The headliner, or headlining, is the fabric part attached to the roof of your car. Over time the headlining fabric can separate from its backing board, resulting in a so-called “sagging headliner”. We have put together a top 5 hacks to help fix your sagging headliner quickly and cheaply, such as using glue, pins, staples and hairspray, a steam cleaner and paint roller, or double-sided tape.
A sagging headliner can be a nightmare, and expensive to repair. We’ve put together a top 5 hacks that can help to fix your sagging headliner quickly and cheaply.
The headliner, or headlining, is the fabric part attached to the roof of your car. It gives the roof a nice finish, dampens noise and keeps the cold out. Over time the headlining fabric can separate from its backing board, resulting in a so-called “sagging headliner”.
The sagging occurs because the condition of the glue that holds it to the backing deteriorates over time. The process is accelerated if the headlining becomes wet. The glue will become moist and will dissolve. Sometimes the sagging gets so bad that it gets in the way, it’s the point at which you will need to have it fixed.
5 Hacks To Fix Your Sagging Headliner Quickly
We would always advise getting your headlining sorted professionally so as to not damage your car in any way, however, sometimes you may just want to get your sagging headliner sorted quickly and cheaply. Here are a couple of hacks you can try to stop your roof lining from sagging:
1. Gluing The Headlining Back In Place
If the headlining on the car has only sagged partially, for example around the edges, you could use glue to re-attach it. It’s best to use specialist headlining adhesive in a spray can to ensure that the glue is distributed evenly. However, some DIYers like to use hot glue to re-attach the headlining.
If you want to do things properly it’s best to take your headlining panel out of your car completely, remove the fabric and get rid of all the glue. Then use specialist headlining adhesive to glue the headlining back in place.
2. Pinning The Sagging Headliner
It’s best, of course, to just get your sagging headliner fixed permanently as the problem will only get worse over time. If you need a quick fix, though, there are a couple of things you can do. One classic hack is to use pins to push the sagging headliner back on its foam backing board.
3. Using Staples And Hair Spray
This may seem like a very unusual method but there is evidence that this works. First staple the headlining back on its backing board with a stapler. You would need a stapler gun of course, as a conventional paper stapler won’t really work. Once that’s done spray the headlining with hairspray and let it dry. Once dry, remove the staples.
If you’re looking for a cheap, but semi-permanent fix then this method may be one to consider if you have a car that’s too old to put lots of money in.
4. Steam Cleaner And Paint Roller
Use a steam cleaner to melt and moisturise the glue in the headlining. Then use an unused paint roller to follow the steam cleaner, rolling the headlining flat and removing any wrinkles. Make sure not to overdo the steaming, as you may shrink or burn the headlining otherwise. This method may not if the glue in your headlining has dried out too much.
5. Using Double-Sided Tape
If your headlining has come loose and you can access it inside then you could use double-sided tape to stick it back onto the roof. This will likely work out best if the headlining has sagged around the edges of the roof or if it has separated around the rearview mirror mounting.
In all cases make sure to research whether the hack is suitable for your car. Remember, you could always make the problem worse.
“Sagging headliners can be a nightmare, but there are a few hacks you can try to fix them quickly and cheaply,” says Scott Greensmith, a certified technician, ClickMechanic. “However, it’s best to take your headlining panel out of your car completely and use specialist headlining adhesive to glue the headliner back in place. If you’re not sure how to tackle the problem, it’s probably best to find an upholsterer or just get a new headliner,” Scott advises.
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Meet Kurt, an automotive industry expert with over 13 years of experience. He currently leads the Marketing & Growth team at ClickMechanic, of which he has been an integral part of for the past decade. He has been involved with most parts of the business helping grow the company to new heights, from the creation of the innovative quote engine, and operations, to content and growth marketing automation.
With his extensive background in car repairs and customer support, Kurt is well-positioned to share his expertise on automotive technical topics. A car aficionado from an early age, his physical journey in the automotive world began with his trusty VW Golf 4, which took him on memorable adventures throughout Europe during his student days.
Outside of work, Kurt is a maker, as well as a design and technology enthusiast, embodying a unique blend of creativity and precision with an international outlook. He has a keen interest in the latest advancements in car maintenance and clean vehicle technology, as well as a heart for classic cars. His favourite classic cars include the Lancia Fulvia Series 2 and the Citroen DS, showcasing his appreciation for timeless automotive craftsmanship.