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      03-17-2008, 03:44 PM   #1
M3OwnerHtown
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Window Tint

I was calling up a few local window tinting companies in Houston and wanted some feedback from anyone in the SW area who they recommend? Few that I have contacted so far is Star Tint, Executive Motorsports, and Formula One - any recommendations? Also, which tint is the best to go with? I used 3M on my previous vehicle and never had an issue but heard 3M hasn't come out with any new stuff recently? Thanks for the feedback.
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      03-17-2008, 08:19 PM   #2
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My Jet Black Sedan should be delivered to Advantage Midtown sometime around Saturday.. I am going to have them do a few aftermarket things to the car one of which is tinting the windows. I suspect you too could get them to tint your windows... maybe a little more expensive BUT you will get a warranty with it and it will be quality tint. Three BMW's ago I had a shop over at Westheimer and Hillcroft do my windows, sorry can't remember their name but they did a good job as well. I will see if I can dig the name up.


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      03-17-2008, 10:06 PM   #3
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Ok either do the dealer which is perfectly fine or ask for Brandon at Executive MOtorsports. He is the bomb, a great guy who is down to earth and will level with you price wise for sure! Go to him the who off of westheimer without a doubt if you dont do the dealer.
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      03-18-2008, 08:56 AM   #4
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My current car has huper optik ceraminc tint done by executive motorsports. They did a great job (almost three years ago) and the tint is still perfect. However, I did send a friend there recently and he was only sort of happy with the job. I can't help but notice that the location is a little more ghetto now. I think the sign says something like "Let us pimp your ride!" Is Brandon at the Hilcroft location? Seems like they have a second location as well.

The huper optic is a great tint by the way but does have a slightly off-black (almost brownish) hue that might not look great on jet black. I am considering formula one's pinnacle line this time around. Just something else to think about. Not sure what type of tint the dealers are using, but my hunch is that it is not ceramic. If it is metallic, just know that this can interfere with radar detectors' reception. I think ceramic is generally the way to go.

Finally, on my huper optic, I paid 399 for full tint on a sedan (Audi S4). The price they first quoted me was like 539. Just a reminder that there is always room to negotiate. Good luck!!
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      03-18-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input Ronnie and Domer... I contacted John at Formula one and quoted me $450 for the Pinnacle which is ceramic film and spoke to Brandon at Executive and quoted me $349 for Huper Optic but said if I come in he can work me a deal. I agree with you since I plan on getting a radar and already have nav/sat that metallic could potentially interfere. I had my last car done at Star Tint and never faded nor peeled and they quoted me $260 for 3M Color Stable, so guess it's a toss up for now till I actually go see them and get a better feel. I want to stay with the charcoal color since the car is jet blk and say away from the chrome/mirror stuff
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      03-19-2008, 06:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3OwnerHtown View Post
Thanks for the input Ronnie and Domer... I contacted John at Formula one and quoted me $450 for the Pinnacle which is ceramic film and spoke to Brandon at Executive and quoted me $349 for Huper Optic but said if I come in he can work me a deal. I agree with you since I plan on getting a radar and already have nav/sat that metallic could potentially interfere. I had my last car done at Star Tint and never faded nor peeled and they quoted me $260 for 3M Color Stable, so guess it's a toss up for now till I actually go see them and get a better feel. I want to stay with the charcoal color since the car is jet blk and say away from the chrome/mirror stuff
Well now you all have me wondering if the 3M tint offered through the dealership at $249.00 is as good as those mentioned above?
What are your thoughts?
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      03-19-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
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I did a little more research online and called a few of the tint shops. The main culprit for tint to be more expensive the material it is made out of ... it seems metallic is cheaper then ceramic tint. Pro behind cermamic is there is no or little interference with you cars Nav/Sat and Radar(if you have one) verse metallic which potentially could cause interference. Now I"m not sure if this would justfiy paying addition $200 dollars for the cermamic tint or not. Secondly the other cost is if the tint is dyed or not ... seems dyed tint might have a tendency to fade / discolor. The way I look at it if you pay that much for a car might as well get the best product on the market ... just my opinion.
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      03-19-2008, 07:17 PM   #8
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I got metallic tint and it totally interfered with my AM reception on my 323is, since the antenna is along the back window or something. I've had to deal with that for 10 years. Not sure what it might interfere with in the M3, but I'm definitely paying more for ceramic.
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      03-24-2008, 12:59 PM   #9
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I left work early on Friday to check out the tint shops(Executive and Formula One).
Executive: When I arrived I asked for Brandon and he was not in on Friday so spoke to another guy there(shorter hispanic guy w/ glasses). He came out and checked out my car and I asked him what is his best price and he asked me, "What did Brandon quote" you. Right there I got a funny feeling that this guy was going to take me for a ride so I played along and he said that the tint nomrally goes for $499. Also he told me it would take 3 hours or so to do the job which to me seems exteremly long ... either the guys in the back are amateurs and don't know what they are doing. So I asked him why so long and he stated that the Huper is a thicker tint and requires more time to apply - why would I want to put thick tint on my car??? He did tell me they would do laser cutting to ensure it fit perfectly to the window at no additional cost but I'm sure it was built in this $499 quote. I saw a vehicle with the tint I wanted and it had a greenish hue to it ... not impressive. I also asked if I could check out his install bay which I did ... not impressive at all. The install bay was not fully enclosed and the guys were working while the bay door was open - easily more room for contamination when applying the film. Overall, not impressed with the install bay, place seemed they do sub-par quality work, and the pricing seem a bit sketchy.

Formula One: When I got there the office was nice and tidy and I went into the install bay and asked for John. Come to find out John is one of the installers there and basically runs the store as well. Install bay was fully enclosed and bay doors where closed as well. I asked him about Huper and he smirked and basically stated that Huper is mainly used for commerical property and not on vehicles. He knows the guys at Executive and stated they have a high turn-over on installers so basically the guys there installing are amateurs. His install time was only 1 hr but the issue I have with Formula One is the price ($450 quote)... I looked online for all authorized dealers in Texas and called 2 of them up that are located in Austin and they quoted me $349 installed. I asked John why he was so much higher and told me his retail cost is higher then Austin - come on now, seems bit un-real but I might be mistaken. I haggled a little more and he came down to $400 - still $50 bucks higher. I also asked if he had any vehicles with the blk tint I wanted and said on Saturday he would have plenty guys coming in to install it and would call me - never recieved the phone call. Overall, clean workshop floor, John seemed more up and up and knowledgeable but the price difference for the same tint bothers me a bit.
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      03-24-2008, 05:29 PM   #10
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Good info M3Owner. My experience with the setup at Executive is about the same. Not as clean as I would expect for high end tint. I think Executive is right about HuperOptik being thicker and this harder to install. No downside to a thicker tint (I have heard V-cool is so think that it feels like it's made of metal) but that does affect ease of install (and thus price).

I am skeptical about the guy at Forula One saying his cost is higher. My understanding is that tint is sold by the (large) roll and the cost of materials is very small compared to the labor component. When I shoped around last, formula one pinnacle was cheaper than huper optik everywhere I looked. Is the place in Austin you called Custom Sounds? I had them install my previous formula one (the metallic version I had on my e46 m3) and they did a great job. The shop on the northwest side of town (was up 183) was very clean and the guy even let me sit back there with him and watch the install. A few people I know had formula one pinnacle put on there a few years ago and got it done for just over 300 a car I think (a few of them went in together to get that deal though; 3 series sedan and 350z if I recall).

Final note: make sure you ask/confirm with these places that they do the rear window as a single piece of tint. Sounds crazy I know, but many tint place either charge extra for that or won't do it unless asked. It makes the install more difficult but is a must for looks. They will probably tell you "of course they do, especially on this nice of a car" but better safe than sorry.

Also, don't let them stick the little advertisement under the film that says the name of the shop or anything. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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      03-26-2008, 03:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for doing this research. This will be invaluable when I start thinking about mine.
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      04-02-2008, 11:23 PM   #12
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I had mine done at Formula One, pretty sure the Pinnacle only ran me $350...but I also had the bra done at the same time. Maybe they cut me a deal for both.
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      06-19-2008, 03:43 PM   #13
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Update on the tint dilemma ... I still haven't done the tint on my car and summer heat is here so thought I'd see if anyone on here got a good deal on tint from a respectable tint shop? I'm still interested in doing the tint via Formula One .. the Pinnacle series. I called again an Austin installer and they quoted me $299 over the phone ... I then called Formula One in Houston and got him to come down to $350. So I wanted to see if anyone else is interested in getting a tint job on their car so I can see if we can get a group discount for at least $299 if not better ... let me know if your interested?
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      06-25-2008, 06:47 AM   #14
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You can add me to the list if you want to set up a formula 1 group buy. However, my car if probably 5 weeks away (scheduled for completion this week), and I doubt you can wait that long. $350 sounds like a good deal. We could probably do a little better if we had a few cars. Keep me posted.
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      07-02-2008, 01:16 PM   #15
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Warning, Warning, Warning ...

So I called Formula one on Friday afternoon(June 27th) and spoke to John about putting Pinnacle on my car. I did not mention what type of vehicle I had specifically(believe I said I had a G35 coupe) and quoted me $350 is the best price he could give. After going home that night I decided that I would go ahead Sat morning at 9am to get the tint installed. I get there and meet him and asked if he would work a deal on the $350 quote if I had a few more guys from the forum go to him. He stated to me he would never have quoted Pinnacle at $350 and that he sells that tint for $400 all day long ... I told him that thats what he told me over the phone($350) after I mentioned that in Austin they were installing the same tint for $299. I was SHOCKED that just because I rolled up in a BMW his lost his memory ... man was I pissed off. He then said $375 is the best price ... talk about bait and switch. This guy told me twice over the phone that he would do it for $350 but when I rolled up in the M3 total different tune. Finally, he agreed to do it for $350 and I didn't want to get into an arguement with him otherwise he could've screwed up the tint job.

But get this, then he had the nerve to call the tint shop in Austin while I was standing there to see if I was bullshitting or not ... when he called them he told them that he has a 2008 M3 over the phone, according to him he told me that said $375 .. I said, that's because you told them what type of vehicle ... of course they're going to quote you higher.

Either way I let him to the tint job ... came out great. I told him I'd mention this on the forum and that he would give the same price $350 to you guys on here.
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      07-02-2008, 03:57 PM   #16
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Himm, thanks for the update. I need to get off my butt and get mine done too.
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      07-03-2008, 07:04 PM   #17
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I had my tint installed here in Austin by Sun Busters who installed the FormulaOne Pinnacle tint. I am extremely pleased with their install and the tint. (The first tint that was put in by another shop interfered with the comfort access).

I don't the price, since BMW of Austin paid for my tint. But if the guys in Houston are messing around with you, come on to Austin
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      07-06-2008, 10:51 AM   #18
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Thanks for the update, M3Owner. Sucks that he tried to pull that but I'm glad that things worked out in the end. I always say I have a 3 series sedan. You're absolutely right that, when they hear "M3," the price goes up.

I'll reach out to this guy in a few weeks when my car gets closer to delivery. I'll let everyone know if his story changes.
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      07-20-2008, 02:15 PM   #19
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Lets see what he quotes me for a 2008 GTI....
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      08-09-2008, 10:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadOn View Post
I had my tint installed here in Austin by Sun Busters who installed the FormulaOne Pinnacle tint. I am extremely pleased with their install and the tint. (The first tint that was put in by another shop interfered with the comfort access).

I don't the price, since BMW of Austin paid for my tint. But if the guys in Houston are messing around with you, come on to Austin
how'd the rear dot matrix turn out?
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      08-21-2008, 12:23 PM   #21
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the rear window didn't turn out as good as it should, from the interior it has no issues but looking from the exterior has a few spots where it seems there is "no tint" ... I'll have to take it back and see what they can do. Anyone else have the same issue and if so what was the solution?
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      08-21-2008, 09:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3OwnerHtown View Post
the rear window didn't turn out as good as it should, from the interior it has no issues but looking from the exterior has a few spots where it seems there is "no tint" ... I'll have to take it back and see what they can do. Anyone else have the same issue and if so what was the solution?
I'm going to be doing this in Oct or so (cross fingers). So keep us posted... I'll also update with my experiences as well. Considering getting the clear "bra" (bumper, fenders, hood, mirrors) from them as well, but I haven't yet had a chance to get a "quote" from them.

It does indeed suck the M3 gets an inflated quote... Perhaps it is because they will be paying special care to it because it's an awesome car, and spending more time on it, they have to charge more than that 92 toyota?
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