How to Fix A Sagging Headliner: 5 Quick Methods

Headliners are more like the ceiling of your car that covers the better part of the roof, and like many parts of the car, it is likely to fall apart sometimes when you are using your car. Headliners are conveniently placed in your car’s interior to improve the general outlook of the car and increase the safety of the users in case an accident occurs.

Headliners are very effective in reducing noise from outside and they help to block cold outside. Headliners can sag after use over a long period because the headliner adhesive that holds it to the backing board deteriorates over time. Damage to the headliner may arise from poor car management.

The headliner adhesive rate of deterioration is dependent on the level of exposure to wetness and high temperatures. A sagging headliner can be hard to deal with and has the potential to get in the way of driving comfort. It may cost you quite an amount of dollars to get it fixed, and so you may have to put in the work on your own if you’re looking for a cheaper substitute.

We have compiled the best five ways to fix a sagging headliner quickly and at an affordable rate. However, it’s recommended that you get such defaults fixed by a professional to avoid causing any damages to your car. If you need to fix it sooner, please use the guide below.

5 Quick Methods To Fix A Sagging Headliner

To fix your headliner, you’ll require the necessary knowledge of what the headliner is made of and the general structure to enable you to fix it correctly. The most exciting part about all these methods is that you can fix them comfortably within an hour. The headliner is made up of two primary layers.

The first one is the foam-like material in contact with the direct ceiling of your car, and the second layer is what you normally touch and it acts as a cover-up of the first layer. It is crucial to keep in mind that the sagging level of your car’s headliner as you choose the most suitable method since different methods fix various degrees of sagging headliners.

1. Gluing The Headliner

Permatex 27828 Body Shop Heavy Duty Headliner Adhesive Aerosol Can

Gluing is very useful during the first instances of noticing the sagging headliner. In most cases, the headliner begins to sag from the front side, where it meets the windshield due to exposure to the sun that melts the adhesive used to hold it in place.

As soon as you notice some sagging, make sure you proceed to your local store and grab a headliner glue and fix it. The ideal glue should be smoothly spread and ought to have some level of resistance against dampness and very high temperatures. Apply the glue on the sagging layer and on your car’s inner layer and wait for about three minutes.

You need to allow a drying window of about 5 minutes after you apply the second layer and then press it back in position and remember to be keen to reduce wrinkles and air bubbles.

2. Using Steam Cleaner and Paint Stroller

The melted adhesive at the edges of your car’s headliner may have caused the headliner to sag, and in this case, you can use this quick fix. Use a steam cleaner to melt the glue and attach the sagging part back to the frame. After attaching it back, use a paint stroller to set out the fabric to remove any form of creasing.

This method is not very sure since rejuvenated glue is likely to fail after a short period, but if you need it as a temporary option, it will serve you well until you get the whole headliner replaced. You need to know that if you decide to use the old glue, you cannot change your mind and use new glue since it will not work. In this case, you may have to replace the whole headliner if the old glue doesn’t work as intended.

3. Securing The Hanging Headliner With Pins

Pins are one of the best quick fixes you can use to put your headliner back in place. Pining can be used for all levels of sagging, and usually, it is permanent. Pinning will secure your headliner in its rightful place for a reasonable period. All you need to do is to push pins into the sagging headliner. It is vital to make sure you buy the right quality pins and size while also considering the quantity you need to place the headliner back in place.

Bed N' Basics Upholstery Twisty Pins with Clear Heads
Bed N’ Basics Upholstery Twisty Pins with Clear Heads

Pin as many places as possible without overdoing it and crowding the headliner. You can check the available pins, but some of the pins known to work well are the twist pins. Twist pins are clear, so they won’t alter the presentation of your interior. Pinning is one of the most recommended ones and happens to be quite affordable.

4. Using a Double-sided Tape

Suppose your headliner is coming out from the edges or it has detached at the rearview mirror. Grab a good tape from a nearby store and create the double-sided tape by rolling the tape on itself. You can create a couple of these double-sided taped until you have enough for the sagging headliner.

Remember, if you don’t trust yourself to carry out this method, take the car to an expert to fix it or repair it for you. There are various types of tapes, but the most recommended one is the carpenter tape due to its adhesiveness quality.

5. Using Thumbtacks

Thumbtacks are quite traditional and not highly recommended since they quickly come out as soon as they lose grip. However, this is considered the cheapest and fastest hack you can use since you need to stock up the Thumbtacks and begin pinning the sagging layer to the intact layer. The Thumbtacks are held in position by the material in the other layer.

It can be cardboard, but make sure to confirm the material used since the material should be able to hold the Thumbtacks in place. To improve the overall outcome of using the thumbtacks, find a pattern, and use it to compliment the interior looks and make the mess look better.

Most of us have considered cars to our second home due to the amount of time we spent on them. We eat and sometimes take a smoke while on transit to work, on a road trip, or just chilling in the car. Our cars are gradually filled with odor accumulations, dark smoke that causes stains—the headliner and steering wheel host all this dirt.

The dirt is directly linked to the rate of sagging your car’s headliner, my encounter, and further explains why your car may need a well-defined cleaning plan. I know you must be interested in learning more about your headliner’s condition and what you can do to reduce the rate of sagging to ensure your car is in good shape for longer.

Hand wash of car headlamp. Hands in disposable gloves

The fundamental way to maintain your headliner is to keep dirt away and reduce exposure to high temperatures where possible. Below here we have a few tips that you can use to maintain your headliner:

1. Spot Cleaning

Remove any substantial dirty particles, regular ones, as you narrow down to small sizes. Be very gentle with the cleaning rag and fabric cleaner and only focus on where you need to remove dirt.

2. Surface Cleaning

If you don’t resolve the dirt after the spot cleaning, consider using this method. This method is an advanced spot cleaning, which refers to applying the cleaner on a larger surface that needs to be cleaned.

3. Deep Cleaning

Spot cleaning and surface cleaning may fail the stain if after that using the two methods. At this, you know your headliner needs a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning is mostly done at the car wash using a steam cleaner, and the intervals have to be short to preserve the headliner.

While you clean the car headliner, make sure you avoid damaging it by adhering to the following.

  • Avoid using abrasive products.
  • Avoid twisting the towel on the surface and scrubbing it hard or pushing hard.
  • Avoid soaking or overheating the headliner glue while cleaning.
  • Avoid substituting cleaners with cleaners for other vehicles since this can leave residue on your car headliner.

If you maintain your car quite well, your headliner has a chance of remaining intact for longer. Always remember to park your car under a protective shade, especially when leaving it unused for a while. Eventually, your car’s headliner might need to be replaced with a new one, mostly if you have used the described methods to fix it once or twice.

These hacks will weaken the headliner over a while and interfere with the beauty of the car’s interior forcing you to get a replacement.

It is completely up to you to gauge what level of damage you can deal with, and if you are convinced your car headliner needs a replacement, do not hesitate to make a booking with your service provider. Your car will be fixed and improve your car’s performance, comfort, and restore its beauty.

During your regular check-ups, your service provider can look at your headliner’s condition and advise you on when you might need to get the headliner replaced.