Tinting your car windows is a popular way to improve the appearance and functionality of your vehicle. It can provide privacy, reduce glare, and even block harmful UV rays. 

However, over time, you may notice that your tint starts to fade or become less effective. This can be frustrating and leave you wondering what causes it and how to fix it.

So, does tint fade over time? The short answer is yes. But don’t worry, there are steps you can take to prevent and fix fading tint. Let’s explore the causes of tint fading and how you can keep your window tint looking great for years to come.

What Causes Window Tint to Fade?


Quality of Window Film 

The quality of the window film itself is also a factor in how long your tint will last. Higher quality films such as carbon and ceramic are typically more durable and have better UV protection, which can help prevent fading.

It means low quality, like regular dyed window tint, are more susceptible to damage from external factors such as sunlight, chemicals, and weather conditions.


The climate you live in can also play a role in window tint fading. Areas with high levels of heat and humidity can cause the film to deteriorate faster, leading to premature fading. 

The intense heat from the sun’s rays can break down the adhesive used to bond the film to your windows, causing it to peel or bubble over time.

Poor Installation 

Another factor that contributes to window tint fading is poor installation. If the film is not applied correctly, it can lead to air pockets and uneven coverage, making it easier for sunlight to penetrate through and fade the tint. 

It is crucial to choose a reputable and experienced commercial window tint installer to ensure proper application of your window tint.

Direct Exposure to Sunlight 

While window tints are designed to block UV rays, they can still break down over time due to prolonged exposure. This is especially true for low-quality or old tints that may have already started to deteriorate.

Excessive heat from direct exposure to sun can also cause tints to fade faster, as it can weaken the adhesive used to apply the tint film. This is particularly a concern in hot climates or during summer months.

Use of Harsh and Abrasive Chemicals 

Harsh chemicals or cleaners should never be used on window tints as they can damage the film and cause fading. Stick to mild soaps and products specifically designed for cleaning car windows.

It is recommended to use gentle, non-ammonia based cleaners and soft cloths when cleaning your tinted windows.

Poor Maintenance

In addition, lack of maintenance also results in window tint fading. Over time, dirt, debris, and grime can accumulate on the surface of your window tint, blocking out sunlight and diminishing its appearance.

In addition, the accumulation of dirt and debris on the reflective window films hinders the tints to block the UV rays completely thus compromising its main purpose. 

Old Age

As with most things, age can also play a factor in the lifespan of your car window tint. Over time, the adhesive that holds the film in place may start to weaken or break down, causing the tint to peel or bubble. 

This is more likely to happen with older tints and can be an indication that it’s time to get them replaced. 

What is the Lifespan of a Tint?


Despite the various benefits of window tint, it does have a defined lifespan. The lifespan of window tinting can vary depending on a few factors such as the quality of the film, installation technique, and environmental conditions.

On average, high-quality window tinting can last anywhere from 5-10 years.

However, with proper care and maintenance, it is possible to extend its lifespan even further. Regular cleaning is essential for maintaining the appearance and longevity of your window tint.

It is recommended to clean your windows at least once every two weeks using a mild detergent or cleaning solution specifically designed for window tinting. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials as they can damage the film and cause it to peel off.

Signs of Window Tint Fading


  • Discoloration: One of the most obvious signs of fading window tint is discoloration. Over time, the film may start to turn a purple or blue hue instead of its original shade.
  • Bubbling: Another sign of faded window tint is bubbling. As the adhesive starts to break down, air bubbles can form between the film and the glass, creating an uneven and unattractive appearance.
  • Cracking or peeling: If your window tint begins to crack or peel, it is a clear indication that it needs to be replaced. This can happen due to sun exposure, extreme temperatures, or improper installation.

How to Fix Fading of Window Tint?


Step # 1 Access the Level of Fading 

The first step in fixing window tint fading is to assess the level of fading. This will help determine if a complete replacement is necessary, or if other solutions can be used.

Step # 2 Inspect for Damage 

Regularly inspect your window tint for any signs of damage such as bubbles, peeling, or scratches. If you notice any issues, address them immediately to prevent further damage.

Step # 3 Consider Different Tint Types

There are various types of window tints available, each with their own level of durability and resistance to fading. Do some research and consider your needs before choosing the right tint for your car.

Step # 4 Consider Professional Replacement

If your window tint is significantly faded, it is best to seek professional help for the replacement. A professional window tinting company will have the necessary tools and expertise to ensure a proper installation.

Step # 5 DIY Options

For minor fading, there are some do-it-yourself options available. You can purchase a window tint film and apply it yourself, but keep in mind that this may not provide as long-lasting results as a professional installation.

Step # 6 Regular Maintenance

To prevent future fading, it is important to properly maintain your window tint. This includes cleaning it regularly with a mild soap and water solution, avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, and using a soft cloth to dry the tint.

Does Window Tinting Get Darker Over Time? 

The short answer is yes, window tint can get darker over time. This is due to the natural fading of the tint film and exposure to elements such as sunlight and heat.

To ensure that your tints maintain their desired darkness level, it’s important to choose high-quality films and have them professionally installed.


As time passes, it’s natural for window tint to experience fading, often influenced by various environmental and usage factors. However, understanding the causes of this phenomenon and the potential effects is crucial for maintaining the desired level of tint effectiveness.

Whether for residential, commercial, or auto tint applications, being aware of the signs of fading and knowing when it’s time for maintenance or removal can help prolong the life and benefits of your window tint.

Tint on wheels is a professional tinting company which can help you with installation, maintenance, or removal of window tint for your residential, commercial, or auto needs. Call us at 956-682-2915 for reliable support in optimizing the performance and longevity of your window tint.