The Average Cost for Headliner Replacement Is $10 to $300 Depending on if You Go to the Mechanic or DIY.
This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance may also be necessary, such as cleaning or replacing other parts of your car’s interior, like interior fabric or the sun visors. For a more accurate estimate based on your make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Get a more accurate estimate for your headliner replacement using RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator:
Cost at the Mechanic: $150 to $300
Parts: $10 to $60
Labor: $140 to $240
Replacing a headliner usually takes one to three hours at a repair shop. It involves removing the sun visors, interior lights, and trim panels surrounding the headliner, and then removing the headliner itself.
Cost to DIY: $10 to $60
- Difficulty Level: Intermediate
- Parts Needed:
The most difficult part of replacing the headliner is generally positioning the new one properly and ensuring that it’s firmly attached to the roof of your car. If you have a sunroof or moonroof in your car, you’re probably better off having a professional perform this task. You can purchase a kit or fabric yourself and complete this project in a few hours if you don’t mind some detail work. Look for a matching or neutral fabric color if you’re concerned about how it might look inside your car.
Keep in mind: There are different sizes and styles of headliner fabrics and kits. If you plan to replace your headliner yourself, be sure to choose the right fabric and purchase enough to fit your vehicle.
What Is a Headliner?
A headliner is the fabric on the interior of your car’s roof, along with the padding underneath, an inner lining that’s typically a rigid material, and anything else that secures the fabric to the roof, such as screws or pins. It completes the look of the inside of your vehicle, and it also helps insulate your car and reduce outside sounds. Older headliners might be made of foam or vinyl, but many are made of fabric or padding in modern cars.
What Does a Headliner Replacement Include?
The headliner replacement process varies based on the vehicle and components on the car’s roof, such as a sunroof. Generally, if you want to replace the headliner, you’ll remove the old headliner using a razor or similar tool to cut away the fabric. Then, you’ll need to remove any remaining adhesive and possibly clean the surrounding fabrics. Finally, you’ll apply the new adhesive and headliner. Some repair shops remove the seats inside your car when replacing the headliner to provide more room to work inside the car, but this step might not be necessary for every vehicle.
Larger vehicles might require more time and money to replace their headliners. It generally takes one to three hours at a shop, but it might take longer if the technicians installing the new headliner must work around detailed areas. If you choose a different fabric color, you might also want to replace or repair other parts of your car’s interior. If your headliner is sagging due to age, you might want to consider replacing your car’s sun visors, as they can also sag or fail.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Headliner?
If your car’s headliner is simply discolored or frayed, you might not need to replace it. Generally, unless the headliner is sagging, you would only replace it for cosmetic reasons. However, once your headliner begins sagging, consider replacing it. Your visibility could be affected by the fabric falling in front of your view while behind the wheel, which can cause an accident.
If your headliner has sustained water damage, you should also consider replacing it because of the potential for mold growth. Mold or trapped moisture can affect your car’s structural integrity and cause rust or even affect your health. Additionally, you’ll lose insulation from the headliner, which can increase road noise and cause more distractions while driving. Water damage most often occurs because of leaks in the sunroof or moonroof, which is why we recommend having a professional install it in cases like these. Be sure to repair the leaky sunroof or moonroof as well to prevent this from happening to your brand new headliner.
How Often to Have Your Headliner Replaced
There’s no set schedule for when you should replace your headliner. Generally, drivers who smoke or drive with their windows lowered might notice their headliners discolor faster than normal. Cleaning your car’s interior on a regular basis can help keep your headliner in good condition longer. Typically, you only need to replace your headliner when it’s become too worn to clean or begins sagging, but you may wish to replace it sooner for cosmetic reasons. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for any recommendations the manufacturer might make about your specific vehicle.
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Common Symptoms You Need to Replace Your Headliner
- Sagging fabric
- Mold or mildew stains
- Loud road noise
- Large tears or holes in the fabric
Related Maintenance Services
The following services are commonly performed with replacing your headliner:
- Cleaning or replacing interior fabrics
- Repairing or replacing other interior surfaces
- Replacing the sun visor
- Adding or replacing car seat covers
- Updating or repairing the headrests of your seats
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At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.