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Window Tints: How can you tell if they are legit?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by kgb, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. kgb

    kgb Member

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    I've been on this forum for a while, and I have been impressed by the depth and breadth of knowledge of the participants. In addition, I noticed that the background of the majority of the posters seems to be in the sciences, so I feel this is as good as any place to pose this question.

    I recently had my Model S windows tinted. I walked in to the shop and told the salesman that I needed tint (I already knew that I wanted ceramic). Before I could express a preference, he took me to their demonstration area and showed me their lines. He showed me cheap brand X 70% which had little heat rejection. Then cheap brand X 30% which had improved heat rejection. Then intermediate brand Y 30% which had better heat rejection. Then most expensive "ceramic" brand Z 30% which had the best heat rejection. At that time I told him I wanted the ceramic. Then I got to thinking, how do I know if I am paying for ceramic, yet getting cheap brand X? The salesman is the "expert," so I asked him. He said, there was no way to know, just that I my car would be a lot cooler.

    I didn't like that answer, so I did an initial search on the internet for "how can I tell if I have ceramic tint," but with no avail. Then I noticed that when I look out the tinted windows with polarized glasses, I get a rainbow effect. So then I did a search that included polarized lenses, and posters on other forums stated that this was a way to verify that you indeed have ceramic film, however the posters who said that did not seem to be well educated or knowledgeable, nor did they use references. That's why I want to use the well educated brains on this forum to help with this question for me and all future internet searches. How can you verify that the tint installer didn't do the switcheroo?
     
  2. Kaivball

    Kaivball Member

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    Step one: start with a reputable window tint company.

    Step two: repeat step one.

    Seriously, pick a dealer that's been around for awhile, that people have used for years and that has great to excellent feedback.

    Company's that want to stay in business don't cheat their customers
     
  3. kgb

    kgb Member

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    But how would you ever know? No customer would ever complain about being cheated, because apparently there does not seem to be a way to verify. Customers would complain about crappy service, but never about the tint.

    Although I do appreciate the effort @Kaivball, all I am asking is if someone knows of a SCIENTIFIC way to verify that the tint you have is, in fact, the ceramic variety, versus the non-ceramic variety.
     
  4. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    The 3M stuff comes with a bunch of little 3M logos all over it that have to be removed with a little rubbing alcohol. My installer offered to leave them on there until I picked it up (to prove he used the primo film). As it turns out, I said no, but still found a few of the logos. I do not have the 3M film on the screen, it's another brand who's name escapes me, but it has the same 'rainbow effect' you describe. Having said that, so does my wife's Q5 that has factory tints, and I doubt they used a ceramic film?
     
  5. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    Not trying to hijack the thread here, but - do you find the rainbow effect disturbing? I wear polarized sunglasses and will be tinting my MS soon.
     
  6. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    Not at all. It's very subtle.
     
  7. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    If it's a reputable installer you can simply ask to watch at least part of the install; "Hey, I'm really curious how you guys actually do this. Mind if I watch one window?...." The quality brands such as 3M and Llumar are marked up so you can see what they're using.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have 3M Color Stable @20% and don't notice any rainbow effect with polarized glasses. I notice a slight purple appearance out the hatch window when I look in the rearview mirror; it's not disturbing to me.
     
  8. truman2038

    truman2038 New Member

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    Boulder, CO
    If you're that paranoid, buy the tint yourself.
     

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