Ford Escape Automobiles Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
does anyone have any experience on doing their own window tints? I can get the stuff at autozone for about $40 versus paying a professional around $200 or something like that.

but i've seen cars where the windows tints look horrible because they messed up on it themselves so I'm looking for some opinions and tips because I'm all for saving some money for college and stuff..
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,571 Posts
Check around your area. It may not be as expensive as you think. We had both our Escape and Mariner windows tinted professionally and it was only $60 for each vehicle. They did a great job and only took them a half hour or so.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
I did my own windows. It takes a bit of skill, but once you get the feel of it you will make it look easy.

You will want two spray bottles, one with plain water and one with either soapy water or "transfer fluid" like they use in vinyl sign shops. Get a soft rubber squeegee about three inches wide that you can apply lots of force to without scratching the tint film. You will also need a cleaning solvent that leaves no residue behind - the tint film package should tell you what you want to use (I can't remember if it should be alcohol or acetone or something else).

First, cut a sheet of tint film out of the roll into the rough width of the window. Spray the outside of the window liberally with plain water, and stick that sheet on backwards (adhesive side towards you). Squeegee any air bubbles out and check that there are no wrinkles. If there are wrinkles and they can't be removed, use a heat gun to get the tint film to conform to the window contour (normally not needed unless doing contoured rear windows). Use the squeegee edge to indent the shape of the window into the sheet of tint, and cut leaving a 1-cm border around the shape. Cut the bottom edge carefully as you will leave that intact (the rest will be trimmed off).

Now use the appropriate solvent to clean the inside of the window, making sure to properly clean the area around the window seals. Once that dries, spray a good volume of soapy water or transfer fluid onto the interior of the window, then expose the tint film adhesive and stick that on. It should not stick in place, and you will be able to shift the film around for a good fit (the same way you can shift a suction cup around, but can't lift straight up). Spray another layer of soapy water on the other side of the film to allow the squeegee to slide smoothly. Start from the centre and squeegee your way out, tucking 1 cm of film into the bottom of the window between the glass and the rubber seal (that will keep the film from being damaged after years of rolling the windows up and down). Get the squeegee down that 1 cm as well so you don't leave loose film flapping around inside the door. Get all the bubbles out, using as much force as necessary. The film should not be damaged as long as you keep the back of the film lubricated with the soapy water. For really stubborn bubbles, you can put a tiny pinprick at the top edge of the bubble and squeegee the air out of the hole. Once the film is on and all the bubbles are out, take a new razor blade and go along the edges of the window to trim the film flush. You can move the window up and down as needed to expose the edges. Make sure the edge of the film does not stick out past the edge of the window, or it will eventually lift off. Wipe everything down, and don't roll the windows for a few days.

The tailgate window is basically the same procedure, but you have to cut out a lot more openings for all the attachments. You can also trace the shape of the window while the sheet is on the outside and cut exactly to the size of the window, as there is no tucking involved. Make sure all your defroster lines work before sticking film over them, or you will never be able to repair it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,656 Posts
I paid for than $60 to get mine done, but there's a warranty on my tints... not that many legitimate-looking places around here to get such a thing done!

Since I lacked (and still lack) of window-tinting abilities, I went ahead and paid about $130 to get them done (and I met a local big-shooter in the process, so I guess it was worth the money).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,182 Posts
I did my own windows on my previous three trucks. This current truck (I've owned 15 years) still is only factory tint :shrug: . I just didn't bother. The Tribute had the rear windows done at the factory, and the driver and passenger windows were done at the dealership before we picked up the Tribbie.

I wouldn't be afraid of it, just some time and material. Pretty self evident once you read the instructions. There isn't any magic to applying tint. :shrug:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
well $60 is very reasonable for one vehicle. I'm gonna check around because I'd rather have it professionally done. plus I only need to do the front two windows
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
I seem to recall about $60 for my front pair also. definatly worth it to me as I know there's no way in :censor: I'd do it and make it look good. It's also warrentied to to buble or peel. Took about 1/2 hour, faster than I could walk across the street and get my kid a hamburger!

I think this what I got, (I know it was factory match) but paid slightly less than today's price:

http://data.gointranet.com/cgi-bin/...nting.html&cu=ggoodman&cl=South Oklahoma City
ProShield

High Performance Film

Features:
Scratch Resistant Coating
Heat Rejection up to 48% (Ultra Dark 60%)
UV Rejection 98%
Limited Lifetime Warranty

Shades Available
Medium
Dark
Ultra Dark (Additional Charge)

Prices include installation

Factory Match - Front Rollups $79.00
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
I got mine professionally done and it only cost $50 for the 2 front windows.

Only other advice I can give is to check local laws on how dark you can go, if it's not factory tint then there may be laws regulating it. I could only have 50% film applied as the state only allows down to 35% total and I didn't want to have any issues come inspection time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,656 Posts
hehe... though I'm a Minnesota student, my car is currently titled for Michigan... so I was allowed to go past the Minnesota 50% and go with Michigan 0% (no joke). Actually, I got about 35% (as close to factory as possible), but did you know, in Michigan, you can have 0% tint on all the windows but the windshield, and even at that, you're allowed a four-inch strip along the top to tint as well? Crazy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
You are allowed 0% tint in Michigan, but only along a 4-inch strip for front side windows and the windshield, according to MCL 257.709:
(1) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle with any of the following:

(a) A sign, poster, nontransparent material, window application, reflective film, or nonreflective film upon or in the front windshield, the side windows immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger, or the sidewings adjacent to and forward of the driver or front passenger, except that a tinted film may be used along the top edge of the windshield and the side windows or sidewings immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger if the material does not extend more than 4 inches from the top of the windshield, or lower than the shade band, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield.

...
The wording is a bit vague, but the Michigan State Police website agrees:
http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,1607,7-12 ... tml#tinted

As far as I know, all state traffic laws are enforceable regardless of your registration. Once you enter a state, you play by their rules (e.g., radar detector can be confiscated in Virginia regardless of your home state). Officers can give you a break if you are out of state, but that is at their discretion.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,656 Posts
Hm... strange, the diagram I read must be old. Let's hope I don't get pulled over for dark windows! [knock on wood] Anyhow, at least I didn't opt for the 0% tint. And the four-inch rule is kinda weird. 0%... That would be kinda scary, wouldn't it?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,182 Posts
Being and old dude, and somewhat of a rigid person not unlike what you might imagine a policeman would be like. I'd be inclined to be have an increased interest in a car with particularly dark windows. I know police don't profile :shock: , and can assure you that if I were one I never would :angel: . But too dark a tint would catch my eye... :calvin: Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,629 Posts
jonas1022 said:
Being and old dude, and somewhat of a rigid person not unlike what you might imagine a policeman would be like. I'd be inclined to be have an increased interest in a car with particularly dark windows. I know police don't profile :shock: , and can assure you that if I were one I never would :angel: . But too dark a tint would catch my eye... :calvin: Just a thought.
Yes, that's correct Jonas. It would attract their attention.
I have just the legally allowed tint. The officers ignore it. But they periodically do licence checks. They allways ask: Do you have anything, we might need to know about? They do not search car. But they have a quick look, at the seats and floors, plus the cargo bay.

If i was an officer, too dark a tint, would put me on the defense. They are entitled to feel concerned, about their security and welfare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I've always been fascinated with "dark limo" tints...here in P.R. the % acceptable is a 35%...but all windows (although you may not notice) have like a 70% from factory (that's practically transparent) but here's the catch...if u have a 35% tint on ur window, when you run the scanner to see what's the real %...its not going to be 35...it gets about 30% or a bit less. So in theory...ur not legal. But lately I've been installing mine...why? I'm tired of paying over $70 for tints that sooner or later I'm gonna get pulled over (again...and again) So I learned to install them and WOW! I've saved myself lots of money.
And just so you know, most of these vehicles have a dark window tint on the back windows but from fabric...you can still see through from the outside in, but if you install a 35% on those windows, the visibility will disappear but you will see perfectly from the inside out. ;)
PS: I've had 20%, 35% and 5% (never will I get 5% again, you don't see nothing at night!)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,656 Posts
I have my front window tints as close to the rest of the car as possible... I'm pretty sure whatever car I get in the future, 35% is as far as I'll go. According to some forums, most companies do somewhere between 30 and 40 percent on the windows on factory vehicles. 70% seems like it would be pretty much transparent; I might consider 50% on my next vehicle also becauase it's the Minnesota legal limit.

I have some pictures of the tint freshly installed (a.k.a. still drying) on my CarDomain page.

One morning over the summer I was working at the airport and I looked out to see that the airport police had pulled over a Subaru leaving the airport that had windows way darker than mine (nonetheless I was still getting worried)... the police office even pulled out some scale to show how dark his windows were. I'm not sure if he got a ticket or not, but I can tell you that his windows were definitely much darker than mine. How can you drive with x<20%? It's insane imho.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,182 Posts
Years ago I knew a guy that was tinting the windows on cars both on the inside and the outside... :confused: I couldn't beleive that people were actually paying this dirtbag to do that to their cars. What's going on between their ears that they would want virtually no light into the interior? :confused:
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top