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Kicbax
07-25-2005, 02:01 PM
I am looking to tint my windows(actually I made an appt. to have it done tommorrow). I decided to go 20% all the way around, but after getting home and looking at some pics, I am becomming uneasy. First of all I live in illinois and its illegal to have the fronts tinted at all. People can usually get away with it though(knock on wood). Second, I want to get the same tint all the way around rather than uneven but I don't want to get it to dark to where it looks. I am looking to maybe go lighter than 20% perhaps 35% or lighter(I want it to look good but still tinted). Thoughts? :dunno:

spta97
07-25-2005, 02:42 PM
If you like the way it looks, I would not get any lighter. 35% tint seems WAY light when you have light coming through the windsheild (almost like no tint at all). 20% is a nice compromise and I think looks good on cars. It is also hard to get perfectly even all the way around unless you go darker on the front windows (for the reason mentioned above).

Search around here and http://forum.e46fanatics.com to see what other cars look like with 35% before you make any rash decisions.

Regarding the illegality of it, I'm sure other people in your state have had it done. Just keep the wreckless driving to a minimum and it won't give the cops another excuse to pull you over. If you do get nailed, just pay the ticket and / or have it removed. If you do get pulled over, roll down the windows and put your hands on the steering wheel and shut off the engine. If at night, turn on the interrior light as well. If you have to reach in the glove box for your registration ask the cop if it is ok (throw around "Officer" a lot).

These things have gotten me out of some tickets and not out of others but when I fight the ones that were written both of the cops commented that I was polite and reduced the charge. Just don't be a :mad:

Kicbax
07-25-2005, 04:36 PM
Thanks alot for the opinion and the website. I am still kinda caught in between. I wish the shop offered in btw 20 and 35. My concern now is if I get pulled over and have to take it off I don't want to be left with no tint on the front and light on the back. Perhaps I should just go with the 20 all the way around considering I will eventually get pulled over and have to take the fronts off. That way the back is still dark.

LDV330i
07-25-2005, 04:50 PM
If you like the way it looks, I would not get any lighter. 35% tint seems WAY light when you have light coming through the windsheild (almost like no tint at all). 20% is a nice compromise and I think looks good on cars. It is also hard to get perfectly even all the way around unless you go darker on the front windows (for the reason mentioned above).

Search around here and http://forum.e46fanatics.com (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/) to see what other cars look like with 35% before you make any rash decisions.

Check my thread (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54562&highlight=Stark+Huper) with pictures of my car. It has Huper Optik 30 on it thought the film is really 34%VLT.

spta97
07-26-2005, 07:42 AM
Check my thread (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54562&highlight=Stark+Huper) with pictures of my car. It has Huper Optik 30 on it thought the film is really 34%VLT.

Beautiful car. But that tint is too light for me, especially in this picture. 4 doors tend to need a darker tint to make them look as dark as a 2 door with the same percentage:

http://bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=27039

Mr. E
07-26-2005, 02:03 PM
You need to get to the root of why you want to have your windows tinted. Is it just for looks, or do you want to cut down on heat/sun? Performance-wise, there isn't a whole lot of difference between 20 and 35% tint. I went with 35% since I wanted to cut down on the feeling of the sun beating down on me, but make it less likely that I would get pulled over. I also have a black interior and it tends to make the windows look darker, especially to someone who is standing by the car.

Also be aware that metallic tint will likely interfere with your AM radio reception (if that matters to you). I had mine done with Formula One pinnacle (ceramic tint). I'm very happy with the results.

LDV330i
07-26-2005, 10:41 PM
Below you will find what I posted in another tint thread several months ago.

Also people should not rely on a picture to determine the final look of their car unless the pictured car has the same brand of film, same VLT, and same interior color. Several people have told that my tint does not look that dark for a 34% VLT film. The reason for that is that I have ceramic film which has a reflectivity similar to that of plain glass so it does not have the opacity of other films. The vast majority of tint films in the market are metallic so that even with a high VLT they have high opacity because of their higher reflectivity, this make it harder to look into the car, therefore the tint appears darker.

There are several factors to consider when trying to decide on a tint, VLT is just one of them. Here are some others:




Solar heat rejection capability
Radiowaves interference
Reflectivitity (mirror effect)
Price
Warranty
Film basically comes in three types:

polyester films, these are the most economical but tend to fade/bubble and come with a warranty that at most are 2 years long.
metallic film. these are a little more expensive and they may go from 150 to 300 dollars. Some brands carry several lines of metallic films at different prices with each having different performance characteristics. Some are heavy into the mirror look and some minimize this effect but it will always be present. They also may interfere with radiowaves, on BMW's with the antenna embedded in the rear window.
non metallic films, in this category you will find ceramic films and high quality polyester films. They tend to have a high heat rejection factor. They also eliminate the issue of radio wave interference. The ceramic films tend to be expensive between 400 to 600 dollars. Ceramic films also do not have the mirror effect of the metallic films. There are 2 brands of ceramic film: Huper Optik and FormulaOne Pinnacle. Other non metallic films are 3M and Madico CharcOOl (not CharcOAl).
Solar heat rejection is somewhat independent of VLT. V-Kool film has good heat rejection but are produced in the 70% VLT. So this is good if you are not into the tint look.

You may want to look at how the tint would look on your car. In my case my film looks very dark because I have a black interior. With a lighter interior your film would also look lighter.

spta97
07-27-2005, 06:22 AM
...I also have a black interior and it tends to make the windows look darker, especially to someone who is standing by the car.....

This is very true. When I had my Maxima tinted with 20% the gray interior made it look much lighter than it was. I opted to go 5% and loved the way it looked but had a difficult time seeing at night.

Kicbax
07-27-2005, 02:10 PM
I had the tint done yesterday and opted for the 35% all the way around. The car is Carbon Black with black interior and I think the tint makes it look sharper than before. Its actually darker than I thought it would be (Probably due to cars interior as you all mentioned before). Lets hope I can enjoy it a little while before I get ticketed and have to remove it. :)

spta97
07-28-2005, 07:55 AM
I had the tint done yesterday and opted for the 35% all the way around. The car is Carbon Black with black interior and I think the tint makes it look sharper than before. Its actually darker than I thought it would be (Probably due to cars interior as you all mentioned before). Lets hope I can enjoy it a little while before I get ticketed and have to remove it. :)


Pics please :rolleyes:

Kicbax
07-28-2005, 05:41 PM
You bet, I'll take some pics and get them up as soon as I can.