TTAC Commentator Supaman writes:
Hey Sajeev, I drive a 2006 Mazda 6s and as cheesy as it sounds, I love this car. No better combo than a V6/manual for driving pleasure, plus the car is practical and has given no mechanical problems (current mileage is 47000). My problem is twofold.
First, the headliner: I noticed around the top corners where the headliner meets the rear window, the material is slowly peeling away.Whenever I power down the rear windows, I can just about see the headliner fluttering away in the wind, perhaps peeling away even more. As a result I try not to drive with the rear windows down, but it’s becoming a nuisance now. I’ve researched the Mazda 6 forums and seen all types of recommendations from 3M glue, to staple guns to a complete headliner replacement. I’m a DIY guy but a complete headliner swap sounds a bit out of my league. The jarring thing (as I’ve found on the forums) is that this is a widespread problem that Mazda has failed to acknowledge (seems to happen right around my car’s age and mileage).
The second minor problem is the dashboard storage bin. It’s a practical place to store stuff but the door itself is quite flimsy and one of the hinges broke off. Again I inquired at my local dealership and was told it can’t be fixed (!?). Any suggestions?
You’ll never need to apologize for loving your car ‘round these parts. Especially if it’s a Mazda6 with a V6 and a stick. Uber cool, extra stealth: this is one ride that will stand the test of time, be historically relevant, and worth your time to keep pretty looking and functional. So let’s do this thing.
I’m also surprised that a four-year-old car needs a headliner, but they tend to fail sooner if you cruise with the windows down and/or smoke in your ride. Anyway, using thumbtacks works for a while, but look totally ghetto. Glue (3M’s Super 77 comes to mind) is an alternative, but its only a short term solution: the glue can’t replace the (failing) bond between the fabric and the padded foam that’s glued to the backing. Headliners are cheap to re-do, especially if you pop out the liner yourself. Which isn’t has hard as it sounds, fold the seats down, unbolt the seat belt harnesses (usually a Torx head bolt) and pop off the plastic trim around its perimeter. Many places will re-do a headliner for less than $100 if you do the “tough” work yourself.
The second concern isn’t as easy for me to swallow, since I wildly praised it in a previous TTAC review. Which saddens my heart, since an OEM replacement will fail in the same way. The only way to “fix” it permanently is by replacing the failing plastic part(s) with metal instead. Sound ridiculous? One guy did just that for the ashtray in the now famous 1987-1993 Ford Mustang, and not only did he make a healthy profit, he inspired several competitors. If you aren’t mechanically savvy (or don’t want to buy sheetmetal, a dremel, and misc manly-man stuff) I would encourage someone in the Mazda6 Internet community to do this. Because it will pay off, in a couple of years. If not sooner.
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