S5: Window Tinting and Clear Bra Protection

Ever since I placed the order for my 2011 S5, I had been pondering whether or not I should get the windows tinted. I liked the idea of having the windows darkened so that it subtly alter the attitude of the S5 (make it a bit more menacing); and, I wanted to reduce the impact of the sun cooking the dark interior. By the time I got my S5, it was already nearing the end of summer and the immediate need for tinting waned.

Fast forward to late June, I had started to research several tinting options and got pricing for going all the way with 35%, 40% and heat deflecting tinting. Going with 35% would cut out a lot of light coming in and would, indeed, make the S5 look more menacing; but, it would be too dark for my tastes (though it would be perfect on a Brilliant or Phantom Black, or even an Ibis White, A5/S5). At the end of the day, I opted to go with the 3M Crystalline CR50 tint since it would be a more subtle and should be better at keeping the interior from being baked outright. The downside was that it would increase the cost by a fair amount.

While I was trying to decide whether the additional cost was worth it, I had noticed a small rock chip towards the front of my bonnet, in addition to a couple of spots where the paint rubbed off of the edge of the driver side door. So, I decided to bite the bullet to get those spots taken care of and to go with a clear bra and door edge treatment. I then chose to go with the 3M tint, added the clear bra and door edge protection, along with a full detail job.

After crunching the numbers from various places, I opted to bring my car to Audi Wilsonville to get the whole shebang done. So, I dropped off my car on July 28th and picked it up the afternoon of July 29th. While they we working on my car, I was given a loaner car so that I could still get things done. There was a slight ding in my plans that morning (to which I won’t go into details), but that was overshadowed when I went back to pick up my S5. The car looked amazing and the tint job came out great. As with any good tint job, there are a couple of small bubbles that disappeared after three days of sitting in the sun. The clear bra is essentially invisible until you looking right down on to the hood from about a meter away.

Over the past month, the tint seems to have gotten a hair darker and has really helped in reducing the temperature inside the car after sitting out in the hot sun. I’m also sure that the clear bra has kept some of the gravel flung about on the Sunset Highway from doing more damage to the paint job. And yes, the door edge protection has done and will continue to do its jobs when dealing with tight parking spaces.

Kudos to the guys and gals involved in the detailing and the installation of both the clear bra and window tints over at Audi Wilsonville.

By the way, Saturday marks the one year anniversary of being handled the keys to my S5.