How to Replace a Car Roof Lining?

A roof lining is a covering provided on the inner side of the ceiling of a car. The roof liner also known as headliner is exposed to dust and moisture, due to which it get stained over time. It is important to clean the roof lining regularly as you clean the other interior of your car.

Roof lining if not cleaned regularly, gets stained and dirty to the extent that it needs replacement. It is best to get it replaced by a professional. However, with a bit of knowledge and skills, you can replace the roof lining of your car at home. This post explains the steps on how to replace a car roof lining.

Removing the old Roof Lining


Take off all the trim surrounding the roof lining that holds it, and remove all the covers, lights, visors and hangers from the lining. In some cars, you might need to remove the A, B, and C pillar panels. Check if there are any clips, holding the roof liner in place and remove them.

Then remove the fabric from the roof lining board. Most of the times it comes off without much effort. Also, scrape off the remaining foam with a brush or light duty sandpaper. Be gentle while scraping, or it will damage the finish of the ceiling.

Laying the new roof lining


Once you are done with the scraping of the remains, you need to install the new fabric. Open the packing of new roof lining and remove it from the packet. Spread it out on a roof liner board and remove any folds or wrinkles with your hand. Fold the half of the liner onto itself and leave half of the roof liner board.

Working on both the halves of the headliner separately, make the installation much easier as compared to handling the entire lining together.

Applying the adhesive

Apply the adhesive on the underside of the roof liner fabric and also on the exposed part of the board. You need to use a strong glue as a weak adhesive can melt easily by the heat of the ceiling. If possible use a spray adhesive or a brush for uniform application. Then stretch the fabric on the roof liner board and press it firmly with a cardboard or your hand.

Apply adhesive on the other half


Now peel the unattached half of the fabric and apply the glue on it and the board. Make sure you apply the adhesive uniformly so that it spreads over every inch of the board and the lining. Stretch the fabric over the board and press firmly to make it stick on the board.

Preparing the roof liner for installation

Fold one inch of the front and rear edges of the lining and paste them on the back of the board with an adhesive. Cut the edges on the sides and flush them with the board. Also, cut holes for the cabin lights, sun visors and other accessories you removed from the ceiling.

Installing the roof lining in the car


You need to reverse the removal steps for installing the roof lining in the car. Starting with one edge on the side trim panels, raise the liner to the positions over the other side panels. Tuck the access lining under the board for clean edges. Fix the lining with the clips if given in your car.

Installing the Roof accessories

Reinstall the seat belts, cabin lights, sun visors, and other accessories that you removed while uninstalling the roof lining. Also, brush the lining fabric to remove the fingerprints and other marks. Make sure you use the right screws and bolts while installing the accessories. Don’t swap the screws between the accessories as it may result in poor fixation.

Cleaning the roof lining

It is essential to clean the roof lining regularly to avoid it getting stained. You can use a microfiber cloth or soft brush to clean the fabric. The type of cleaning you need depends on the kind and toughness of stains and dirt on the fabric.  If the stains are tough, you should use a car fabric cleaner for cleaning. You might need to repeat the cleaning process for tough stains and marks.

Final Words

The points mentioned in this post are the steps for replacing the headliner of a car. You can use these steps to reinstall the roof lining of your vehicle. If you think that you cannot install the new roof lining, you should contact a mobile car roof lining professional.

Getting the installation done by a professional will ensure that the re-installation will be done correctly. Moreover, you can hire a car expert whose work is covered by insurance that protects your car from any damages that could happen in the process of re-installation the headlining.

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