BMW E36 Blog

Fixing BMW E36 Headliner

5th August 2008

Fixing BMW E36 Headliner

posted in Interior, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized |

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Well, I had some free time couple days ago and I decided to clean my front pillars because they’ve been annoying me with their dirty look. So, I removed them carefully and took them inside my house and washed them. After that, I left them to dry for an hour or so. When I went to the car to put them back I’ve noticed a very very big difference between the color of the clean pillars and my headliner. Take a look:

It’s shocking how dirty my headliner is compared to my clean pillars.

So, I’ve decided to clean up my headliner as well but I was afraid to make it worse because the fabric has loosened with time and it’s not going to stand up again my cleaning brush. So, I’ve decided to search the web to see if someone tried this before. Luckily I found this which is a DIY for removing your headliner. Well, this is going to make things much easier for me instead of brushing upside down :p

I kept digging for more information about this subject and I found a kit that can help you change your headliner fabric instead of trying to give it a wash and best of all, it’s very cheap. Take a look here.

All you have to do is to glue the new fabric which comes with this kit on your fiberglass panel which you have removed using the DIY provided above. Then put everything back the way it was.

I’m going to order this kit and try it. Hopefully, it will be a success and give my car a very new OEM look again 😀


Are you looking for more do it yourself procedures (DIY) ? I recommend the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual for you. I got it and I think it’s a gold mine for us -BMW E36 Owners-. If you didn’t grab your copy yet, get it right now! I’m sure you’ll find this book worth every penny you’ve paid for. Get the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual

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There are currently 4 responses to “Fixing BMW E36 Headliner”

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  1. 1 On August 5th, 2008, tiny316i said:

    Godsend! I am in the process of restoring my car and the headliner is in very bad condition… I thought I had to get a professional upholsterer to do the job, and a good, reliable one is hard to get by where I live.

    I’d rather do it myself. I am handy and will do the job with the necessary extra care and love (yes, love) my BMW deserves 😀

    Now I have the info I needed, thanks!

  2. 2 On August 8th, 2008, Ken Edmundson said:

    As a professional upholsterer, I feel that i should offer some advice seeing as how this is my area of expertise…My shop normally charges around $200 to re-cover any BMW headliner…The most important thing about covering a headliner is the glue. We use an industrial contact glue applied with a spray gun…The aerosol can glues will not hold for more than a few weeks before the liner starts sagging. Typical headliner is a thin cloth backed with 1/4 inch foam, BMWs use a thinner 1/8″ foam backed material. After removing your old headliner, you need to make sure to remove all the old foam from the liner board, if you don’t then the glue will not hold the new foam to the board, but rather to the old foam…which won’t stay glued long. You will probably have a hard time matching the exact color as well, so i suggest covering the pillars when you do the headliner. When gluing the new liner on, lay it out across the headliner board, fold your material in half over itself, glue and lay one half at a time. Spray the board and the back ot the liner with glue, wait for it to tack, then lay the half back over the glued area. Starting from the center and working your way out, gently smooth the liner against the board. The sunroof is a whole other story, either it has to come all the way out or glued the same way as the headliner and tucked on the sides. If you decide to DIY and need some more pointers email me, i’m always glad to help.
    ps…i covered my headliner and all 6 pillars in dark gray crushed velvet…though suede will be coming when i change out the seats

  3. 3 On August 10th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Ken Edmundson: Wow! these tips are just great! Thanks Ken for much for sharing the information. I really appreciate it.

  4. 4 On September 5th, 2008, Fixing BMW E36 Headliner . . . Video | BMW E36 Blog said:

    […] wrote before about Fixing BMW E36 Headliner and provided a link to where you can buy a kit to fix your car’s headliner. Today, I’ve […]