How to Replace the Headrest in a Car

What You'll Need
Headset kit (monitor)
Measuring tape
Utility knife
Masking tape
Epoxy (glue)

Replacing a headrest today is a more challenging task than it used to be because many headrests on new cars are designed to accommodate a monitor. They may come with the monitor installed or with the ability to add a monitor later. You can buy headrest kits that allow you to add the monitor later, but they only come in black, gray or tan and do not always match your car's seat color. Most people choose to have a perfect match and want a monitor that will retrofit into the existing factory headrest. No matter which way you decide to go, the basic steps to replace your old headrest with a new one are listed below with the tools you will need.

Step 1 – Measuring the Shroud

Measure the depth of the headrest shroud, which is the metal housing inside the headrest which holds a headrest monitor in place.

Step 2 – Remove Existing Headrest

Remove your existing headrest from the seat. If installing a monitor, draw a rectangle on the headrest that is the same size as the middle of the shroud.

Step 3 – Cutting Headrest (for monitor)

Make two cuts in the headrest that connect the opposite corners of the rectangle. The cut will form an X. Pull the material back so that the interior of the headrest shows. The space that was cut open should fit the shroud. You can always widen the cuts if you need more space. Use the masking tape to hold the cover to the sides of the headrest.

Step 4 – Removing the Foam

The foam that is in the headrest needs to be removed and cut to the shape and depth of the shroud.

Step 5 – Gluing the Flaps

Take the tape off of the flaps and fold the flaps in the hole that is in the headrest. Using the epoxy, glue the flaps down to the foam. 

Step 6 – Returning Shroud to the Headrest

Put some epoxy glue on the back of the shroud and place it back into the headrest. To make sure it is bonded, press the shroud firmly. Make sure the epoxy is completely dry.

Step 7 – Connecting the Cables

If the bars of the headrest are hollow, allow the monitor cables to run through them. If the bars are not hollow, allow the monitor cables to run down the sides of the headrest bars. The cables need to run down the cover on the back of the seat into the video inputs where they will be connected.

Step 8 – Connecting the Cables

Attach the cables to the monitor and use the shroud to secure the monitor. Many of the monitors are made to snap right into place.

Without Monitors

The factory headrest will snap off, and the new one can snap on into its place.