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Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:42 pm
by jlsoaz
8 years ago when I moved to Arizona with my Ford Escort ICV, I found myself considering window tinting for the first time. I ended up getting very high quality tinting (except on the front window where I guess it is or was illegal?) and it made an immediate difference in my use of the vehicle. The sun can just be very difficult to deal with in AZ. Prior to the tinting I had found that even with the A/C on full-blast, it was kind of a lost cause in trying to keep the car fully cool. It is also a matter of the sun coming directly into the vehicle. Also, I don't know that I experienced a measureable uptick in MPG, but I don't think it hurt.

One of my first reactions to my drive of my leaf today, now that I've finally had a chance to get back to my first few drives, was that it was a warm autumn day in Southern AZ and while not as bad as direct summer sun, it was still a challenge. I needed to preserve my bars, so I was trying to drive without taxing the A/C and fan, but it was hard. Although not the only factors in making it hard, I'd estimate that the Leaf's tinting doesn't seem as good as in my Escort and that the Leaf has need of the absolute best tinting, not only to reduce load on the battery but also because there seems to be a lot of window space. The same qualities that might make the vehicle attractive and roomy feeling also may work against it a bit in the HVAC load area. I guess the AMC Pacer was a classic example of this?

http://www.stltoday.com/classifieds/tra ... d5eb2.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"...Having all that room under the hood came in handy for adding accessories, such as an A/C compressor. And that was a good thing, because the huge expanse of glass, while providing a terrific view from the passenger compartment, promised a very warm summer driving experience. ..."

I am not sure if the Leaf already has tinting, but I'm guessing if it does, it is not quite the best, so my suggestion to Nissan is to investigate this a bit further and just make sure that all Arizona and other hot-climate Leafs go out with the very best window tinting available. Also, I guess I'd look a bit more into the front-window problem, although I'm not sure if there's any legal solution that has been developed.

Sorry, if this is clueless, I'm just writing quickly and haven't had much time to do homework.

Re: Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:07 am
by Nubo
Fortunately, the LEAF AC is very efficient; much better than I initially expected. So while I was primed to get a good window tinting, I eventually realized it wasn't going to make a huge difference in comfort or energy use. Now of course if I lived in Phoenix I'd probably change my tune, just for comfort's sake and speed of cooling. But for here, I'm probably better off not blocking any more solar heat from entering my cabin during the cooler parts of the year since the resistance heater uses a prodigious amount of power.

Re: Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:32 am
by LEAFfan
It would be nice if Nissan did tint the windows darker, but since they didn't, and I leased, I'm not putting any more money into the car since it will be given back when the lease is up. The lighter-tinted windows haven't been a problem for me and the A/C, even in summer, only uses a sliver of energy when it's set right.

Re: Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:45 am
by jlsoaz
LEAFfan wrote:It would be nice if Nissan did tint the windows darker, but since they didn't, and I leased, I'm not putting any more money into the car since it will be given back when the lease is up. The lighter-tinted windows haven't been a problem for me and the A/C, even in summer, only uses a sliver of energy when it's set right.
Hi - Glad to hear the A/C is efficient and your quick-take on tinting.

I have the same reasoning as to why I won't mess with my tinting (I leased), but this is a suggestion for Nissan as a whole, and for that advisory board on consumer communication that was set up with Chelsea Sexton at the lead, so I am hoping Nissan will give the idea consideration. I am always up for a conversation about energy saving, even in modest amounts, but an additional point to communicate here is that when the sun shines directly into a car in AZ on a hot or medium day, for me it makes me immediately want the best window tinting.... a more comfortable driving experience even if the air is cooled. The sun directly hitting my skin tends to be very uncomfortable. Come to think of it, I should check my own tinting because even though it is darker, I wonder if it is giving me all the UV and other protection I need, since I have had some recent signs of skin issues.

I'll try to read through other threads later when I have time to see if I can find your recommendations for A/C settings. That's pretty impressive in your .sig as to your miles/kWh and the record for range on a charge.

Re: Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:27 am
by mwalsh
I've always found it strange that the LEAF's windows come tinted for the European market and not for ours. However, I can say that it's a very worthwhile investment for cars that live in sunny climes.

Re: Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:02 pm
by turbo2ltr
The first thing I did to the car was tint the windows....I'm leasing but $150 is well worth the comfort over the 3 years of driving. I won't own a car without tint.

I don't consider the A/C at all when deciding if I have enough battery to go where I need to go. It really is effiecient...though I find it pretty comfortable at around 76-80 which may be a higher temp than other people like.

There were some people here that went all out on the tint. Ceramic something or other, even a light tint on the windshield. Definitely helps (though it is illegal to tint the windshield, the probability of getting caught is very low)

Re: Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:22 am
by jlsoaz
turbo2ltr wrote:The first thing I did to the car was tint the windows....I'm leasing but $150 is well worth the comfort over the 3 years of driving. I won't own a car without tint.

I don't consider the A/C at all when deciding if I have enough battery to go where I need to go. It really is effiecient...though I find it pretty comfortable at around 76-80 which may be a higher temp than other people like.

There were some people here that went all out on the tint. Ceramic something or other, even a light tint on the windshield. Definitely helps (though it is illegal to tint the windshield, the probability of getting caught is very low)
Thanks, I think this helps buttress the idea that Nissan would do well to consider making it standard procedure in Arizona and a few other areas to offer tinting on all leased and sold models, perhaps for free, or at a reasonable price, as a matter of good practice toward customers.

Re: Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:05 am
by Stanton
I was "all in" on tint when I bought my Leaf as well; I had the dealer do it (excellent job btw) as part of the delivery process. In addition, I bought one of those custom-fitted window shades that I use consistently in the summer (obviously hot in Texas). Conversely, I DON'T use the shade the rest of the year; particularly in the winter, the sun warms the cabin, reducing the need for the dreaded heater when I go home in the afternoon (I pre-heat in the morning if I have to--but that's done from wall power).

Re: Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:46 am
by Nubo
jlsoaz wrote:
turbo2ltr wrote:The first thing I did to the car was tint the windows....I'm leasing but $150 is well worth the comfort over the 3 years of driving. I won't own a car without tint.

I don't consider the A/C at all when deciding if I have enough battery to go where I need to go. It really is effiecient...though I find it pretty comfortable at around 76-80 which may be a higher temp than other people like.

There were some people here that went all out on the tint. Ceramic something or other, even a light tint on the windshield. Definitely helps (though it is illegal to tint the windshield, the probability of getting caught is very low)
Thanks, I think this helps buttress the idea that Nissan would do well to consider making it standard procedure in Arizona and a few other areas to offer tinting on all leased and sold models, perhaps for free, or at a reasonable price, as a matter of good practice toward customers.
Tricky to offer as OEM. The type and intensity of tint is a personal choice, and what many people want on their cars tends to be illegal. So pre-installed is not the answer. Nissan could have their shops "offer" tint as an option, but really at that point what is the advantage over taking it to a shop that specializes in window tinting and is likely to do a better job? Not to mention that any liabilities for darker-than-legal tints, front-window tinting, etc., are then not tied to Nissan.

Re: Window tinting in Arizona and other hot climates?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:00 am
by TomT
They certainly could tint the rear and hatch windows standard as do many other vehicles...
Nubo wrote:Tricky to offer as OEM. The type and intensity of tint is a personal choice, and what many people want on their cars tends to be illegal. So pre-installed is not the answer.