Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2013 Toyota Avalon - Detached headliner - Where to start?

I am the original owner of an Avalon XLE-Touring model. I also have a detaching headliner as Robin G. It measures the entire length of the rear ceiling by about 21/2 inches detached from ceiling.

Walmart carries 3M Headliner/Fabric Adhesive


As the original owner of a 6-year old car, the first place I would start is with Toyota. I would go to the dealer and ask if the manufacturer is offering any “goodwill repair” or “customer satisfaction program” to help customers with this problem. You may be able to get this repaired for little or no cost.

If not, then I’d look into an automotive upholstery shop to see about getting the headliner redone, or if you want to spend very little money, get some “twist pins” from an arts and crafts store, and use those to secure the cloth to its backing.

Sorry you are having this frustrating problem. On the bright side, you aren’t alone. This is a common problem reported here on most cars. I’ve tried the glue it in place method on my Corolla, didn’t last. I’m using a bevy of straight pins ( like what come with a new dress shirt) to hold it up. That’s working pretty good, albeit with some cosmetic compromises.

The proper fix is to remove the entire headliner board from the vehicle, scrape off all the old glue and foam, and attach replacements on the work bench. Besides the difficulty of doing that, there’s the problem of removing the headliner board from the car, which might require removing seats or even one of the windshields. All in all, not easy to fix. Which brings up the question: Why don’t the manufacture’s solve prevent this problem with a robust design? Below is some info on that question …

So how is it that I don’t see any of the upholstery shops regularly removing seats and windshields to redo a headliner . . .


What vehicles have more than one windshield ?

The ones having a metal bar separating two [flat] windshield glasses? :slight_smile:
I betcha these will be easily removable :slight_smile:

I’ve never seen it done in person. Seen it on vdos of course, usually shown on hatchbacks, for which it is easier to remove the headliner. I expect the reason for your observation is that all the makes/models/years for which this job is done have all sorts of geometries; therefore the factory service manual procedure recommended to remove the headliner board from a vehicle varies from vehicle to vehicle. It’s also likely reupholsters don’t always follow the factory recommended procedure.

"I wouldn’t want to try without removing the glass. "

For the 2012 Corolla, it’s a 97 step procedure to remove the headliner, starting with :

Remove LH front seat, then RH front seat, …

There is a service bulletin to repair this, the headliner sags behind the sunroof. The dual-lock fasteners that attach the headliner board to the roof are not strong enough and the headliner detaches, there is nothing wrong with the fabric.

The procedure involves installing 5 new 3 M Dual Lock fasteners and takes about one hour.

BTW I have replaced several headliners though the windshield opening but complete removal is not necessary for this type of repair.

1 Like

Once we start talking “remove seats” or even “remove windshield”, that gets expensive real fast. At that point, I’d just buy some “twist pins” and be done with it. BTW, that’s exactly how I “fixed” the sagging headliner in my work truck. My manager was willing to pay $5 for a pack of “twist pins”, but hundreds of dollars to pull and re-finish the headliner? Not happening.

Once you start removing seats, you can run into all sorts of problems

Case in point . . . the passenger seat

On modern cars, you’ll need to recalibrate the passenger presence detection system

That involves a pro-level scan tool, and on some cars you’ll also need the proper set of weights . . . a factory tool, in other words

Somehow I doubt the average upholstery shop has that stuff lying around