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austin-tatious

Reflection of a/c dash vent blocks side mirror

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New owner of 2017 MKZ here.  '

 

When the sunlight hits the dash a/c vents they are reflected in the passenger and/or driver side windows so that they obscure the view of the side mirrors.  How vivid the reflection is depends on direction of outside light (sun more or less above or from the front) and whether cloudy or full sun.  Under the right conditions the side mirrors can hardly been seen at all.  I first noticed this when test driving the car.  The attached pictures were taken on a very cloudy day.  

 

If you've seen this on your car, how bad was it and what, if anything, did you do about it?

 

This car has tinted front windows.  Do y'all think the tinting could be making the reflections more intense?  

 

Thinking that blacking out the chrome on the a/c vent would help,  I placed some flat black painter's tape over the chrome of the drivers side vent and that markedly reduced the problem. So I'm thinking about doing a vinyl wrap of the offending chrome trim.  

 

Any thoughts are very appreciated.  Thanks.

  

DashReflectionSideMirror20210913_143733.jpg

DashReflectionSideMirror20210913_143745.jpg

Edited by austin-tatious
clarification

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3 hours ago, austin-tatious said:

New owner of 2017 MKZ here.  '

 

When the sunlight hits the dash a/c vents they are reflected in the passenger and/or driver side windows so that they obscure the view of the side mirrors.  How vivid the reflection is depends on direction of outside light (sun more or less above or from the front) and whether cloudy or full sun.  Under the right conditions the side mirrors can hardly been seen at all.  I first noticed this when test driving the car.  The attached pictures were taken on a very cloudy day.  

 

If you've seen this on your car, how bad was it and what, if anything, did you do about it?

 

This car has tinted front windows.  Do y'all think the tinting could be making the reflections more intense?  

 

Thinking that blacking out the chrome on the a/c vent would help,  I placed some flat black painter's tape over the chrome of the drivers side vent and that markedly reduced the problem. So I'm thinking about doing a vinyl wrap of the offending chrome trim.  

 

Any thoughts are very appreciated.  Thanks.

  

 

 

 

 

Hi Austin. I do not have that issue in my car. Perhaps you are correct that it is an issue with the particular type of window tint on your MKZ?

 

The angle you have taken those photos at would not be where your eyes would be when driving, so it is difficult to determine the actual problem. Perhaps photos taken at a more natural, drivers-eye location would be more helpful.

 

Also, did you put those little "blind-spot" mirrors on the vehicle or did the previous owner? Are you aware your MKZ has a blind-spot monitoring system that monitors your blind-spots and illuminates the a light in the mirror to warn you? That is what those little vehicle icons are in the corners of your side view mirrors.

 

I am sure others will jump in with their own experiences.

 

Keep us updated and good luck.

Edited by bbf2530

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Thanks bbf2530.

Glad to hear you don't see these reflections.  I'd love for others to jump in to confirm that they also don't see them as it strengthens the case the window tint is behind what we see.  Do you have tinted front windows, driver and passenger sides?

 

The dealer who sold us the car installed the front window tint, so we could take it off if we want...BUT we really like it in the day time.  However, at night these older eyes can hardly see through the front windows, much less see what the mirrors are showing other than headlights behind us. 

 

Looks like I was unclear about when we see the reflections.  Actually, the photos were taken exactly where my eyes are when driving.  My wife also sees it while driving.  I discovered the issue when driving the car the first time.

 

I put the blind spot mirrors on.  The BLIS system is great, but I like to see the cars coming before the BLIS senses them.  That's why I have the mirrors.

 

Thanks again for your reply.

+Bob

Edited by austin-tatious
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3 hours ago, austin-tatious said:

Thanks bbf2530.

Glad to hear you don't see these reflections.  I'd love for others to jump in to confirm that they also don't see them as it strengthens the case the window tint is behind what we see.  Do you have tinted front windows, driver and passenger sides?

 

The dealer who sold us the car installed the front window tint, so we could take it off if we want...BUT we really like it in the day time.  However, at night these older eyes can hardly see through the front windows, much less see what the mirrors are showing other than headlights behind us. 

 

Looks like I was unclear about when we see the reflections.  Actually, the photos were taken exactly where my eyes are when driving.  My wife also sees it while driving.  I discovered the issue when driving the car the first time.

 

I put the blind spot mirrors on.  The BLIS system is great, but I like to see the cars coming before the BLIS senses them.  That's why I have the mirrors.

 

Thanks again for your reply.

+Bob

 

Hi austin. I do not have window tint. And although I do not need glasses, my eyes are like yours...not exactly young and have seen a lot of road. 😉

 

Although I don't recall reading of this issue in the past, hopefully others will jump in with their own observations.

 

Keep us updated and good luck.

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My windows are tinted, and I never noticed that reflection in the slightest bit.  Maybe it's the type or brand of tint that's possibly causing the reflection.

 

Welcome aboard.

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Putting tint on windows will increase their ability to act as mirrors, plus it's illegal and a great way to increase your odds of killing a motorcyclist by pulling out in front of one. I know it's not really what you were asking, but there's a reason why front side windows aren't supposed to be tinted more than the OEM DOT %. Also puts cops on edge during traffic stops when they have no idea if the driver has a large bore handgun pointed right at them.  

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Hi, austin-tatious and welcome to the MKZ forum.  You post caught my eye (no pun intended) because I have noticed this in all 3 of my 2nd-gen MKZs.  It's more noticeable right after cleaning the glass.  It's also more pronounced while wearing sunglasses, which leads me to believe that the condition is being exacerbated by your window tints.  My windows aren't tinted.  I used to have a reasonable tint put on all my cars until my state cracked down on anything beyond 30%.  Part of the annual state safety inspection here includes measurement using a light meter, and you cannot pass if the tints are darker than the law allows.  Not to mention that I'm not getting any younger and night vision diminishes with age.  OK.  This wasn't supposed to turn into a window tinting symposium, so I'll drop it here.  Suffice it to say that I have noticed what you've described in my own 3 MKZs. Here is a quick photo that I took this afternoon, and you can see a slight reflection of the outer IP AC vent.  Depending on conditions, it can be considerably more prominent than shown here.  I don't know what you could do to mitigate this other than what you've done so far.

 

 

Edited by drolds1

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Hi austin. Just thinking out loud here, after reading drolds1's post:  I have a feeling besides window tint, this may also be a combination of driver height, seat height etc. In other words, eye position relative to the window glass and dash trim. Also, those with darker wood trim will not have as bad a reflection. Then throw in the window tint variable.

Just for informational purposes, I have the aluminum trim.

 

So a driver who is taller or shorter than you, or positions their seat higher or lower, will have a different eye angle relative to the window glass and trim on the dash. A different eye angle will put the dash trim in a different position relative to the drivers eyes and the glass. So in theory, no reflection where we need to look through the glass at the mirror.

And those with darker wood trims will see less reflection. Add the window tint variable to the driver height, seat height and eye position variables, and some of us will have a reflection, others will not.

 

Again, just thinking out loud here.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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I got 30% tint on the front doors and I haven't notice the vent shadow on the windows until now that I went to check.

They are there and are really noticeable.

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9 minutes ago, Izzy3906 said:

I got 30% tint on the front doors and I haven't notice the vent shadow on the windows until now that I went to check.

They are there and are really noticeable.

 

Hi Izzy. Oh no! Now, you will never be able to unsee it! 😉

 

Good luck.

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I think this issue would be noticeable on any models with the brighter aluminum trim.  I had a 17 with the carbon fiber trim and my 20 has the dark wood trim.  Both have tinted windows and I never noticed it at all.  Reflection wise I get more distracted by looking through the front windshield and seeing the top of the dash when it's mid day. 

 

The window tint product used will also vary the amount of reflection.  For the past 4 cars I have used nothing but Formula One Stratos.  In addition to the windows (35 or 40 -  My state allows down to 32) I get a 70 or 50 done on the pano roof and some F1 Air put on the front windshield (cuts down that dash reflection).  My black Z can sit in the direct sun for hours and I come back to a relatively cool car even with the pano shade open.    

Edited by crushalot

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2 hours ago, Izzy3906 said:

I got 30% tint on the front doors and I haven't notice the vent shadow on the windows until now that I went to check.

They are there and are really noticeable.

 

Yeah, I looked this morning and I did notice that same reflection.  Now I need to forget that I ever read this thread, and hope that I won't notice it ever again.

 

This thread blows!...

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Well.  I do agree for a lot of y'all I should never have brought this up!  However, I am most appreciative of all y'all's replies.  It is really helpful to see the range of experience with this issue.

 

The only thing I've actually done is put black masking tape crudely over the aluminum trim on the driver's side vent.  The reflection was exactly the same, but, because it was flat black, it was faint enough to "fix" the issue.

 

Except for this reflection issue, we both really like the front window tint during the day.  More privacy and less cabin heating (hot in Texas!).  Doing a mat black vinyl wrap on the chrome would "fix" things better than the masking tape and we could live with it.  But for us, night driving requires rolling the windows down to be able to see out the side windows.

 

My wife, the internet detective, found kits that cover all or most of the interior trim at

https://www.carid.com/2017-lincoln-mkz-dash-kits/b-i-2d-dash-kit-190484740.html?parentsubmodel[]=SUBMODEL|Black+Label

I am not going that route since I care only about the a/c vent trim.

 

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12 hours ago, crushalot said:

I think this issue would be noticeable on any models with the brighter aluminum trim.  I had a 17 with the carbon fiber trim and my 20 has the dark wood trim.  Both have tinted windows and I never noticed it at all.  Reflection wise I get more distracted by looking through the front windshield and seeing the top of the dash when it's mid day.

 

This gives me an idea...R&R my vent trim with factory trim in dark wood or carbon fiber or something else dark and not reflective.  Any one had experience with removing interior trim?

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3 hours ago, austin-tatious said:

 

This gives me an idea...R&R my vent trim with factory trim in dark wood or carbon fiber or something else dark and not reflective.  Any one had experience with removing interior trim?

It should pop right out with a trim removal tool by prying at the 4 clips, as illustrated below:

image.png.8ead04368dc0b4d8291673216fa2fa74.png

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9 hours ago, austin-tatious said:

 

This gives me an idea...R&R my vent trim with factory trim in dark wood or carbon fiber or something else dark and not reflective.  Any one had experience with removing interior trim?

 

I was thinking of replacing all my wood trim for the carbon fiber pieces but now I may try that trim cover kit.  My tint guy can wrap over those pieces but much more $ then the DIY stick on kit.  Thanks for posting link.

 

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6 hours ago, drolds1 said:

It should pop right out with a trim removal tool by prying at the 4 clips, as illustrated below:

image.png.8ead04368dc0b4d8291673216fa2fa74.png

 

Mahvelus, absolutely mahvelus.  This bit of info (where the clips are with such a beautiful illustration) is most helpful. 

Do you mind sharing the source for this illustration? 

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5 hours ago, austin-tatious said:

 

Mahvelus, absolutely mahvelus.  This bit of info (where the clips are with such a beautiful illustration) is most helpful. 

Do you mind sharing the source for this illustration? 

I have a subscription to AllDataDIY, which in turn gets these illustrations from the factory service manual.  I've had these subscriptions for many years.  They were low cost and not the greatest.  This year, they've raised prices, but the improvements are night and day and after several years, they've finally made 2016-2020 MYs available.  Not be confused with AllData for professionals, used by many independent shops.

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