Window film can transform the look of your car while cooling the interior and preventing damage caused by long-term exposure to the sun. While considering adding film to auto windows, many automobile owners like to know whether window film fades over time, causing a need for replacement during the car’s lifespan.
Automotive films are generally designed to perform well past 10 years with proper care. According to the United States Bureau of Transportation, the average age of a vehicle on the road is nearly 12 years, meaning that with proper care, automotive window film should outlast the lifespan of the average automobile. However, many factors contribute to the wear and tear of car window film — and you should be aware of them.
Factors Impacting Window Film Lifespan
How long your tinted window films will perform as intended can depend on many influences, including how well you take care of the film and the conditions it endures. The specific materials in your window film, alongside the quality of the manufacturing and installation, also have an effect.
Here are some factors that impact the life of window film:
1. Product Type and Quality
Elements of the product, such as the type of film used and how it was installed, impact how long it takes for window film to fade. Lower quality films may display color fading within months of installation — higher quality films could last up to 20 years. With low-quality dyes, it’s common for the yellow additives to fade quicker than the blue and red pigments, which is why some tinted car windows fade to purple over time.
Film without ultraviolet-blocking (UV) polyester fades faster than those with it, and films that contain extruded dye or metal deposits also last longer. High-quality films also feature a blend of color-stable dyes, where every color fades at the same slow rate to prevent discoloration. Choosing a film with high-quality materials made by a trusted manufacturer ensures your aftermarket tint stays color stable and scratch-free for years to come. It’s just as important to choose a highly trained professional installer.
The right installer will choose the best type of film for your windows and knows how to apply it properly. When you work with a professional, they ensure a smooth, bubble-free application that won’t peel or crack prematurely. They’ll also know how to cut the film material for the shape of your windows and insert it behind your car windows’ rubber lining so it’ll stay in place. For these reasons, a DIY window film installation won’t always last as long as a professional job.
2. The Car’s Climate
One of the top advantages of automotive window tints is that the film blocks heat from entering your vehicle. Your car’s interiors are protected even when parked in the hot sun. Still, that extra heat can slowly wear down on your film’s adhesives and eventually cause bubbling or peeling.
Before determining how long your window film will last, consider the location where you live. Living in a northern climate will allow your auto tint film to last longer compared to if you live in a warmer, more humid, southern climate. No matter the climate, you can always choose to keep your vehicle in a garage to minimize climate impact.
3. The Amount of Direct Sunlight to which the Car is Exposed
Sunlight contains invisible UV light, known to fade dashboards and crack leather upholstery. One of the great things about auto window tinting is that the film usually contains UV-blocking technology, which protects your car’s interiors. As your film absorbs and reflects that energy, the UV radiation can cause the tint to fade. While you’ll shield the rest of your car from deteriorating in the sun, the film may eventually lighten as the years go by.
Luckily, you can control this process by limiting your car’s time parked in the sun. Do you park your carin a garage? If so, your tinted car windows will stay darker for longer. If your car experiences daily exposure to the sun, this will speed up the rate of fading.
The fading process also depends on the materials in the film. Poor-quality films will fade in the intense sun as soon as a few days. Carbon and ceramic films last much longer, upwards of five to 10 years. Films with quality dyes and metal deposits may last from 10 to 20 years.
4. Maximizing Your Window Film’s Lifespan
To choose a car window film that will last the longest, do careful research before making a decision. Once you buy and install the window film, maintaining and cleaning it will be crucial to slowing down the fading process and getting your money’s worth. Ask your Madico®, Inc. dealer for tips on how to clean and maintain your film properly.
While window film can gradually reduce in effectiveness due to exposure to the sun’s rays, Madico’s automotive window films are covered by a lifetime warranty in North America. For as long as you own the vehicle, you can trust your Madico tinted film to keep performing.
Get Started With a Madico Dealer
Our automotive films are designed to last while providing you with the ultimate sun and heat protection. They come in many shades and materials, giving you the freedom to choose the film with the color, darkness level and properties you prefer. Check out our tint simulator tool to see how dark the tint will appear on your vehicle and find a film with the features you want.
Also, when you choose Madico products, you know your auto window tinting is being installed by a professional with training in the proper application techniques. We provide our independent dealers with extensive resources to understand our product lines and correct installation techniques, so you can be sure your film will last for years to come.
To get more information or inquire about a purchase or installation, find a dealer near you!