My Model S has become quieter.

My Model S has become quieter.

Today, I got my S tinted (all windows, even the front windshield, but no pano roof). As I was marveling at the suddenly comfortable environs inside when outside temps reached 86F, I thought I heard the radio louder and clearer. Then, I noticed that it wasn't the radio, but the car. Somehow, tinting with 3M crystalline, which is supposed to be thicker than regular film, and supposedly made of lots and lots of individual layers of film pressed together to make a single sheet, seems to dampen the higher frequency noise.

Velo, feel free to jump in with your thoughts on this.

This is, of course, empirical. I am actually kinda picky and sensitive to road noise, but not to the extent of say, Blubrd who ranted in his thread about the net rigor noise levels in the S. I feel, after 3 more test drives today over familiar roads I travel on every day, that the S has become quieter, may be by as much as 20% or so.

Any others who feel tinting has dampened the road noise? Anyone willing to do tests (before/after)? ;-) I was too lazy to do it.

RedShift | June 14, 2013

Net rigor= interior

Colasec | June 14, 2013

If you don't mind sharing, how much did tinting cost? If you happen to be in SoCal, where did you get it done?

RedShift | June 14, 2013

I don't mind. I am in NorCal though. It cost me 850$ for the entire job. I got lifetime warranty from 3M on the film.

negarholger | June 14, 2013

How severe is the tinting ? - web site said something like 10 % - and that would be barely visible. In principle I don't like tint, but if it would be something mild Ithen would be OK with it in order to get some noise reduction.

RedShift | June 14, 2013

Bear in mind that this is my own judgement.
That said, I went for 90% front windshield, 70% front sides, and 50% rest, coz I don't like my windows too dark.

ian | June 14, 2013

10% would be nearly blacked out. I think limo tint is 5%. I had 20% and that was pretty dark. It's 35% now, which is actually the lowest legal limit in WA state and quite nice.

negarholger | June 14, 2013

Thanks - I get the picture... sure the windshield can not be too dark - so that would be up to me to do the rest also at 10 %.

negarholger | June 14, 2013

Depends on how you count... 90 % transmission is 10 % tint.

wthieldelgado | June 15, 2013

They cleaned your windows really well before they applied the tint. My bet would be this probably made your car quieter. Even the littlest bit of dust or dirt on the windows (where they touch the seals) or window seals increases the noise. My car is noticeably quieter after I clean the seals and windows with a damp microfiber cloth.

NKYTA | June 15, 2013

@ RedShift

Who in NorCal did you get to do it? I've heard Chilton recommended for body work, not sure if they do tinting.

RedShift | June 15, 2013

Quality auto tint in Santa Clara . Chose from yelp ratings.

Superliner | June 15, 2013

Any tint below the AS-1 marking lines on the windshield is not! legal. And $850 for the entire job seems quite a bit high + or - $250 would seem in line with most tint work I've seen and or had performed.

NKYTA | June 15, 2013

@Redshift, thanks.

@Superliner - everything costs more in California. ;-)

RedShift | June 15, 2013

Super liner, a regular tint job WAS 300 t this place. 3M crystalline is top of te line and met places charge northwards of 550$ even in inexpensive places. Mine was more because of the front windshield.

RedShift | June 15, 2013

*most places charge

Velo1 | June 15, 2013

@RedShift. Glad to hear (pun intended) you notice the difference. I have seen the 3M Crystalline made, and it is indeed a lamination process, which helps improve sound transmission loss. Your subjective assessment is confirming the separate discussion thread, where the OP concluded the windows are likely the weak link toward reducing outside noise from penetrating the cabin. I haven't tinted my windows yet, but plan to eventually. I'll try to document the before and after results, under controlled conditions as best as practical, and post a separate result thread. But please do not look for anything soon. I just got 1of 2 kids off the payroll (graduated college), and will be saving for such a retrofit like tinting.

Tom A | June 15, 2013

The tinting, particularly substantial materials like that 3M multi-layer film, will have a constrained-layer dampening effect on the glass. Some of the vibrations (sound from inside and outside, and vehicle vibrations) are going to be redirected along the plane of the window and dissippated, rather than radiating into the cabin.

That's another good reason to get tinting!

RedShift | June 15, 2013

Velo, will await your expert input at some point in the future. Thanks for the info about the other discussion w.r.t windows and road nose.

RedShift | June 15, 2013

Ugh noise, not nose

Brian H | June 15, 2013

Are there any coatings specifically engineered to take advantage of that effect? Seems like it might be a Feature!

jeroens | June 15, 2013

would love to see a pic of the car/tint

danej | June 15, 2013

Ditto, post a pic here!

Mike C | June 15, 2013

I got 3M Crystalline 40 all around, it's by far the most expensive tint but was definitely worth it to me. I never thought I'd tint my windshield, but after doing the sides I could feel the heat coming through the windshield and it felt naked compared to the side windows, so I went back on got 70 on the front.

Have not noticed a noise difference, but I always drive with music playing. For anyone in LA, I'd recommend G5 Tint in Alhambra, look them up on Yelp.


RedShift | June 15, 2013

Mike, 40 on font side indows as well? You are taking a risk with the CHP , aren't you? ( most shops recommend 70 on them in California)

Brian H | June 15, 2013
jeroens | June 16, 2013

@RedShift, the post with pictures reads:

"Got 3M Crystalline 40 all around, nothing on windshield or pano."

so not on the front window...

irishstoutaz | June 19, 2013

I can say that ours seems quieter than the P85 I am driving today while ours is in the SC for a couple items. We did get a stacked tint of 3M Color Stable CS-50 and Crystalline 50. We did that since the Crystalline does not have the same type of smoky color as the CS. We also did Crystalline 70 on the Pano and Windshield.

IMHO, I think the tint along with the 19" wheels and Parcel Shelf cut down quite a bit on the road noise vs the P85.

RedShift | June 19, 2013

I also want to add that, after almost a week of having the tint, thru multiple window up down operations, the noise reduction appears real, and same.

If I was loving my Model S before, I am totally set for life with this car, what can I say!

Short of death, nothing can make me sell this car now. Does that sound childish?

c.bussert67 | June 19, 2013

I have heard occupants in the rear of the car, jump seats, or in my case a pup, take a beating from the sun back there. I might at least get that rear glass tinted for that reason. Have you ever opened the pano on a hot day? That big yellow thing is HOT! The tint on the pano roof kicks the sun's butt.

jw669 | June 19, 2013

I didn't know it could get any quieter!

Tom A | June 19, 2013


I don't know if there are any after-market window coatings or whatever specifically designed to make windows quieter. I think it's just an inherent side-effect from using certain types of materials for tinting purposes.

There is a company that makes Dynamat, which is a whole line of constrained-layer dampening products for placing on the inside of body panels in order to significantly reduce noise.

Many of those products are also effective thermal barriers. I recommended the product to some Roadster owners who had complained about how cold the footwells could get in the winter. I don't know if they ever tried it, but I'm sure it would have helped if they did.

You can also use those products to improve DIY speakers, to strengthen the wall area around an in-wall speaker, to put on duct work to make your home HVAC system quieter, on the sides of your clothesdryer for the same reason, etc. Pretty awesome stuff.

You can buy it online from Crutchfield and probably Best Buy.

However, Dynamat products are opaque, so it's no good for windows. Last I checked, they didn't make anything for windows.