Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Front Windscreen and 3M Crystalline Tint

Sharkie's front windscreen has accumulated it's fair share of stone chips over the years as a result of contact with small pebbles while driving at speed especially on the Penang Bridge. Two of the stone chips were large enough to cause concern hence I finally decided to replace the windscreen. Pix below of one such chip which also caused a small crack of a couple mm. Might look like nothing now but from experience the crack will grow.

The windscreen replacement job was done @ TCEAS Bandar Perda. A brand new original Nissan front windscreen was grafted onto Sharkie after removing the old windscreen. Replacement job took bout slightly more than half a day. To allow the windscreen adhesive/sealant to fully dry do not wash the car/windscreen or drive in a heavy downpour at least 24 hours after the install. I elected not to drive Sharkie for 72 hours just to be sure given the almost daily evening showers hitting Penang recently.

Cost came up to bout RM 1123ish including install labour and top seal. Many of you will ask what about windscreen insurance? Well I did not buy any. Considering the fact the insurance is about 200++ per year and it took me 7 years to replace the windscreen we are about break even. I will definitely be insuring my new windscreen though especially with the expensive new tint. And yes, you can even insure the tint nowadays @ extra cost to the premium of course.

The tint I settled for is the 3M Crystalline having first used this on my wife's Civic. Cost came up to a massive MYR 2.5K after discount for me wife's Civic but 3M offered me a promo deal of 40% discount for the second car so Sharkie's tint was done for only 1.6K. Those of you who know me will know I use au naturale tint (i.e. NO tint for SP and Slowtra/Sharkie) so why the change now? I initially though the UV coated glass on MYDM N16 Slowtras would be sufficient but can regretfully tell you from experience that our strong MY sun will over the years damage and harden the leather upholstery and discolour the stitching without a decent tint. With the new upholstery I'm not taking any chances.

The Crystalline tint uses 3M's proprietary multi-layer technology. The working middle substrate of the film consists of over 200 vacuum deposited nano particle individual layers that block damaging UV and heat inducing IR light while letting visible light you will need to see pass through. The process used to create Crystalline was developed from 3M's aerospace division for IR (Infra-Red) sensors on satellites. This heat blocking technology means the car's air conditioning system works less resulting in improved fuel efficiency. A less taxed aircond system also means less strain on the car's cooling system which is important on a turbocharged car like Sharkie. The tint's top layer is a special scratch resistant layer while the bottom layer is an adhesive layer. The tint is non-metallic which means it will not interfere with h/phones and GPS. Your Touch 'n Go Smart Tag unfortunately will not work. 3M claims the non-metallic tint will not internally oxidise or fade purple ensuring a longer life when compared to lesser tints.

I decided to use the almost clear Crystalline 70 for the front windscreen and Crystalline 60 everywhere else. Don't want to attract unwanted attention from JPJ. The number denotes the amount of visible light transmitted through the tint or in simple English the lesser the number the darker the tint. Specs below of the various Crystalline films.

Picture below of the Crystalline tint. (70 methinks but can't really remember). Sorry.

The tint was professionally installed by Shine Guard @ Auto City, Juru, Penang. Apat from Auto City, Shine Guard branches are also located at Jelutong on the island and Jalan Song Ban Kheng BM on the mainland.

The install took about 4 hours but bear in mind there was no old tint to remove from the Shark. Picture of the Shark post installation.

Shine Guard took the trouble to place these stickers on all my power window switches and also the rear demister button.

The 3M logo watermarks are everywhere to indicate you are using the original 3M tint and not a counterfeit. Beware of fakes. I am told these are in abundance. 3M issues a warranty card and serial number for every install.

The Crystalline works pretty well and cools pretty fast the moment you get into the car and drive with the aircond turned on after a hot day. Of course don't expect miracles and a cool car especially after your car is parked under a hot sun the entire day. The front windscreen tint developed a small bubble post install and the entire windscreen tint was replaced no questions asked. Excellent service!

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