Dealing with broken or worn-out car parts is a struggle every car owner is familiar with, so it’s no surprise that most people want to fix things themselves — but should they?
While there are some straightforward tasks that are easier to do at home, there are times when a DIY fix is not such a good idea. And tapping into our expertise of mobile roof lining repairs, your headliner is one of those problems that are best left to the professionals — both in the interests of your car’s visual appeal, as well as road safety.
How To Know When Your Headliner Needs To Be Repaired
Just like any other fabric, your car’s headliner will eventually wear down after a few years.
Over time, the glue starts to come off and causes the fabric to separate from its backing board, resulting in the most common problem — a sagging headliner.
The key to keeping your headliner in tip-top shape is to have it repaired at the earliest possible opportunity. Here are some of the tell-tale signs to look out for:
A drooping ceiling or early marks of sagging
Small rips and tears, especially in the center portion of the fabric
Outside noise gets louder — this is especially true when it comes to a convertible cover
What Causes Your Headliner To Sag
The most common reason a headliner wears down is the heat.
Constant sun exposure tends to melt that glue that keeps the fabric liner in place. Water damage during rainy season is another common problem, especially when some cars are not completely sealed off from water — thereby causing the liquid to get into the foam and break down the glue.
If you have kids or pets, your car’s headliner is also prone to sagging when they pull or scratch on the headliner — causing the glue to loosen and speed up the aging process
Why Headliner Repair Should Be Left To A Professional
1. Headliners Are Complicated Car Parts
Your car’s headliner is deceptively complicated.
While it may look like just a simple fabric covering, the entire lining is actually supported by a combination of boards, bows, and brackets. The bare metal ceiling also provides the area for various wiring, hardware for electrical components and other car accessories — parts that require extensive professional knowledge.
2. Headliners Should Have A Snug Fit
Repairing a headliner is more than just gluing and trimming.
The key to efficiently repair a headliner is to ensure that there is a snug, tight fit to the finished installation. All areas must be absolutely pristine and flat to avoid adhesive failure from wear and tear, as well as unsightly lumps and bumps.
So even if you do manage to patch up the fabric, getting the material to sit flat along the surface is something that can only be done by a professional who has mastered the skill after years of practice.
3. Headliner Repair Requires Special Tools
Headliner repair is not like other DIY jobs that you can fix using tools lying around the house.
It involves a variety of complicated materials for proper repair, such as a specialised brush to scrape the remaining foam from the board, trim-removal tools for overlapping fabric, and a spray adhesive that specifically caters to high temperature found in closed vehicles. After all, safely removing the canvas requires not just patience, but the right set of tools.
A professional experienced in headliner repair will not only have a complete set of tools, but the required knowledge and skill to use them effectively.
4. A DIY Job Could Invalidate Your Warranty Or Insurance.
Some car manufacturers and even insurance providers might be unhappy if you carry out car repairs or modifications by yourself instead of having it done by a professional — using it as an excuse to invalidate your warranty. Most professional repair shops offer a warranty on their work. If anything goes wrong with the headliner, a professional will fix it under warranty, ensuring cost savings in the long run.
5. Road and Personal Safety
More than just an eyesore, a sagging headliner can be a safety hazard if it obscures your vision.
For tall drivers, a saggy headliner rubs the top of your head while driving, making it extremely uncomfortable. And because your headliner provides enough insulation to block out external sound, an ill-fitted headliner will not keep traffic noise at bay — which can be distracting.
Doing a DIY fix is not only a risk to your car’s interior, but also to you and your passengers. Headliners are usually located above the driver and passenger’s head and attached to the roof of the car. An improperly installed headliner could cause a safety hazard in case of an accident if it were to come loose.
6. Headliner Repair Is A Difficult Task
What may seem like a simple fix for your could potentially end in a complete replacement if the headliner is not attached or trimmed correctly.
Professionals possess the necessary skills and experience to perfect the repair of sagging roof liners. They know about the right products and how to use them efficiently — avoiding any mishaps that DIY jobs tend to cause.
Car headliners come in different shapes and sizes, and not all headliners are suitable for all cars. Professionals have the knowledge and experience to choose the right headliner material and size for your car. They will also be able to match the texture and color of the new headliner to the original.
Replacing a car headliner may involve disassembling different parts of the car, including the door panels, sun visors, and other components. Doing this requires some level of experience and craftsmanship to avoid causing any damages or breaking other parts during the process.
Did you know that driving with a headliner that is sagging is not just unpleasing to the eye, but extremely dangerous as it can hinder your vision. Installing a new premium roof liner will help soundproof your car better and regulate temperature in your car, by retaining the heat/coolness.
In summary, replacing the car headliner should be performed by a professional who has the required experience, expertise, and tools to ensure that the job is done right the first time safely. While performing headliner replacement on your own might seem like a cost saver, it can ultimately lead to more expensive repairs. Let the professionals handle it, and you will have peace of mind knowing that the outcome will be long-lasting and of high quality.
Have Yours Professionally Fixed, Now
Schmicko is a mobile car roof lining repair specialist in Sydney, servicing all car makes and models ranging from your Holden to Ford, we have you sorted. Tapping into our expertise, we offer a reliable and professional service that you can trust and find reliable. In fact, we have been as LBA Finalists for 3 years in a row from 2020 to 2023 with over 500 5-star Reviews. Your car, is in safe hands when it is with Schmicko.
Car Care Advice For The Everyday Driver & Enthusiast
As a seasoned author on our team, Chester also known as ‘Gadget’, for his love for all things mechanical, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, particularly when it comes to automotive topics.