How To Remove Old Headliner Fabric?

Headliners are one of those parts of your car that you may not want to change for years at a time. However, if you need to remove it, the process is simple.

To remove the old headliner fabric, you need to remove the screws first, pull the headliner, then remove the clips.

Best Headliner Fabric Ideas
Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

Why Do We Need to Remove Headliner Fabric?

A headliner is a fabric panel attached to a vehicle’s ceiling. It is typically made of vinyl and are attached to the roof of your vehicle with screws.

The primary purpose of a headliner is to provide insulation and noise reduction.

There are a few reasons why you might need to remove your car’s headliner fabric. Maybe it’s stained, torn, or just outdated.

In any case, it’s important to know how to do it properly so you don’t damage the vehicle’s interior.

How to Remove Old Headliner Fabric?

Credit: canva

Removing the headliner fabric is a relatively easy process that can be accomplished with just a few basic tools.

Tools Needed


The first thing you’ll need is a screwdriver. We recommend getting a Phillips screwdriver because it is easier to get into tight spaces than a flathead screwdriver.


Next, you’ll need a pair of pliers. These are handy for pulling wires and other small items out of your car.

Utility knife

Lastly, you’ll need a utility knife. A utility knife is great for cutting through vinyl and other materials.

Removing Process

Cleaning the car area. Credit: canva

Clean the area

The most important step is to make sure that the area is completely free of dirt and dust before starting, as any contaminants will become embedded in the new fabric once it’s installed.

Remove the screws

To begin, you’ll need to remove the screws holding the headliner to the roof of your car.

Pull the headliner

Once you’ve removed the screws, you should be able to pull the headliner away from the roof. Be careful not to pull too hard or else you risk tearing the headliner.

Remove the clips

Once you’ve pulled the headliner off, you’ll see that it is held together with clips. Remove these clips by pushing them back towards the center of the headliner. Once the clips are free, you can pull the headliner away.

Installing New Headliner

Once you’ve removed your old headliner, you’ll need to install your new one.

  1. First, lay the headliner down on the floor of your car.
  2. Then, slide the clips along the edges of the headliner until they snap into place.
  3. Now, you’re ready to put the screws back in.


Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure the area is well-ventilated before you start working. Headliner fabric can release some harmful fumes when it’s removed.
  • Use a screwdriver or crowbar to pry the headliner away from the ceiling without damaging the paint or other surfaces below.
  • Cut the fabric away using scissors, being careful not to damage the underlying material. Discard the old fabric once it’s removed.
  • If the new headliner doesn’t come with clips, you can use sewing pins or small tacks to hold it in place while you install it.
  • Be sure to align the new headliner correctly before attaching it to the ceiling. Otherwise, it may look lopsided when you’re finished.


Replacing your headliner is easy once you have the right tools. Just remember to use caution when installing it so that you don’t end up damaging your car.


Can you put new fabric over the old headliner fabric?

Yes, but it may be difficult depending on how well the original material was installed. If the headliner was installed with staples, then you would need to remove the staples before installing the new material.

If the headliner had adhesive strips, then you could probably just peel off the existing material and apply the new material without removing any of the adhesives.

How do you remove headliner adhesive from fabric?

The best way to remove headliner adhesive from fabrics is by using a heat gun. Heat guns are available at most hardware stores. You may also be able to get one online.

The key is to make sure that the temperature of the heat gun is set high enough to melt the adhesive but low enough so that it doesn’t damage the material.

Once the adhesive is melted, simply rub the area with a clean towel until all of the adhesives comes off.

How do you redo a fabric headliner?

There are a few ways that you can go about redoing a fabric headliner. You can either purchase a new piece of fabric and glue or sew it onto the old headliner, or you can completely remove the old headliner and replace it with a new one.

If you decide to go the route of removing the old headliner, you will first need to remove any trim pieces that are attached to it. Once the trim is removed, you will be able to simply pull the old headliner off of the vehicle.

From there, you can install the new headliner by following the instructions that came with it.

How do you remove a roof headliner?

The easiest way to remove a roof headliner is to take off the screws that hold it down.

If there are no screws holding the headliner down, then you may need to cut out the entire section of the headliner with a utility knife.

Once the headliner is removed, you can either throw it away or recycle it.

Related Topics

Will Rubbing Alcohol Remove Gorilla Glue?

Gorilla Glue is a very strong adhesive, and as such it can be difficult to remove. However, rubbing alcohol will usually do the trick. Just saturate a cloth with alcohol and rub the glue until it comes off. Be sure to clean the area thoroughly afterwards to remove any traces of the glue.

What Dissolves Dried Gorilla Glue?

There are a few household products that can help dissolve and remove Gorilla Glue.

One option is to mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl and apply it to the dried glue with a cloth.

You can also try using acetone or rubbing alcohol. Simply apply either of these substances directly to the glue and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away.

Will Vinegar Remove Gorilla Glue?

Yes, vinegar can be used to remove Gorilla Glue. However, it is not as effective as rubbing alcohol or aceton.

How Much Is a New Headliner?

If you’re looking to replace your car’s headliner, the cost will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

A new headliner for a compact car might cost around $100, while a headliner for a luxury sedan could run upwards of $1,000.

So, before you start shopping for a new headliner, be sure to get an estimate from a reputable automotive service provider.

How Long Does It Take to Replace a Headliner?

It actually doesn’t take that long to replace a headliner. I would say it takes about two hours or so. I’m not sure exactly how much time it would take, but I know it’s not a very long process.

So, if you’re thinking about replacing your headliner, don’t worry, it’s not a huge job!

What Type of Fabric is Best for Headliner?

There are a few different types of fabric that can be used for headliner, but the best type of fabric is usually a cotton or polyester blend.

This type of fabric is strong and durable, so it will last for a long time. It is also breathable, so it won’t trap heat in your car.

What is Headliner Fabric Made of?

Most headliner fabric is made of a mix of polyester and cotton. However, there are some brands that make headliner fabric out of other materials, such as vinyl or velour.

What Causes Headliner to Sag?

There are a few things that can cause headliner to sag, but the most common reason is simply age and gravity.

The material that headliners are made of does eventually break down and lose its shape, which is why you often see sagging headliners in older cars.

If your car is fairly new and the headliner is already sagging, it could be due to poor installation or cheap materials.

What is the Best Headliner Adhesive?

The best headliner adhesive is 3M Super 77. It’s a great product because it’s very versatile and can be used on a variety of surfaces. Plus, it promises to provide a strong bond that will last.

What is the Best Adhesive Remover for Cars?

There are a few different types of adhesive removers that work well on cars. Some people swear by WD-40, while others prefer to use Goo Gone. Personally, I think that the best adhesive remover for cars is rubbing alcohol. 

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