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View Full Version : Looking for a shop that does quality car window tint



RJPoli
05-12-2017, 09:09 PM
Can anyone recommend a shop that does high quality tint application? I grew up in Florida where the sun burns hot all year, and window tint was the first accessory for any car. Practically a requirement! Up here in NOVA far fewer cars have tint. Even fewer have nice looking tint. I am interested in your experiences with local shops that do window tint...good or not so good. Thanks in advance!

John in VA
05-13-2017, 04:44 PM
We had a clinic at LA Tint in Manassas, VA this past fall. They also have a shop in Sterling, VA. They use Llumar products, including ceramic & the new Stratos line:
http://www.latint.com/

Ceramic:
http://northamerica.llumar.com/automotive-film/types-of-automotive-film/ceramic-window-tint

Stratos:
http://northamerica.llumar.com/automotive-film/types-of-automotive-film/ceramic-window-tint/formulaone-stratos-window-tint

pseto
05-15-2017, 07:58 AM
I have a guy in Aldie that does work out of his home. Check Speed & Tech Motoring on facebook

RJPoli
05-23-2017, 09:51 AM
OK, I have an appointment with LA Tint tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes...

Do they honor a NCC BMW CCA membership discount?

pseto
05-23-2017, 01:49 PM
OK, I have an appointment with LA Tint tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes...

Do they honor a NCC BMW CCA membership discount?

Don't know, but you should ask and report back

Alan
05-23-2017, 02:56 PM
OK, I have an appointment with LA Tint tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes...

Do they honor a NCC BMW CCA membership discount?


When you say "honor" - are you saying that they have offered a CCA discount in the past?

John in VA
05-23-2017, 03:37 PM
OK, I have an appointment with LA Tint tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes...
Do they honor a NCC BMW CCA membership discount?
You don't say which branch you are visiting, but Brien Looney (a company president) was our contact at the Manassas shop. He was offering a special to club members if we made an appt. at the time of the clinic. It won't hurt to ask!

RJPoli
05-23-2017, 07:04 PM
I'm going to the Manassas location.

I don't know if they have given a NCCBMWCCA discount in the past, but I thought that since there was a clinic (club event?) there in the past they may... I'll ask Brien and of course report back about my experience.

RJPoli
05-28-2017, 03:44 PM
Ok, reporting back with mixed results... Took my car in last Wednesday and was in and out in about an hour. Nice friendly folks and they did honor a BMW club discount of 10% (not the 20% offered at the club event last Nov., but I'll take it!). I got the Lumar Pinnacle, net cost $350 plus tax, a little pricey but...

The four door Windows look very nice. One or two small bubbles, but they may go away... My issues are with the opera windows and rear window, uneven bubbles around the "dots" and defrost/antenna lines. Is this common? Is this that hard to make consistently nice looking? See pics...

239623972398

John in VA
05-28-2017, 08:36 PM
The frit band (dots) can be problematic, and are something that I am concerned about as well. The weather has been cool, so give it a few more days to see if it improves after everything dries completely.

jkxs
05-30-2017, 04:36 PM
The frit band (dots) can be problematic, and are something that I am concerned about as well. The weather has been cool, so give it a few more days to see if it improves after everything dries completely.


I'm not a NCC BMW CCA member, but I was quoted $389 for pinnacle on a 2016 Subaru forester (http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/2014-subaru-forester-25i-touring-awd-photo-513052-s-986x603.jpg) today (only for tinting) and an additional $79-99 for doing the sunroof. Does that sound about right? This was the Sterling location with Geoff.

John in VA
05-30-2017, 08:49 PM
I'm not a NCC BMW CCA member, but I was quoted $389 for pinnacle on a 2016 Subaru forester (http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/2014-subaru-forester-25i-touring-awd-photo-513052-s-986x603.jpg) today (only for tinting) and an additional $79-99 for doing the sunroof. Does that sound about right? This was the Sterling location with Geoff.
For a "wagon" with many windows it sounds about right, depending on which film was chosen. A Z4 is cheaper than a 3-series coupe is cheaper than a 5-series sedan, so it stands to follow that a wagon/SUV could/would be more.

RJPoli
06-02-2017, 05:26 AM
Price sounds about right for LA Tint. They are not the cheapest. They have different rates for two door, four door, etc. based on the number of windows. Also extra charges for sunroof (which I didn't have done since that looked like it was factory tinted), and for a windshield header strip (check with local and state DOT rules to see if that is legal where you live and drive).

Pay attention to the quality of the work you get. What you see when you leave is 99% of what it will look like when the tint dries fully. I am still trying to resolve issues with bubbles in my rear window tint. I'm bringing it back today to see what can be done... I'll report back with my results.

jkxs
06-05-2017, 04:00 PM
Price sounds about right for LA Tint. They are not the cheapest. They have different rates for two door, four door, etc. based on the number of windows. Also extra charges for sunroof (which I didn't have done since that looked like it was factory tinted), and for a windshield header strip (check with local and state DOT rules to see if that is legal where you live and drive).

Pay attention to the quality of the work you get. What you see when you leave is 99% of what it will look like when the tint dries fully. I am still trying to resolve issues with bubbles in my rear window tint. I'm bringing it back today to see what can be done... I'll report back with my results.


I'm a little nervous because this would be the first car I plan on getting tinted. I'm definitely nit-picky about details, but I am a little relieved to hear that most people consider LA tint in Sterling to be the best around here. I plan on getting my tint waiver from the DMV and then getting 35% all around (not sure what % for sunroof yet). My forester just gets ridiculously hot (especially the sunroof) and so I'm hoping tinting helps reduce most of the heat transfer/reduces the glare from people on the road driving around with their high beams on at night.

I hope that they fix up the tint to your satisfaction, RJPoli. This review on Yelp (https://www.yelp.com/biz/l-a-tint-sterling?hrid=w9_CBkDxtxymyneDTdulEA&utm_campaign=www_review_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)) has me a little worried because I think I might be expecting too much. Seems like the reviewer was expecting the tint to be perfect (which I admit I would hope so, for $480).

Did you by chance have to ask for a warranty card and proof of purchase, showing the type of film and date of installation (items required for Pinnacle warranty)? Or did they just give it to you without asking? Were your tints pre-cut? Did the bubbles show up after a while, or did they just never go away after the initial install? Thank you.

pseto
06-06-2017, 07:54 AM
I'm a little nervous because this would be the first car I plan on getting tinted. I'm definitely nit-picky about details, but I am a little relieved to hear that most people consider LA tint in Sterling to be the best around here. I plan on getting my tint waiver from the DMV and then getting 35% all around (not sure what % for sunroof yet). My forester just gets ridiculously hot (especially the sunroof) and so I'm hoping tinting helps reduce most of the heat transfer/reduces the glare from people on the road driving around with their high beams on at night.

I hope that they fix up the tint to your satisfaction, RJPoli. This review on Yelp (https://www.yelp.com/biz/l-a-tint-sterling?hrid=w9_CBkDxtxymyneDTdulEA&utm_campaign=www_review_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)) has me a little worried because I think I might be expecting too much. Seems like the reviewer was expecting the tint to be perfect (which I admit I would hope so, for $480).

Did you by chance have to ask for a warranty card and proof of purchase, showing the type of film and date of installation (items required for Pinnacle warranty)? Or did they just give it to you without asking? Were your tints pre-cut? Did the bubbles show up after a while, or did they just never go away after the initial install? Thank you.

Does your Forester have a lot of dot matrix around the edges of the window? If so, its very hard to tint over it and have it look right (similar to what PJPoli went through). If you have more than an inch of dot matrix, ask for a black vinyl strip to cover the dots and have them tint up to the vinyl; that's the only way it'll look nice.

RJPoli
06-06-2017, 05:09 PM
Taking it back on Friday to re-tint the back window... Hoping they can do a better job. The dots are a known issue but not a deal breaker for me... Most cars with the dots have this. It's the bubble lines along the defrost and antenna lines that never settled in that make me think the install could have been better. Checked out another similar BMW who had his car done at LA Tint, looks great, dots but no lines along the defrost lines, so I know it can be done. Glad they offered to fix it. I'll let you know...

RJPoli
06-06-2017, 05:20 PM
I'm a little nervous because this would be the first car I plan on getting tinted. I'm definitely nit-picky about details, but I am a little relieved to hear that most people consider LA tint in Sterling to be the best around here. I plan on getting my tint waiver from the DMV and then getting 35% all around (not sure what % for sunroof yet). My forester just gets ridiculously hot (especially the sunroof) and so I'm hoping tinting helps reduce most of the heat transfer/reduces the glare from people on the road driving around with their high beams on at night.

I hope that they fix up the tint to your satisfaction, RJPoli. This review on Yelp (https://www.yelp.com/biz/l-a-tint-sterling?hrid=w9_CBkDxtxymyneDTdulEA&utm_campaign=www_review_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)) has me a little worried because I think I might be expecting too much. Seems like the reviewer was expecting the tint to be perfect (which I admit I would hope so, for $480).

Did you by chance have to ask for a warranty card and proof of purchase, showing the type of film and date of installation (items required for Pinnacle warranty)? Or did they just give it to you without asking? Were your tints pre-cut? Did the bubbles show up after a while, or did they just never go away after the initial install? Thank you.

I grew up in Florida where most cars have some kind of tint, I have a good idea what to expect. Remember, darkness does not necessarily equal heat reduction... And you want to be able to see out at night.

$480 sounds high but could have had some custom work done. Yes I expect perfection, but all cars are different. The dot issue is a new one for me...

They did provide a warrant card, but I don't think my issue is with the film product. They offered to re-tint which I appreciate. I'll let you know...

jkxs
06-06-2017, 07:02 PM
Does your Forester have a lot of dot matrix around the edges of the window? If so, its very hard to tint over it and have it look right (similar to what PJPoli went through). If you have more than an inch of dot matrix, ask for a black vinyl strip to cover the dots and have them tint up to the vinyl; that's the only way it'll look nice.


I just went out to take a look (pics: http://imgur.com/a/0FqLI) and there is quite a bit of dot matrix on the windshield right in front of the rear-view mirrow. There's none at all on the front side and back side glass, but there is a very thin layer outlining the glass that's on the quarter panel and rear window (couldn't get pics of those because the camera was having trouble zooming in, it was focusing on the reflections).



I grew up in Florida where most cars have some kind of tint, I have a good idea what to expect. Remember, darkness does not necessarily equal heat reduction... And you want to be able to see out at night.


$480 sounds high but could have had some custom work done. Yes I expect perfection, but all cars are different. The dot issue is a new one for me...


They did provide a warrant card, but I don't think my issue is with the film product. They offered to re-tint which I appreciate. I'll let you know...

I don't think that estimate includes any custom work. It would also be extremely easy to apply the tints (unlike a smaller car where tinters have to apply the tint at a weird angle/cramped space). Geoff just gave me that estimate ($389 base and $79-99 for the sunscreen, installed in 2 hours) over the phone when I called him and asked what it would cost to get pinnacle on a 2016 forester. I mentioned that D&V auto body referred me to him, but I don't think that got me a discount.

What % transmittance were you trying to get for your glass? Is it worth getting the windshield tinted if you have the waiver? I know I'm definitely getting 35% on front side, rear side and rear windows, but even with a waiver, windshield is 35% - upper 5 inches to AS-1 line and 70% after that. I know that 50% transmittance doesn't really do much so by comparison, if you got a 70% ceramic tint on the windshield, I'm guessing it would only serve to keep the car a little cooler?

Since tint is graded by the top edge of the glass down, have any of you guys heard of using 1" of lighter tint at the top of the window and darker below that? I don't think I would do it because 35% looks fine to me, but was curious if that was a common thing. It might look a little strange if there's a significant difference in the transmittance % between the top 1" and the rest of the glass. I live in FFX county and so will be staying with a legal % of tint (with the waiver).

Lastly, have any of you guys considered cystalline by 3M? I've seen on other forums it gives a slight brown tint reflection which I don't mind, but was wondering if you guys usually stuck to pinnacle or something else. Hope the tint gets fixed up to be perfect! Thanks for all the help so far everyone :cool:

RJPoli
06-10-2017, 08:52 PM
I got FFX Co VA legal, 50% front door windows, 35% rear doors and back window. It's not privacy dark but I do notice a nice break from the sun's heat. I would not recommend getting the windshield tinted, waiver or not. You will get some discoloration with any window tint, especially noticeable if you wear polarized sunglasses, and you don't want that on your windshield... But it's your call.

I took it back for a redo on the back window due to some bubbles along the defrost lines. They were very accommodating and willing to try to make it better. It looks much better this time, less bubbles along the dots and along the defrost lines.

jkxs
06-13-2017, 08:36 PM
I got FFX Co VA legal, 50% front door windows, 35% rear doors and back window. It's not privacy dark but I do notice a nice break from the sun's heat. I would not recommend getting the windshield tinted, waiver or not. You will get some discoloration with any window tint, especially noticeable if you wear polarized sunglasses, and you don't want that on your windshield... But it's your call.

I took it back for a redo on the back window due to some bubbles along the defrost lines. They were very accommodating and willing to try to make it better. It looks much better this time, less bubbles along the dots and along the defrost lines.

Good to hear the retint looks much better! I was actually thinking about getting PhotoSync done instead of Pinnacle after reading some reviews of it online. I'll let you guys know if I go through it with.