Saturday, June 4, 2016

Window Tint, De-badge, Paint Protection

We debadged the car right away.  Badges come off easily with dental floss and a little citrus-based Goo Gone (not to be confused with Goof Off, which is solvent-based).  We have plans to possibly re-badge the back in a custom way, later.  De-badging is nice because (1) you get rid of the ridiculous xDrive35d side badges which make no sense on a 3.0L car (2) the car is easier to clean. 

We added Xpel Ultimate paint protection to the front bumper and headlights.   We did not do the hood because quite frankly, clear film never looks good to me on the hood.  And, the cost to put film onto the hood is about the same as repainting it.  We did have Opticoat Pro Plus applied to the whole car.  This included the door jams, all the black plastic pieces, everything.  It performs great now and I am excited to see how well it holds up in the long run.  We used Chris Arthur of Arthur's Detailing for both services and are 100.00% happy with him and his work.

We added Llumar GTX window tint in 15% variety to the front windows of the car.  It’s an excellent match to the factory tint on the rear glass.

We also added Llumar Air80 clear film to the front windshield in order to reduce heat and UV.  The Air80 is invisible and does not interfere with the HUD at all.

For both mods, we used Charleston Window Films.  Joel Valencia is the principle owner.  We had previously used both Pleasant Details and also Audio Evolution and we were disappointed with both shops.  The disappointment continues (read: I am 0 for 3 picking tint shops) with Joel.  The Air80 film on the windshield has small "champagne bubbles" underneath it.  When I mentioned it, Joel was nice about it... no problem, please bring it back and I will redo it.  We agreed.  When we picked up the car, the Air80 looked much, much better.  but, there was a 2" long striaght scratch ont he rear passenger door.  Joel apologized and offered to buff it out, but the scratch was through the color and I knew buffing would be impossible.  I filled the scratch with OEM touch up paint and clear, wet sanded it smooth, and now we need to go back to Chris Arthur and get the Opticoat on the door reapplied.  Fantastic.  Hint: sarcasm.

Window film front doors and windshield, $295.00r
Xpel Ultimate clear film front bumper, mirrors, headlights.  Opticoat Pro Plus for all painted surfaces, wheels, plastics, engine bay plastics, all exterior glass except windshield, $1750.00r

Total cost of this mod = $2045.00r
Total investment in vehicle to date = $3109.36r


  1. How have you been liking the film on the windshield? Does it do what it is supposed to? Can you tell that it is there and does it cause any glare?

    1. Levi, the clear film on the windshield reduces cabin temps in the car. Definitely cooler when parked, and we live in a very hot climate. It is almost invisible, but you can see it if you look very, very close. It's nice and it works, but it will be another step and another hassle to replace when we replace the windshield. I would not have gotten it if we weren't already doing the side windows at the same time. But since the tint guy had the car, it was a good buy.