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Tinting my Mazda3 - advice wanted

5017 Views 22 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  AlmostExactly
Can somebody cut through all the marketing crap and recommend a genuinely good brand of window tint, or offer any advice on technologies used, prices paid, etc.

I've noticed so much more heat coming through the glass without the tint which was on my old car.

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It seems that many window tinting companies use 3M film (I think it's called Scotch Tint). My Pajero had some cheap tinting and it went purple because the pigments faded.

The 3M film has carbon in it which stabilises the colours and isn't prone to fade and they make a special film for cars that doesn't reflect light at night making the windows look like mirrors. Which really sucks when you look out the window and see a reflection of yourself.

You may want to wait until it cools down a bit or you don't need to drive for a few days. I'm not sure if it's still the case but I had to leave my windows up for 3 days to ensure the tinting didn't peel around the edges. It's difficult going through McDonalds drive through with the windows up and when the cops pull you over for a RBT and you won't put the window down...they get upset. :(
haha....steve-o.Never thought about this possibilty you just mentioned.Luckly nothing like that happened to me when I had to go through that compulary 3 days with "no windows open" :D

Back to the me,I just pick the highest range in the Solartint's products and so far I have been quite happy with it.BTW,there is sepcial for member of NRMA here in NSW, and I guess it should be similar deal for your motoring association down in Vic as well.
I think you will find that most places you get quotes from will offer a lifetime warranty. And they all use pretty high quality stuff...after all it is in their interest not to see you again :)

If I had a piece of advice I would recommend getting it from one of the larger windscreen 'chains' the backyarder might be a little cheaper but it is pretty competitive business and he might not be around next year if it peels :(

Personally I would look for a metallic film....rejects the heat. I got my tint job thrown in when I bought my unfortunately I can't tell you where to shop. I would expect that you would pay between $250 -350 for a quality job.
In OZ get the maximum legal tint which is 35%, this will be fine. Mazda uses one thats quite reflective which is good for security. IF you use it in conjunction with a windshield reflectant it can make the interior quite hard to look into when its parked.
These reflective tints you are referring to are called mirror tints, and i was told that this is an instant defect???????

I got solartint done by the dealer... 20% - illegal, yes i know, but its looks awesome on a black car and it blocks ALOT of the heat.... :D :D :D
What exactly is "windshield reflectant" ?
Windshield reflectant, buy them at kmart or wherever. Theyr'e a foldaway that you place across the front of the windscreen that keeps the sun out. Best in reflectant silver.

Don't know why it would be an instant defect as I have it on both my cars and its superb. Personally I wouldn't go down to 20%, perhaps 25% to 30% so good luck - must look awesome though 8)
yah, had mine done recently (i.e. less than 48 hrs ago and hence windows are still up!) at solartint. wish i knew about that discount with nrma m6gr8! :(

in anycase, i chose the onyx metallic highest grade tint with the usual of 99% UV, 65% heat, lifetime warranty ($350 - *lol* and the mazda dealer was quoting me $500-600 :evil: i guess i couldn't bargain too much as i got great deals off the leather interior already). it looks pretty good, although i see what people mean about choosing the 20% grade - if i was going to keep the car for eons i would get 20%, but considering that i'll probably let it go after 4 years... well... i thought to stay legal ;)

it took all of 1 hr 10 mins (didn't even have time to start the pre-reading for my presentation!) and although there was some bubbling yesterday, its pretty much (read "all") gone this afternoon given the heat and that i parked the car outside for the two days.

i have been offered by a friend, who knows a friend (it goes on!) etc, of a great chappie who can do the whole thing for $200, high grade etc... but it makes sense to realise that they may not be around later on when it comes to fix up the tint.

good luck with the tint search samps! :)
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Yes,I totally agree with job like this,better go to shop and get it done with lieftime warranty,as one will never know how those film holds up in few years time to come.

Yes,what you paid at the dealer is normally double of what you would pay in one of those major tinting chain stores.

As to the darker tint,I remember asking the guy if they can do it for me ( they will double the layers of the films ) but was told only in condition that I won't recieve a written receipt for the job, as this way,if I ever get pulled over,the shop will be free of any responsibilty for this illegal job.So I gave up on the idea :(
they both have plenty of power in their aircon unit so the legal tint is enough.
M6Gr8 said:
As to the darker tint,I remember asking the guy if they can do it for me ( they will double the layers of the films )
That would been almost impossible to see out of at night :)

I have a Black car with a Black interior and I think 35% is plenty, the only days I wish it was darker is on bright sunny days.

When I first saw it sitting in the showroom when I picked it up....I thought I was gonna get booked as soon as I drove off the lot.

In SA it is actually illegal to have any tint on the driver side and passenger windows. Does'nt stop everyone here from doing it though
Not allowing tint at all for both front windows is a bit extreme isn't it?No wonder they never enforce that :)

Yes double film will be like pitch black but look awesome :)
it does cost a bit more but getting it done via the dealer allows you to beat them up if anything goes foobar!
BeeF said:
In SA it is actually illegal to have any tint on the driver side and passenger windows. Does'nt stop everyone here from doing it though
Are you serious? Well i've never had any probs with cops and my tinting. :D

I guess they have more important things to do.
Vormund said:
Are you serious? Well i've never had any probs with cops and my tinting. :D
Yup. Ring Regency and ask yourself.

The dealer told me this as well when they put it on. I got the two front windows done anyway.

The max you can legally do is 35% on the back 3 windows (on a four door of course)....from many pictures I see on these boards this rule appears to very common in many countries in Europe as well.

And yes, if the cops started enforcing it they would be pulling over every third car here
true... if you aren't going to seriously mod your car (e.g. obvious lowering/illegal bodykits etc) then the cops aren't going to simply pull you over or notice your car enough to fine you for a 20% tint.
But an insurance company might make something of it, should you lodge a claim!!!!
I got Llumar tint on my 3. 15% rear, 30% front, looks real nice. The fading to purple color that someone was mentioning earlier isn't so much aging as it is cleaning. If you use any type of window cleaner that contains ammonia your tint will turn purple. So when it comes time to clean make sure you buy a quality cleaner that lists ammonia free on the bottle. Oh, btw, my total cost was 125 bucks, not too shabby.
thnx for the advice balsone, i shall make sure i don't vigourously use alcohol based cleaners for the interiors. however, here in australia the min legal visible light allowance is 35%, others do skip below that but i'm unsure as to what fine is involved. or if the car is impounded on the spot by police as being not fit to drive.
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