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The Ultimate Tint Guide

42439 Views 101 Replies 71 Participants Last post by  rambleon84
The ultimate tint guide

Alright I have been seeing a lot of threads on tinting and have decided to make a thread about tinting the windows.

First off, tinting is something that can probably only be done correctly by a professional. You can do it yourself but its going to take you a couple of tries and really will never look as good. Most shops charge $150-250 for the ZX3 front 2 door windows and the rear windows. The ZX5 body style will cost a little more and will probably be $150-300 as well as the sedan, wagons also will be around this price.

How does tinting work? Tinting is done by placing a film over the inside of the windows, it is applied using a water based glue. Right after it is applied it is common to notice swirling or water visible on the inside of the tint between the window. These will go away as the tint dries. Most tints now adays are scratch resistant so if you happen to bump the seatbelt metal against it when you are getting out no harm done, but tint is fragile so be careful even though it is scratch resistant doesn't mean it can't happen.

Tint laws: You can find your states tinting laws here: this is a good info source and just in case you Michigan owners are curious it is illegal to tint the door windows in the front but most shops will do it as long as you sign a release form.

What type of tint is right for you? Well, there are a bunch of different shades of color and tinting darkness. The color is all about personal preferance. But the darkness level actually has a legality issue involved plus personal driver saftey. I would say don't go too low otherwise at night you won't be able to see out the back of your car and might be endangering yourself. But like I said it's your car not mine and personal preferance is all up to you. The % is how much light is being let in so 50% is 50% of the light outside shining down coming in, the lower the tint percent 35%, 25%, 5% are getting darker in that order.

Risks involved with tinting: When you tint a car you are adding something that wasn't there from the factory so you run a risk of it looking not as nice as you thought. It is very hard to get a perfect tint done without minor imperfections. Dust and such can be cleaned off only to a point. Most tinters will leave small small patches of dust which might be noticable to you while looking right at the tint but you must remember *you shouldn't be looking directly at the glass for imperfections * stand back about 4 feet away from the car and look through the tint. Another risk is that the dot matrix pattern on cars can leave a whitish grainy apperance around the windows because the tint will not properly stick, one way to resolve this is to have the tinter sand down the pattern so the tint will stick to it. Another problem is bubbling. Bubbling is caused by a mirid of things, people using windex on the windows the tint not being cut properly or attached, or just the tint getting old and needing replacement. Last but not least is the law, the law can always stick their hands up you know where and ticket you for tinting and have you remove it and come back for a light test. This is why if you are thinking about going really dark, try and make the rear of the car darker than the front, this will give it a more "factory" look.

OK so now you've decided to tint, where to go? Take your car to a place you have heard good things about, word of mouth is usually a good way to hear about tint shops. But look for places that have had professionals working in their shops for a while and have done tint on your style car, don't let your car be the test mule. Look for a shop who can give you a lifetime warrenty. This will ensure if you ever have a problem you can just take it back into them and they will replace your tint for free, this is a definate plus if you plan on having your tint for a long time. Also shops that back their work will probably do a better job.

So now its tinted how do I keep tint clean? Well there are a couple ways of keeping your tint clean, remember the most important thing is NEVER USE AMMONIA, this is in products like windex and other brand glass cleaners. Ammonia is used to remove tint so dont put it on the inside of your windows! You can use it on the outter glass but never use it inside. To clean the inside use a combo of water and soap or try and find glass cleaners that say "tint safe" on them and make sure they don't have ammonia.


Well I hope that helps feel free to add anything I may have missed in this. If you're looking to get your tint done good luck and you'll probably really like it! I know I do.

(((((goinloco1's thread has been merged with this thread. no reason to have 2 tint stickies. this thread was created first and has more information. goingloco's tint law post can be found at post #73.
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Great post [thumb] , I was looking at getting my windows done sometime this next month. I'll have to start asking around to find a shop that has a good rep in my area.
Good info.
You should rename this thread Tint 101![:)]

My hubby works in the tint industry, and he agrees with everything here!

One thing is to remember to use a quality film like Madico, 3M, Llumar, Johnson, or Solar Guard. There are others, but all these offer factory warranty protection in case something goes wrong.
Also, keep in mind that anything with dye will fade on you over time and this is usually NOT covered by the manufacturer. Only fully meatallized films (wich look neutral in color and are reflective) won't fade.
This deserves a sticky or Sumfn.
Good info but you mentioned that ZX5's and sedan's and wagon's would be somewhere between $200-$350. I know a lot of people that have had their ZX5's, sedan's & wagon's done for much cheaper then that. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $150-$180 I have seen.
Well I guess I have been proved wrong, but the place where I got mine done told me the zx5 would be 40 dollars extra on top of the 180 I paid.
lots of good information about tinting. i am planning on tinting my car as soon as i have the time
That is some really good information there. I plan to get my windows tinted sometime too... [:D]
I plan on getting all around 30% but i'm kinda lazy to go out and get it priced.
too many threads about tinting again damnit! Time to bring back the dead thread.
down here in sofla you can go the the swap shop and get it done for about 60bucks and it comes out perfect everytime, i went with a 25% on the front and 5% on the back and it looks rather nice and no release forms to sign.
bump this back up been seeing a lot of threads about tint lately.
gee, that sucks, backs are fine, but i live in cali so the front windows can't be any dark than 70%, that bites. my friend was pulled over a few weeks ago, he's got a nissan that already had tinted windows when he got it used...apparently too dark as well, had to get it fixed. dang...i want darker...
Bump. Here in So-Cal you can get it done for $150 in 1 city and the same exact tint for $250 in a higher demand city. IE. Beverly Hils $250 and $150 in LA.
Oh and if u want a Darker front Tint complain of Migranes and say that the headlights at night bother u.
Okay well some confusion has come my way from this thread. You CAN get a perscription from your doctor (or an optimitrist) which will let you legally get a darker tint. But you'll probably have to know your doc pretty well. Also, pricing I guess is based on area. I paid what I paid and these prices are based on ONE very good shop in MI. Please feel free to add pricing for other areas, as well as the shop and the address/phone number.[thumb]
I am going to 'sticky' this for now anyway, there's some very good information and link that will help alot of people. Thanks for taking the time to put this together! [thumb]
I am 15% all the way around, including strip on the front. Legal here is 35%. I have never had an issue with the fuzz. I paid $185 and it's Llumar.
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