How do you repair a torn roof interior in a car?

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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 his 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 stick.

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.

Here is a link that may be helpful:
http://www.automedia.com/Headliner_Replacement/res20000717hu/1

Personally, I'd take it to someone who knows what they are doing and avoid the frustration, unless I was looking for a quick fix.
5 people found this useful

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