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Old 10-18-2022, 06:00 PM   #1
snowolfRS
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2003 Impreza WRX
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Default Mold: Yay or Nay?

Looking at buying an 06 forester XT, but I'm not sure about this headliner. The dealer says they don't believe it's mold since it doesn't smell... but I don't know what else it would be. He says they tried cleaning it but couldn't get it off. I do know that they got it at auction, and from the auction pics I found, it looks like the car sat for possibly a number of years unused.

Before I give up on it and continue the car search, I was curious if you guys think this is mold? If it IS mold, is it reasonably easy to clean?

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Old 10-19-2022, 01:06 AM   #2
lefty o
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i would say based on it looks like its all over the headliner vs say a small area or pattern like a can of pop exploded, it is likely mold someone tried to clean up.
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Old 10-19-2022, 09:51 AM   #3
snowolfRS
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Thatís what Iím thinking. Dealer can say what they want, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duckÖ Just a shame, as the car is great otherwise with only 62,000 miles for an 06 FXT! I could replace the headliner, but then Iím still concerned with why thereís mold in the first place. Iíve not dealt with mold/leaking seals before, but does it seem likely that thereís water leaking in the roof/sunroof somewhere? Or can mold just happen from simply moisture in the air, if the car sat somewhere for years being unused?

Thanks all!

Last edited by snowolfRS; 10-19-2022 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Word choiceÖ
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Old 10-19-2022, 12:26 PM   #4
runner19
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You can get the entire head liner reworked with new material and it is cheap.
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Old 10-19-2022, 01:12 PM   #5
snowolfRS
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I checked with a couple of shops, both in WA and Alaska, and both quoted just over $2000 to replace the headliner with a new one. Pretty steep, with over $1500 in labor cost alone.

Runner19, that's certainly something I could look into. I'm checking also to see if it's possible to simply do a solid cleaning of the headliner. But if there's a leak somewhere up there, no point cleaning/replacing the headliner until its fixed.

Appreciate the suggestions, I'll update this thread with whatever the results end up being.
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Old 10-19-2022, 05:21 PM   #6
AliBenn
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i would try Simple Green first in a small test spot.
im confident that would make stain come out

next step would be hand held steam cleaner to loosen/separate stain
then shop vac to suck away the loosened stain particles

i doubt if 'dealer' even tried to removed bc not located around passenger seating
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Old 10-25-2022, 12:15 PM   #7
Gixhost
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The picture isn't the best but it does look like mold. If you're a DIYer and you don't see anything else going on with the vehicle. You probably could replace the headliner yourself. Looks like they are around $400-$500 bucks w/o shipping. You probably could get it shipped for free. I am assuming $2,000 is to do an entire cleaning or replacement of the headliner and treat the entire vehicle and HVAC ducts for mold?

My main concern would be checking other places for mold and trying to determine was it a flood car at some point. Mold can happen anywhere there is moister...my old neighbors garage flooded...nothing major, but the entire floor was wet...he thought he cleaned it well enough only to find out he didn't air out the garage enough. Later nearly every surface of the interior of his truck and other objects in his garage had mold on them.
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Old 10-31-2022, 04:13 PM   #8
snowolfRS
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Thanks guys. Ended up not purchasing the car. Dealer wasn't being very upfront about the mold. Sunroof also was found to be leaking. I wasn't comfortable buying from a far. I likely wouldn't want to do the headliner swap myself, and had doubts the mold can be cleaned out. But it's all in the past now! Ended up picking up a very clean 03 WRX with 61,000 original miles instead
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Old 12-08-2022, 11:37 PM   #9
O.G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowolfRS View Post
Thanks guys. Ended up not purchasing the car. Dealer wasn't being very upfront about the mold. Sunroof also was found to be leaking. I wasn't comfortable buying from a far. I likely wouldn't want to do the headliner swap myself, and had doubts the mold can be cleaned out. But it's all in the past now! Ended up picking up a very clean 03 WRX with 61,000 original miles instead
Goood choice, looks like mold, not worth the risk
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