Fabric headliner coming loose

What can I use to get it to stick in place? I tried a spray adhesive from the craft store, but it only lasted a day.

Even though you will get some recommedations from the experts here, I suggest you consider having an automobile upholstery shop fix it for you. A lot of the home remedies do not work very well (as you have discovered), and some of them are pretty ugly. The pro’s replace headliners all the time, and it looks good as new. The job cost me a around $150 (Buick Century) to $200 (Chevy wagon) about eight years ago. For me, it was car money well spent.

I’ve been thinking of fixing mine with a utility knife - i.e. no more headliner, no more problem.

If that’s not an acceptable solution, then I would go with Art1966 above since it indicates that $150-200 should be acceptable to have it done right.

That is what I used to do. None of my cars made after the 80s have had this problem, though. They must use better adhesives now.

the glue for applying vinyl tops works real good.Tt’s contact cement. Apply it to car body and to liner and press together.
If a small seperation try super glue. But a loose line gave our kids great fun,watching the bellowing fabric while on road trips. Almost as good as watching the clouds float bye…

Thank you all for your suggestions and help.

Giggle at Shadetree about the kids enjoying the flapping headliner!

Did you brush off the old, loose adhesive from the headliner before you applied new adhesive? If not, the old adhesive might be debonding from the headliner cloth. Apparently there are adhesives used for automotive headliners.

For under $10, I purchased a kit at an auto parts store to hold the headliner up. This kit consisted of big plastic screws that went through the fabric into the backing. Earlier, I had the headliner replaced by a trim shop and it lasted about 10 years. The second time it came loose, I decided that the car wasn’t worth another headliner job, so I took the cheap way out. It works and if you space the fasteners correctly, it doesn’t look too bad, either.

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On all of the headliners I have worked on, there was a foam backing to act as sound and temperature insulation from the roof. The foam is what breaks down over time. Applying new adhesive fails because the foam is falling apart. A pro will remove the fabric, scrape the foam backing off the backer board and apply new foam before re-applying the fabric. If you can find the backing material, you could do it yourself but you still need to remove the headliner assembly to re-stretch and tuck the liner fabric edges around the back of the backer board. Not worth the hassle IMO considering what it costs for someone with the experience and materials to do it professionally. YMMV.

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The same thing started to happen in my dad’s 97 Crown Victoria. I used some dabs of Automotive Goop and that held the headliner up real good. Been going on a year now and the liner hasn’t moved an inch. And you can’t see where I’ve gooped it.

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If it is at the back edge, Goop seems to hold pretty well and it not too unsightly at the spot.

Go to your local Advanced Auto, Auto Zone etc… There should be a isle with a bunch of small parts in red packaging listed as (Help). You should be able to find a package of headliner retainers. These were described above by Triadag, and is the most simplest, and effective repair.

Replacing the headliner is not a very difficult project. See this link for supplies and instructions. You are going to have a hard time re-gluing the original one and making it stick permanently. I replaced mine in less than an hour, looks like new.

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Sometimes the year or condition of a vehicle dictates the repair. I had an old Celebrity that was not worth much so I fixed it for free. I ripped some strips of cedar about 1/8" thick and stuck those up there. No glue or anything. I KNOW THIS IS PATCH WORK BUT IF YOUR CAR IS WORTH $200 BUCKS, don’t spend $200 on the headliner.

Easy to do yourself…
YouTube has some good videos
Most important tips…
1- Be really careful removing pillar, and ceiling trim, learn how they’re attached.l
2- Be sure to scrape off All the old adhesive and foam backing, so the new adhesive sticks.
3- Don’t skimp on the adhesive, research the best ones, $15-30/can… One that holds up under high heat conditions, like the car being locked up in Summer in Vegas… Trust me…
4- Online are Waaay Overpriced… Can find headliner material at local fabric/ upholstery suppliers, even create your own with any material, by attaching it to a foam backing…
They had gray foam backed headliner material that matched my 96 regal… They have frequent fabric sales and also a 40% daily coupon.
I paid $8 for the material to recover my visors…
And will cost me $15 to $20 for the material for my headliner.

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I imagine the OP’s car has gone to the crusher by now, but your hints are welcome.

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