Tint in Chase Vehicles

May 8, 2004
Central Oklahoma
How many of you chase with tinted windows? I have been driving a Crown Vic with dark tint at work, and I noticed that at night it is near impossible to see anything outside the car. How does tint affect your chasing?

I wanted tinted windows, but after driving this car I'm fairly confident I will not be getting my new chase vehicle (if I ever get it . . . lol) tinted.

Any thoughts?
I will always tint mine. Not only does it keep you and the car cooler on long chases but it also makes it harder for someone to see all your valuable equipment inside.
Tint also help you from wearing so much glass if you should have a core punch go wrong.
You can always go with a lighter tint instead of the real dark tint.
Most places that sell tint will have panes of glass so you can compare. Take your camera up there with you along with some of your filters and try them out. I was checking the tints out one time and found that my circular polarizer, when used through this metallic tint, caused some objects to turn brilliant rainbow metallic colours. I would have been pissed had I found this out after purchasing.

As for my opinion on tint....go for it but not to dark. I have no tint on my front two windows but plan on going with at least a light tint. My chase partner had a very dark tint on his last chase vehicle; this not only caused problems shooting video/stills through it but at night, it was almost to dark to see.


Graham Butler
I can see the positive aspects of tinting your vehicle, but I don't think I will ever do it. For me, I want a clear unobstructed view out the driver and passenger windows. It may make it warmer during the summer, but I think even a light tint would be too much. The other reason is window tint in Illinois is illegal. Most of the police don't seem to mind, unless you live in the town that I do!
Tint also help you from wearing so much glass if you should have a core punch go wrong.

My thoughts exactly. The only reason I still have a light tint on all my windows is because it aids in reducing the shatter when that baseball sized ice chunk zero's in on your windshield
I don't like tint on the windows,alright the manufactures do some tinting here in Europe but that is the actual glass. If I had to protect the glass I might look at the clear stuff similar to the stuff you cover books with.
Graham was right, the tint I had last year on the front side windows was a bit too dark for nightime. Much less is on the current one. One thing I will say, when that window blew out (externally) in Nebraska, you can see the majority of it still stuck to a large piece of tint film go flying by the windshield, so to some degree, the tint film does retain some of the glass with it.
Anyone had luck with DIY tinting kits? The few people I've known that have done it themselves vowed never to try it again (i.e. bubbles in the film that are unavoidable, etc).

Tim forget the idea of DIY tints, I had a go at doing just the rear windows and tailgate of an Estate car and gave up. If you can put sticky film on a 16x 16 map without a single wrinkle having peeled the backing off all at once go for it but remember windows in autos are never flat and then you have to trim the edges.
Totally forget the idea.
Originally posted by Tim Vasquez
Anyone had luck with DIY tinting kits? The few people I've known that have done it themselves vowed never to try it again (i.e. bubbles in the film that are unavoidable, etc).


My dad did it on his van; almost wrecked the window.
Originally posted by Tim Vasquez
Anyone had luck with DIY tinting kits? The few people I've known that have done it themselves vowed never to try it again (i.e. bubbles in the film that are unavoidable, etc).


Its well worth the money to have somebody else do it. I tried doing it myself once, and did a terrible job. Of course I had to take it down in a few short weeks because of the cops around here. :roll:
I agree with them Tim, I don't recall EVER seeing a good outcome on those over the counter tints. You can get a minivan/suv done these days for $100-$120 if you shop your prices.

Now, also, I have noticed some people selling the sheets of professional tint, and even precut pieces for certain vehicles on Ebay. One guy I knew that did our tint for us when I worked at Saturn told me the biggest key to a good tint job was making sure you get the glass ABSOLUTELY clean!
My windows are tinted dark for the desert. That is one service I would definitely shop out and wouldn't attempt myself. I see a lot of bad tints on the road, I always wonder what someone would do to fix a window they had ruined with tint, or if it was even fixable(?) or does the window have to be replaced...
The guy at our tint shop had some stuff he could clean it up with, but I don't know what it was. They had to do that on trade ins sometimes.
The shop I work for tints windows. I had mine redone last year, the old stuff had turned purple. I understand that's because it was not a "metalic" tint. The old stuff was removed with a commercial clothes steamer. Peeled right off, even the back one over the defogger wires! Smelled awefull!! The glue residue remained and was removed with a razor blade scraper on the side windows and wet STEEL WOOL on the back defogger area. Didn't leave a single scratch. I had been told denatured alcohol would remove the glue, but that didn't work. Steel wool was the trick.

I replaced with a 35% tint, can still see through but has 100% UV protection which saves the vinyl and the seat fabric.
I've used DIY tints a few times, but with mixed results. I was able to tint the rear window in the Kenworth I drive for work in one shot. But that is a large flat window with plenty of room to work around. On the other hand, I also tinted the two rear side windows on my Monte Carlo, and it was a real pain. After a few practice tries (cough,cough) I got the job done. No bubbles and full covering. You really need a lot of patience as it is tedious work. What you save in money, you'll lose in time and hair you'll be pulling out. Older larger cars / vans it'll work fine. Newer, smaller cars...forget it!
I’ve always had tinted windows. I’ve become very skilled in doing it myself over the years due to broken windows and driving through the wrong jurisdiction.

A few years ago I saw a vinyl film that is similar to the “static stickersâ€￾ some radio stations give away in the auto section at Wal-Mart. It’s really easy to work with compared to the adhesive backed kind. You can also remove it and reapply it later if need be. I keep a spare chunk of it in the glove box for the windshield for when I’m driving into the sun.

Like someone said earlier, the secret is to clean the windows before applying. Use a razor blade to remove any little speck of dust.
I will always have tint on my car windows. I just need to quit buying new cars so I can quit having to tint each one. The great thing about window mounts is that the window has to be down anyway, lol. Tint is really never an issue I don't think. If it is a problem the window will either go down or I will look at whatever out my front window. If I can't point the car towards whatever and it is raining I will hold something above the camera and mount it to the window anyway. Usually if it is raining the only thing worth recording, if anything, is possible hail..which, well, can be shot out the front. I've just always had tint and never really had much of any problems. As for night, again, if the window can't be rolled down it is very likely there it nothing worth recording. I think most states probably regulate front windows to a certain level anyway. A level that is likely a non-issue when pointing a video camera through it. I don't think I'd like shooting through a 'clear' window anyway.

The main reason I have tint is so when you stop at a stop light you really don't have to sit there and try not to look like you are wondering if the person next to you is staring or not. I so hate that when I'm in a car with no tint for some reason. I think Nebraska's tint laws say that the back windows can be down to letting 15% of light through while the front have to be 25%. I know, I had to replace the front ones. If driving through/around Blair NE watch basically everything you do. At one point I think we had the most cops per capita in at least the US(they train state troopers here I think).
I have 15% tint on my windows in my Montero. It really makes it hard to see in and I cannot see across to the other side even in broad daylight. So hopefully no one can see what is inside.
Tinting = WHY BOTHER???????????

Guess it's a guy thing.....

:roll: :roll: :roll:


Your pretty fair skinned Karen....doesn't that hot Texas sun in May burn you coming through the car window? A nice UV tint can really cut down on some of the heat coming in the vehicle. :wink: