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By Glen Morris, published Mar 22, 2007:

Eventually as your car
ages you began to notice that the headliner of your car’s interior is
becoming loose and unglued. It seems that it happens around eight to 10
years after you’ve had your car. First, it starts out as a minor bubble
of material hanging from your car’s roof. As you’re driving along you
may notice it in your rearview mirror. Maybe it blocks your vision for
the first time, and that is your first tip off that you have a headliner
problem. Let’s take a look at some possible solutions to this
pain in the neck problem.

Some folks try all kinds of crazy, temporary solutions to their saggy
headliner problems. Thumbtacks have been used to stick the headliner to
the roof. What eventually happens is the thumbtack comes out and you get
a very painful surprise, one day, as you sit down in your car. Shall we
say that the thumbtack solution doesn’t
work for very long? It doesn’t and let’s move on.

Another solution is to use T shaped pins that are used by hobbyists,
embroiderer’s, for macram�, etc. These T-shaped pins have about an
inch of surface area. For a while, pushing these pins into the headliner
to hold this sagging material works. But it is ugly, and eventually the
headliner sags in other places.

You can also try some spray adhesive to fix a sagging headliner. Maybe
this will solve the problem. Then again, it may not last more than a day
or so. Try it and it may
work for you. I wouldn’t pin my hopes on using spray adhesive on my headliner for very long.

The problem is that the foam that is glued to the fabric. It becomes
crumbly and disintegrates into messy little bits that get into your
hair and all over your car’s interior. Trying to spray glue, while the headliner is still up there, won’t work
for long. The foam will keep crumbling and glue won’t stick to it. It’s
sort of like trying to glue some cloth to the ground. No way will it
There is a temporary fix on the do-it-yourself aisles in the
automotive weekend warrior stores. It is a product that has a little curly cue, and a clear plastic head. The product is called a “Saggy Stopper”. The clear head blends in with your headliner’s color. It looks promising for a temporary fix.

The only thing that really will
work is to replace the old headliner with a new one. This entails either spending some money with a professional installer or doing it yourself. There are kits that you can buy for about $30-$40 that have the foam backed cloth and the adhesive. Do-it-yourself auto parts stores carry this stuff. You can also buy foam backed cloth in fabric stores and save some money. It comes by the yard with the foam already attached.

Doing it yourself is going to be time consuming. You are going to have
to unscrew the trim that holds the headliner. It’s going to take some
time and patience to get a headliner out of your car. You will have to
remove all the crumbly foam from the headliner board with a stiff brush.
You need a solid,
clean surface to re-glue your new material to.

One fellow that has done this time consuming task recommends using a
product called Sobo. Sobo is a fabric glue that craft people use for their projects. It is sort of like the white glue that kids use. You apply this to the headliner backer board, and weight down the fabric until it dries. Others have suggested using a cheap bristle brush to brush on liquid adhesive. The key is to have a clean surface for the new foam backed cloth to adhere to. After the cloth is applied, you reinstall the headliner board into your car.

Temporary fixes are simply not going to work. You have to take the
headliner board out of your car. Then you have to brush off all the
crumbly foam bits so that you have a firm surface to glue your
new fabric to. If this seems too daunting a task then have a professional do the work.


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