Window Tint - 3M Crystalline

Window Tint - 3M Crystalline

After seeing many people using this film, I searched out a company that uses it in Memphis (there's only 1) and they told me they wouldn't tint the portion of the back window that has tint on it. They said their previous applications had multiple people returning to their shop to remove it. they claimed that it intensified the heat in the car. is that possible?

any 3M crystalline

Alex_SD | May 10, 2018

Yeap, same problem in San Diego. The tint shop refused to tint the rear window (even only half of it...).
They mentioned liability and high rate of returns... dono why...

lilbean | May 10, 2018

Hmm. Mine seems a lot cooler to me.

hokiegir1 | May 10, 2018

@lilbean -- you did a solid over the gradient on the whole back window, correct? Do you like the look of that? And did it lose that cool orange reflection at the top of the rear window?

greg | May 10, 2018

now another dealer is telling me that Crystalline only comes in 36 inch rolls so they can't do a single piece back

mwenn1 | May 10, 2018

i had the whole rear window tinted in AZ and have had no issues with more heat in the car. Sounds suspect to me.

lilbean | May 10, 2018

@hokigirl1 I had the entire rear window done in two pieces. It looks great. You could still see the orange reflection.

hokiegir1 | May 10, 2018

@greg -- I was *just* told in a FB post by Executive Tint here in GA that "Josh Soufastai Yes the complete back window is done in one piece. Do not let anyone tell you it has to be done in two pieces. " So there you go. I think many don't stock it, and it probably depends on brand, but it can certainly be done as one piece.

greg | May 10, 2018

@hokiegir1 Thanks! Now I just have to find a place in driving distance. Definitely nothing within 300 miles of me. I've called 4 places and no luck

hpn | May 10, 2018

I will tint my Model 3 when i get it...was told it's a single sheet for tinting the rear window.

I'm planning to go Dark...above that is Limo. I'll be using Formula One tint that's local in S. Cal been using them for all my cars. (Dark all around) as for the front window super light to block out UV rays.

What shade tint are u using?

hokiegir1 | May 10, 2018

To update, the guy doing ours uses Suntek instead of 3M. :)

voss.ken | May 10, 2018

First there is a bigggggg difference between Crystalline and Ceramic. It is my understanding that Tesla uses Crystalline laminated inside the roof glass for that great UV and heat protection.

Also there is absolutely no reason that a good tint shop cant do the rear window in one piece. They will need to use a 48" width and hand cut it or they will need a 60" width and CAD/Machine cut. Installing will take at least 2 people. Some shops don't stock these wide rolls of tint film because it is a big investment and most cars don't need it. Some shops are just not good enough to do the job right.

If a shop tells you they don't want to do it in one piece or can not do it in one piece I would just move on, there are plenty of good tint shops. If they tell you it can not be done or is impossible to do in one piece, I would definitely move on because they just don't know what they are talking about

sroh | May 10, 2018

That does not sound right. Tinting windows with good film will definitely help keep the car cooler. I would find another installer.

One piece versus two pieces for the rear window? Yes, all else being equal, it's preferable to do it in one piece. However, many tint shops do not carry rolls big enough to do it in one piece. I would not automatically dismiss because they will only do it in two pieces. It's all about the expertise of the shop and the installers. One of the best tint shops in the bay area (they have done hundreds of Teslas and already dozens of Model 3s and even did at least one of Elon's personal Teslas) does not carry rolls large enough to do it in one piece. But with all of the reviews, I decided to go with them. They cut the tint right along one of the large defroster lines. The only way you can tell it's in two pieces is right along the seam between the vertical defroster line and the edge of the glass (like 2 inches on either side). It's flawless and I am thrilled.

As for 3M Crystalline, yes it's a good tint. But it tends to have a bluish hue compared with other ceramic tints. Same with Photosync. Both of these are very expensive compared to quality ceramic tints from Suntek and Llumar, which are more black/gray/smoke color, which I prefer. They are also much cheaper than Crystalline.

Finally @hpn, personal preference. Some don't want to go darker than 35% VLT due to not wanting to have the top rear glass be too dark. I personally think this is overblown. I have always tinted our cars at 20% VLT in the rear (one tint lighter than the Limo at about 5% VLT), with slightly lighter 35% or 45% VLT on the driver and passenger windows. I put 20% on the rear three windows, and it looks great. Not even close to too dark IMHO.

lilbean | May 10, 2018

I think it looks fine in two pieces. I don't expect any tint company to do it one piece. It's huge and Is more difficult because it's not a hatchback. I think the Crystalline has a greenish tone.

sroh | May 10, 2018

They are less expensive than the 3M Crystalline, but both the Suntek CXP and Llumar CTX are very good, at least IMO. you won't be disappointed unless the install isn't done well. I went with the Llumar, but they are very similar. I like how 'black' they both are. As I mentioned in my previous post, compared side by side against CXP or CTX, the 3M Crystalline looks a little blue-ish to me.

voss.ken | May 10, 2018

If you just want the exterior to look cool go with any tint that has the hue you like. If you want the interior actually be as cool as possible you will not find any product that does a better job than 3M Crystalline.

I live in an area where it is often over 100 degrees in the summer and for me its all about keeping the interior cool and UV protection, the cool exterior look is a bonus but not he goal. If I lived in San Francisco or Seattle I probably wouldn't bother with tint or go with any cheep tint applied by a good shop just for the looks

sroh | May 10, 2018


If the main goal is heat rejection, there are a ton of people who would argue that 3M Crystalline doesn't come close to Photosync. I don't have personal experience. But that's the claim made by those who have tried it. There are youtube videos demonstrating Photosync versus 3M using heat sensors.

I personally think the price they ask for it is ridiculous and wouldn't consider it. But if that is the main goal, it's something to look into.

I see tinting as a combination of heat rejection, looks, privacy, legality, cost. When I combine all that, I like the value prop of Suntek CXP or Llumar CTX. Here in the bay area, we're talking $500-$550 for Suntek and Llumar, $800 for Crystalline and $1K+ for Photosync for the 5 main windows.

MilSpec | May 10, 2018

I had Crystalline installed using the darkest available tint at 20%. The shop I used installs a single piece for the back on all Model 3s. I’m in SoCal and noticed an immediate difference, especially with the heat we experienced this last week.

Daryl | May 10, 2018

If you live in a hot area, especially the desert, I recommend tinting the windshield too.

I was undecided on whether I wanted to do the windshield. On the warm Arizona morning I was driving to the tint shop, I was heading east. The rising sun was shining directly in my face and felt very hot. That made up my mind for me right there.

I had it tinted in 3M Crystalline 70% and noticed a big difference right away. Driving into the sun is not nearly as hot as before.

The shop I went to recommended tinting only the bottom half of the rear window. It works for me. You can see some pictures here:

nwfan | May 10, 2018

3m crystalline 40%, installer use one piece for back window. Mentioned how hard Tesla is making for his installers.
He said Model X was a challenge as well as the solid glass roof on s.

I live in TX. Tinting is a must have.

lilbean | May 10, 2018

@joeshah Where did get your windows tinted? Mine did it in two pieces. Sorry for referring a place that does that. :(

MilSpec | May 10, 2018

Autoskinz in Valencia.

MilSpec | May 10, 2018

You can define a Crystalline Certified installer in your area here :

lilbean | May 10, 2018

Thank you, @joeshah.

lilbean | May 10, 2018

The place I went to is certified but they did it in two pieces.

ColonyGolfer | May 11, 2018

My installer in SWFL recommends Rayno window film, (he world's first carbon-ceramic film}. Very reasonable...has anyone used this product before?

richard | May 11, 2018

I haven't got my 3 yet, but I spoke with my tint shop who did my S last month. They sell both Crystalline and Llumar. I have been using Crystalline for last 3 cars. They say they won't do the rear window with Crystalline because they have to special order the size (that match what others said here) and Llumar would be the only choice. It has a purple-ish tone under sun. They said Crystalline has better hear rejection (and of course more expensive).

Anyone in SoCal knowing a Crystalline installer willing to do the 3 in one piece?

lilbean | May 11, 2018

A few posts up, @joeshah mentioned where he had his done.

jaysonrich25 | May 11, 2018

OCDetailing in Fremont, CA has some great reviews and been doing a lot of model 3s. But I know most of you are out of the area.

cornellio | May 11, 2018

@sroh, what's the place can you recommend in the bay area (peninsula area?)

vtech22a | May 11, 2018

Had mine done with Lluma CTX, 15% rear one piece and 35% all the side windows. I was worry the 15% rear will be too dark but it came out great. Echo'ing a lot of the posts here, the installer mentioned doing a Model 3 isn't easy. Located in SoCal.

sroh | May 11, 2018

Auto Image in Belmont. Small shop with two installers who have been doing it probably for decades. It looks like they only work on one car at a time. Wait list is 2 weeks out.

sroh | May 11, 2018

I did the rear three windows with the same tint. I believe the actual VLT is 18%. I never doubted it would be too dark and I'm glad I didn't go lighter. I'm taking it in to do the front two side windows and am considering 35 or 45. How do the 35s look? Not too dark? Not concerned with visibility; more concerned about getting stopped by police.

msmith55 | May 11, 2018

Does anybody have a tint which adjusts to get darker under bright sun or high temperatures?

cornellio | May 11, 2018

@sroh, Thanks! I live in Belmont. It's be a few weeks anyway before I can bare to part with the car.

@msmith55, Man, that would be nice, seems unlikely to me, but have no idea.

jjgunn | May 11, 2018

Thanks @sroh. I needed that BA info

sroh | May 11, 2018

Sure thing guys. Happy to help!

frizzel | June 26, 2018

So I was at the tint shop getting a quote for crystalline for my model X. Looking at the poster in small print at the bottom it says the following.

“Infrared rejection measured on film only from 900nm to 100nm”

What does that mean?? The person give me some mumbo-jumbo answer.

However when I went to another shop and looked at Huper Optic it said

“Tested to the Full spectrum of 2400nm”

Of course when I mentioned what I saw in the crystalline poster he said that is why this product is better and why they put in in small print at the bottom. It’s only really effective in that spectrum. Which is really narrow.

Anyone else seen or heard of this?? Thoughts or explanations??

Starboy2016 | June 26, 2018

Got mine installed with 3M Crystalline. No issues. One piece back window.

Check it out

chris | July 27, 2018

We own a window tinting shop in Miami
We have NO problems using Ceramic films 3M Crystalline to do the complete back window in a single piece, we also do the windshields full coverage in 70 or 90% so you get best heat rejection without sacrificing the clarity. We also carry Xpel's new ceramic films and they are amazing and we can also use that for the windows. We are a Xpel dealer for paint protection film and Gyeon dealer for Ceramic car coatings. We have completed well over 50 Tesla's in the past 12 months here in Miami. Be careful if someone does NOT know what they are doing they will scratch your chrome trim on back windows when installing film from the calibration of rear windows OR worse they will get your electronics wet if they do not do your windshield properly..

slasher0016 | July 27, 2018

@Chris What do you charge for full cystalline on the Model 3 (back window, sides, and windshield at 70%?)

mr.wolf | July 27, 2018

I had one piece done on my back window as well. I live in So Cal. Looks great and I believe the car is cooler. Certainly the windows are cooler.

sroh | July 27, 2018


Thanks for posting. Since you are in 'the business', can I ask you a question? Is it my imagination, or is there a slight blue-ish/green-ish hue on Crystalline tints? Or is there something in Crystalline and Photosync (also looks blue-ish to me) that contributes to their having higher heat rejection numbers?


dr.joemartinez | July 27, 2018

For those who tinted the windshield, did you notice a haze/blurry lines even 1 week after install?

Waited4ever | July 28, 2018

I just got a quote for 3M Crystalline to coverage all the windows, windshield, and moon roof. $1,600. Does it get cheaper in the winter (less people getting the car tinted)? It's pretty expensive now. I should just turn on the AC before getting in the car more. I am in LA and I need to find a cheaper place that can do a good job (please recommend).

pkothare | February 23, 2020

Total tint and detail in San Diego quoted me $400 for suntek cxp series - windshield , rear one piece , sunroof, all side windows and $500 for ceramic. They have ok reviews on yelp. Too good to be true but will see.