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Have you ever had a car's 'headliner' replaced?

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sad12008 posted 4/4/2014 11:15 AM

I feel like our family-mover (used for trips and times we need cargo space) has turned into the hoopty-van. It's about 10 years old but we're in the land of ripping heat and blazing sun and it's been parked outside a lot.

In the last few months the headliner has started coming down around the edges (windshield, rear windows). The foam backing of the fabric is completely disintegrated (it's 'snowing' particles down on a regular basis); I'm pretty handy but trying to fix the existing headliner looks to be a losing proposition. We're talking edges hanging down about 4".

The vehicle itself is in pretty decent shape and has moderate mileage on the odometer for its age. Someday I'd like to get rid of it and get something slightly smaller, like a Rav4, but with a kid to transport to & from college for the next 4 years, keeping it makes more sense for now. (Plus it has a trailer hitch and a strong engine.)

The drooping headliner makes me feel bad. I can say it's also a potential safety issue as it affects visibility out the windshield (it does); however, though I don't have any problem with driving an older car, I don't like the older car to LOOK old. Color me shallow.

I tried looking up the topic online and got kind of a mixed bag of information. I'm turning to the trusty S.I. knowledge bank to see if anyone's either done this replacement job themselves (DIY) or had it done professionally. If so, please...tell all! i.e., how hard was it to do, how much did it cost, were you pleased with the results, etc.)

Thanks in advance!

[This message edited by sad12008 at 11:16 AM, April 4th (Friday)]

Rebreather posted 4/4/2014 11:29 AM

Well, we had the headliner in our Camaro replaced as part of the restoration. It was $400. My very handy, very mechanical spouse opts out of upholstery work. It's very specific. If one isn't inclined toward perfection *cough cough* you can buy kits online to DIY. But it sure looked like a bitch to me.

Pentup posted 4/4/2014 12:18 PM

Many many years ago, my husband had this professionally done for a car. Remember thinking it was expensive at the time, but it looked great. If you are keeping the vehicle, I would have it done.

nowiknow23 posted 4/4/2014 12:23 PM

A hundred years ago, I "fixed" the headliner on my first car (a cherry red '76 Firebird) using a can of spray adhesive, a couple of broom handles, two roommates, and a case of cheap beer. Results were... mixed.

I'd pay to have it done by someone who isn't riding a beer and fume buzz.

64fleet posted 4/4/2014 13:39 PM

Kinda a tricky job-a big ass piece of cardboard must come out of the car-sometimes folded up to do so...all trim must be removed from the side panels(or at least one side in a van, got more room than sedans),the visors, etc etc-board must be scraped of all foam residue(putty knife/wire brush etc) and new foam-backed cloth adhered by 3M spray headliner glue #08090 (abt $30/can)use very light coats to both board and cloth, must be stretched very very lightly to keep out wrinkles.

Cheaper/easier to grab a razor blade and hack out the cloth and just never look up there....

tushnurse posted 4/4/2014 14:36 PM

Replaced? No fixed it so it was super freaking awesome? Yes.

My super bitching 1976 lemon Yellow Dodge Aspen got a make over. I went to the dollar store, and picked up two packages of multicolor thumb tacks and went to work. I had them evenly spaced over the whole ceiling, and the colors were all mixed up. It was soooo cool. LOL. Ok so maybe it wasn't but hey it kept it off my head.

I also had wooden and silicone wheel wells in my trunk, as it had severe cancer of the rear fenders. Without it anything in the trunk got soaked driving in rain or snow.

I know you all are jealous of my super sweet ride.

his#1 posted 4/4/2014 19:44 PM

They make these screw things to fix sagging headliners. Go to your nearest auto parts store and ask for the things to fix the headliner and they will point you in the right direction. They even have them on Amazon:

cinnamongurl posted 4/4/2014 22:18 PM

^^this, what his said, my old 1990 Chevy lumina van ha a saggy headliner. We fixed it with those little screwtacks in 2004. Worked for the next few years, and when we retired the old girl in 2007, they were still in place.

heforgotme posted 4/5/2014 07:18 AM

We had it done professionally. It wasn't horribly expensive and it looked good as new.

I will tell you that the guy said he was really grateful that we hadn't tried to anything to it ourselves. He said it makes it harder to fix, and thus more expensive....

wifehad5 posted 4/5/2014 16:23 PM

Check at a dealership. Sometimes on newer vehicles let that you can buy the headliner assembly fairly reasonably

sad12008 posted 4/6/2014 10:10 AM

Thanks for all the good tips & suggestions! I think I will see what I get quoted for professional headliner replacement locally first; if that winds up being too rich for my blood I'll definitely try out those tack things... I would've never have known such a thing existed!

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