or block enough solar energy, but I'm still risking a ticket. I paid for top-quality name-brand nano-ceramic and crystalline film, but my car is no cooler for it. I guess my car looks almost noticeably better now? And maybe it would stay slightly cooler in the desert? But those tiny benefits are, for me, far outweighed by the drawbacks and expense.

  2. #2
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    I never had any issues with Ceramic tint. I have had my 370Z, C6 Z06, and my 2015 and 2019 CX5's done in ceramic.

    Of course you won't see a difference of temps with it sitting in the sun all day. It's going to heat-soak. What you WILL notice in 10 years is that your dash and interior aren't as faded (why I did the windshield), and that your A/C isn't quite as hard working to maintain interior temps on road trips during the day, etc.

    The defroster lines and the water bubbles? That sounds lame.

    I, like you, thought ceramic was BS initially, but one shop had a heat lamp and some glass "panes" with different tint. The ceramic is legit. It's just that NOTHING is going to keep your car from heatsoaking 8+ hours in the sun.

    Also, keep this in mind:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_2lsMXR_wo

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unobtanium View Post
    Of course you won't see a difference of temps with it sitting in the sun all day. It's going to heat-soak. What you WILL notice in 10 years is that your dash and interior aren't as faded
    ...
    Also, keep this in mind:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_2lsMXR_wo
    I hope so. Is that video to say though that surfaces that reflect more radiation (e.g. lighter paint colors, and tinted windows) will stay cooler? That's the effect I was after. Or are you saying that darker windows will absorb more energy like darker paint does? That is some seriously misleading marketing BS if the TSE "Rejected" number means the radiated energy is not transmitted because it is absorbed by the film. In the demo you saw, were they measuring energy reflected/repelled/rejected, or where they measuring a reduction in energy transmitted through? To me, absorbed is the opposite of rejected.

    As I understand it, heat soaked means it's absorbed all the energy it's going to and has reached a stable temperature. That is, the rate of energy loss through convection with the surrounding cooler air has equalized with the rate of energy absorption from the sun's radiation. And if you somehow reduce the rate at which the car absorbs energy (for example by reflecting more of it), you would lower the temperature at which it stabilizes. Are you saying for a given radiation intensity and ambient condition nothing is going to keep your interior from reaching the same internal temperature given enough exposure time?

  4. #4
    Banned Chris_Top_Her's Avatar
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    Damn, 700 bones? On my 2.p0op cx (since traded) I paid about 300 tops I think. I did not get ceramic on my 2.5 because it was white, but zindefinteley notice the difference.

  5. #5
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    My first stop is the tint shop. Wouldn't have it any other way.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Top_Her View Post
    Damn, 700 bones? On my 2.p0op cx (since traded) I paid about 300 tops I think. I did not get ceramic on my 2.5 because it was white, but zindefinteley notice the difference.
    Hell, it's $2-250 just for the ceramic windshield if you use something good like Llumar.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CX_MCHNE View Post
    I hope so. Is that video to say though that surfaces that reflect more radiation (e.g. lighter paint colors, and tinted windows) will stay cooler? That's the effect I was after. Or are you saying that darker windows will absorb more energy like darker paint does? That is some seriously misleading marketing BS if the TSE "Rejected" number means the radiated energy is not transmitted because it is absorbed by the film. In the demo you saw, were they measuring energy reflected/repelled/rejected, or where they measuring a reduction in energy transmitted through? To me, absorbed is the opposite of rejected.

    As I understand it, heat soaked means it's absorbed all the energy it's going to and has reached a stable temperature. That is, the rate of energy loss through convection with the surrounding cooler air has equalized with the rate of energy absorption from the sun's radiation. And if you somehow reduce the rate at which the car absorbs energy (for example by reflecting more of it), you would lower the temperature at which it stabilizes. Are you saying for a given radiation intensity and ambient condition nothing is going to keep your interior from reaching the same internal temperature given enough exposure time?
    Also...did you measure pre/post tint? Can you step outside and tell me if the temp is 100 or 110, humidity being a wild card? You have no data, just "feelings". That's not adequate for a valid complaint, IMO.


    Chris, sounds like he did all windows + windshield, that is $700 in F1, legit.

  8. #8
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    I had my front windshield and front two windows tinted with ceramic film. It does still get hot in the cabin after sitting in the sun all day, sure. That said, I did notice that ambient temps didn't get as hot as they used to (though I'm only going by "feeling"). More importantly, I noticed that the car cools down much faster and the A/C doesn't work as hard as it used to. The heat of the sun on my chest and arms was also a lot more pronounced before the tinting was done.

  9. #9
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    Yup, tinting is always one of the first things I get done too.
    Last edited by Cuz; 08-13-2019 at 12:16 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered Member Kaps's Avatar
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    Do this - get a custom made CoverKing windshield sun shade - costs about $50-70 -get one for your CX5 model year. Park your car in office facing the sun and put the shade. The shade will be hard to put in the first 1-2 months. You can now definitely see the difference in temperature. This blocks heat close to 100%.
    700 bucks - I should not see any bubble. I bought a no name crap and paid really less on my 2nd car. My Mazda was tinted by dealer for free to me. I guess his cost is really low as his film is probably cheapest. 700 bucks dude - you should have checked here.

    Official Defender of Zamdatm

  11. #11
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    A few tiny specs and dots are normal in a film tint if it isn't applied in a ventilated dust-free booth. The dots left over after a week are tiny dust particles that got trapped. Though they will be visible if looking for them they generally shouldn't be visible from a couple feet away and definitely shouldn't be larger than a tiny spec.

    Creases are not normal and I would think will lead to future issues.

    I have not had any visibility issues out the rear window after tinting, other than the obvious increase in darkness.

    I'm in the boat of it goes straight to the tinter after I get it. It's actually the last thing I try to get thrown in when buying the car.

    It sounds mainly like you weren't happy with the service received. Unfortunately that's something you'll either be able to work-out, or you'll have to wipe your hands of it and start over.

  12. #12
    Registered Member lowincash's Avatar

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    Sounds like the shop didn't do a good job on the prep work.

    No matter what tint you get, it's still going to be hot inside the car if it's sitting out in the sun. I have photosync tint which is a step or two above ceramic tint and I paid $1100 for the full car including sunroof. Car sitting in the sun, interior will get hot but not as burning hot as without tint. Heat just builds up inside. It's when driving that you'll notice the biggest difference. I usually have the a/c on 2 or 3 at 68 when it was in the 90's here. However, I feel no heat on my arm coming in while driving, that's the biggest advantage of these tint.

    Parking out in the sun, I have sunshade up and windows cracked open slightly, car is comfortable when I get off work. Hot but comfortable.

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