By on February 23, 2016

2013 Ford Fusion front, Image: Ford Motor Company

TTAC commentator MWebbRambler writes:


I wrote to you earlier about adding aftermarket LED lights on my wife’s Chevy Traverse. Now I’m back with a question about adding aftermarket tint to my 2013 Ford Fusion (photo above).

The reason I’m considering the tint is because the car sits out in the hot Kansas sun all day. My current employer does not have a parking garage and shade is minimal. I keep the car waxed and use Meguiar’s on the interior to protect the plastics and rubber, but I’m wondering if tinting the windows will help. I’ve looked at a couple of aftermarket companies that offer a “lifetime” guarantee on their work, but I’m still leery of chips or bubbles after several years. I’ve also asked my local dealer about tinting the windows, but they apparently outsource the work to a local shop. I’m tempted to stick with my current approach, which is to use a sunshade for the windshield and apply Meguiar’s once a month.

Also, since you’re a Lincoln-Mercury fanboi, what aftermarket upgrades would you consider for my whip? I’m thinking of replacing the stock 18-inch wheels with 17-inchers — at least for the winter season — but welcome your sage advice. Though, you should know up front that an LS swap is out of the question. (HOW DARE U NO LS4-FTW SON! — SM) 


The first — and most important — upgrade a Lincoln-Mercury fanboi such as myself demands is a complete rebadge to a Mercury Milan. Okay, maybe a Ford Milan, as the blue ovals are a bit challenging to re-theme with a Mercury emblem.

From there, get your Ford Milan (*wink*) tinted ASAP and get a performance computer tune for better engine performance, more turbo boost and a far sharper transmission. (I use tuners that use SCT software.) Tint will last 10 to 20 years if you get the more expensive stuff — and keys, seat belts, kids and pets aren’t allowed to scratch it.

While aftermarket computer tunes are fantastic, remember the pitfalls of tuned computers with your factory warranty.


I’m interested in the SCT tune. I’ve also thought about a cat-back exhaust and a boost adjustment. Steeda has a lot of stuff in their catalog, but I’ve been looking at products from other tuners too. The downside is, I’ve got the 1.6 and not the 2.0 Ecoboost engine. Don’t judge me — I did not want MyFord Touch and got a stupid-good deal on a 2013 closeout. The 1.6 makes similar power to my old Infiniti I30, but is quicker off the line. I just wish it had more top end.


The tune will accomplish the boost adjustment; turbos love to make more power when unhindered by a non-performance factory tune (i.e. there’s no such thing as a Milan/Fusion ST). And if this YouTube video is even mildly truthful, the 1.6 is no slouch: an extra 50+ horsepower at the wheels and 60+ pounds-feet of torque on 93-octane gas? Go on and get that, SON!

The exhaust tubing is probably good enough, except the muffler is usually a mild restriction to turbocharged applications. See if a muffler from a 2005-present Mustang GT (i.e. cheap, high performance and durable) will fit in its place, but I have a feeling you will need to run an aftermarket unit instead.

Or, perhaps mufflers are for wussies!


Also, I have another unrelated question: How do you get started writing for TTAC or other blogs? I’m not looking for a full time gig, just a hobby. I have nowhere near your technical knowledge on cars, but I’ve done stuff like help a friend swap the timing belt on a ’09 Subaru and rebuild a Porsche 924. The bottom line is I love cars and love to write.


I starting writing for TTAC almost 10 years ago (holy crap I’m getting old!) when I was in grad school. It was a way to blow off steam, as school and the auto industry were pissing me off, especially pre-GM/Chrysler bankruptcy. I first wrote for Blue Oval News, until I didn’t. It worked out in the end.

Make a WordPress site for your stuff, build a portfolio, and then submit it to car websites — like TTAC, natch.


I’ll also keep working on the blog. I started one that I write on every so often. Like you, it’s a way to blow off steam from my day job and soothe my inner Walter Mitty.

Sajeev concludes:

Good luck my friend. I think the fun you’ll have with a tuned Ford Milan will certainly give something to write about. My sleeper Fox Bodies have been my muse ever since car guys congregated on message boards.

Welcome to the sleeper Ford ranks. It will take you far!

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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45 Comments on “Piston Slap: Fusing the Perfect Ecoboost Ford Milan?...”

  • avatar

    3.7L Cyclone swap.

    Since Ford can’t be bothered to do it…

  • avatar

    “I keep the car waxed and use Meguiar’s on the interior to protect the plastics and rubber”

    you’re wasting your money. The soft parts of the interior are TPO which is UV stable. the hard parts are usually PC/ABS and polypropylene or polyethylene, and have been UV-stabilized.

    we’re long past the days where everything was vinyl which dries out and cracks within a few years.

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting. What are the front & rear moldings around bumpers and wherever else to which the sheet metal doesn’t extend typically made of?

    • 0 avatar

      I agree in general, although I will never fault someone for routine car care.

      I’d tint the windows and purchase a sun shade. Spend your time working on the paint if you want to do detailing.

      • 0 avatar

        You don’t even need a sunshade anymore. You can get window film in either clear or very light gray (like 90% light transmission) which blocks the UV rays and most of the heat just like the dark tinted stuff will. You could still use the old-fashioned sunshade just in case/just because, but the window film will accomplish his intent.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for the suggestion–I’m old school and the Meguiar’s is a habit I picked up 20+ years ago.

    • 0 avatar

      Also automotive glass blocks most UV these days. A sun shade to keep direct sun of the steering wheel is still not a bad thing, just to make it possible to touch it.

  • avatar

    Knowing the development trials and tribulations of the 1.6, I would not tune it. I’d leave it alone and be happy with it’s great fuel economy.

  • avatar

    +1 for the Walter Mitty reference.

  • avatar

    Instead of Milan-ing it, go more rare and VOGA it.

    Put on Voga badges and the special Voga wheels! Obscurity ftw.

  • avatar

    As far as tinting goes, ask around and find the shop that has the best rep. All my vehicles were done by the same shop but here in New Mexico everybody tints just about everything. I was fortunate that the shop I uses is being run by guys who not only knew my wife in high school but know her older brother who was a football standout and now a State Trooper.

    I can’t say everybody gets the same level of service I do there, but I’ve been very happy.

  • avatar

    How about a car cover? It will protect the finish from the UV rays and dirt as well as the interior, and by covering the roof, will keep the interior cooler as well. It was how I kept driving the Taurus after the A/C went out.

    Be sure to get an outdoor grade cover (some covers are designed only to keep the dust off for indoor storage — found out the hard way); and keep it strapped down when the prairie winds are blowing.

    I have a method of taking it off where I roll it from front to back, then fold the remainder of the back up and stick it in the trunk or back seat. It makes it easy to put it back on without trying to figure out which end is the front, and which side is the top. It only takes a minute that way to take it off and put it back on.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem with car covers is that you really only want to use it when the car is clean. Dirt and particulates will be ground into the paint when the car cover invariably shifts around.

      It is a technique though.

    • 0 avatar

      The previous owners of my ’95 Legend used a cover regularly during Idaho winters and LA summers (and sent the cover with the car, but I have no place to store it and promptly threw it out). On the one hand, the rubber, the interior, and 90% of the paint are in stupendous shape for a 21-year-old car. On the other hand, I’ve been finding lots of hairline scratches in the paint when I look really carefully, mostly in places where the cover would have rubbed as it was being applied and removed. To really shine all over, the car is going to need a heavy polish job.

  • avatar

    I lived in Phoenix for a while and had two vehicles while there: A charcoal grey sedan that had black Recaro racing seats and a white sedan that had black Recaro racing seats.

    Phoenix hits 100 degrees by mid-April. It really doesn’t get tolerable again till October. Tinting your windows was pretty much mandatory, not only because it did help cool the car, but it also reduced the heat coming in through the windows while you drove. This was of great relief to my back seat passengers and it actually made my life in those Recaro seats much more comfortable as well because the air conditioning was much more effective.

    It’s not very often that I see bubbles and wrinkles and whatnot in tinting anymore. And I suspect that when I DO see it, the owner of the car applied the film to to windows themselves to try to save money. If the tinting is purple, it’s usually because they used a cleaner with Ammonia when cleaning the insides of their windows. That’s a no-no.

    So go ahead and do the tinting. You might want to go with a lighter tint on the front door windows so the cops don’t get freaked out if/when they pull you over for something. It’s not a good idea to freak out people who carry guns for a living. It tends to end badly.

  • avatar

    Don’t fear the tint. I had the same fears 20 years ago but after getting four cars done and seeing the tint hold up wonderfully I have no reservations. The last one is now seven years old and it still looks as good as the day it was applied, even the back window over the defogger lines.

    Just keep in mind the best tint will not be cheap.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I had the windows tinted in my car at the shop the dealership I purchased the car from contracted. 6 years and 75K miles later and there is no sign whatsoever of bubbling or peeling, and it keeps the cabin much darker for grouchy backseat toddlers who refuse to keep their sunglasses on. I wasn’t sure at the time, but I have found it well worth the modest price.

  • avatar

    Both of my sedans were tinted with quality tint. Both have interiors that are in very exceptional condition given age and mileage. The LS460 with 8 years and 46,000 miles looks like it was driven off the lot yesterday. The Legend with 21 years and 186,000 miles has some slight wear on the outer bolsters and worn-out seat foam, but otherwise could pass for a car with 40,000 miles. Both cars spent part or all of their lives in sunny places, and I think the tint was very helpful in preserving them.

  • avatar

    I found a small but high quality shop that has been in business for 27 years. There’s a lot of customers that come in with “high end” vehicles (Audi R8, Bentley Continentals just to name a few) so I didn’t have any reservations about them doing a tint job and plan to take the Tucson over to them once the weather breaks. Plus with a lifetime parts and labor warranty on the tint (and other products they put in) it was a no brainer.

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