How To Fix Sagging Headliner? The Most Efficient Methods

Learning how to fix sagging headliner is important information to know, especially for new car owners. If your car’s headliner is so low that it is scratching the top of your head or obscuring your view, you can put it back into its place.

Fix a Sagging Headliner

Our automotive team will give you practical and easy quick fixes and you’ll be back on the road in no time. This article will thoroughly explain each step and provide the necessary tools for this job, so keep on reading!

What Are the 5 Quick Methods To Fix a Sagging Headliner?

The 5 quick methods to fix a sagging car headliner include gluing, using a steam cleaner and paint roller, attaching it to the frame of the ceiling, using double-sided tape, and pinning the headliner. If all else fails, then resort to professional help.

Having a sagging headliner is frustrating, and it can also cost you money to repair. The repair cost is between $100 and $250 including materials and labor. You can avoid these costs by purchasing a headliner repair kit to fix it yourself. The kit involves a headliner repair syringe and other tools to make the work easier.
Here are some more methods to try before going to a professional.

  • The Headliner Glue Method

The first method describes how to fix headliner with adhesive spray. This method is the most effective when the headliner has only just begun to sag. Car headliners usually sag around the edges where it meets the car roof lining and the phenomenon is caused by exposure to the sun. Once you notice that the edges of the headliner have begun to fall off, spray adhesive on it and attach it to the roof.

Don’t use ordinary glue because it is not strong enough to keep the headliner in place. Moreover, ordinary glue can easily melt after being exposed to the sun and hotter temperatures. Headliner glue, on the other hand, is specially made to withstand moderate heat both from the sun and within the vehicle. The headliner can also withstand dampness and colder temperatures compared to ordinary glue.

In applying the glue to the edges of the headliner, make sure it is evenly and smoothly spread. First, apply the glue to the layer of the headliner and allow it to dry for about 5 minutes before spreading it on edge of the screen. Allow that one too to dry for about 5 minutes and press both edges against each other for a few minutes. While doing that, remember to get rid of all wrinkles and bubbles of air or they might initiate another sagging episode a few months down the line.

  • The Steam Cleaner and Paint Roller Combination

This headliner repair method is less effective but can get you going for a few more days before you can get a professional to help. It involves melting the glue around the edges of the headliner with a steam cleaner where the headliner is sagging. With the glue now liquefied, attach the headliner back to the same edges around where it fell off and use the paint roller to reinforce the glue. The liquefied glue should be able to help the headliner stick to the edges of the car roof lining.

Paint Roller Combination

Make sure you get rid of all creases and bubbles by pressing the paint roller firmly along the edges. The reason this method is less effective is that rejuvenated glue is not as strong as it used to be when it was fresh. Also note that if you decide to go with this method, you can’t apply new glue when the old one finally wears off. This actually means that you’ll have to replace the entire headliner when you decide to use new glue.
You can just use this method as a stop-gap measure as you wait to purchase a new headliner.

  • The Pinning Method

The pinning method is much more permanent and fixes all levels of sagging. Just like the methods on this list, the pinning method costs less money and uses less time. The idea is simple: pin as many edges of the headliner but be sure to not overcrowd a particular edge.

Though you can use any pin for this, the best is the clear-headed twist pins due to their transparent head, which will maintain the appearance of the headliner.

  • The Double-Sided Tape Method

This headliner repair process involves creating a tape that is sticky on both sides by gluing the non-sticky side of the tape and folding the edges. This is efficient when the headliner is sagging at the edges or near the rearview mirror.

Double Sided Tape Method on Car

Make sure you create a couple of these tapes so that you’ll have enough to cover the places where the headliner is sagging. This method can be tricky, thus you can enlist the help of a professional to help you out.

  • The Thumbtack Method

The final method in our list involves using thumbtacks to hold the sagging area of the headliner in place. This may be a bit difficult if the ceiling is made of a harder material, but don’t use a hammer as it’ll cause the heads of the thumbtacks to fall off. Just use your thumbs and you’ll be fine. It is by far the cheapest and the fastest method and can last longer than some of the methods listed in this article.

How Can You Keep Your Headliner From Sagging?

To keep your headliner from sagging car roof lining, conduct regular maintenance and keep it from harsh temperatures. However, take note that over-applying these methods could also shorten the lifespan of the headliner. If your headliner is quite old, then consider replacing it instead.

  • Try the Spot Cleaning Technique

Focus on dirty spots and gently clean them one at a time with a rag and fabric cleaner. Start from the bigger spots and gradually move to the smaller ones. Don’t exert too much force, which may damage the headliner. Also, avoid using an abrasive cleaner which might damage the headliner. If this method fails, then try the next method.

  • Try the Surface Cleaning Method

Some dirt may cover large areas or be joined together in a way that spot cleaning would be impossible. When faced with such a situation, the best method to employ is surface cleaning.

Try the Surface Cleaning Method

This involves pouring the cleaner over a larger surface and wiping off the dirt with a rag.

  • Do Deep Cleaning

If this method also fails to get rid of the dirt, then you’ll need to do a deep cleaning to save your headliner from sagging. This is usually done at the car wash with a steam cleaner in such a way as to preserve the integrity of the headliner.

  • Park Your Car in a Shade or Use a Car Cover

Though the glue that sticks the headliner to the car’s ceiling gets weak over time, hotter temperatures tend to hasten the process. Therefore, we advise that you avoid parking the car in the sun as much as you can, especially if you’ll leave it there for a longer period.

Also, covering the car will go a long way to protect the headliner from sagging. Remember to fix your car’s air conditioning system to keep the temperature in the car down.

Can an Sagging Headliner Impact the Deployment of Airbags?

A sagging headliner does not directly impact the deployment of airbags in a vehicle. Airbags are deployed based on impact sensors and collision severity, unaffected by the headliner’s condition. However, a simplified process for fixing deployed airbags can help ensure their proper functioning and safety in case of an accident.


If you’re facing a sagging headliner, you now know how to fix it and maintain the beauty of your car’s interior in five quick methods.

Here are highlights of all that we’ve covered in this article:

  • The first method involves using a specialized adhesive known as headliner glue by spraying it on the surface of the car’s inner layer and sagging layer and sticking them together.
  • Also, you can opt to use the steam cleaner and the paint roller combo where you use the steam cleaner and paint roller to fix the sagging headliner.
  • Another option is by using thumbtacks to hold the headliner in place; you can try the pinning method too.
  • The last method involves creating a tape that is sticky on both sides and taping it at the place where the headliner is sagging.
  • You can also maintain the headliner by cleaning it, but don’t use abrasive products as they could damage it instead.

Also, protect your car’s headliner from hotter temperatures to prolong the lifespan of the glue that sticks the headliner to the frame. Over-applying these hacks can damage the headliner, so use them moderately.

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