How to Fix a Sagging Headliner

Sagging headliner is one common problem faced by owners of old cars. Over the years, the headliner loses its grip from the roof of the vehicle’s interior cabin and slowly drops down.

If a headliner sags in the front, middle, or rear, the driver’s vision may be impaired, which is a dangerous situation to drive in.

A sagging headliner defeats the purpose of a headliner, which is to act as a ceiling in the vehicle and improve the aesthetic look of the interior cabin.

In this article, we will examine all you need to know about headliners, why they sag, how to fix them, and how to prevent sagging headliners.

We begin!

What Is A Headliner?

Many people do not know what a headliner means in the automobile industry.

For those who do not know, the headliner is just a material installed on the roof of the vehicle’s interior cabin. The headliner acts as a ceiling, which is glued onto the headliner board, which acts as a decorated structural frame for the headliner.

The purpose of a headliner is to improve the aesthetic look of a vehicle’s interior cabin and act as an insulator material from cold and hot weather conditions.

In addition, the headliner acts as a sound dampener, which aims to keep noise out of the vehicle’s interior cabin, improving the interior cabin’s serenity while driving.

It is important to know that headliners do not remain rigid forever as, over time, they begin to sag.

Why Causes Sagging Headliner?

No car owner wants a sagging headliner, but unfortunately, some people still experience it. But why do headliners start to sag?

Here are some of the reasons why headliners start sagging;

The Use of Low-Quality Foam

The foam quality used as an insulating material when manufacturing the headliner is also a major determining factor. Most headliners that sag are produced with low quality; therefore, the foam sandwiched between the headliner board and the headliner starts to pull apart, causing the headliner to sag over time.

Aging Vehicles

As we all know, there is a greater probability of experiencing a sagging headliner in older vehicles than in newer vehicles. The age of a vehicle is a major factor that causes headliners to start sagging.

Also Read: How to Clean a Carburetor Without Removing It (Expert Guide)

Defective Manufacturing Methods

Most vehicles that have sagging headliners were produced long ago when the manufacturing processes for installing headliners were not yet perfected; therefore, there is a lower probability of modern vehicles having sagging headliners because, over time, the manufacturing process of headliners has improved drastically.

Low-Quality Glue

Another cause of vehicle sagging headliners is manufacturers’ use of low-quality glue to install a headliner. Low-quality glue loses its integrity quickly, and the headliner will begin sagging over a few years.

Using low-quality materials will always produce poor results and the quality of the finished product, and one should not be surprised if these products fail suddenly.

Extremely Hot Temperatures

The integrity of materials used to produce headliners usually deteriorates quickly under extremely hot weather conditions. When exposed to extreme heat for a long time, the headliners begin to unglue from the headliner board and begin to sag. You will also notice that states that experience extremely hot weather conditions have more cases of sagging headliners.

How to Fix A Sagging Headliner

There are many ways to fix a sagging headliner, which vary in complexity and quantity of materials used.

However, each method has one thing in common: they all require the necessary knowledge of how vehicle headliners are manufactured and installed.

Headliners are manufactured to have two basic layers. It is visible from the interior cabin and has a nice feel and improved aesthetics. The ozone layer is a form-like material placed against the vehicle’s roof.

Whenever you have issues relating to sagging headliners, here are some quick methods you can use to fix these issues;

You Can Use Thumbtacks

Another quick but temporary fix to sagging headliners is using thumbtacks to see who the sagging headliner is in place. Using thumbtacks is not a reliable way of fixing sagging headliners because they easily pull out; therefore, find a more permanent solution as soon as possible.

Stapler Can Staple The Sagging  Headliner

Using staplers to staple the headliners into place is a cheap, effective, and reliable way of dealing with sagging headliners.

Although it might not look as pretty as using glue, it gets the job done.

Using a Tape

Another creative way of fixing the sagging headliner is using double-sided tapes to reattach the headliners to the ceiling of the interior cabin. This method is easy and can be done by anyone with little or no skill.

With The Use of Glue

Glues are very handy tools for fixing many vehicle issues. They can still be used in fixing headliners. Immediately you notice any sign of sagging on your headline, rushing to your local store and grabbing a headliner glue is always best. Pour appropriate glue between the headliner and the board in sagging areas.

Headliners usually begin again from areas closer to the windshield due to the increased intensity of sunlight in those areas. After applying the glue on the affected areas, wait 5 minutes and press the sagging headliner back into position.

Ensure no air bubbles are trapped between the headliner and the board layers.

Steam Cleaner and Paint Stroller

Sometimes, the headliner will sag due to melted adhesive at its edges, which can be fixed using a steam cleaner and a paint roller.

Use the steam cleaner to remelt at the glue and attach the sagging parts of the headliner back to its frame before using a paint stroller to ensure no air bubbles are trapped.

Fix Headliner With Pins

You can also secure a sagging headliner back into place with pins.

You can apply permanent or temporary pins. It would be best if you pushed the pins into the sagging headliners. For a cleaner finish, it is advisable to use twist pins.

Sagging HeadlinerSagging Headliner

Take The Headliner Off

An easy, budget-friendly, unconventional way of dealing with sagging headliners is to rip the headliner off. Applying this method in fixing headliners will cause your vehicle to look less attractive; however, it saves cost, and you do not need to bother about the inconvenience of a sagging headliner. A short, sharp knife or scalpel can make this procedure easier.

Guidelines For Maintaining Your Headliner

Here are a few tips on how to maintain your headliner;

  • You can perform deep cleaning if this remains after a Spot and surface cleaning. Deep cleaning requires the use of a steam cleaner.
  • Surface Cleaning will require cleaning a larger surface area with cleaning rags and fabric cleaner. It can be referred to as an advanced spot cleaning.
  • Engaging in necessary spot cleaning helps keep the headliner neat and prevents stains on the headliner. Spot cleaning can be done with cleaning rags and fabric cleaners.
  • How to Prevent Damage to Your Headliner

Certain tips will help you avoid damaging your headliner when cleaning;

  • Avoid overheating or soaking the headliner glue during the cleaning process.
  • Do not push the cleaning fabric hard when on the surface of your headliner during the cleaning process.
  • Avoid scrubbing hard or twisting the color on the surface of your headliner.
  • Always use the appropriate quantity of cleaner on the headliner
  • Do not use abrasive products while cleaning your headliner

How To Restore A Sagging Headliner

This section will highlight steps to permanently restore sagging headliners, which you can do on your own;

  • First on a couple with the headliner board from the vehicle
  • Place the panel on a flat white surface and peel off the headliner from the board
  • Clean off every residue on the headliner board with the use of sandpapers
  • Applying glue on the board and installing the new headliner on it
  • Cut off excesses and allow the headliner to wait for a couple of hours
  • Reinstall the headliner board onto the vehicle

How to Avoid Sagging Headliner

  1. Always garage your vehicle.
  2. Never dry clean your headliner using steam cleaners

Also Read: Subaru Eyesight Not Working (Symptoms & Fix)

Frequently Asked Questions – Sagging Headliner

What causes a saggy headliner?

Extreme heat is the main cause of a saggy headliner.

How much does it cost to repair a headliner?

Repairing a headliner can cost anywhere from $50 to $400.

Can you use Gorilla Glue on fabrics?

Gorilla glue is perfect for mending fabrics as it replicates the results of fabric glues.

Conclusion – Sagging Headliner

Sagging headliners are inconveniences that need to be fixed as soon as possible. This inconvenience is majorly caused by extreme heat and the age of the vehicle. However, it can be easily fixed where the article provides solutions. If you cannot carry out the procedures on your own, it is advisable to employ the services of an expert.

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