A week ago, I decided to switch to a different brand of tint. I already knew V-KOOL way before they had a concept store in Paco, Manila, but it was only last summer when I realized that I am not certain with my car’s interior longevity if it will always become unbearably hot whenever I will park somewhere without any shade. Of course, I was also concerned with comfort and health since some of us know, benzene, a toxic chemical is released inside the car whenever a car is parked under the sun. The harmful chemical comes from the different parts of the interior, and if it’s summertime hot, your car’s interior may become highly concentrated with benzene, which is why it’s recommended to open the windows before turning on the AC in order to let the benzene out of the car. After months of thinking and researching if V-KOOL is worth the high price tag and if there is any truth in advertising, I decided to have my 2012 Civic switched to V-KOOL.
Selecting The Tint
Since I find the flagship Solitaire VK Series tints with 94%-98% heat rejection (depending on shade) expensive since having the VK Series tint around the whole car will set me back at around PHP 38,000, I opted for their SPF (Sun Plus Fun) Promo. The promo costs PHP 13,500 for all cars, and what you’ll only be paying for is the VK Series tint to be placed in the whole windshield. As for the rest of the car, they will install the OEM Series tint for free, instead of asking you around PHP 5,000 for that. Aside from the Solitaire VK Series Tints, there are cheaper variants with of course, a little less heat rejection. You may opt for the Stature X Series, the Signature H and K Series, and the entry level OEM Series. Click the photo above to zoom in and see the different kinds of tints available.
Since I had an existing tint, I was charged 800 Pesos for its removal. The whole process, including the tinting took around 6 hours to be completed. Since the VK Series tint is considerably more dense compared to other tints, there were bubbles in the windshield and the liquid will take time to dry up. In 2 months time, these bubbles will be gone. That two month period is called the curing time, and the time for the bubbles to vanish may be shortened if the windshield is always in a warm environment. For the OEM series tints, the curing time is 1 month or less, and you won’t be permitted to roll down your windows for 2 weeks. They will put warning stickers on your window switches as a reminder for you not to roll them down for 2 weeks.
A week before my car is tinted, I listed parameters and what I felt in order to make my comparison test as fair and consistent as possible. Me and my friends went to a mall and the car was parked under the sun from 9:30AM till 11AM. Outside temperature reading based on the car’s thermometer was 31 degrees celsius and the weather is occasionally cloudy. People complained about the usual stuff. An excruciatingly hot interior and that terrible feeling when you inhale the very hot air trapped inside, which is very discomforting. We rolled down the windows, and I didn’t drive yet. As my car’s steering wheel is leather, I waited for it to cool. Even after waiting a few minutes and soon started to drive, I just won’t let the steering wheel slide at the palm of my hands as the friction is really making the steering wheel even hotter or “nakakapaso“. I thought after summer I won’t be complaining about a hot steering, but no, I still did. The AC was on full blast until for around 5 minutes while driving. So the parameters then. Outside temperature was 31 degrees celsius, the AC was on full blast, the passengers complained about the hot interior and the terrible feeling when you initially inhale the hot air trapped inside the car, and I complained about the really hot steering wheel.
Now with the V-KOOL Solitaire VK Series (I opted for the VK40) tint and the OEM Series (OEM 35) in my car, there was one improvement I immediately noticed compared to my previous window film. There is more visible light coming into the cabin, and I think that is not a fair comparison since my previous window film was a bit darker in shade. Yesterday (Friday), a week after tinting, me and my friends ate at a restaurant, and I decided this is the perfect time to do the comparison. The car was parked under the sun at 10 AM till 11:20 AM. Outside temperature reading was at 33 degrees celsius, and unlike the weather when I made the parameters to be compared, there were less to no clouds at those times. Upon entering the car, it was warm rather than excruciatingly hot. I didn’t encounter any of the trapped hot air coming out of the cabin upon opening the doors or immediately stepping inside. I then started driving since it was significantly less hot, and surprise, surprise. The steering wheel is also warm and not excruciatingly hot. The complaint I had when I let the hot steering wheel slide on the palm of my hands weren’t there. Also, unlike before, I didn’t have to put the AC to full blast. Halfway the fan speed for around 2 minutes was sufficient for the cabin to be brought down to a comfortable temperature. So the parameters, outside temperature was 33 degrees celsius, the AC was only half on full blast, the interior was warm rather than hot, there was the absence of the trapped hot air that is discomforting, and I didn’t complain about the steering wheel being hot and being “nakakapaso” whenever it slides on my hands.
On The Downside
Being a metallic tint with infrared rejection means that my E-PASS tag (for SLEX) is having difficulty being detected at tollways. Sometimes it is detected, sometimes it isn’t. It’s not too bad though, since the heat rejection of the tint is excellent nevertheless.
I’m glad that I switched to V-KOOL and I think that my experience with the tint was a pleasant one. The price of the Solitaire VK Series tints are expensive to say the least, but oftentimes, V-KOOL releases promos to it’s customers, so I recommend waiting for one. The SPF Promo I selected for example, will command you a price tag of PHP 13,500 and that price is for all types of cars (Promo may or may not be applicable to buses, planes and yachts). The SPF Promo will only last until June 30, 2013. If you want a tint with excellent heat rejection capabilities, as we are living in a tropical country, have V-KOOL as your next tint.
For more information, you may visit V-KOOL’s showroom at 1120 President Quirino Ave. Ext. Paco, Manila, or visit their international website because for some reason, the local site is down.
*UPDATE: Due to insistent public demand, the SPF Promo has been extended until July 31, 2013, and you now have the option to install the Signature K Series tint instead of the OEM Series tint for an additional fee of PHP 1,000.