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How Long After Window Tint Can You Roll Down Windows?

If you’re planning to have your car windows tinted or just did, you might be wondering, When is it okay to roll down the windows after getting the job done? Car tinting professionals will advise you to keep the windows rolled up after getting them tinted. So, the question is – for how long? We researched window tints in-depth and found the answer for you. 

Car tints require the use of special adhesives that take time to dry.

  • When tinting your car windows on clear (and warm) days, you should wait at least 3-4 days before rolling them down.
  • If you have them done during the winter, the tint adhesive may take up to 3-4 weeks to fully cure.

Whatever you do, DO NOT roll down your windows immediately after your windows are tinted. Whether you’re the DIY type or prefer having it done by professionals, keep reading to find out more about the things you should consider to ensure that your investment doesn’t go to waste. 

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Master installs tint film for car glass with hairdryer and spatula with glare of light, How Long After Window Tint Can You Roll Down Windows?

The Curing Process

Man installing window tinting on car.

It’s all about the adhesive. The window film, or tint as we know it, is joined to the interior of your car’s windows using what is known as Pressure-Sensitive (PS) adhesive. Once applied, the moisture between the window and tint will take time to evaporate.

Temperature and humidity are the two main factors that determine how quickly you can set your mind at ease. The drier and hotter, the quicker. Heat and UV rays from the Sun can naturally speed up this process.

Intense summer heat, however, can put you at a disadvantage if you’re doing it yourself. Professionals usually work in controlled environments (i.e. temperature-controlled rooms) specially designed for the job. Most tinting experts agree that it is best to have your windows tinted during spring and fall as they bring milder temperatures and low humidity.

What happens if you roll windows down immediately after getting them tinted?

If you happen to roll them down because nobody warned you (swear, it was an accident!), doing so may have messed up the otherwise faultless job that you, or a professional tinter, most recently accomplished.

By rolling down the windows immediately, you run the risk of generating scratches or even having the whole tint itself tearing apart. Once ruined, you are only left with two dissatisfactory choices: to live with it or to start all over again.

What’s more, you can even damage the windows themselves. We hope this was enough to deter you from making this common blunder. 

When the weather is warm and clear

Although the tinting process itself can be finished in two hours or less (for a regular four-door sedan), it takes 3-4 days on average to cure during spring and fall.

Watch the weather forecast if you can, and beware of sudden rain as the surge in moisture is sure to extend the waiting game. Bring your car indoors right away if you notice the clouds mustering up a storm. Other than subjecting them to natural outpour, your windows will be fine in no time.

During the winter

Technician Installing car window tint. Car window tinting series. Car window tinting specialist install car film windscreen.

As much as moisture is the enemy, cold weather is the same. Low temperatures, not to mention snow, will hinder the evaporation of moisture trapped between the windows and tints.

Tinting during winter is not advisable at all. The only minor advantage to tinting your windows during winter is that other car owners would have probably planned to do it sometime else, so booking an appointment with a professional wouldn’t take too long if you’re in a rush.

If you’re saving up for this investment and planning ahead of time, try doing it another time.

What are those tiny bubbles or streaks in tinted windows?

If you notice some bubbles, streaks, or even a semi-opaque quality to your newly tinted windows, don’t worry. That’s just excess moisture from the soapy water solution used in the process. They will eventually disappear once the curing is over.

If they don’t, however, bring your car back to the professional tinter to have it checked again. Remember to bring the receipt and any documents needed for the warranty.

To wash or not to wash? That is the question.

Washing dirty windshield of a car.

So it’s a typical Sunday, and you just had your windows tinted. Resist the urge to give your ride its customary weekly bath.

Even though a car wash involves wetting the exterior of your car, moisture can still seep into the inside contributing to those water bubbles you wouldn’t want more of.

If you really need to clean the windows follow this advice:

  • Only clean the exterior
  • Use ammonia-free window cleaners
    • Ammonia takes away the tackiness and strength of PS adhesive. It's even used to remove tint!
  • Steer clear of abrasive pads
    • Instead, opt for soft cloths, sponges, or paper towels

How can you make window tint dry faster?

Professional car service worker

Can’t wait any longer? Or do you miss driving with the windows down? Here's some advice to speed up the drying process

  • Try to park your newly tinted car out in the sun when it’s up
  • Bring it indoors overnight to avoid unexpected rainfall
  • Carefully follow any instructions or advice from your professional tinter
  • Consult with your tinter (if professionally done) especially if you’re considering using a heat gun post-tinting. 

Can you use AC after getting your windows tinted?

Absolutely! Since you have to keep the windows rolled up, if you plan on driving the car, then you will have to use the air conditioner to avoid sweaty underarms (and worse, heatstroke).

Additionally, AC acts as a dehumidifier – it will help remove excess moisture from inside the car – shortening the curing process itself.

In Conclusion

Installing car window tint

Now that we’ve covered the basics, you can look forward to tinting your ride with peace of mind.

Remember: Don’t roll down the windows right after having them tinted. If you want to enjoy the benefits of your chosen tint – patience is key. It’s just a few days after all. Once it dries completely, you’ll be set for years to come.

If you found this article helpful, check out these great posts:

How Much Does It Cost to Tint Car Windows?

Do Any Rental Cars Have Tinted Windows?