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Question for those in sunny/warmer climates! (glass roof)

ZapCarM3

Member
Dec 19, 2019
255
51
Sacramento, CA
Has anyone actually had their roof glass crack from tinting it? I have read in several threads not to do it but it all seems to be a rumor. Is the glass that bad?

I have two other cars currently with pano roofs. One of them has had roof window tint for 7 years now with absolutely no issues. It has spent time in the hot parts of SoCal, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Texas and now Florida for the past three years with no issues. It had a retractable sunshade that helped but until I added tint, I could definitely feel the heat on my head.

The other car has lived is life in the south and it had a much better sunshade arrangement. Still tinting its window really cut down on how hard the AC worked and much cooler when you get in the car.

The tint definitely saved my interior on the first car as it was parked outside all of its life. Even in 115F temps in Death Valley, the tint helped out the car's AC. I also did window tint but the area of the roof was large compared to the windows.

So if I could use tint on the roof of the Tesla I will order this week, it would be a major plus.
I think it's BS because think about it this way. If the tint is what causes the window to break from heating up, it simply means the window is allowing heat to pass through (unless there's tint on the interior.)

I have no doubt it might send a bit back into the glass but I also imagine not having it, having the car heat up more, would heat up the glass about the same.

I wonder how much of the heat I feel is from whatever heat causing rays make it through vs the glass just heating up and therefore heating up the air around it.

I'm certain the most productive thing would be to have an exterior tint to reflect those rays before it got into the glass at all but I know that probably isn't a realistic path to choose, tragically. It's a very clever idea but I'm sure the tint would fail very quickly.

I read that uva and uvb only make up about 3% of the heat. IR about 48% and visible spectrum about 42% and the rest is other stuff. So even a full UV and IR blocking tint will not eliminate all the heat since visible light needs to get through so we can see. In this case, I suppose the darker tint does start to make up a bit of the difference. By how much? I'm not sure. Whatever about 40% is of the difference between each incremental step of how they rate tint and it's darkness, maybe.
 

Randy Spencer

Supercharger Hunter
Mar 31, 2016
3,737
3,910
Alameda, CA
I assumed that the people who had cracked glass were the ones who let the car roast in the sun and then dump a bucket of water on to wash the car. That rapid temp change could crack the glass. Just like the temp change from jumping into a hot tub after a snowball fight could cause your AppleWatch to leak and destroy itself.
 

smartypnz

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
2,227
2,437
Monterey Peninsula
As I said before.... crossed Death Valley in June. Waaaay too hot for me (outside with sand reflecting sun). In my M3, all was peechee. Very little hair left for protection.
 
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ShaneCS

Member
May 23, 2021
8
2
Utah
Sorry, I am just researching the model 3 because my wife is interested in buying, and I stumbled on this thread… ami reading this correctly, the model 3 doesn’t have a built in retractable shade the way that, say, every other car with glass on the roof does?
 
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WesC

Member
Aug 26, 2018
249
131
Las Vegas
Hi guys,

For those of you without tinted windows, and who live in sunny climates, do you feel a lot of heat (from the sun) coming in over your head from the glass roof?

I am tinting my side and rear windows next week with a 40-50% heat-rejecting ceramic tint, and the gentleman is asking if I want the glass roof covered. I live in Minnesota where it's not warm out now, so I haven't noticed heat from the sun coming through the roof. I DID however notice a lot of heat from the side windows...which will be tinted.

For those who live in warmer/sunny climates, do you notice a lot of heat coming in through the roof on sunny days? Or does the factory tint already do a good job at blocking those heat rays?

Thanks guys!!
Get the roof sunshade. It creates an insulated air gap. It block the IR transfer that is radiating from the heated glass (not just the sun IR). Tint wont do that.

the roof glass is thicker than the side glass. As such it carries more heat capacity. This heat capacity it mostly given off via radiation. Tint may somewhat block radiation from the sun, but you cant just put tint on a 140 degree sidewalk and expect it to be 90 degrees or something you can walk on. But you Can put a rug on it and walk on it. Sun shade provides a similar (although not as good) radiation plus conduction and convection solution/air gap solution .
 
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TechJunky

Member
Mar 8, 2021
43
62
Ohio
Sorry, I am just researching the model 3 because my wife is interested in buying, and I stumbled on this thread… ami reading this correctly, the model 3 doesn’t have a built in retractable shade the way that, say, every other car with glass on the roof does?

This is correct, there is no retractable sunshade. Seems to be the going trend with EVs for some reason (aside from the ID4). Mustang Mach-E, Polestar 2, Taycan (I think), and several others have full glass roof with no shade.
 

ShaneCS

Member
May 23, 2021
8
2
Utah
This is correct, there is no retractable sunshade. Seems to be the going trend with EVs for some reason (aside from the ID4). Mustang Mach-E, Polestar 2, Taycan (I think), and several others have full glass roof with no shade.
Wow. I would have seriously considered all of those cars, but would be a deal breaker for me. It’s good my wife is the one shopping for a car right now. That seems like an insane idea.
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
791
809
Park Cities
I don't know why they didn't do it other than cost. I have had 3 cars in the last 4 years that all had pano roofs and they all had retractable shades. Even with the shades my head still can feel a lot of the sun on it. I am in Florida and the way it heats up all these cars has been really severe. Factor in the amount of side glass on something like a MY and you have a lot of energy coming through the glass.

We drove a MY and M3 today at the dealer that had been sitting out in the sun at the Tesla store and it took quite some time to cool off. Even though it wasn't a super hot day. Drove another M3 that had just come in from a drive and it still took a while for it to cool back down after setting for only about 15 min. The guy who was driving had it a max cool so obviously it had taken some time for it to cool off for him.

I will definitely buy a sunshade for our car on order. No point dealing with all the extra heat and deterioration of the cockpit more than necessary.
 
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Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
3,448
1,876
QLD, Australia
Wow. I would have seriously considered all of those cars, but would be a deal breaker for me. It’s good my wife is the one shopping for a car right now. That seems like an insane idea.

this is not a dealbreaker. if i can drive comfortably through the australian outback for over 12h without a sunshade in (45C) then so can you.
 

Sevenreds

Member
May 21, 2019
32
10
Miami
I'm in hot and sunny South Florida. I can put my hand on the roof glass on the hottest days and it barely gets warm. I never tinted the roof glass.
I agree with this comment, doesn’t get hot.

I’ve tinted the rear and side windows and ceramic clear tinted the front windshield, passed on the roof section. Never noticed excessive heat from the roof.

I’d pass on the roof glass but look into the front section clear tint that does absorb heat.

hope this helps
 
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Frank99

April 2018 Model 3 LR RWD, EAP, FSD
Apr 7, 2016
369
496
Arizona
I live in Phoenix. I’ll put our sun up against anyone’s.
If you park in the sun, the glass will get hot. It will probably be too hot to touch-just like a metal roof. When you get in the car and touch the glass, it’ll be hot.
Once the a/c comes on, the glass will start cooling. After 15 minutes or so, the glass will be a comfortable temperature. I can put my hand up near the glass and feel only a small amount of heat coming through. Tesla did a remarkable job with the coatings on the glass, which reflects almost all infrared and UV.
I’ve never felt a need to tint or add a reflector to the glass; your personal comfort level may be different, but this isn’t the same glass as other manufacturers use, and I’d give it a chance before dismissing it out of hand.
 

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