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FAUguy

09 Altima re-tint with CTX, Stratos, Crystalline, XPel XR Plus

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I had leased an '09 Altima in November 2008, and had it tinted with 3M FX ST20, since it was less expensive than the lifetime warranty FX HP. It only came with a 3 year warranty, which at the time didn't matter since it was a lease and planned to turn it in at the end, like I did with my 2006 Altima (which had Llumar).

But I ended up financing the car at the end of the 3 year lease, and paying it off a year later.

The 3M FX ST has held up well, but two years ago it started to bubble and separate from the rear glass.

 

Now I've been looking to have all the tint removed and replaced, and spent the last week calling and driving around to different tint shops in the South FL/Ft Lauderdale area.

This is what I've found so far:

 

3M Color Stable CS20: $225 + $85 removal = $310 Delray Beach, or $249 + $100 removal = $350 Coral Springs.

3M Crystalline CR20: $425 + $85 removal = $510 Delray Beach, or $499 + $100 removal = $600 Coral Springs.

3M Crystalline CR70/CR90 Windshield: $200.

 

Llumar CTX 15: $269 + $75 removal = $344, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

Llumar Formula One Pinnacle 15: $269 + $130 removal = $399, West Palm Beach

Llumar Formula One Stratos 15: $399 + $130 removal = $529, West Palm Beach.

Stratos 70 Windshield: $199.

Air 80BL Windshield: $130.

 

From looking at the different PDF specs sheets:

The 3M Color Stable CS20 says it has 51% TSER and 68% IR Rejection.

While the Crystalline CR20 is 62% TSER and 97% IR Rejection.

The LLumar CTX 15 says 53% TSER, 49% IR Rejection / 69% Selective IR.

Pinnacle 15 is 60% TSER, 62% IR Rejection / 89% Selective IR.

Stratos 15 is 63 % TSER, 66% IR Rejection / 95% Selective IR.

 

Just based on those numbers, the Color Stable and CTX are pretty similar with TSER and IR Rejection, which is probably why their pricing is similar.

The Pinnacle is the next step up, followed by the Stratos and Crystalline.

 

Even though my Altima is 10 years old, it only has 27K miles on it (local driving), and since it's paid-off I'd plan to keep it for a number of years.

What I'd like to know is based upon the pricing in my area, which would be the better tint to go with?

I'm thinking the Pinnacle at $399 (since it's only $50 more than the CTX or Color Stable), or the Stratos at $529 ($130 more than Pinnacle).

Though I could get the Crystalline for $510, which is slightly less than the Stratos.

 

Edited by FAUguy

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All comes down to the quality of the shop.  Just had another consumer on here that got 3M Crystalline, but installation was trash.  All are fine films and even though I love the color of 3M Color Stable, if you are looking for heat rejection I would go with at least CTX or up.  On paper CS and CTX are close, but in the real world, it is a noticeable difference.

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That's what I was looking for, some real-world performance info.

I had seen posts in here from a few years ago doing comparison, but nothing recently.

The 3M FX ST 20 that I've been using for the past 10 years, and the Llumar metal 20 on the previous 4 cars, all had a nice dark look to them.

It's hard to tell from a sample piece of tint film the size of your hand how it will look ok the car, or how it will perform for heat rejection.

So even thought the Color Stable and CTX have similar "specs" you're saying the CTX (ceramic) has a noticable different over three Color Stable (carbon)? Or could go from CTX to Pinnacle or Stratos. I haven't been able to see the Crystalline 20 since most places are out of stock, but I've read it has a weird color.

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1 hour ago, FAUguy said:

That's what I was looking for, some real-world performance info.

I had seen posts in here from a few years ago doing comparison, but nothing recently.

The 3M FX ST 20 that I've been using for the past 10 years, and the Llumar metal 20 on the previous 4 cars, all had a nice dark look to them.

It's hard to tell from a sample piece of tint film the size of your hand how it will look ok the car, or how it will perform for heat rejection.

So even thought the Color Stable and CTX have similar "specs" you're saying the CTX (ceramic) has a noticable different over three Color Stable (carbon)? Or could go from CTX to Pinnacle or Stratos. I haven't been able to see the Crystalline 20 since most places are out of stock, but I've read it has a weird color.

 

Crystalline has a brownish hue that starts to be noticeable in the 60/50 but is more noticeable in the 40 and even more so in the 20.  If you are looking for a normal charcoal/black look, this might not be for you.  With that being said, it is the only film I choose for my vehicles.  Of coarse, I am biased though since we are a Llumar/3M dealer.

 

CTX is our #1 selling film and people love the color and performance.  However, Pinnacle will have slightly higher performance...if similar price Pinnacle will give you more bang for your buck.  Stratos will be closer to the Crystalline level of performance, but with a more normal color.

Edited by DynamicATL

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I am also in Miami and trying to get tints done  on my new civic and see which is best for myself. So is stratos better then crystalline?  I am looking at auto nova in ft Lauderdale area, he told me 550 for the whole car and 175 for the windshield. doesnt matter what percentage I get. idk of this is a good price can any of yall chime in. 

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3 hours ago, mr.lee008 said:

I am also in Miami and trying to get tints done  on my new civic and see which is best for myself. So is stratos better then crystalline?  I am looking at auto nova in ft Lauderdale area, he told me 550 for the whole car and 175 for the windshield. doesnt matter what percentage I get. idk of this is a good price can any of yall chime in. 

$550 for which one, Stratos or Crystalline?

Either one is more expensive than what I found: Crystalline at $425-499 l, and Stratos at $399.

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4 hours ago, FAUguy said:

$550 for which one, Stratos or Crystalline?

Either one is more expensive than what I found: Crystalline at $425-499 l, and Stratos at $399.

Llumar stratos. but I see your getting a better deal of 400 bucks. where were you quoted that price I'd like to call and see about my car. Is stratos superior to crystalline? 

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1 hour ago, mr.lee008 said:

Llumar stratos. but I see your getting a better deal of 400 bucks. where were you quoted that price I'd like to call and see about my car. Is stratos superior to crystalline? 

I'm not sure if between Stratos or Crystalline which one is "better", or if they are both about equal in heat and IR protection, since their specs data is pretty similar.

 

This is the place in West Palm Beach that I called, since I couldn't find anyone in Broward that installed Llumar Formula One Pinnacle or Stratos.

http://www.tintking.com/

 

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48 minutes ago, FAUguy said:

I'm not sure if between Stratos or Crystalline which one is "better", or if they are both about equal in heat and IR protection, since their specs data is pretty similar.

 

This is the place in West Palm Beach that I called, since I couldn't find anyone in Broward that installed Llumar Formula One Pinnacle or Stratos.

http://www.tintking.com/

 

 

I called them and they told me they dont do F1 stratos i wonder why I'll call then again and see. 

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