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Discussion Starter #1
Been surfin' the web for a few days looking for tint shops in the local area. Of course, they all claim to have so many years of professional experience, use the best stuff that never fades, bubbles, peels, and so on. They all have mixed reviews from customers...the best, the worst, expensive, friendly, unfriendly, fair, etc. Prices are similar...most expensive being $40 more than average. All say "typically costs $____, but we'll have to see it and give an quote", "could take up to 4 hours, depending on how busy things are", "you'll just have to come in", "we're booked until...", etc.
But, they all seem to use different types of films. I haven't had a vehicle tinted since 1994 (all others I've owned already had the factory option), so I really have no knowledge of what's quality or ...sucks. I looked up reviews of best window tints, and again...mixed reviews. I'm tired now.
Two shops nearby: One uses a brand called Charcool and another uses Formula One. Which is better?
 

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Been surfin' the web for a few days looking for tint shops in the local area. Of course, they all claim to have so many years of professional experience, use the best stuff that never fades, bubbles, peels, and so on. They all have mixed reviews from customers...the best, the worst, expensive, friendly, unfriendly, fair, etc. Prices are similar...most expensive being $40 more than average. All say "typically costs $____, but we'll have to see it and give an quote", "could take up to 4 hours, depending on how busy things are", "you'll just have to come in", "we're booked until...", etc.
But, they all seem to use different types of films. I haven't had a vehicle tinted since 1994 (all others I've owned already had the factory option), so I really have no knowledge of what's quality or ...sucks. I looked up reviews of best window tints, and again...mixed reviews. I'm tired now.
Two shops nearby: One uses a brand called Charcool and another uses Formula One. Which is better?
LLumar is generally a good quality film...I have used it many times over the years on numerous cars...however, someone recommended a brand to me which is supposed to really cut more heat than any other on the market...it is a brand called Huper Optik....Google it...not as readily available but supposed to be worth the extra cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did see one shop offering Huper Optik...some sort of Ceramic Series, but wow...kinda pricey, indeed. :eek: That shop also offered Suntek. But, I highly doubt I'll be going to that shop. They guy I spoke to on the phone was pretty rude. I don't get that, really.
 

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I did see one shop offering Huper Optik...some sort of Ceramic Series, but wow...kinda pricey, indeed. :eek: That shop also offered Suntek. But, I highly doubt I'll be going to that shop. They guy I spoke to on the phone was pretty rude. I don't get that, really.
very few dealers install Huper Optik...I heard it is about $300 installed...but, also someone said sometimes if you Google online, they offer coupon codes for like 15% off...everything helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The guy I talked to said it'd be close to $379.
Umm...I don't think I'm willing to spend over $300 for any window tints. I'm sure they're superb in quality and have many features and capabilities...but, in a few years, I know I'll stop caring.
 

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I got Formula One put on mine

And it looks great. Did 35% all the way around (almost legal) and am real happy. I know nothing about tint, but had always heard what mattered most was the people who install. I went to the place in NoVa with the best rep from what I could find. They were running a special so the whole thing was $200 and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
 

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And it looks great. Did 35% all the way around (almost legal) and am real happy. I know nothing about tint, but had always heard what mattered most was the people who install. I went to the place in NoVa with the best rep from what I could find. They were running a special so the whole thing was $200 and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
I'd like to get 35% all around, but the two fronts have to be 50% here by law. Which series did you get? I heard there were several versions like Classic, Comfort, Pinnacle, etc.?
 

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I'd like to get 35% all around, but the two fronts have to be 50% here by law. Which series did you get? I heard there were several versions like Classic, Comfort, Pinnacle, etc.?
If the law in VA requires min. 50% for the fronts, be aware of the factory glass tint that will skew your light reading results. For instance, in MA, the tint laws allow 35% min. up front and that's what I had mine tinted with (35% film), but the light meter at the vehicle inspection read only 26% or so due to the factory tint added. I now have 50% tint all the way around.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If the law in VA requires min. 50% for the fronts, be aware of the factory glass tint that will skew your light reading results. For instance, in MA, the tint laws allow 35% min. up front and that's what I had mine tinted with (35% film), but the light meter at the vehicle inspection read only 26% or so due to the factory tint added. I now have 50% tint all the way around.
I wasn't aware there was any tint from the factory. I'm gonna have to double check later. Usually I can tell by looking through polarized sunglasses. :D
I'm not too worried about that, though. Vehicle inspections in some parts can be a joke, and I've never seen them check 80% of the checklist they mark as "Pass". Besides, every shop says they do them by the letter of the law and offer guarantees/warranties. Countless Beamers, Audi's, Caddy's, Benzo's, and Lexus' have gotten work done there. If such an event ever occurred where I got into trouble for it, I'll have the shop "fix it" (re-tint) free. After all, I'm the dumb customer who took their advice and went with it. How can it be my fault?

Anyways, looks like I'm going with Formula One. The guy with the Charcool film is booked until the end of June (one man shop!...but, he's got great reviews). I'd like to get it done like...this weekend.:)
 

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I'd like to get 35% all around, but the two fronts have to be 50% here by law. Which series did you get? I heard there were several versions like Classic, Comfort, Pinnacle, etc.?
The law here is the same, but the tint shop was willing to give me whatever I wanted and said they rarely hear of anyone ever getting ticketed so we'll see...

As for the version, I don't remember what it was called, but it was definitely one of the cheaper options. The guys at the shop I went to willingly told me it really didn't make much difference. Although apparently if you have a factory nav system, you have to steer clear of one version as it somehow causes interference with factory navs (doesnt bother non factory GPS systems)
 

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I wasn't aware there was any tint from the factory. I'm gonna have to double check later. Usually I can tell by looking through polarized sunglasses. :D
I'm not too worried about that, though. Vehicle inspections in some parts can be a joke, and I've never seen them check 80% of the checklist they mark as "Pass". Besides, every shop says they do them by the letter of the law and offer guarantees/warranties. Countless Beamers, Audi's, Caddy's, Benzo's, and Lexus' have gotten work done there. If such an event ever occurred where I got into trouble for it, I'll have the shop "fix it" (re-tint) free. After all, I'm the dumb customer who took their advice and went with it. How can it be my fault?

Anyways, looks like I'm going with Formula One. The guy with the Charcool film is booked until the end of June (one man shop!...but, he's got great reviews). I'd like to get it done like...this weekend.:)

Just noticed your location... I got mine done at LA Tint in Woodbridge VA. They did a great job.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
...apparently if you have a factory nav system, you have to steer clear of one version as it somehow causes interference with factory navs (doesnt bother non factory GPS systems)
Sounds like you got the Classic series. Yah, the guy I spoke to did mention the Navigation, too. I told him I had a portable GPS, but he said it was fine and only the higher end films (the metallic ones?) affected the factory Navi's.

Adam said:
Just noticed your location... I got mine done at LA Tint in Woodbridge VA. They did a great job.
I'm going to the one in the Manassas location this Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Question

It just occurred to me... for those who have had tint done, did they remove that Security Alarm warning sticker (is it a sticker?) on the front driver and passenger windows or just tint over it?
 

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Get the FormulaOne "Pinnacle" ceramic film...it may be the priciest, but it's worth it...had that installed on my previous cars. Getting that film (35%) installed on Monday with 80% "Air Blue" on my windshield.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Get the FormulaOne "Pinnacle" ceramic film...it may be the priciest, but it's worth it...had that installed on my previous cars. Getting that film (35%) installed on Monday with 80% "Air Blue" on my windshield.
I did think about all the Classic, Comfort, Pinnacle... looking at $170, $260, $350 in prices. The cheapest one offers looks, heat & UV protection + lifetime warranty. That's good enough for me. I don't think I'll keep the car for a "Lifetime" anyway.

I'm aware that the pricier ones use higher end material and offer more heat and UV protection, but ...I really don't need it.
 

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They're supposed to remove all stickers before tinting, or else it will interfere with the way the tint adheres to the glass. Mine were removed.
 

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And yes, metallic films will interfere with your nav, especially in Lexus vehicles where the GPS antenna is embedded in the glass. Ceramic would be your best bet if you're looking for something comparable to metallic films.

I just got regular ones. 17% back, 35% front, ASWF (American Standard Window Films). $135 done in Southern California @ California Tint.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
The tint shop did warn me about built in Navigation, but I don't have a premium model...only use a portable GPS. They said nothing else is affected at all, and I'll be okay. But, the funny thing is, the Formula One website itself says metallic tints interfere with smart keys, XM, cellphones, bluetooth, portable GPS, radar detectors (I'd feel better if they said "But not ours!", but then their Pinnacle Series would never sell)...which is why they offer the ceramic type tint. Then you got the Internet myths and stories about their terrible experiences...
I don't know...I'm starting to reconsider. Got 12 hours to decide to go Classic or Comfort (Dyed vs. Metallic; Less Heat/UV Protection vs. More heat/UV Protection; $170 vs. $260).
Any advice, recommendations, or justifications (other than what I just mentioned)?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Did it!

Done... ended up going with the Formula One Comfort: 50 in the fronts, 30 in the rears. Technically, the legal limit is 35% for the rears in this state, but the film only had 30% then 38%. The guy at the shop said cops don't care for the rears unless it's like 5% or dark in front, and recommended 30%.

Very impressive work. They guy there was done in less than 45 minutes...even after being interrupted by phone calls and talking to two customers in between. Also got a discount for 'keeping it legal'.

 

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Done... ended up going with the Formula One Comfort: 50 in the fronts, 30 in the rears. Technically, the legal limit is 35% for the rears in this state, but the film only had 30% then 38%. The guy at the shop said cops don't care for the rears unless it's like 5% or dark in front, and recommended 30%.

Very impressive work. They guy there was done in less than 45 minutes...even after being interrupted by phone calls and talking to two customers in between. Also got a discount for 'keeping it legal'.

Looks really nice! I read somewhere that the factory tint is 70%. Did you add on to that to equal 50% or did you just put 50% over the 70%? Just wondering because I live in VA too and the same laws apply.
 
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