Tesla Model Y and Window Tint [Read This First]


Tesla Model Y and Window Tint

Window tints are one of the most popular aftermarket modifications made to Tesla vehicles. However, if you’re considering adding window tint to a Tesla Model Y you may have a load of questions. In this article, I’ll cover the most common questions when considering tinting a Model Y so you know which type of tint to buy, how dark your state’s laws allow for, and save money by only tinting the windows you need to.

The rear door windows, the rear trunk window, and the roof of the Tesla Model Y come tinted from the factory, but the front door windows and windshield are untinted. Window tint can be added to the front door windows and the windshield, however be careful to keep water out of the dashboard when tinting the windshield.

Although it’s an expensive aftermarket upgrade, there’s a reason why tints are the most popular aftermarket modification for Teslas. Keep reading to learn more about tinting a Tesla Model Y.

» MORE: Can You Tint the Moonroof of a Tesla?

Are Tesla Model Y Windows Tinted?

The three rear windows and the roof of the Model Y come with a smoky UV protective window tint already installed. This tint can help keep the car’s interior from heating up and can also provide UV protection for the passengers inside.

The only windows on the Tesla Model Y that don’t come with visible window tint from the factory are the front door windows and the windshield.

Although the front windows and the windshield are not visibly tinted, they do still have UV protection built in.

While it’s easy enough to get aftermarket tinting added to these parts of your Tesla Model Y, you need to be aware of the law regarding window tint in your state. For example, in many places, only the top six inches of a windshield can be tinted to prevent visibility issues. In some areas, window tint is not allowed on the windshield at all.

Because of the legality issue, many window tinting shops may not be willing to tint certain windows on your vehicle or do a tint darker than 32% transmission. Be sure to consult with a window tinting shop nearby to get the low-down on local window tinting regulations and what is legal in your area.

» MORE: A Guide To Tesla Sunroof UV Protection

Does Tesla Model Y Come with Window Tint Options?

Unlike other major car manufacturers, Tesla does not offer window tint options on its Tesla Model Y outside of the stock smoked glass that already comes on the vehicle.

Tesla is still a relatively new company that is trying to maximize its profit margin for re-investment. All excess variations in the cosmetic designs of Tesla models have been stripped down to the bare necessities.

Focusing on technology over aesthetics allows Tesla to keep their prices as low as possible while also incorporating state-of-the-art electronics and artificial intelligence.

How Much Do Model Y Window Tints Cost?

The cost of installing a window tint on a Tesla Model Y depends on the following:  

  • Darkness of tint: Darker tint types are more expensive, while lighter tints are cheaper.
  • Tint materials: Ceramic is the most expensive tint, while dyed vinyl tints are a much more affordable (and less durable) option. Metallic tints should be avoided on Teslas due to the risk of electromagnetic interference with the car’s sensor system.
  • Location: Windshield tint installations tend to be more expensive than tinting door windows. 

The cost of installing top-of-the-line ceramic window tint on the front windows and the windshield of a Tesla Model Y will cost about $500 to have installed professionally.

The same job done professionally but with lower-quality dyed window tint will cost about $200.

You can save at least about half the cost in labor by installing tint yourself, but we don’t recommend it because cosmetic mistakes like bubbles and scratches are hard to avoid. This job is best left to the pros.

Buy once, cry once, enjoy your perfect tints for years to come.

» MORE: Should You Get a Model Y Roof Shade? [Read This First]

Are Ceramic Tints Worth It for a Tesla Model Y?

If you’re planning on tinting the windows or windshield on your Tesla Model Y, ceramic tint is the best window tint to go with. Here are a few reasons why ceramic is such a good choice for a Tesla:

  • Zero Signal Interference: Some window tints can cause signal interference, which is a serious issue in Tesla since it has so many external sensors as a part of its Autopilot system. Ceramic tint has no signal interference at all.
  • Keeps the Heat Out: Tesla has a feature called Cabin Overheat Protection that turns the air conditioning on inside the cabin automatically while you’re away from your car, to keep the interior temperature below 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Ceramic window tints are extremely good at keeping heat out, while cheaper tints don’t do as good of a job. By installing Ceramic tints, your car will stay cooler, and require less energy be used by Cabin Overheat Protection.
  • Durability: Ceramic window tint is arguably the most durable window tint available. This means that ceramic window will not bubble or change color over time. Most professional tint shops will warranty their ceramic tint for life (for free) because of this.

It can be a serious financial investment to add window tinting to your Tesla since you want to have it done by a reputable shop who isn’t going to screw it up. Ceramic may be one of the most expensive tint types, it’s also one of the most effective tints on the market.

Does Factory Tesla Model Y Window Tint Have UV Protection?

One of the most common questions when it comes to Model Y window tint is, does the Model Y have UV Protection on it’s windows from the factory?

Yes, every piece of glass in the Model Y, including tinted and untinted, has built-in UV protection.

While the front windows and windshield don’t have a visible tint, they do have UV protection.

» MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Tesla SUV Roofs

Does Adding Window Tint Void Your Tesla Warranty?

Another common concerns many people may have in adding aftermarket window tint to their Tesla Model Y is whether it would void the car’s warranty. By Tesla’s policy, if a window tint can be shown to be linked to the cause of an aftermarket defect (such as a cracked windshield) then the manufacturer’s warranty will be voided and Tesla won’t be responsible for the cost of repairs.

This doesn’t mean that putting window tinting on your car will void any manufacturer’s warranty on your car though. For example, if your Tesla Model Y’s battery dies or the computer screen fails, these components will still be under warranty because they are unaffected by the application of a window tint.

Even though you’re usually safe and under warranty with an aftermarket window tint, there are a few things to consider when you’re thinking about tinting your Tesla:

  • The window tint shop might be hesitant about it. Many window tint shops will make you sign a waiver saying that they’re not responsible for any damage that might occur as the result of aftermarket modifications. This means that regardless of whether you still have a warranty with Tesla, you may not be offered a warranty with the tint shop.
  • Windshield tint and water damage. Some drivers have reported electrical problems in the front of the vehicle after the application of aftermarket tint. This is caused by water getting under the dashboard during the tinting job. Be sure to choose a reputable shop to avoid any damage to your Tesla’s electrical system since this kind of damage would not be under warranty.

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Can You Tint a Model Y Windshield?

As mentioned above, there is potential for issues when installing window tint on your Model Y windshield.

The most common issue is water getting into the electrical components under the dashboard (along the area where the windshield and the dashboard meet) and damaging some electrical components.

When I had my windshield tinted, I asked the installer beforehand if he was aware of this issue, to which he replied “Yes” and that he has done many Tesla windshields before. He was confident in his work, which gave me peace of mind.

Be sure to ask your tint shop if they are aware of this issue, and if they are not, I’d visit a few more tint shops before proceeding.

Other issues would be the installer scratching or cracking your windshield, but these are highly unlikely when dealing with a professional installer.

What Tint Percentage Should You Get for a Tesla Model Y?

The level of tinting you get for your Tesla Model Y is largely a matter of personal preference and partially a matter of legality. While some drivers like a lighter tint and others like a darker tint, most states don’t allow super-dark window tints except on limousine windows.

Window tint is measured in percentages which describes Visible Light Transmission. This means the higher the number, the lighter the tint because more light can get through. For example, 10% tint would look very dark because it only allows 10% of light to come through whereas 98% tint would look barely tinted because it allows 98% of light to come through.

The Model Y comes with 24% window tint on the rear windows from the factory. Below is a photo from Triet Nguyen on Facebook showing a tint meter measurement.

model y factory window tint percentage

Personally, I went with a 30% ceramic tint on the front windows to match the factory look the best I could, and a 98% ceramic tint on the windshield so you can barely tell it’s tinted but it still keeps the heat out.

Keep in mind that the laws regarding window tinting vary greatly from state to state. We recommend checking your states window tint laws before choosing which tint level you want. Some states allow tints as dark as 20%, while others won’t allow more than 70%.

» MORE: How to Maintain a Tesla and the Costs

What Happens If You Get Caught with Illegal Tint?

Nobody likes getting pulled over by the police, but you definitely don’t want to get pulled over for something avoidable. Driving around with a tint that is too dark for your car may not result in an automatic fine everywhere, but at the least you’re likely to be given a “fix-it” ticket where you will be charged if you don’t go to a window tint shop and have your excessive tint removed.

Some Tesla owners choose to apply an extra dark tint against local regulations in the hopes that police will be too busy with larger crimes to notice them. This gamble with the law isn’t worth the risk of getting an expensive ticket and having to spend hard-earned cash to get your window tint stripped off.

It’s also smart to consider that extra-dark window tint may attract police attention to your vehicle that you don’t want. You may end up collecting other tickets for expired insurance papers or other violations if you get pulled over for an illegal tint.

To avoid dealing with the hassle of getting ticketed for your Tesla’s tint, be sure to check on your local laws to make sure that the percentage tint you want to install is legal where you live. In many cases just going to a window tint shop will fix this problem for you since many tint technicians will refuse to apply an illegal tint due to liability issues.

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Should You Buy Window Tint for Your Tesla Model Y?

Whether or not it’s a good idea for you to apply an aftermarket window tint to your Tesla depends on several factors. Here are some things you should probably consider when you’re thinking about buying a window tint for your Tesla Model Y:

  • Budget: For buying window tint, you’ll want to buy the most expensive type you can afford to get the most durability and heat protection out of the installation. A properly installed ceramic window tint might be an expensive job up-front, but applied properly it can last for years-on-end and keep your vehicle’s cabin looking brand new.
  • Climate: People who are driving their Tesla in a part of the world with searing-hot temperatures and little cloud cover may stand to benefit more from a window tint job than drivers in cooler parts of the country.
  • Legality: At least some level of window tint is legal in most places. However, if you’ve got your heart set on a very dark tint, you’ll need to check the law before you make a final decision. You don’t want to spend all that money installing a window tint you’re just going to be forced to remove. 

Conclusion

The smoke on the rear windows of the Tesla Model Y and UV protection built into its glass design provide some relief from the sun, but there are definitely some big benefits to installing aftermarket window tint.

After having ceramic tint professionally installed on my Tesla’s front windows and windshield, I definitely recommend adding a ceramic tint to your Model Y, but being sure to use a professional installer who’s aware of the issues that come with a Tesla windshield tint job.

Tesla Discounts:

Greg Gottfried

The articles here on ThatTeslaChannel.com are created by Greg Gottfried, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. Being a Tesla owner allows Greg to fact-check information and personally try new scenarios out before publishing an article explaining the process.

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