Headliner removal and replacement-mk3 Passat

Apr 18, 2017
Headliner removal and replacement-mk3 Passat
  • Passat headliner removal and replacement
    Difficulty: 2/5


    Headliner replacement is a common procedure for all cars. The basic principles of this article are applicable to other cars as well. The headliner adhesive may become weakened and the substrate may separate, causing the headliner to droop, or you may just want to replace or reupholster a dirty headliner.


    headliner material, make sure you have enough to do the entire headliner in 1 piece
    headliner adhesive, make sure you read the directions for the adhesive!

    thin screwdrivers
    philips screwdrivers


    If you have a sunroof, you will have to remove the sunroof access panel. Remove the sunroof motor (2 screws) and power connector.

    Remove the sunvisors. One side is held in by 1 screw and an inner plastic anchor. The other side is held in by 2 screws. Disconnect the power for the mirror light.

    Remove the plastic trim between the front and rear seats. Use a thin screwdriver to remove the small rectangular cover next to the seatbelt track. Remove 1 screw securing the trim.

    Remove the roof handles. The 2 screws are hidden behind plastic covers. Note the position of any plastic covers and spacers.

    The trim between the A and B pillars (The first pillar and second pillar) is held on by 4 or 5 small metal clips and two plastic anchors. Use a screwdriver or pry bar to remove the metal clips and wiggle the trim pieces off. The plastic anchors are common snap anchors.

    Remove the rubber trim around the sunroof.

    Between the B and C pillars, remove the rear trim with 1 screw.

    Remove the rear roof handles

    The trim is held on by a 3-4 white plastic anchors, remove them.

    The rear window-to-sidelight trim loose there is a covered screw at the very top of the sidelight window.

    Remove any remaining trim pieces and pull the headliner lose. Do NOT fold the headliner because it may break.

    To replace the headliner, thoroughly clean the old headliner or remove it cleanly. Any old bits will crumble and prevent the headliner from sticking securely, resulting in a sagging headliner.

    When applying the headliner adhesive, read the directions! Most headliner adhesives are contact cements. This means that you must spray both contact surfaces, let them dry, then stick them together. Not doing this will prevent it from sticking properly. Make sure the surfaces are clean and not crumbling. When applying the new upholstery, I suggest starting from the middle and working your way out towards both ends.

    Here are some pictures to help you along



    Sunroof clips on edge


    B pillar