Auto-Links Tint

May 13th, 2010 by Potato

I got the windows on the Prius tinted last weekend at Auto-Links. I ended up choosing them because they had a lot of good reviews over at redflagdeals, including a group buy discount from that group (which is still good if you’re considering tinting your car), and their prices were roughly $100-150 less than what the dealership wanted for tinting. John and Cody seem to run a quality shop, taking care to wash the windows really well before applying the computer-cut tint. In fact, there was a minor problem with one of the tint sheets and John threw it right out, no hesitation on doing the job right.

I have to admit that my heart leaped into my chest when I heard the “pop-pop-pop-pop” of the retaining clips releasing the door panel (they need to open the door panel to get the film to the bottom of the glass), but of course they’re pros, and it all went back together nicely (no door rattles either, which was my big worry since it’s a problem I’ve managed to avoid thus-far on the Prius).

I ended up up-selling myself into the ceramic tint: I really don’t care about the electronic non-interference perk, but I did want to stay with a fairly light tint since I do so much night driving, while getting better heat rejection. One of the big reasons for getting the windows tinted in the first place was to reduce heat build-up, and the ceramic was not that much more for a fairly large increase in heat rejection. The film came in a “30%” and “40%” optical transmission, though apparently the ceramic is actually lighter than the rating. It is indeed a fairly subtle tint, this isn’t a black-out gangsta limo tint:

A really nice subtle charcoal ceramic tint from Auto-links on my Prius. 40% front, 30% rear

I got 30% on the back, and 40% on the front, and there is zero issue with night-time driving, with the possible exception of some light from headlights behind me appearing to streak out along the defogger lines of the rear window (I hope to update later with a picture of that effect). I’m hoping that will settle down as the film cures and adheres better to the window, but either way it’s not a big issue. In fact, I probably could have gone darker on the back (I had in my head going in that I wanted something in the ~20-25% range), but unfortunately the one downside to Auto-Links & ceramic tint is that there aren’t a lot of choices along the tint spectrum, with nothing available between 15% and 30%. One final perk I should mention is that these guys take Monday and Tuesdays off so they can work the weekend, which was great because Sundays are a good day to have this sort of thing done!

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