How To Fix Car Roof Lining Without Removing

Repairing the sagging roof of my car

The headliner is any vehicle that determines the experience that you get from the interior of the vehicle.

A well-maintained headliner works to provide the occupants of the vehicle with a comfortable feeling whenever they are in that particular vehicle’s confines. That is the major reason why it should be well maintained.

The headliner works to cushion those in the vehicle from the interruption of noise and the hot or cold temperatures outside.

However, at times it begins to sag and may not be able to accomplish its role in the vehicle.

Getting a replacement headliner is costly, and that is why you might just have to fix it yourself-without even removing it.

You can achieve this through either of the following steps:

  1. Using Glue To Straighten The Headliner
  2. Using Pins To Hold The Headliner In Position
  3. Making Use Of The Clear-Headed Twist Pin
  4. With The Aid Of A Steam Cleaner And A Paint Roller

The headliner of any vehicle is bound to be worn out and may even end up sagging. This is because of the environment that it is exposed to and also because it is an old vehicle.

Similarly, if it is not well maintained or recently been on a trip to a sunny environment, you will notice the headliner’s sagging in your vehicle.

What Is A Car Roof Lining?

Car roof lining also referred to as the headliner, is a fabric material in the interior of vehicles and is located on the roof.

It is simply what you touch when you touch the upper part of the automobile you are in.

The car roof lining works provide the vehicle with a sense of smooth texture that completes the vehicle interior’s aesthetics.

Similarly, it cushions the passengers from noise from the outside while at the same time buffers the interior temperature against extreme cold and hot temperatures.

4 Things That Cause Sagging Of The Headliner

Sagging of the headliner in any automobile is sort of unavoidable, and you might have to deal with it at one point.

  1. The headliner sags when the glue holding it in position wears out and is not sticky enough to hold the headliner anymore.
  2. Secondly, the vehicle’s poor maintenance increases the chances of the headliner sagging and not being as evenly spread on the roof of the vehicle as it should be.
  3. Other factors that affect the headliner and lead to its sagging include extreme heat, humidity, and other harsh weather conditions that the vehicle might be exposed to.
  4. If the automobile has been used for a fairly long time, the headliner will also be damaged.

What Tools Can I Use To Fix A Headliner?

As indicated above, fixing the vehicle’s headliner is something that you can get done by yourself.

You will just need to set aside enough time and get to work on the headliner while the car is parked in your garage.

The best results will also be achieved if you use the appropriate tools, which include:

  • A glue gun
  • Steam cleaner
  • Special pins
  • Staple pins
  • Hand tools

4 Things To Keep In Mind Before Repairing A Car Headliner

Even though correcting the headliner in your vehicle is not a complicated task, you will have to know a few facts to complete the task.

Knowing the following will make your experience less complicated and will help prevent secondary damage to the area you are working on:

  1. The surface of the backboard needs to be well cleaned before application of any glue or adhesive. Dust particles need to be gotten rid of as they reduce the effectiveness of the glue applied.
  2. Don’t use many pins as they tend to leave holes all over the headlines which make it look less appealing.
  3. Take care when removing the pins so that they don’t tear the fabric of the headliner.
  4. The glue or adhesive used should be spread evenly and not be left to accumulate in one area. This will help so that the headliner is evenly placed.

How To Repair Sagging Headliner Without Removing It

The headliner of any vehicle needs to be in perfect condition for you to be comfortable in the vehicle.

However, with time it tends to sag, and this can be corrected using either of the following procedures-which are inexpensive and the best option to go for instead of replacing it, which is costly.

1. Using Glue To Straighten The Headliner

The glue should be the first idea that strikes your mind when dealing with a sagging headliner.

The glue is reinforcing the glue used before to stick the headliner to the vehicle’s frame by the manufacturers.

Super glue is the best to use, and if it wears out, you will have to apply fresh glue for effective results.

You will just need to apply the glue evenly on either surface for the best long-lasting results.

2. Using Pins To Hold The Headliner In Position

Apart from glue, you can get a couple of pins, and they will also do the trick.

Like glue, pins are inexpensive and easy to come across, and you won’t need many of them either way.

The pins can be put against the headliner to hold it back to the backboard held on the vehicle’s frame.

When using pins, you just have to make sure that you place them neatly and not in a disorganized manner as the whole setup might look ugly and less appealing.

3. Making Use Of The Clear-Headed Twist Pin

Twist pins will also get the work done just like the ordinary pins or the glue, as indicated above.

They are most preferred than ordinary pins because they are not at risk of damaging the vehicle’s backboard in any way.

They are also easy to use and don’t require expertise or experience to complete the task.

4. With The Aid Of A Steam Cleaner And A Paint Roller

A steam cleaner works to revive the original glue’s power and effectiveness that was used to stick the headliner in position.

It does this by melting the glue and making it fresh hence able to hold the headliner appropriately.

After the steam cleaner has melted the glue, a paint roller can be used to brush on the headliner’s surface so that it sticks to its wanted position.

The paint roller ensures that the headliner is evenly spread, and there are no wrinkles on its surface.

It also prevents the occurrence of gaps between the headliner and the surface onto which it sticks.

In many cases, the headliner begins to sag because the glue that holds it in position starts to wear out and becomes less effective.

Therefore, you want to get a substitute for the glue that will hold the headliner in a position effectively. Either of the above inexpensive methods will do the trick!

Similarly, either of the above can be done by just you as you don’t need to be an expert either to you need detailed instructions to get them done effectively.

DIY Headliner Repair: 2 Other Methods

There are a couple of other methods that you can use if either of the above mentioned doesn’t work for you.

Method1: Using Double-Side Tape

Double-sided tape is one of the most effective ways of getting the headliner back to its original position.

You will have to use the double-sided tape on the headliner’s strategic points and the backboard that will ensure that all the other areas are evenly positioned.

You will then have to use a little pressure so that the glue on the tape gets the work done.

Method2: Using Staples And Hair Spray

The first step here is stapling the headliner onto the backboard and then getting the hair spray.

A special stapler gun will be needed for effective results. Spray the headliner and let it dry before removing the staple pins carefully to avoid tear on the headliner.


As seen above, the headliner of the vehicle you own needs to be well maintained to be in perfect condition most of the time.

This might not always be possible because, with age, the headliner gets affected by harsh conditions and might start to sag.

However, all it takes is a little bit of effort, and the headliner will be in perfect shape again. You will not even have to take it out for you to restore it to excellent condition.


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Written by Kane Dan

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