Car Talk

How to Fix a Sagging Headliner: Tips and Guidelines 

Avatar Adie Tinkle -

Are you tired of driving your vehicle with a sagging headliner? When you are sitting in your car, the last thing you want is to deal with a saggy headliner as it is not only going to be visually unappealing to see your roof coming down, but it can also distract you on the road and result in dangerous consequences. Therefore, it is important to have knowledge of how you can fix this issue. 

Keep on reading to find out the basics of the headliner and ways that can help you prevent the headliner from sagging. Let’s get into it. 

What is a Headliner in a Car?

A headliner is the material installed on the inside of the roof structure of a vehicle. The headliner is glued onto the headliner board. It usually looks visually appealing and accommodates all the handles that are located on the top of the door. 

There is a special foam between the board and headliner that acts as insulation, protecting passengers and drivers from discomfort.

Prime functions of the headliner include: 

  • Ensuring the comfort of the driver. 
  • Preventing cold from entering the cabin. 
  • Preventing heat from entering the vehicle. 
  • Preventing road noise from coming inside.

What are the Causes Behind the Sagging of the Headliner? 

Sagging of the car headliner can be devastating for every car owner. However, it’s a common thing, especially in the vehicles that were manufactured in the 90s. The reason is that headliners were not perfectly manufactured back in the day and are mostly affected when it comes to sagging. The use of low-quality forms and harsh weather conditions can also lead to the sagging of the headliner. 

How To Fix a Dropping Headliner?

If the headliner of your vehicle is sagging, the first option is to replace it with a new one. However, replacing the headliner can be quite expensive because it means replacing the backboards as well. So, if you have a limited budget, follow these tips to get your headliner repaired. 

  1. Gluing the Headliner Back to its Place

One of the most common methods is gluing the headliner back to its original position. If the headliner is partially saggy around the edges, you can re-attach it using glue. The best way is to use headlining adhesive in a spray can to make sure that the glue is evenly distributed. However, this method requires dedication to make sure that everything looks perfect when you finish it. 

You need to spray glue on the materials and the board. The headliner must stick back to its position. Use special adhesive glue for this purpose to glue everything down properly.

  1. Use a Stapler to Staple the Headliner 

Another effective and cheap strategy to ensure that your headliner does not come off is to use a stapler. The metal staples of the stapler will secure the headliner to the roof of your vehicle. 

You are going to need a stapler gum for this job. After stapling the headliner, you can spray the headliner with spray paint and let it dry. The only issue is that it might cost a bit more than the glue.   

  1. Use of Twist Pins 

The use of twist pins is a great headliner repair method that secures your headliner to the board. As the name implies, these pins twist onto the headliner board. It makes them a good option to secure the headliner. Just by using a few of them, you can secure the headliner. Though it won’t be perfect, it will do the job. 

After applying them, the chances of them falling out are minimal. Therefore, it can be a great fix with minimal money. You can grab a bunch of twist pins from any hardware store and apply them to your headliner. 

  1. Double Sided Tape 

Another effective way of fixing a headliner is by the use of double-sided tape. You can easily find double-sided tape at any hardware store and use it to glue the headline back to its place. 

The downside of this method is the difficulty of doing this task. Similar to gluing, you will have to tape the headliner to the headliner board using glue. It involves removing the headliner board of the vehicle. 

Then, you will have to peel the headliner material completely and clean the headliner board from the irregularities. 

However, this method is labor-intensive and takes a couple of hours, and the end result is not that great because the headline can unglue again and continue to sag.

  1. Use of Steam Machine  

If the headliner has fallen, you can use a steam machine to melt the glue in the headliner. Then using an unused roller, you can fix the headliner. Make sure not to overdo the steaming as it can cause burning or shrinking of the headline. This method might not work if the glue dries too much. 

How Do You Prevent the Headliner of Your Vehicle from Sagging? 

There are two ways to keep the headliner in good shape for years. 

The first one is to keep your vehicle in the garage. This will prevent direct contact with heat or cold on the vehicle and keep the headliner in a healthy condition for a long time. 

The people who live in southern states deal with intense heat. So keeping your car in the shade can extend the life of your headliner for many years, and you will not have to deal with such issues. 

The second option is to take your car to a dry cleaning service. Most services use steam, which is extra hot and makes the headliner’s glue soft. As a result, the headliner starts to sag in a couple of weeks. 

Therefore, keep your car dry-cleaned and ask the service provider not to touch the headliner. This will keep the headliner in mint condition. However, if nothing works, you will have to take your vehicle for headliner replacement.

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