If you want to get your car windows tinted, the time the process takes should be a huge concern. After all, not all of us can afford to live without a vehicle for weeks. Car window tinting can be done professionally and through DIY means, though both methods need time and patience to be installed effectively.
If you’re wondering how long it takes to tint car windows, keep reading. Several factors affect how long the tinting process takes, which we’ll cover below.
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Time It Takes To Tint Windows
- The time it takes to tint car windows depends on a few things. These include:
- How many windows need to be tinted
- How much surface area needs to be tinted
- The shape of the window
- If any tint or glue needs to be removed first
- The installer’s experience level
Windows are best tinted in safe and controlled surroundings, like a car shop or garage. These environments reduce the chance of dust particles getting trapped underneath the tint.
The drying time depends on the tint’s brand, weather, and the type of film. For example, metallic films need more drying time than other film finishes. The installer’s experience level also matters, as more moisture left on the windows needs longer to dry.
Generally speaking, two front doors can be completely tinted in 45 minutes or less. However, some cars need more or less time than others. For instance, Sedans can take 1.5 to 2 hours to tint, which is less time than SUVs need. Sedans have smaller surface areas that make them easier to tint.
Adhesive or tint that needs to be removed also adds more time to the process. This varies depending on the type of film and the amount that needs to be removed. Cases like these can add an extra half an hour to the whole job.
Tint Curing Time in Winter
In most cases, tint needs 2 to 5 weeks to cure in winter. The outside temperature, garage temperature, amount of sun, and moisture levels are all factors. Cold weather increases the drying time.
Car windows can still be tinted in winter, but humidity and moisture levels can create issues. If there is too much humidity in the air, it may be close to impossible to finish the process. Rain can also be an issue, as this adds to water vapor in the air.
If you want to tint your windows in winter, you should attempt to do so indoors. As stated before, it’s best to do this in a garage or car shop. You’ll be able to control the environment, ensuring that no dust or dirt particles affect the process.
Another problem that can occur is that cold weather encourages streaks and bubbles. You can repair this easily in summer by leaving the car out in a hot sunny environment. This isn’t possible in winter, so you’ll have to wait for some hotter days in February.
If you do get a sunny winter day, take advantage of the opportunity and expose your car to the sunlight. This can help to remove the bubbles, but make sure that you don’t roll down the windows. If you’re forgetful, taping over the window controls may be helpful.
If you do park your car outside, don’t park on gravel. Stones and small bits of residue can affect the tint. It’s better to park on concrete or asphalt.
You may be tempted to speed up the drying time by running a hairdryer over the windows. This isn’t recommended, but if you do it, make sure that you only run the air on the outside of the glass. Stay at least 8 inches away from the window, and keep checking to see if the inner glass is hot or not. If it is hot, turn the dryer off. A hairdryer can decrease the drying time, but it’s always better to let the tint dry naturally.
Tint Curing Time in Summer
In summer, the time it takes for a window tint to dry is much less than in winter, only around 3 to 5 days. Nevertheless, this still depends on several factors, including the installer’s skill level, type of tint used, and the actual temperature.
It’s always better to tint windows in spring or summer, as tint cures easily in sunny, less humid weather. You’ll get back on the road quicker, and you won’t need to wait for ages before you can roll your windows down again. However, any visible bubbles should be attended to before the tint cures, or they can get worse in the future.
Time for Ceramic Tint To Dry
Ceramic tint is thicker, so it needs more time to dry. These can take between 4 to 10 weeks to do so, though these tints are amazing dealing with glare and heat. Ceramic tints are known as the best money can buy, which explains why they are so expensive.
Tinting every window on your car with ceramic tint normally costs between $500 – $600, though this can increase depending on the manufacturer. They are also hard to replace and difficult to work with, so they need a skilled installer. Nevertheless, ceramic tints are amazing at stopping heat from entering your vehicle, which keeps the car cool and comfortable in hot weather.
Tinting Car Windows By Yourself
In most cases, DIY tinting needs more time to complete compared to a professional service.
When you tint a car yourself, you can purchase a window tint kit that contains a pre-cut film. All you need to do is use a heat gun and take your time fixing the film to the car. Your kit must be suitable for your car’s model so that it fits the windows and back windshield properly. They are a lot cheaper compared to professional services, but they can go wrong if you’re not patient or skilled enough.
If you’re not confident in your abilities or want a good job done on the car, it’s always better to seek a reputable tinting service.
Tinting Car Windows Difficulty Level
Tinting car windows isn’t particularly hard to do, but it does need a little skill and patience. Professional tinters are experienced, so they can do the job quicker than beginners. If you’ve never tinted windows before, you may need a lot longer than 4 hours to complete the job.
You’ll also need to research how to do the job properly. This includes how to apply the tint, getting the film to meld to the glass, what counts as high-quality film, and how to prevent bubbles from forming.
How To Know If Window Tint Is Dry
You’ll know that your tint has cured once it stops looking hazy, but to be on the safe side, wait another day to make sure that it’s completely dry.
Windows look hazy or foggy during tinting as water between the window and the tint evaporates. The haziness continues for up to two days, then starts to disappear as the water evaporates. Take note that metallic films will need more time to dry, so if you’re unsure, wait until the bubbles have fully disappeared.
Speeding Up Window Tint Drying Time
Here are some things you can try which can shorten the tint’s curing time.
- If you’re tinting your windows in cloudier weather, keep your windows out of the shade and facing the sun whenever possible.
- It’s safe to wash your car, but you should only do this if necessary. Water adds to the humidity levels, which increases drying time.
- Use a squeegee to remove as much water as you can. Less water means less drying time.
- Some businesses can be shady, so if you’re using a professional service, check Yelp and Google reviews beforehand.