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Rear window film Model 3

TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,650
8,914
Austin, TX
A reputable window tint shop in Austin wrote the following about the difficulty in tinting the rear window:

Tesla Model 3 is the " unicorn of tint jobs." Tinting your very large, non hatch back, rear windshield requires the use of 60" film to achieve a seamless one piece job. (We have been one piecing the Tesla Model X front windshield in Air90, which looks very similar to your rear windshield.) There is also electronics in the rear sides that needs to be protected from water exposure. This requires disassembly/reassembly of the rear section to towel protect those components.

Has anyone seen an issue with water getting into the electronics when having film applied to the rear window, if the shop doesn't do this? I'm guessing this isn't commonly done.
 

mjp462

Member
Sep 26, 2017
84
82
California
A reputable window tint shop in Austin wrote the following about the difficulty in tinting the rear window:

Tesla Model 3 is the " unicorn of tint jobs." Tinting your very large, non hatch back, rear windshield requires the use of 60" film to achieve a seamless one piece job. (We have been one piecing the Tesla Model X front windshield in Air90, which looks very similar to your rear windshield.) There is also electronics in the rear sides that needs to be protected from water exposure. This requires disassembly/reassembly of the rear section to towel protect those components.

Has anyone seen an issue with water getting into the electronics when having film applied to the rear window, if the shop doesn't do this? I'm guessing this isn't commonly done.
Seems to me the installer is trying to justify his price. I've spoken to a few shops and have never heard of electronic concerns. I'm a bit taken back by the claim of your Model 3 being a unicorn. Lol.

I suggest insisting on getting the back done with 1 piece of tint. IMO, it looks real bad otherwise. Shop around with shops that have great reputations.

What price did he quote you?
 

LoL Rick

Like Buttah
Apr 21, 2014
945
1,232
Land O Lakes, FL
I have to disagree with the notion that it must be done in one piece. Mine is done in two pieces with the seam placed along the top defroster line of the bottom section and it is almost imperceptible. The attached pictures show how the defroster is separated into two sections and the closer one will show just the tiniest of lines between the defroster and the C pillar trim. You really have to be looking for it to see it.

When I discussed this with my tint installer, he told me that the back window could be done in one piece but would require a special order since he didn't keep the oversize film in stock. It would also cost a bit more. I decided that the line just wasn't worth the extra trouble and expense.

Edit: about protecting the electronics. My installer did not mention anything about this for the back window. However, he was warned by the service center not to tint the windshield because water running down behind the dashboard could fry the computer. They have already seen it twice. So we opted to leave the windshield alone.

One final caveat about tinting. They typically trip the windows in the doors to go all the way up even though the door is open so that they can get all the way to the bottom of the window. On the model 3 they have to be very careful with the rear doors because the top corner of the window can scratch the chrome trim. My installer has done many Model S, including mine 3.5 years ago, but apparently the dimensions of the 3 are different enough that this can catch them unaware. Replacing the window trim is what prompted the call to the service center. Thankfully it was done quickly and the tinter paid for it so I don't know the cost.
 

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mjp462

Member
Sep 26, 2017
84
82
California
I have to disagree with the notion that it must be done in one piece. Mine is done in two pieces with the seam placed along the top defroster line of the bottom section and it is almost imperceptible. The attached pictures show how the defroster is separated into two sections and the closer one will show just the tiniest of lines between the defroster and the C pillar trim. You really have to be looking for it to see it.

When I discussed this with my tint installer, he told me that the back window could be done in one piece but would require a special order since he didn't keep the oversize film in stock. It would also cost a bit more. I decided that the line just wasn't worth the extra trouble and expense.

Edit: about protecting the electronics. My installer did not mention anything about this for the back window. However, he was warned by the service center not to tint the windshield because water running down behind the dashboard could fry the computer. They have already seen it twice. So we opted to leave the windshield alone.

One final caveat about tinting. They typically trip the windows in the doors to go all the way up even though the door is open so that they can get all the way to the bottom of the window. On the model 3 they have to be very careful with the rear doors because the top corner of the window can scratch the chrome trim. My installer has done many Model S, including mine 3.5 years ago, but apparently the dimensions of the 3 are different enough that this can catch them unaware. Replacing the window trim is what prompted the call to the service center. Thankfully it was done quickly and the tinter paid for it so I don't know the cost.
I hope I did not offend. I think it is just a matter of personal preference. Thanks for posting the pictures. I will be paying inflated SoCal pricing to get the car tinted and am very particular about how I want it to look. This seem would bug me. But I'm probably in the minority.
 

mjp462

Member
Sep 26, 2017
84
82
California
More info in this link...lots of various threads on this topic. Ultimately, it is your personal preference: your tolerance/ocd levels relative to your pain threshold in spending money

Learn from my tinting mistake
I've seen a Model 3 whose tint started at the end of the factory-installed tint. It looked good from the outside. But from the inside, I thought it looked horrible. Just my opinion. The owner didn't mind it at all.
 

Zaphod

Galaxy President (former)
Dec 10, 2015
2,160
1,996
Austin, TX
A reputable window tint shop in Austin wrote the following about the difficulty in tinting the rear window:

Tesla Model 3 is the " unicorn of tint jobs." Tinting your very large, non hatch back, rear windshield requires the use of 60" film to achieve a seamless one piece job. (We have been one piecing the Tesla Model X front windshield in Air90, which looks very similar to your rear windshield.) There is also electronics in the rear sides that needs to be protected from water exposure. This requires disassembly/reassembly of the rear section to towel protect those components.

Has anyone seen an issue with water getting into the electronics when having film applied to the rear window, if the shop doesn't do this? I'm guessing this isn't commonly done.
Was this Sunbusters by chance?
 

Cricket88

Member
Jan 26, 2017
353
458
Los Angeles
But if it can be done in 1 piece, why would you want it in two pieces?

From the sounds of it, they don’t seem to be familiar with the car and may be trying to justify everything that could possibly go wrong by laying it all out front. I would get a second quote or opinion from another installer.

It’s just a big piece of glass that’s all. No major curvatures to it. And the electronics are no more unique than your average vehicle. Defrosters some sensors, gps, radio, what-have-nots.

Yes it might be a tad more because of the amount of tint material itself... but that would be the only premium, not any other complications. Mine was done in 1 piece. No drama, no major price difference, etc.

Perhaps the only suggestion I would add would be To also tint the top roof itself as well. Looking up, I see three shades on mine because I didn’t tint the top panel itself. I have to look hard to notice it but once you know it’s there, it’s just always there.

If you tint the top, then the rear will just fade up into a darker tone and stay the same until it meets the windshield...
 
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mjp462

Member
Sep 26, 2017
84
82
California
But if it can be done in 1 piece, why would you want it in two pieces?

From the sounds of it, they don’t seem to be familiar with the car and may be trying to justify everything that could possibly go wrong by laying it all out front. I would get a second quote or opinion from another installer.

It’s just a big piece of glass that’s all. No major curvatures to it. And the electronics are no more unique than your average vehicle. Defrosters some sensors, gps, radio, what-have-nots.

Yes it might be a tad more because of the amount of tint material itself... but that would be the only premium, not any other complications. Mine was done in 1 piece. No drama, no major price difference, etc.

Perhaps the only suggestion I would add would be To also tint the top roof itself as well. Looking up, I see three shades on mine because I didn’t tint the top panel itself. I have to look hard to notice it but once you know it’s there, it’s just always there.

If you tint the top, then the rear will just fade up into a darker tone and stay the same until it meets the windshield...
Exactly. The shop needs 60" film, and it doesn't seem they want to order 60" film. I'm sure there are plenty of shops around who would.
 
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