Much like other parts of a car, the headliner can fail or breakdown. When this happens, you need to fix it. Therefore, if you are looking for a way to fix a sagging headliner, this guide is the ultimate solution.
Before we can dig into ways of solving headliner sagging problems, it is good to understand what a headliner is. Of course, if you are a car dealer, you know what a headliner is, but if you are a car owner, particularly if you are new to home mechanics, you may want to understand what exactly a headliner is. Therefore, this section is for you.
On your car roof, there is a piece of fabric fastened to it. That is the headliner. Its main work is to insulate the vehicle against cold and heat and bars noise originating from outside the vehicle. If you touch it, you will feel softness because it is made using a smooth fabric.
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Strong glue is used to fasten the fabric on the car roof. Over time, because of heat that comes through the car roof, the glue starts to lose its ability to hold the headliner in position. That is to say; if you live in hot areas, your car headliner will sag earlier than that of a car in cold areas. Separation of the support board and the headliner damages the aesthetic of the vehicle's interior.
Do I Need to Take Off the Headliner?
Is your car headliner sagging, and you think if you have to take it off? It is not a must take off the headliner whenever you realize it is sagging. You do not even have to drive to your mechanic to have it fixed. You can do this by yourself, even if you are a beginner. So let's see how you can do that.
Causes of Sagging Headliners
What causes the headliner to sag? Maybe this the question you are asking yourself? If your car is old, you can expect a sagging headliner as one of the symptoms of old age. Other causes of sagging headliners are dampness, lack of maintenance, and extreme weather conditions, especially extreme heat. Therefore, if your car headliner is sagging, you can identify the cause of the problem.
Fixing Sagging Headliner Without Removing It
Who doesn't want a hassle-free way of solving a problem? Even in the case of sagging headliners, you will want an easy solution. Removing the headliner and fixing it again is a process that would consume many hours, and you may not have enough time to do it. Moreover, it is expensive to buy headliners and supporting boards.
The total cost of purchasing new supporting boards and headliners can buy you another car, and therefore, it is not practical to replace them. Luckily, there is a way you can fix the headliners without removing them, and this guide will show you how. It is cost-effective and will ensure your car lasts longer if you avoid things that destroy the headliner like parking the car in the hot sun and failing to maintain it.
Preparing Your Car for Repair
Before you do any repairs on your car, you need to get it ready. To repair the headliner, you need to take off the driver seat to access the headliner easily. After that, get your hands on the battery terminal and disconnect it. It is unnecessary to take off the seat, but it could be a barrier that will make you use a lot of energy when repairing the headliner.
Trim removal is the second step. While removing the trim, take off all accessories that may be fitted in the headliner and ceiling area. Make sure you take off the upper seat belt loops. Also, to access the building edge of the headliner, take off some of the interior trim panels.
The third step involves taking off old glue from the board so that when sticking the headliner with new glue, it can attach firmly (this is in case you are going to use the first method of fixing a saggy headliner discussed below.) Removing the old glue will also help you know how damaged the frame maybe. In case the frame is damaged, use aluminum tape to fix it. The next thing is to apply new glue on it.
Before you go ahead and try other methods of fixing the headliner, apply glue. Originally, it is the glue that fastens the headliner to its position, and this wears out over time due to the reasons discussed above. So, try to see if applying more glue will fix the problem. This technique is applicable in case the headliner is partially sagging. To fix the issue quickly, apply hot glue or super glue where the headliner's fabric is detached.
In case the problem is not solved, you can look for a particular adhesive applied to headliners to fasten them to the supporting board. The adhesive should be readily available in your local auto shop. You can also buy one online. Therefore, it should not be a challenge getting one. For best results, you have to spread the glue evenly.
Do you want to fix the problem quickly, the second-best way of doing so is by using pins? It is easy to push pins through the headliner to stick it to the support board. Moreover, it is easy to get pins since they are not expensive. Besides, applying pins won't take much of your time. Get a set of pins and go on to solve the problem. Hold the pins and push them through the sagging headliner to the support board. If you want to make the result more attractive, create designs using the pins. You do not have to be experienced in applying this method in fixing a sagging headliner. Even if you are a beginner, you can do it. In reality, using pins is the easiest method.
Applying Twist Pins
Have you ever seen a kind of pins that is spiral from the head but has a sharp end? If so, these types of pins are ideal in solving sagging headliner problems. You can get them from a local store or check whether the auto shop near you stocks them.
To get the headliner back to its position using twist pins, you need to twist them. Of all methods discussed in this guide, this method is the most inexpensive. Creating your preferred pattern using these pins is also possible.
One benefit of using twist pins is that, unlike other pins, they do not hurt the support board, which ensures it lasts longer. Other pins create holes in the support board. Over time, these holes can disintegrate, causing more problems, including the need for replacement. This is the reason twisted pins are ideal than normal pins or glue.
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Using Steam Cleaner
Glue is normally sticky, and this is the reason it is used to hold the headliner to the support board. Sagging occurs when the stickiness reduces. With a steam cleaner, you can restore the stickiness. As you pass the steam cleaner over the glue, its stickiness melts, and this makes it give a firm attachment of the headliner to the support board.
Once the glue stickiness has melted and you have attached the headliner to the backboard, you need to apply some even force to the headliner to attach it firmly. To do that, you can use either a ruler or a paint roller. Doing so ensures there are no air bubbles trapped between the frame and the headliner, making it sag after a few weeks. In case the sag is along the edges, this is easy to fix.
Applying a Tape
Double-sided tape can be used to reattach a sagging headliner firmly. In most homes, tape can't miss because we know how many things it can help fix. Its high potency makes it an easy way of getting things in order.
But in the case of the sagging headliner, you need a special tape that is double-sided so that it can stick to the frame of the roof and the headliner fabric. In case the headliner edges are severely damaged, this is the best method.
With a staple gun, you can drive the staples deep inside the headliner to the frame. The gun makes sure the staples are firmly attached and cannot come off easily. Once the staples are in perfect position, you can spray the stapled spots with hairspray to provide stickiness by melting the adhesive. Leave the sprayed area to dry then take off the staples.
You should always check the headliner thoroughly before choosing what method you will use to fix a sagging headliner. The reason is that the right method will be determined by the level of sagging.
But note that all the methods discussed above are easy fixes to sagging headliner and can fail anytime soon. Therefore, after using any of these methods, you should start preparing for a permanent solution. Ensure you maintain your headliner because even when a time to buy a new car comes, you can remove and sell it before ditching the old car.
Should you want to go the professional way by having the headliner replaced, consulting a specialist is important. The procedure mentioned above is only for those who want to solve the problem by themselves. But car maintenance can save you a lot of troubles, including sagging headliners. Therefore, make sure you take the car for servicing regularly.