Does tint help?

I am moving to Texas. EVERYONE and their mothers have tinted windows. Being from the north, I haven’t really seen that up here. I have a black car and my friends from the south are telling me that it’s going to get hot in my car (but really, the interior of my car would be hot regardless of whether or not I had a black, red, blue, etc. car because it’s simply HOT in Texas…) and they recommend that I should consider getting my windows tinted.

I would obviously follow Texas state law (I believe it’s 20% on the front windows, anything else on all other windows, but I may be mistaken), but does tint actually help with heat? Does it help keep my interior from fading? Does it cause my car to lose value more than it’s worth - I would like to resell my car in a few years? Or am I just better off getting a reflective thing for my windshield when I’m parked and call it good? I have working air conditioning, so it seems like it would just be initial discomfort. It seems more like a Southern style thing than an actual practicality. Am I mistaken?

Note: I would definitely get it done by a reputable professional. Sorry for all the questions recently, I’m just confused with this tinting trend of the south.

Tint definitely helps. That said, I’ve relied on the factory tint in our cars. If you will be parking your car outside during the day (at work, say) I’d get it. If you have covered parking, I’d skip it and see how your car does. But like you said it’s important to get a good brand, put on by a good shop. You’ll see quite a few cars with tint that’s turned purple and/or bubbled up. Nasty.

Your friends have given you good advice. Texases has also given you good advice. Tint not only mitigates temperature rise when parked, it also reduces AC load when driving.
Numerous studies have been done on this. Id’ suggest you Google the subject.

Along with tint , I add the rain guards over the windows which allows me to keep a couple windows open a tad to dissipate heat buildup.

+1 to Ken’s suggestion. I have these on my 2010 Cobalt and 2013 Equinox. The Equinox is dark gray with a black interior and keeping the front windows cracked makes a big difference.

The deflectors fit into the window channel for a neat installation. Customer service is excellent.

I’ve also had vent visors that attached to the outside molding, less expensive but not as nice looking. My 2000 Blazer had black rubber molding around the windows so the deflectors looked okay.

Ed B.

I live in OK (six of one,half dozen of the other with TX) and long ago I owned several cars without tinted windows. The left arm and side of my face would usually cook and sunburn even with the A/C on.
Tinting the windows eliminated that problem completely and I wouldn’t even think of not having a car with non-tinted windows.

Your friends are correct and a black car just makes the situation even worse.

The local news did a story about 15 years ago during a heat wave about a lady in Texas who actually cooked a large roast for the family dinner by placing it in a pan underneath the rear glass.
About 4 hours cooking time @ 185 degrees is all it took on a 4 pound roast…

I believe it. I cooked a new Samsonite suitcase under the rear glass in Texas once. Looked like it had been in a fire.

Window tint will slow the change in temperature. But if you leave it in the sun all day, it won’t matter. The tint will also help cool the car more quickly once you have the AC on. Texas allows darker tint than many other states. Our friends moved to Houston and bought a car there. When they moved back east, they couldn’t register it until the tint was changed.

Get both the tint and the sun shade.
I went with Ohio legal tint on my Mazda and it had helped out a good bit since I got it.

If you have a car that will roll the windows down/open the sunroof when you hit the unlock button twice and hold, that will help even more; allowing the built up heat to escape a little bit before you even get to the car. Though, if you live in a shady(not so nice shady, not the shade tree shady) neighborhood, then just wait until you get to the car and open the door normally to let the heat out

How difficult is it to change tint?

Most of the heat gained by a car interior is due to sun shining in through the glass. Tint blocks some of that, so will definitely help, at least a little, and it will keep people who the sun is shining on feeling cooler. Still, I don’t like the darkest legal tints. When I’m driving through lovely scenery I like to feel like I’m in it, not looking through a barrier at it. But if I lived in Texas I might feel otherwise. More heat, less scenery.

a clean car reflects more .
A dirty car (matte finish ) absorbs more surface heat no matter the color.

The right question might be how much does it cost. I would guess a few hundred bucks. But that is only an issue if you move soon to a place that requires a lighter tint. I know it’s hard to know where life will take you, but if Texas is short term, consider that.

The only tinted windows i’ve had are factory installed, on our road trip going from Washington to Colorado and back through Utah/Nevada/California we noticed a difference between sitting up front where there was minimal tint and either of the back rows in the minivan where the windows were dark tinted. Helped in the summer heat

I had a light blue truck that burned my arm on the door more than my 03 black trailblazer, have a bud with a white windstar, we measured inside temps on a hot day, 103 for white windstar and 102 for black blazer, all windows closed, nose into the sun. I know there are nomadic tribes in the desert that wear black, where is a physicist when you need one?

And just to clear up a point:

There is color tint and then there is blocking certain wavelengths of light - like UV rays. The color isn’t the important item - it’s the other one that reduces the heat buildup inside the car.

The tint shouldn’t be that difficult to remove, just a sharp razor blade and peel away. Though you might want to spray some Goo-Gone or something on a towel and push it against the tint and let it soak for a few minutes before you start scraping; don’t just spray it on, it might seep down into the window track and mess things up inside the door

So where does the sun’s energy go with window tint? The dark tint must absorb 80% of the suns rays and in doing so it must get hot…The energy must go somewhere…The hot glass starts to radiate heat into the car…Okay, maybe this is it…The solar heated glass will radiate equal amounts off each side of the glass, so only half the generated heat ends up in the car, a considerable reduction…Mirrored tint would work the best but I suppose the police would take a dim view of that and night vision would be reduced too much…

Yes, that’s right, Caddy. Dark tints are not as effective as reflective films, but they are better than nothing. They may also be designed to reflect light outside the visible spectrum.


The energy is REFLECTED into the environment. The heat goes to whatever the REFLECTED light hits. It doesn’t necessarily heat up the glass.