Windsheild tinting opinions please

Windsheild tinting opinions please

Going to get my windows tinted tomorrow. I'm sold on getting 3M Crystalline 40 on the sides and hatch but am on the fence regarding the windshield. My options are AirBlue 80 or Crystalline 70. Any opinions out there? I am most concerned about optics. I can handle color change (as expected) but don't want to have halos/hazing especially as I wear polarized Maui Jim's to drive. Anyone have one of these on the windshield? I am probably going to leave the pano alone as I feel it has adequate heat rejection.

Jon C | 10/09/2013

I have the Crystalline 70 on my MS and both of our Infiniti's as well. No complaints whatsoever. Still rejects heat well though not as good as the 40's (which are everywhere else short of the pano roof). No change in visibility at all (including at night) as you can't even tell it's there. Would definitely get it done.

regen | 10/09/2013

I have 3M Crystalline 40 all around except the windshield and pano. I was told that it's not needed on the pano since it already does a great job with rejecting inbound radiation / heat.

I can tell you that the windshield does in fact get pretty hot especially on long trips with direct sunlight beaming in from the front. Similar to you, I was concerned about the optics so I'd be interested in hearing your experience if you choose to get it.


romainiacWV | 10/09/2013

Leaning on getting the 70 crystalline on the wind sheild. Have scoured the "window tinting" post at TMC (where has my life gone) and it seems the air blue may have some reflective issues more than the 70 crystalline. I will post a review after its done and some pics.

howardb33 | 10/09/2013

Hello Romainiacvw

I missed you in cinci at tss detailing :(

I am thinking of photosync 75 everywhere except panoroof vs. 70 crystalline same areas.....

My car is red

I am curious how people will advise you and me

Interested more in a little heat reduction than "the darked out kool look"


earlyretirement | 10/09/2013

I went with the 3M Crystalline 70 on my windshield and glad I did. I could feel an immediate improvement the next day after I got it. It was really hot lately in San Diego when I got the car and after I got the tinting done.

I don't notice any halo/hazing at all or color distortion. Just a reduction of the light and heat as it's intended for.

I went 50 at the side of the driver's side windows and 40 in the back and I went 15 on the sunroof and the back hatch window and really really happy with the choice.

Again, I felt an immediate reduction of the heat coming from the sunroof.

Vlnprof | 10/09/2013

I also have crystalline 70. And I wear polarized Maui Jim's. Absolutely perfect. No issues and very glad I did it.

kawaiia | 10/09/2013

We installed crystalline 70 on our windshield and 40 on the side and back. Visibility and heat rejection are awesome. During our last heat wave in SoCal it keep our car pretty cool.

romainiacWV | 11/09/2013

Here are my photos of the car. Went with Crystalline 40 (lowest legal in WV) around the front and sides and did 70 on the windshield and pano. I have just driven home from the work, bright sunny day, had no distortion at all through the windshield using Maui Jim's Very happy with it. I like that the tint is not very dark appearing, although it appears much darker in these photos than reality. Put one last photo in of what the tinting did for the back hatch. For anyone else that didn't go with the parcel shelf, this provides alot of privacy to nosy eyes.

howardb33 | 11/09/2013

Looks great!!

howard red P85+

Jon C | 11/09/2013

I have the same setup as romainiacWV but without additional tint on the pano. The tint is nowhere as dark as the pictures suggest; you can easily see into the vehicle during the day. I imagine the pano roof by letting in some light from the top will also make it less dark.

Kimscar | 11/09/2013

I was told by a detailer that works with a tint guy that they wouldn't tint the front windshield because of the circuitry in the dash. Yet I see on the forum a number of Tesla's have had front windshield done. I guess when the time comes I will have to contact Tesla to get the scoop on the safety of installing tint on front windshield. The concern was getting liquid in dash I would assume during installation.

romainiacWV | 11/09/2013

@Kimscar My installer used a spray bottle with water and baby shampoo. He placed towels over the dash, seats and display, short of him pouring a bottle down onto the speaker, I think there is almost 0% chance of harm. I will try to add some more photos that give a more accurate color reflection sometime.

@Jon C is right, the reality of this tint is much less dark It has a classy look, not a blacked out look

wolfpet | 11/09/2013

Here's how SUN-GARD® Shadow 20% looks like

Kimscar | 11/09/2013

@wolfppet. Thank you for the answer. When I get my MS next July I want to tint the front windshield also. It seems that the consensus is that is a great help in heat reduction.
By the way your car looks sharp!

Flyshacker | 11/09/2013

These cars all look gorgeous! But I am wondering about this brand of tinting versus Photosync which I have seen raves about in other threads. I was actually leaning toward the Photosync. What's everybody's opinion?

Alex K | 11/09/2013

@Flyshacker | SEPTEMBER 11, 2013: I was actually leaning toward the Photosync. What's everybody's opinion?

I have PhotoSync 65% all around except pano and windshield and PhotoSync 75% on windshield. It's made a huge difference in the AZ sun. And because of the high light transmission, it's not noticeable at night. Rather than going on about how great it is, I would direct you to the (very long) thread over at Tesla Motors Club: Model S - Window Tinting

earlyretirement | 11/09/2013

I posted this before but I went to a local Tesla group meeting at our local club and I spoke to a guy that first got the 3M product and he was so convinced that Photosync was better that he removed the 3M Crystalline and said he changed it out to Photosync which he said was superior and worked better.

This guy however said that he worked in the field and was in his car up to 6+ hours per day. So it made a big difference to him. I'm not in my car that much and honestly the 3M product is more than fine for me. But you might want to go with the Photosync.

This guy seemed like a big "car guy" and he seemed really credible. The photo sync was more expensive but he said it was worth it.

Brian H | 12/09/2013

Is 20% legal anywhere?

Alex K | 12/09/2013

@Brian H | SEPTEMBER 12, 2013: Is 20% legal anywhere?

Some states have no reference regarding reflectivity in their laws. NM has 20%. See

romainiacWV | 12/09/2013

Photosync not available in my area as far as I could find. It has a blueish hue as far as I could tell from research. Sounds as if the 3M and it are very comparable after reading everyone of the TMC posts to me. But always wise to check it out yourself. So far I have no windshield distortion thru front using 70, I will say that the car headlights in rear Window now disperse in a linear vertical pattern up and down
The defroster lines. That is new from install. Visibility is still very good. The light issue is small annoyance for a big benefit in heat rejection.

Jon C | 13/09/2013

I too considered Photosync on my MS but didn't know of anyone that installed it and was happy with the Crystalline in my other vehicles so I stayed with the Crystalline. I did however compare the specs between the Crystalline 40 and the Photosync 35 and they were close except for the Total Solar Energy Rejected (in favor of Photosync) and the IR rejected (in favor of Crystalline). Below is a comparison. The number is parenthesis is the spec for Photosync 35 (the number after the "/" is the activated spec in sunlight).

Crystalline 40
39% Visible Light Transmitted (33.5%/30%)
59% Total Solar Energy Rejected (75%/79%)
66% On Angle†
97% Infrared Rejected†† (89%/92%)
50% Solar Heat Reduction
6% Visible Light Reflection Int.
7% Visible Light Reflection Ext.
99.9% UV Rejected
56% Glare Reduction

I have no idea which is more important, TSER or IR. Needless to say, I don't feel the heat on my skin with the Crystalline so I am happy with it.

Alex K | 13/09/2013

@ Jon C | SEPTEMBER 13, 2013: I have no idea which is more important, TSER or IR.

TSER is the industry standard, because IR is measured differently by each manufacturer - each manufacturer uses a different range for the IR spectrum. See for a discussion on the differences.

NOLEK SUM | 28/01/2014

Huper Optik is the gold standard for tint. It's heat rejection is astonishing. I have had it on previous Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW's. Forget all that nonsense about 3m Crystalline. The only place you can get in the Phoenix area is from Supreme Mobile Window Tinting, 602-550-8468. He did my Model S - $499 sides and back, $150 windshield, and JR comes to your home and does it there. He installed Huper for Mercedes for 24 years and does beautiful work. The product you want is Huper X Treme Performance Drei 35. He puts 70 on the windshield [Lower the number, darker the tint. 35 is the AZ legal limit].

tezzla.SoCal | 28/01/2014

I love my 3m Crystalline 40!

ColonyGolfer | 28/01/2014

I had HuperOptik installed in SW Florida...Makes a world of difference sitting at a light..I can't feel the heat like before. This is a nano-ceramic film I've had on my home windows for 5 years....not a single problem. Cost at Suntamers in Bonita Springs, FL...$261, plus $15 tax! All windows except windshield (no pano on my car). Infrared rejection=81%, UV rejection=99%, total solar rejection=61%. They also have branches in Ft Myers,Naples,Sarasota, and Cape Coral. Highly recommend.

RedShift | 28/01/2014

I have 3M Crystalline 90 on mine because I was afraid of the cops noticing anything darker. Its quite nice, but I have seen people going for crystalline 70 on their windshields. It does not show much, actually. I might have been safe with 70.

NOLEK SUM | 30/01/2014

HuperOptik is far superior to 3M. Used it on Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus. I've dome the research and and side by side heat lamp comparisons. Hyper heat rejection order of magnitude better.

Brian H | 30/01/2014

That means 10X. Really?

NOLEK SUM | 31/01/2014

10 times may be hyperbole, but I can tell you the heat rejection difference was really remarkable. They shine a high-intensity heat lamp on your hand with the product in between, and it is a real eye-opener. No way anybody would buy 3M after testing it in that fashion against HuperOptik.

There is a reason Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche (at least here in Arizona, where the sun is more intense than just about anywhere) either install Huper or recommend that's what you use.

And it costs about the same.

carlk | 31/01/2014

I realize this is an old threat but for someone who is looking there have been a lot of discussion on this forum of Spectra Photosync. It seems to be the latest and greatest for heat blocking and what I plan to have.

renwo S alset | 31/01/2014

Carlik. Just ordered Spectra Photosync for installation next Saturday, 70 windshield, 35 all others, installed for $925. My research indicates it's the best currently.

MichaelN | 31/01/2014

I have air blue 80 - no problems or distortions - pinnacle 35 @ sides and 15 @ rear window - all for $420 for all - great job, Mt Tint (Sonny)in Escondido - not 3m Crystaline but very close for a whole lot less -

firerock | 31/01/2014

Well, what's the coincident, I just tinted mine few days ago.

I agree everyone stated above about those name brands but I didn't go with them. I sat in my friends' car with 3M Crystaline and Solar-Gard. To my untrained eyes and not-so-hot winter in Los Angeles, I can't honestly say I can see a major differences. So, I ended going with Solar-Gard. Installed 35 all around and 70 for the windshield for total of $265. Maybe I'll regret my decision in the hot summer, but so far I'm loving it!

BTW, in California, you are not suppose to tint your front windows and windshield. But I see so many cars are doing I took a gamble. I have to say when I first drove pass a cop on motorcycle yesterday, it was scary.

Superliner | 31/01/2014

I know of NO State where tint on the windshield "below the AS-1" markings in the upper left and right corners is legal. If it is discovered by a law enforcement officer you WILL have to have it removed.

renwo S alset | 01/02/2014

Superliner, maybe a little civil disobedience is in order. I defy anyone to look at a windshield with Spectra Photosync 70 or 75 on it and say definitively that it has been tinted. Lots of laws exist that have outlived there purpose or are just plain wrong.

Alex K | 01/02/2014

Also, take a look at the Model S - Window Tinting thread at

Superliner | 03/02/2014

@ VIN20353

In AZ. they can, The DPS Officers have sensors that can be placed on the inside / outside of the glass to measure the visable light reduction to determine if the tint is legal.

Allowable tint in AZ is

Windshield "none" below AS-1 markings (you can apply anything you want above AS-1 markings so long as it is non reflecting)

Driver and passenger Front side windows 35% or greater
"where 35% is the amount of visible light that must be
allowed to pass through

Rear side and Back windows Any tint is allowed up to complete
black out

Tint Laws vary a goos source is "" or your local
DMV office.

however as I stated windshield tint is NOT LEGAL in "any" state

Superliner | 03/02/2014

While lots of laws exist that have outlived their purpose etc. There are also those who would put limo tint on their windshield run down a few people at night and file a lawsuit against the tint manufacturer claiming he / she could not see properly and win eleventy-billion dollars in settlement etc. etc.

You assume that most people are smart enough to know better ??? Probably not so much.

renwo S alset | 03/02/2014

So, we encourage energy savings with tax subsidies, government installed EV chargers, etc., but when a new product effectively reduces energy consumption and improves EV efficiency, with no risk to safety, government relies on out-dated laws to discourage it? I know what the laws are and how spray painting your windows black is probably not a good idea, either, but with progress, certain prohibitions should be revisited. Anyone for a joint?