All About Tesla Model 3 Window Tinting

Elaine Duvet
Updated on Jun 27, 2022 · 5 min read
Tinting your Tesla can reduce sun glare, block solar heat and protect you from harmful UV rays. And let’s be real, it makes your Tesla look like an undercover stealth boss.
Jerry, the car ownership super app, checks out the best options for Tesla Model 3 window tint.

Tesla Model 3 window tint types

Did you know that window tints can prevent your EV interior from fading? Full coverage on all side windows and the windshield will give you the ultimate protection. It will also protect your kids sitting in the backseat. 
Many modern cars come factory tinted, but they’re not tinted 100%. If a Tesla Model 3 displays 80% VLT (percentage of visible light transmitted), that means that 80% of light can pass throughout. Depending on your state, the Tesla Model 3 is best at 35% for side windows and 50% on the rear windshield.
When it comes to Tesla Model 3 window tint, there are lots of options to choose from. If you’ve got a tight budget, a dyed tint won’t last as long, but it also won’t break the bank. And eventually, you’ll need to replace it when it starts bubbling. 
Metallized tints give off a shiner look and are great at reflecting light. However, they can interfere with cell signals since they do contain metal, and they’re not the best choice for Teslas. If you go with a hybrid tint, you’ll get a combination of dyed and metalized material. It’s a nice mix of the two tints without being too dark or too reflective.
Some tints contain carbon particles mixed into the film. According to Tesbros, “It rejects more heat than metalized without cell signal interference and provides a more matte look.”
The most common tints for Teslas are ceramic and crystalline. 3M makes a great ceramic tint that has impressive glare reduction, no signal interference, reduces heat, and offers 100% UV protection. FormulaOne Stratos offers a unique dual-layer ceramic film that rejects 63% of solar heat, filters 80 percent of glare, and blocks almost 100% of UV rays. 
Ceramic tints will also improve your Tesla’s range, as you won’t have to run the AC as often.
If you’re looking for high-quality Tesla Model 3 window tint, 3M makes a signature crystalline tint. It’s light in color, blocks heat, and is thinner than a piece of paper. But be prepared to drop at least $1,000 to add this to your EV. 
Other quality brands include Xpel, SunTek, and Llumar.

Installation and cost for your Tesla Model 3 window tint

As far as permitted tint percentages, requirements vary from state to state. Make sure you review the specific guidelines in regards to what you can tint the windshields, side front, and side rear. If you’re tinting the front windshield, you’ll have to stay above the AS1 line in most states.
Basically, installing a tint involves cleaning, heat shrinking, and installing from the inside. The cost depends on your location and the type of tint you prefer. If you fancy a high-quality ceramic tint, expect to pay between $400 and $1,200. 3M Crystalline is well over $1,000. 
According to Tesbros, the Model 3 has a massive rear glass size, which requires a skilled professional. Because of all the electronics in Tesla vehicles, you should go to a shop that is familiar with them.
The margin of error for installing a Tesla tint is small, so DIYing it is not recommended. It’s not worth the risk of damaging the EV’s electronics or having excessive bubbles and debris in the installation. 
Fortunately, if you invest in a high-quality tint, it can last as long as your Tesla does. Many tints will come with a lifetime warranty to protect drivers from purpling and bubbling. 

Taking your Tesla sedan to the shop

Make sure you partner with a shop that knows the proper way to tint Teslas, as not all do. “When tinting a Model 3, you need to carry a larger-sized roll of window tint that is only required for [a] select few vehicles. Without this roll, a tint shop would have to make a seam in the center of the tint and use 2 pieces,” AP Tinting notes. 
Ask your installer if they install the rear windshield in one or two pieces. If you’re cool with a seam in the middle, it’s easier and cheaper to install two pieces. 
The defroster on the back window of a Tesla is super fragile, and if one line is broken, the defroster will go kaput. Ask about what type of materials your installer plans to use to clean the glass before installing the tint. Anything too abrasive will result in an expensive fix
It’s also a good idea to ask about specific precautions that are taken to make sure all your Tesla electronics are safe.

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