Your vehicle’s interior is comprised of many different parts, materials, and components, all working together to provide you and your passengers with a comfortable ride. But over time, with regular wear and tear, some of these parts can start to break down or become damaged. Learn how to fix a sagging headliner.
One such part is the headliner, which can start to sag or droop over time due to sunlight exposure, moisture damage, or simply age, as is subject to a lot of wear and tear. The headliner, in particular, can suffer from sagging or drooping over time. This is often caused by exposure to sunlight or heat, which can cause the adhesive holding the headliner in place to break down.
Fortunately, sagging headliner repair is fairly easy to do on your own, and doesn’t require any special tools or skills. In most cases, all you’ll need is some strong adhesive and a little bit of time. Follow the steps below and you’ll have your headliner back in shape in no time!
What Is a Headliner?
The headliner is the fabric-covered panel that forms the ceiling of your vehicle’s interior. It’s typically made from a foam-backed fabric and is attached to the roof with an adhesive. Different vehicles have different styles of headliners, but they all serve the same basic purpose: to provide a comfortable, aesthetically-pleasing interior for passengers.
Most commonly, the materials used in headliners are cloth, vinyl, or leather. These materials are attached to a foam backing, which is then glued or otherwise affixed to the vehicle’s roof. It acts as a buffer between the passengers and the metal roof and can help keep noise levels down inside the vehicle.
What Causes Headliners to Sag?
There are a few reasons why headliners can start to sag or droop over time. One is exposure to sunlight or heat, which can cause the adhesive holding the headliner in place to break down. Another reason is moisture damage, which can cause the fabric or foam backing to swell and detach from the roof.
In some rare cases, headliners can also sag due to a manufacturing defect. And finally, age can simply take its toll on the headliner, causing it to become loose or detached from the roof.
Regardless of the cause, a sagging headliner is not only unsightly, but it can also be dangerous. If the headliner is loose or detached from the roof, it could potentially block your view while driving, or even detach completely and come crashing down on you
How To Fix Sagging Headliner Without Removing it
You can employ a few of the following methods to fix your sagging headliner without having to remove it.
The good old glue is the most obvious way to fix your drooping headliner. You can use any fabric adhesive or even a specific headliner adhesive. Just make sure that it is able to hold the heavyweight of the headliner fabric.
It’s best to use it as soon as you see signs of the headliner starting to droop. The sooner you act, the better chance you have of being able to fix it without removing the headliner.
Not a particularly pretty solution, but thumbtacks can be used to temporarily hold up a sagging headliner. This is a good option if you’re short on time or glue.
Simply push the thumbtacks through the fabric and into the foam backing. You’ll want to use enough to evenly distribute the weight, and make sure they’re pushed in far enough that they won’t fall out.
Clear-headed Twist Pin
This is an option for those who don’t want to use glue or thumbtacks. Clear-headed twist pins are basically clear, plastic push pins that can be found at most hardware stores.
To use them, simply push the pin through the fabric and into the foam. Be sure to twist the pin to secure it in place. You’ll want to use enough to evenly distribute the weight, and make sure they’re pushed in far enough that they won’t fall out.
Double-Sided Carpenter’s Tape
A much more aesthetically-pleasing option, double-sided carpenter’s tape can be used to hold up a sagging headliner.
This type of tape is usually very strong if you get the right quality and will stick to both the fabric and the foam backing. Simply apply it along the seam where the headliner meets the roof.
Hairspray & Staples
A much rather permanent option, staples, and hairspray can be used to fix a drooping headliner.
To do this, simply spray the area where the headliner meets the roof with hairspray. Then, using a staple gun, apply staples along the seam. This will essentially fuse the two materials together.
Steam Cleaner And Paint Roller Combo
Last but not least, you can use a steam cleaner and paint roller combo to fix your sagging headliner.
To do this, first, clean the area where the headliner meets the roof with the steam cleaner. Then, using a paint roller, apply adhesive along the seam. Next, press the headliner back into place and let it dry.
Cost to Replace Headliner
If the damage to your headliner is extensive, or if you simply don’t feel comfortable attempting a repair on your own, you may need to replace the headliner entirely. This is a fairly big job, and will likely require the help of a professional. The cost to replace a headliner can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, but it’s typically between $200 and $600.
A sagging headliner can be a real nuisance, but fortunately, there are a few things you can do to fix it. If the damage is extensive, you may need to replace the headliner entirely. But if it’s just a small droop, you should be able to use one of the methods above to fix it without removing the headliner such as gluing, thumbtacks, clear-headed twist pins, double-sided carpenter’s tape, staples, and hairspray, or a steam cleaner and paint roller combo.
Which method you choose will likely depend on the severity of the droop, your budget, and your level of comfort with DIY repairs. Whichever route you decide to go, be sure to take your time and be careful not to further damage the headliner or your vehicle.
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