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View Full Version : Thoughts on tinting?


swchang
11-25-2003, 04:16 AM
I come to the experts with three issues about tinting for you all ponder.

Just wondering what you all think about tinting windows. I kinda feel they look good only on black cars, but as I'll be ordering an Orient Blue soon, I'm a little hesitant. Anyone have any experience with black tinted windows on a dark blue car? Look good? I'm definitely leaning towards it...

The tinting laws for my state: Front windshield cannot be tinted, front side windows up to 50% net, rear side and rear windshield up to 35% net. My friend thinks tinting the windows differently between front and back would look weird on a sedan (he thinks it looks okay on minivans and SUVs because they're bigger). So I can either tint all 5 tintable windows 50% (is that even much/noticeably darker?), or I can do what I was thinking of doing and just tint the maximal amount on each (50%, 35%, and 35%). Which do you all think would look better?

Finally, as I'll be traveling to NY and other states where tinting of any level is not allowed, I'm not sure if tinting would be worth the hassle and tickets that police might give me. I heard that tinting windows at all the same level (i.e. 50% for all) would make the tinting less noticeable. Even if that's true, won't 50% still be dark enough compared to normal windows to be very conspicuous? And the fact that my front windshield will be untinted will make the rest of the windows stick out too, no?

Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts about any of the above, please share. Thanks a lot. :)

OBS3SSION
11-25-2003, 06:12 AM
Well, do you want tint for the look of the darker windows, or do you want the light and UV protection it offers?

If the former, then go with the maximum allowed by law. Don't worry about other states, because as long as the car is legal in the state it's registered in, they should not be able to ticket you. (AFAIK) You may even want to push the rules a bit, and do 35% on all the windows except the windshield. Yes, you risk a fix-it ticket... but the consensus seems that not too many people are bothered for tint... unless you have other things to catch the police attention.

If the latter, then just stick with a nice gray or lighter colored tint. Go with the legal limits. Make sure you pick a tint with good light and UV protection, and you're all set.

I put ~38% tint on my car, and with the tint already in the glass, it puts me just a tad (~32%) over the legal limit in my state, which is 35% all around (except windshield). I've yet to be bothered on 2 different cars. I think it looks excellent (previous car was dark green, 330i is Tourmaline Violet) and makes a big difference in the summer with the sun and heat.

swchang
11-25-2003, 04:53 PM
Thanks OBS3SSION. Hmm, I guess you're the only one who feels strongly about tinting, then. ;)

How is the lighting at night? Difficult to see? If you're in Western Mass, then nighttime must be particularly difficult. I used to drive to Williams a few times a year at night, and on Route 2 it was always difficult to see (no street lights) even without tinted windows...

Andy
11-25-2003, 05:25 PM
swchang,

I have almost the same laws in my state that you have, except mine are more strict. The legal tint in OH is 50% all around except the front windshield. I went with 38% tint all the way around (except windshield). I think the 38% looks perfect. It sometimes almost looks too light in direct sunlight.

In my opinion 50% is a waste of money. You honestly can not even tell that the windows are tinted when in direct sun light.

My personal preference, is the same tint percentage all the way around. I think it looks bad when some of the windows have different percentages. But them again that's just my preference.

Tint on any colored car looks good to me. As long as it's not too dark. Anything darker then 35% just looks a little too ghetto for me. As long as you don't go any darker then 35% you won't get bothered by the cops.

35% to 38% tint all the way around looks the best in my opinion.

Here is what my 38% looks like on an overcast day...

swchang
11-25-2003, 05:49 PM
swchang,

I have almost the same laws in my state that you have, except mine are more strict. The legal tint in OH is 50% all around except the front windshield. I went with 38% tint all the way around (except windshield). I think the 38% looks perfect. It sometimes almost looks too light in direct sunlight.

In my opinion 50% is a waste of money. You honestly can not even tell that the windows are tinted when in direct sun light.

My personal preference, is the same tint percentage all the way around. I think it looks bad when some of the windows have different percentages. But them again that's just my preference.

Tint on any colored car looks good to me. As long as it's not too dark. Anything darker then 35% just looks a little too ghetto for me. As long as you don't go any darker then 35% you won't get bothered by the cops.

35% to 38% tint all the way around looks the best in my opinion.

Here is what my 38% looks like on an overcast day...

Looks good! :thumbup:

How do you like the black on black look? I was thinking about a dark metallic color with black or gray leather seats, but was convinced out of it, for fear it might be a little too much darkness. I ended up going with Orient Blue on Sand.

BTW, did you tint your moonroof? I've heard of people doing that, but I'm not sure about the reasons for it...

Andy
11-25-2003, 06:48 PM
Looks good! :thumbup:

How do you like the black on black look? I was thinking about a dark metallic color with black or gray leather seats, but was convinced out of it, for fear it might be a little too much darkness. I ended up going with Orient Blue on Sand.

BTW, did you tint your moonroof? I've heard of people doing that, but I'm not sure about the reasons for it...


I love the black on black!! That with the alum. silver cube trim gives it quite the sporty look. However, I've seen (and actually driven) an Orient Blue on Sand 330i ZHP and I must say that is a great color combination. :thumbup:

I wouldn't worry about the sunroof, it already has plenty of tint to it. And if it gets too sunny (or hot) in the car, I just close the roof flap.

Congrats on the new car!! Post some pics, we'd love to see it!!

Mr. E
11-25-2003, 06:50 PM
See here for thoughts and a picture of my Topaz 325ci with all-around tint. I love it and I'll be doing it to all my future cars. :thumbup:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=588000&postcount=7

swchang
11-25-2003, 07:02 PM
I love the black on black!! That with the alum. silver cube trim gives it quite the sporty look. However, I've seen (and actually driven) an Orient Blue on Sand 330i ZHP and I must say that is a great color combination. :thumbup:

I wouldn't worry about the sunroof, it already has plenty of tint to it. And if it gets too sunny (or hot) in the car, I just close the roof flap.

Congrats on the new car!! Post some pics, we'd love to see it!!

I will, once I get it. ;) Look for pics in about two months...

Plaz
11-25-2003, 07:03 PM
I like 35% all around on my oblue sedan.

http://plaz.net/plaz/20020921-001b.jpg

swchang
11-25-2003, 07:05 PM
See here for thoughts and a picture of my Topaz 325ci with all-around tint. I love it and I'll be doing it to all my future cars. :thumbup:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=588000&postcount=7

I remember your post. That's actually where I read that having everything consistent makes cops less prone to notice. Good advice! :) I guess the front windshield being untinted doesn't make much difference then, eh?

Ooh, metallized tint. That's pretty cool, although I don't think I'd like to lose my AM radio. (Yes, I still listen to it, occasionally.) Anyway, I like it on your car, but I've seen silver tint on a silver car that did NOT look good.

38% seems to be a popular number. I'll probably go with 35%, though, like OB3ESSION and Andy said.

swchang
11-25-2003, 07:18 PM
I like 35% all around on my oblue sedan.

http://plaz.net/plaz/20020921-001b.jpg

:thumbup:

That does look pretty hot. I guess that'd be worth sucking up some tickets. It's not like I give the po-po enough money through speeding and parking tickets each year, anyway... :rolleyes:

Plaz
11-25-2003, 07:27 PM
:thumbup:

That does look pretty hot. I guess that'd be worth sucking up some tickets. It's not like I give the po-po enough money through speeding and parking tickets each year, anyway... :rolleyes:

I've never received any grief from Johnny Law out here in SoCal... but I have a feeling I'll be screwed if/when we move back east.

Especially if we move back to Jersey, where they have yearly inspections. :mad:

cruztopless
11-25-2003, 08:54 PM
38% seems to be a popular number. I'll probably go with 35%, though, like OB3ESSION and Andy said.
Yes, that is a great choice since I have 35% (or is it 32%) on all 5 windows. No problems seeing out at night (in fact, I forget I have tint on the windows when I'm inside).

I have to disagree about the 50% not looking like it has tint. Granted it isn't as obvious but park a car w/o tint next to a car w/ 50% and you can tell the difference. Most importantly, it makes a big difference with the light & uv protection.

[edit] Here is a picture of my car in bright sunlight.

F1Crazy
11-25-2003, 09:00 PM
I remember your post. That's actually where I read that having everything consistent makes cops less prone to notice. Good advice! :) I guess the front windshield being untinted doesn't make much difference then, eh?

Ooh, metallized tint. That's pretty cool, although I don't think I'd like to lose my AM radio. (Yes, I still listen to it, occasionally.) Anyway, I like it on your car, but I've seen silver tint on a silver car that did NOT look good.

38% seems to be a popular number. I'll probably go with 35%, though, like OB3ESSION and Andy said.

Metallized tint doesn't mean metallic look, most of lifetime tints are metallized nowadays but they can look smoky, charcoal, silver/gold metallic, etc.
I have metallized 3M tint and haven't noticed degradation in AM reception (I listen to sports talk shows ;) ).

38% is a popular number simply because it's a popular Formula One tint, it's also metallized btw. Other popular brands like Llumar or 3M usually sell 35% tint but I couldn't see a difference between 35 and 38%.

Beowoulf
11-26-2003, 12:33 AM
I have applied the same tint to all my cars in the past 10 years without being hassled. I do roll down the windows when I am next to any cops. I t helps minimize the chance of getting a ticket. I use ~35% on all side windows and 20% on the rear. BTW, it looks fine on non black cars.

Jever
11-26-2003, 01:01 AM
My $.02 if I may. Personally, I think that tint is awesome on pretty much any car ever made. It's great in the warm summers, and can definately help when there is snow on the ground. Afterall, you wear sunglasses when it's bright out right?

The problems I personally have is driving at night. You'll get used to it, but if in a dark area, or trying to look out of the side windows to make sure you are turning tough corners can suck b/c of the tint. Obviously you'll get to know the dimensions of your car, but I've had many a time where in a sticky tight area looking out the side windows has kept me from going off into a ditch or whatever. Well, that's when the tint sucks

One of the biggest factors in how your tint looks is the color of your interior. It's been years since my friends and I used to install tint for people, but if there was a light colored interior, you could go below legal limit and get away w/ it because the interior made it look lighter, but clients we had that went legal that had black interiors or whatever would routinely get messed with.

I don't know if the laws have changed in Kansas, or what they are in any other state, but the only time your tint could be challenged was in bright daylight. The police around where I grew up had a hand held paper-card gauge that they would hold on the inside of your window to see what the tint % was. IF you were illegal, then usually it was a fix-it ticket. I had a few police officers try and check us at night (basically they wanted to see if we were high/drunk) but they couldn't check w/ their flashlight b/c it wasn't natural sunlight.

35% is legal here on the front's and on the winshield down to the eyebrow marker, and 20% on the rears and back window if I remember right. I did 20% all around but have a light grey interior and never got messed with over about 5 years time.

But it KS and some thing slide sometimes. I plan on moving to SoCal in a few months and when I buy a car out there, I'll not tint the fronts (or at least not noticably) and stay within legal limits on the backs and rear for the officer and my safety, and the last thing I want is to be hasseled just to see if I'm drunk/high or whatever. Laws are laws and I have no problem obiding by them. When I get my M3, it might suck to have to drill holes in the bumper for a Cali plate but I'd rather do what the law says than have a glass of wine at dinner and get a DUI for being .081 or something silly like that. Anywho, sorry for rambling.

OBS3SSION
11-26-2003, 06:29 AM
Thanks OBS3SSION. Hmm, I guess you're the only one who feels strongly about tinting, then. ;)

How is the lighting at night? Difficult to see? If you're in Western Mass, then nighttime must be particularly difficult. I used to drive to Williams a few times a year at night, and on Route 2 it was always difficult to see (no street lights) even without tinted windows...

I find that I have no problems whatsoever with the tint at night. In the sunlight, you can hardly notice it from the inside. At night, I can see fine... and it helps with the glare of those SUV and truck headlights... especially when they are tailgating you.

Hey, I'm not that far out in the boonies. ;) I'm actually just outside of Springfield, so I can be in the city one moment, and with a 10 minute drive be on a nice deserted twisty country road! :thumbup:

OBS3SSION
11-26-2003, 06:31 AM
BTW, did you tint your moonroof? I've heard of people doing that, but I'm not sure about the reasons for it...

The factory tint on the moonroof is right aroudn 35%, so no real need to tint any further. In fact, my tinting guy was attempting to match the moonroof while doing the windows.

OBS3SSION
11-26-2003, 06:35 AM
38% seems to be a popular number. I'll probably go with 35%, though, like OB3ESSION and Andy said.

Remember that if you go with 35%, you'll wind up with more like 30% when you're done because of the factory tint. Like I said, I think the tint grade on my car was 38%, and if tested actually comes out a bit darker than legal with the factory tint, at approximately 32%.

MG67
11-26-2003, 08:22 AM
Both my wife's coupe which is black on black and my steel grey touring have 35% tinting all around. First of all it's less hot in the summer here in L.A., second so people on the freeway here cannot see you that easy in the car and third because it looks really cool... :D

swchang
11-26-2003, 08:48 AM
The problems I personally have is driving at night. You'll get used to it, but if in a dark area, or trying to look out of the side windows to make sure you are turning tough corners can suck b/c of the tint. Obviously you'll get to know the dimensions of your car, but I've had many a time where in a sticky tight area looking out the side windows has kept me from going off into a ditch or whatever. Well, that's when the tint sucks

One of the biggest factors in how your tint looks is the color of your interior. It's been years since my friends and I used to install tint for people, but if there was a light colored interior, you could go below legal limit and get away w/ it because the interior made it look lighter, but clients we had that went legal that had black interiors or whatever would routinely get messed with.

Thanks, you mentioned lots of little things that'd be helpful to know. But to respond to the two issues above, many people have suggested 35% net as a good lower end to still be able to see fine outside at night. Perhaps you wouldn't have those problems if you bumped the tinting down a notch from 20% to 35%?

Also, since I'm getting a very light interior (Sand), I guess I'll ask them to match the tinting on the moonroof, as per OBS3SSION. :D