Can I Roll My Tinted Windows Down After 24 Hours?

Understanding the Benefits of Window Film

You obviously understand the benefits of applying window film to your vehicle.

You’re now able to reduce the heat buildup in your car while at the same time you’ve added style to the overall look of your vehicle. 

You’ve carefully selected your film brand and shade, and you now have SPF protection (sun protection factor) on your car windows that will reflect harmful UV rays by as much as 99%.
While allowing sunlight to transmit through the glass.

Tinting Your Car Windows

The tint shop did a fantastic job of tinting your car windows, so the big question now is:

When will it be ok to roll down my windows?

The window film installer should have given you some indication as to when it would be alright to roll your electric windows down. But, if they didn’t, or you didn’t hear them because you were distracted by how amazing your car looked with its tinted windows.

Let’s explain how window film works.

How Does Window Film Stick to Glass?

Window film has an adhesive layer that is protected by a clear liner.

The window film installer will remove the liner from the film and spray the adhesive side with soapy water using a spray bottle.

Then the film is slid into position on the glass.

The installer will roll down your electric window and make sure the film goes to the top edge of the glass.

Then the tinter will carefully roll up the window and tuck about a quarter of an inch of film down inside the door sill.

Any water trapped between the film and glass is squeegeed, allowing the film to adhere to the glass.

The installer will make sure there are no air pockets, and the film is lying smooth and flat on the glass without any creases or wrinkles.

How Long After Tinting My Car Can I Roll Down My Windows?

As you learned above, window film is applied to the inside of glass with water.

The soapy water triggers the adhesive on the film and causes the window tint to stick to the glass.

The length of time you must wait before rolling down your windows depends on which part of the country you live in.

For this post, I’m going to assume you live in California.

But, if you live in a much colder climate or even a humid one, allow more time than stated for the film to cure.

If you roll down your car windows too soon, after having the glass tinted, the film applied can have several problems.

Now, when the film is applied, the tint installer uses a spray bottle with soapy water and uses a heat gun to mold the film to the shape of the glass, and the heat from the gun will evaporate water.

A heat gun will help evaporate the water trapped between the film and the glass, but not all the moisture. Some water will remain.

Well, at least for 24+ hours.

The installer might hand you a manufacturer’s warranty, and on that pamphlet, it most likely will state how long the film manufacturer recommends you wait before rolling down your windows. It will most likely recommend waiting 3 – 4 days. If not longer.

Each film manufacturer’s warranty might vary.

Waiting those 3 – 4 days, especially in California, should ensure that the film has had time to adhere to the glass.

Some film manufacturers might recommend waiting at least 5 – 10 days if you live in a colder or humid climate.

What Will Happen If I Roll My Windows Down Right Away?

We’ve had customers drive away all happy with their new tinted windows, then back to the shop within minutes. They’d accidentally rolled down their driver’s side window and creased the film.

It happens!

We all have our habits.

The reason you do NOT want to roll down your car windows is that:

  • If water remains between the film and glass, the film can slide around on the glass.
  • If the film has not adhered (dried) to the glass, the film could peel away from the glass.
  • If the film peeled, it could have creased. No one wants crease lines on their film. So, the film most likely will have to be removed and replaced.

So, to allow the film to adhere to the glass thoroughly, it’s recommended that you leave your windows rolled up for at least 24 hours after installation.

If you live in a humid climate, the drying time takes a while for any remaining water to evaporate.

So, the correct answer to how long depends on your climate.

As a rule of thumb for California, wait at least 24 hours after installing the window film before rolling down your windows.

Suppose you are one of those people who roll their windows down as soon as they get in their car. Ask your film installer to place duct tape over the electric window switch. The tape will remind you and stop you from rolling down your windows.

Contact Us

If you’re looking for UV protection or reducing the heat buildup in your vehicle, we are more than happy to install window film on your car.

We have two locations in CA.

Quality Auto Glass & Tint Inc, is here for all your window tinting and paint protection needs.

And if you have any questions about automotive or residential window film, don’t hesitate to contact us.

We’ll be more than happy to help!

Schedule your appointment today!

We are proud to serve the Sacramento and Modesto area with your window tinting and paint protection needs for over 30 years.  

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