View Full Version : DIY: Headliner Removal

08-26-2016, 03:52 PM
so i finally got around to stripping my headliner out...the threads i found regarding this mod have links to dead photos so i decided to make my own for any of you attempting to do this mod...it took me about three hours to remove everything but that was because i took my time taking photos and answered some work e-mails since i was "working" remotely today...

first i started removing my "oh shit" handles, get a pick or something similar and gently pry the cover off like so...


should be a torx 25 underneath the cover...


easier to see when it's off...


next up, use a pick to remove the airbag logo and then remove the screw underneath, should be another torx 25...


use the pick to remove this little plastic cover, another torx 25 should be underneath, once that screw is undone you can remove the sun visors...


you have to roll the sun visors out since it's mounted with a j-shaped plastic hook...


it should look like this as you continue to roll it out...


these things are a little more difficult...you need a hook shaped tool to get it off...


this is what you are doing while the sun visor mount is still attached to the roof, slide the hook between these two plastic covers...


then, pull down, it shouldn't take much force to get the two halves to separate...


once the parts split you can remove it from the roof...all those scuff marks are from me trying to remove the sun visor mount with a screw driver...


start pulling the front pillar cover from here...


once you get to this point, start to work your way forward...


grab firmly here, and pull quickly and sharply, the trick is quick pulls...like pull and release, don't pry or you'll break clips...ask me how i know...


if you pull quickly and release the clips should pop out, if they aren't popping out release then pull quickly again...i can't stress this enough...




with the clips removed, grab firmly here and GENTLY wiggle the cover off...


this clip on the back...


attaches to this guy here...


now, go your back seat and grab the back portion of the headliner here...


i went from left to right, pull quickly and release...


there are a total of four clips on this piece...


now, grab the rear pillar cover here and move your way back...


notice this portion here, once you have the back removed, you can twist the trim out from under this clip towards the front of the trim...


there are a total of two clips on the rear pillar trim, here are their locations...


now get a 5mm allen key and remove this guy here...


pull your rear seats out and take out this 8mm bolt here...


with the side bolster and rear pillar cover removed you now have access to these the torx screws on the window trim...remove this one here...


now remove this one...


08-26-2016, 04:05 PM
Awesomeeeeee thread that I just so happen to subscribe to now.

Good write up sir

08-26-2016, 04:07 PM
before you start yanking on it, remove the speaker grill on the rear deck lid...trust me it's much easier if you do this...


remove the baby seat anchor covers and remove the screws by the subwoofer...


unplug the brake light...now you can remove the rear deck lid, pull it towards you (sorry i forgot to take a photo of this step)...again, pull the rear deck lid TOWARDS you to remove it not up, the clips are mounted horizontally on this piece...


remove this clip here with a flat head...


this is what it looks like removed...


now you can take out the window trim, there is only one clip on the back...


take a pick and pry this guy off...


i slowly worked my way left to right...


unplug it...


now let's work our way to the front seat, pop your moon roof up and take this accordion thingy off...just gently pull it towards you to remove it...i took a photo of the backside of the accordion so you can see how it attaches...see that torx screw behind it??? there are three of them, take them all out...


08-26-2016, 04:16 PM
once you take out the three torx screws on both sides of the sun roof you can remove the glass, FIRMLY GRAB IT (i almost fucking dropped mine) and place it gently somewhere where it won't break or scratch...now, see these four screws attached to the sun roof shade??? remove them and you can slide the sun roof shade out...


just pry it out like so...


i took this photo when i put the new sun roof shade in, don't be afraid to pop the retaining clips out and shimmy them back in to install the new shade...


now grab a flat head and find these clips while looking into your car from outside your sun roof...


in this photo i've managed to remove two of the clips...


i've now removed all the clips on the left and the ones in the front...


go back into your car and look up by the sun roof motor, remove this screw...


now remove this guy, i think it was a torx 20...


BOOM, headliner should just drop right down...


took this photo to reference for wiring...you can see the metal clips that attach the headliner to the sun roof i alluded to a few photos back better as well...


more wiring...(that's my work laptop, so i am in fact working remotely)...


and yet more wiring...


even more wiring...




slide this bitch out your trunk...


now, let's work on this guy, grab both sides on the bottom where the trim meets the lower trim of your car...pull quickly and sharply...there are two clips on the bottom left and right of this piece...


pay close attention to the hole on the back side of this piece, there is a protrusion near the seat belt that goes into it when you put the new one on...if you don't insert the protrusion into the hole i'm pointing at your seat belt won't retract properly...


make sure you test your sun roof drains before you install your new headliner, there were water stains on my old one and i quickly found that they were leaking during the test...


per oldguy's suggestion, i'm going to make a run to homedepot to buy some self fusing silicone tape and wrap the hoses up before installing the new headliner...my front sunroof drains aren't leaking, HOWEVER, i'm going to wrap in them in the silicon tape since i already have everything out and i NEVER want to go through all this again in the event that they do start to leak at the joints...nor do i want water stains on my precious new s4 headliner...


did the fronts even though they weren't leaking...to hell with even testing the sunroof drains just patch them up with silicone tape before mounting your new headliner...trust me you don't want to go through this again in the event the tubes start leaking at the joints...


08-26-2016, 08:37 PM
Dr. Hook is in the house. Nice write up!

08-27-2016, 10:39 AM
Good work. Wish I had this write up a month ago when I did mine! There were some previous info on this but shady at best. Your write up totally "trumps" all the others! And you are right, not a job I would ever care to again. Not hard but the PIA factor is thru the muthafuckin roof! Lol.

08-27-2016, 03:13 PM
Beautiful writeup, now do one for the avant. P.I.T.A I still havent put my rear cargo area back together yet

tHatOne guY
08-28-2016, 02:31 PM
Holy Sh!t, that's some work! Thanks for this.

09-06-2016, 11:24 AM
nice work man

09-06-2016, 12:23 PM
Great work!!!!

12-25-2017, 06:13 PM
having some trouble with the c pillars. anyone have any insight? everything is removed per this DIY

04-01-2018, 10:25 AM

04-04-2018, 04:21 PM
owe a big thank you to the OP. This DIY guided me through the full alcantara retrim.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/0UcHlyOofX5NLIVWfyJuif_NVZkVKfW-86-AynPZLzN2L1CCVrT2u-7Wxst01PPmT8785CA_gYJQH9R6qv1WFbZBiTxArydaX9VhRkxc n4G9MTaAU3w5glUfNuWYsIoLKM92C4-TrQ47DTIfPUAibcVh8JnUMR-jTYEtxXXCWkywppGTG1sRTi18eYb6MdOo2wOi3XEF-3ejeTiNtBNBdxD2t9kzsL7Ki-zmlVHjw4P5GQ-Fw7hame2aDIx0gBTFQVmv0ZW_JXEDfgFiEsgG7i2WaQ8UyV08N G27g3NNn2uR_AOm7-QEvw17OnH0z5E1AqRccB7iOsXTLFIvzjmIDihyijKekW7oPkxs rjf_Wet7j2lt6uSxKGUYaCyrtsTNbO01HQvmh4QIRNxfD20knl j_6xnZZY3q0IXS-bvR0dF5BwWN-DbaKVHImXG-k_M5uusiIBklk3iwKoLXkGrNpaYzzrEQj02J4WxnzuaDK7lmQH mD-4mYGVe7NhbuVgMO88RHQuMsG_tsSf7rUW6b4Kx60Z5bAjmGmJ9 5rPktimgisv7Nfetj71_hVdi-sPkgwXNESlBoDK3Qn6h_QR-8q7OupZ4ERSPWEfQO9tBQZ09COIQoc8QI7yAWFtyv3XXVcf1lD Oiw6OiMNw6PXj4BrVCz-xQFD690=w2278-h1518-no
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04-28-2018, 07:41 PM
Looks like I'll be having a go at this task soon. Just need to find a replacement headliner, and courage!

08-11-2018, 09:45 AM
Man i cringe thinking how many clips a shop would break doing that without you ever knowing.

Great write up though, very informative.

08-20-2018, 01:31 PM
Man i cringe thinking how many clips a shop would break doing that without you ever knowing.

Great write up though, very informative.

at this age, breaking clips is unavoidable. I broke at least three. but as long as you epoxy correctly you are fine.

09-24-2018, 02:43 PM
Might be doing this soon, ugh. Those spring clips for trim are the bane of my existence.

09-24-2018, 03:09 PM
Might be doing this soon, ugh. Those spring clips for trim are the bane of my existence.

Have to do it to mine, it started sagging in the rear a couple weeks ago. Not really looking forward to it, hoping the sunroof area is not too difficult.

09-26-2018, 02:46 PM
feels like everyones is failing this year and last. right about same time.

09-26-2018, 02:50 PM
My headliner is fine actually, I just have some leaves stuck in there and something rattling like crazy that is driving me insane.

Itís likely because my wife used to leave the sunroof popped up all the time and parked under trees at home.

09-26-2018, 02:57 PM
lol, i actually had to refer to my own DIY when i swapped the headliner in my RS4 last week [>_<]

09-29-2018, 09:47 AM
Is there a way to remove the headliner without removing the sunroof? My sunroof isnít working at the moment. Iím trying to remove the headliner so I can dye it black (couldnít find a black one anywhere) and while itís off I was going to trouble shoot the sunroof motor to see if that was the issue and replace it to get my sunroof to open.

Thank you

10-01-2018, 12:06 PM
Is there a way to remove the headliner without removing the sunroof? My sunroof isnít working at the moment. Iím trying to remove the headliner so I can dye it black (couldnít find a black one anywhere) and while itís off I was going to trouble shoot the sunroof motor to see if that was the issue and replace it to get my sunroof to open.

Thank you

yep, just skip the removal of the sunroof...but retract it so you can access the clips...

i did exactly what you are trying to do when i swapped the sagging headliner in my rs4 with the headliner from another b7 that was in good condition a few weeks ago...didn't remove the sunroof at all i just retracted it...

10-08-2018, 06:48 PM
PM the material you used for your headliner. I want to do it in light gray.

01-02-2019, 08:20 PM
Awesome write-up, thank you!
So a couple of questions, are the B6 and B7 the identical headliner? I think I have read that it is.
Is the sagging issue only in the 2003 models? My 2003 sedan has the sagging in the back seat, but my 2004 Avant is in perfect shape still. seems to be a better quality material. Both are the standard Grey headliner.