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Discussion Starter #1
Loading birch plywood into my Ascent this weekend (solo, bad idea) I ended up putting a divot/tear in the headliner just above the middle seatbacks. The tear is about 1/4" and actually isn't visible except from the rear of the vehicle. But it's dead center and I am mad at myself for doing it in the first place.

Anyone have advice on potential repair options short of a professional headliner replacement? There are a lot vehicle upholstery repair options on Amazon which appear geared toward cigarette burns inside the car. I recognize I won't get it factory new or even better than a decent match, but I would like to ensure it won't stretch or tear further.

Thoughts? Anyone with experience doing something like this?
 

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The first thing that came to my mind are those fabric stickers that you can buy to cover the airbag warnings on the sun visors. If you find the right color match, this might be the easiest way to patch it up. Not sure if you're looking for something better...

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Awesome, this may be perfect. Do I need to worry about the tear getting worse or is the headliner glued to the padding enough that it will stay put?
 

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Fabric tape underneath the fabric, rejoin the tear, and press/iron into place. It will make it less noticeable.

Or the thin carpet tape if the headliner is glued in that place.
 

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Instead of trying to hide it cause you'll always see it..find a dome light and install that. If it's dead center it wouldn't look out of place.
Even if you don't wire it up it wouldn't look like a patch.
If the back side of the light can't be installed without taking down the headliner, somehow make some clips that would simply hold the light cover against the headliner.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I ended up erring on the side of simplicity - I rejoined/sewed the small rip with matching thread and a curved sewing needle. After that I applied clear-drying fabric glue to the repaired area making sure it soaked through to the padding. Took less than 10 minutes.

Because the tear occurs where the roof has an upward slope toward the rear of the vehicle just behind the second row, you can't see the rip or the repair during normal driving. I made the repair two weeks ago and every time I'm in the back of the Ascent loading stuff I try to remember to check it - but I keep forgetting. Which means I was successful in the repair, I think.
 

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I did that on a Forester. Took it to a well established car detailer that does lots of work for car dealerships. He fixed it for $50 and repaired 3 cigarette burns for another $25 each. No one other than me could ever tell where the damage was and repaired. Check YELP for reviews on detail shops in your neighborhood and get a quote. Ask to see similar damage repair as well. My place had an album of before/after photos.
 
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