Car Roof Liner Repair Cost

Updated October, 2020
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Your car roof liner, or headliner, can be replaced for approximately $150-$450. However, the cost varies and is determined by your vehicle's size, labor costs, and materials needed to complete the job. If you're looking for a quick fix, there are a few DIY methods you can try for a temporary solution.

What is a car roof liner?

A car roof liner, or headliner, is a composite material that lines the vehicle's roof. It's made of different types of foam and fabric and adhered using polyurethane. Headliners are used in cars for aesthetics, sound reduction, and safety.

What can cause a car headliner to fall apart and sag?

A car headliner can begin to fall apart or sag for a few different reasons, such as:

  • Age. Yearly wear and tear can manifest inside or outside the car. An older car is at an increased risk of developing interior imperfections, such as headliner sagging.
  • Glue. Over time, the adhesive or polyurethane begins to break down naturally, resulting in a sagging headliner.
  • Weather. Especially if you live in a humid environment and leave your windows down, the excess moisture can wear away at your headliner's adhesive. Additionally, heat can cause the material to expand, leading to drooping and hanging.

DIY repair methods without removing your headliner

If your headliner needs to be repaired, chances are you'll have to get it fully replaced. However, you can utilize a few DIY methods for temporary fixes as you wait to get your liner replaced.

Method 1: Using double-sided tape

Double-sided tape is one of the easiest ways to temporarily fix this problem and is especially helpful if there's severe damage/sagging near your roof's edges. Here's how you do it. Note: This guide assumes major damage with multiple sagging sides and middle. If your damage is mild, simply affix the tape to your headliner's interior, where the damage is prevalent.

  1. Find a good double-sided tape.
  1. Being careful not to tear your headliner or cause more damage, begin by lining one of the damaged edges with tape. (Starting on the border helps prevent unevenness.)
  1. If there's damage near the middle, evenly disperse tape in the area.
  1. Affix the tape to the remaining sagging edges.

Method 2: Gluing it back on

It's best to use a spray applicator to ensure even dispersion of the glue. However, some people prefer to use hot glue. (But the heat from hot glue can often make the damage worse for thinner or cloth headliners.) It's also worth mentioning that this is the best option for minor headliner damage, particularly around the edges.

  1. You'll want to remove your headlining panel completely from the car.
  1. Remove the fabric and scrape off the glue (this makes sure it adheres evenly).
  1. Use your glue to adhere your headlining panel back into place.

Method 3: Pin it

This is the quickest fix. All you need to do is:

  1. Buy a box of thumbtacks.
  1. Press an even amount into your headliner where the sagging is present.

How much does it cost to replace the headliner instead?

It can cost anywhere between $150-$450 to replace your car headliner. Of course, the price varies depending on several factors. Some of these include:

  • Labor costs. This depends on where you go. For example, it might be less expensive to get your car fixed at a mechanic specializing in your model rather than your local body shop since they're more likely to have the materials you need.
  • Material and accessibility. If your car has specialty material used in the headliner, it might be more expensive and take longer to finish the job.
  • Size. Reupholstering a mini-van will generally be more expensive than replacing the headliner in a smaller car.

Additionally, the job can take anywhere from a few hours to one business day. (Each step takes a few hours to complete.) You may be required to leave your car overnight, but it shouldn't take too much longer than that.

Does insurance cover interior damage?

Generally, insurance doesn't cover regular wear and tear. If your headliner was damaged during an accident, your collision insurance should cover the cost of repair or replacement if you were the at-fault driver. If you're not the at-fault driver, their liability insurance should cover your interior damage repair cost. Still, if it's being covered by your collision insurance, you should consider paying out-of-pocket if your deductible is higher than the repair cost.

When the time comes, can I rely on my insurance?

When it comes to car insurance, there are several factors to consider beyond monthly cost. A policy that covers you when you need it, has a low deductible, and offers several discounts can be hard to find - which is why we've done the work for you.

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