How to Fix a Sagging Headliner in Your Car
The internal ceiling or roof of the car covered with fabric is called a headliner. The headliner covers the bare metal roof with multiple types of fabric and that helps in hiding an array of electrical components, wiring and various accessories. Moreover, it serves as an insulator against noise and heat. Over time, like many auto parts, the headliner tends to fall off or sag because the adhesive holding it to the board begins to deteriorate. Also due to poor car management, car headliner repair becomes a priority before its due time.
Although the rate of damage to the headliner is directly proportional to the degree of exposure to moisture and high temperature, you must be on alert for sagging headliner repair as soon as damage is revealed. If left untreated, they may become tough to deal with and hamper your driving comfort.
Here we are going to discuss some effective methods to fix car headliners as well as tips to maintain them. Nevertheless, it’s best to seek professional assistance and regularly follow a car maintenance checklist to avoid potential sagging car headliner repair cost.
WHAT IS A HEADLINER IN A CAR?
Headliner runs along the inside of your car’s roof and helps with insulation from hot and cold weather. This, in turn, allows the air conditioner to work at maximum capacity. It also minimizes noises and vibrations inside the vehicle during driving.
It is important to learn how headliners are constructed so that you can understand why they sag with time and require replacement. Read on to know some effective methods of sagging car headliner repair that you can apply to your vehicle.
HOW DO YOU FIX A SAGGING HEADLINER WITHOUT REMOVING IT?
APPLY CAR HEADLINER REPAIR GLUE
Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear fabric coming off is to apply car headliner repair glue to it. Usually, the headliner begins to sag from the side where it meets the windshield at the front. This is due to the overexposure from the sun that ultimately melts the adhesive underneath holding it in place.
Therefore, our first method for car headliner repair is heading toward a local store and purchasing a headliner glue. It must be evenly spread on the fabric and should be resistant to wetness and very high temperatures. Make sure you apply it not only to the fabric but also to the car’s inner layer and let it rest open for at least three minutes in dry air.
Once done, apply a second layer of the glow and press the fabric back in its position. Ensure no wrinkles or air bubbles are formed. Roll down the car’s window and let the application breathe in fresh air for around 5 minutes.
USE STEAM CLEANER AND PAINT STROLLER
Although a temporary option, it is a quick sagging car headliner repair method for urgent cases. All you need to do is simply use a steam cleaner to melt the glue that has become ineffective and press the sagging part back to the frame. Next, use a paint stroller on the fabric to remove any creases or air bubbles.
Since we are simply re-using the glue for a quick fix, this method is likely to fail after a short time. However, it is still a viable solution before you visit the mechanic for a complete car headliner replacement.
SECURE WITH PINS
Another method for repairing sagging headliner is to use pins to secure the falling fabric back to its place. Surprisingly, pining is a permanent solution and applicable to all degrees of sagging. Therefore, for a quick and effective car headliner repair, purchase the right quality, correct size, and the number of these headliner fixing pins to secure the sagging fabric back to its position.
Simply pin the fabric as much as possible without overdoing it. They are plenty of types of pins available for this purpose but we would recommend twist pins as they are likely to work well with car headliner repair. As the name suggests, twist pins do not alter the presentation of the car’s interior.
USE A DOUBLE-SIDED TAPE
Using tape is for initial sagging stages, for instance, if the headliner is scraping off at the point of the rearview mirror or from the edges. All you need to do is get a double-sided tape to roll on the areas where the fabric is detaching. Make a couple of these until you feel it is enough. We recommend carpenter double-sided tape because it has the required adhesiveness quality.
While that was all about car headliner repair methods, read on to find our tried and tested tips on maintaining it once the repair or replacement has been carried out.
HOW TO MAINTAIN A CAR’S HEADLINER?
Before we get on to the practical tips, the basic ones fundamentally include keeping dirt, moisture, and extreme temperatures away. Although the latter is fairly not in your control, the following tips then come in handy to maintain the headliner in its pristine condition.
However, beyond all tips and maintenance efforts, car headliner replacement after a reasonable time is the only permanent way to fix a sagging headliner. Here are a few ways to maintain headliner, to avoid potentially incurring sagging car headliner repair cost:
SPOT CLEAN ONLY
With a very soft hand, carefully clean all dirt particles that you can see with bare eyes as you narrow down to the corners and small spots. Keep in mind to be extremely gentle with headliner fabric and rub only where needed.
TRANSITION TO SURFACE CLEANING
You only move toward this method of cleaning when you can resolve the dirt by spot cleaning. It involves an advanced version of spot cleaning where you apply a special cleaner on a larger area and use a gentle hand to clean.
RESORT TO DEEP CLEANING
If, in any case, both spot cleaning and surface cleaning fail to remove the stain, only then you can resort to a deep cleaning method. It is usually carried out at a car wash with a steam cleaner with only short intervals to preserve the headliner.
Cleaning a car headliner requires special care and attention to detail. Be mindful of the following to avoid damaging the material in the process:
- Do not use abrasive products/chemicals
- Do not twist the towel on the fabric or scrub/rub hard on it
- Make sure you are not soaking or overheating the headliner glue
- Do not substitute cleaners with other cleaners for other vehicles. This can leave residue on the headliner
Like every other car component, headliners can last for longer periods if you maintain them well. Besides dampness and dirt, make sure you secure a shaded parking spot every time you are outside and leave the vehicle static under the sky. However, this does not mean you can miss out on the replacement if the headliner is badly damaged. Car headliner replacement is mandatory, especially if you have exercised one of the methods described above more than once. Besides, if you are buying a used car in the UAE, make sure to check the headliner, as like any other component, its important to the vehicle and should be well-maintained.
For more repair and maintenance guides of different vehicle parts, stay tuned to the UAE’s top auto blog.