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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

Just wanted to share this with you as I believe it may help some folks and perhaps save a few of you some money to boot.

We've all read the numerous topics about Patriot water leaks on this website, some of the cases are unique but most, the vast majority, are sunroof-related. What is happening is one (or all) of the four little rubber tubes from the sunroof drain pan are clogging up, forcing water to collect in the pan (particularly during a heavy down-pour or in a pressure car wash) and ultimately overflow onto the inside of the headliner. From there it usually enters the cabin through one of the dome lights, an A-pillar, or all of the above. The simple solution is to unclog or replace the rubber tubes. However examining mine, I found I had only one that was clogged, the front right one. A buddy of mine determined where the kink was by running weedeater line through the tube and it was clear it was stopping somewhere in the A-pillar. We then removed the trim on the inside of the passenger side A-pillar to see if the tube would be visible. Sure enough, it was in plain view, and very clearly kinked. In fact both the larger tube which we assume is for the front drain, and the smaller one, which is probably for the rear drain, were kinked and not properly held in place in my 2008 Patriot. Over time this had led to dirt build-up at the point where it was kinked, clogging the tube and, as of about a month ago, giving me my first sign of a water leak problem in an otherwise trouble-free Patriot.

In the pics below you can see the two tubes, after we put them back in place and removed the kinks. This only required removing the plastic trim on the A-pillar and the sunvisor, so we could move the headliner out of the way a bit for better access. The whole fix took about two minutes, and now everything drains perfectly. :D

I would advise those who have their first experience with a water leak and have the natural reaction of freaking out/thinking about selling the car/cussing and yelling about how they'll never buy another Chrysler/etc etc to try this remedy before you even bother with the dealership. I'd be willing to bet it's this easy for 75% or more of the cases I've read about up to now. If you choose the dealership route, find one with experienced personnel. I called River Oaks CJD in Houston and one of the service writers explained the entire problem just as it turned out to be, and said it's quite common in Calibers, Patriots, and Compasses. However other dealers I called previously would only say "well you'll have to bring it in and then we can find out". Don't listen to that BS. There is always another dealer. But my argument is this is so simple, so easy to fix, that nobody should spend a dime on it. I would even go so far as to recommend every now and then running a weed eater line down each tube to make sure it's unclogged. I'll be doing that myself periodically from now on.



Pics to follow:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, I hope this helps at least a few people and prevents the kind of frustration I've been reading about. It won't be the fix for everyone but I suspect it will be for many.

I set a water hose on the roof of my Patriot this morning and tested the fix again. Everything worked as designed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Very good info! Where did you start feeding in the weed eater line though?
Through the small drain hole in the tray that surrounds the sunroof opening. It was clear pretty quickly the right side was blocked by something.

I would keep a sharp eye on the 4 corners of the sunroof. After I had all drain tubes fixed, sunroof aligned twice and some silicone squirted all over the place it still leaked in all 4 corners around the gasket. Dealership said its supposed to do that. Glad theres a lemon law.
I don't want you to think I am saying this is not a very poor design, nor am I defending any manufacturer that uses it (and there are several from what I have heard, not just Chrysler).....but the dealer is correct, these sunroofs are designed to let in a certain amount of water and then it is supposed to drain off through these little rubber tubes. BAD design, no doubt. But that is how they intended it to work.
 

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FreeLantz, that is a terrific posting! I'm going to print some of this out and show it to the workshop manager at our Chrysler /Mercedes dealership when the car goes in this coming Thursday. Without sounding like old I-Told-You-So, you've confirmed exactly what I'd discovered in another posting, only you've gone further and actually seen the damned thing. I can't remove the headlining in case I make a mess and infringe the warranty, but I don't need to; I know you're right.
Rocal

River Oaks, eh? I know Houston well from my twice a year trips to visit my kids. What the heck are you doin' drivin' round in a Patriot? Bit of a Slumdog vehicle for a River Oaks guy, isn't it? :) Only kidding; I bet you're really a banker who daren't drive the real family car around in this present financial climate!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
FreeLantz, that is a terrific posting! I'm going to print some of this out and show it to the workshop manager at our Chrysler /Mercedes dealership when the car goes in this coming Thursday. Without sounding like old I-Told-You-So, you've confirmed exactly what I'd discovered in another posting, only you've gone further and actually seen the damned thing. I can't remove the headlining in case I make a mess and infringe the warranty, but I don't need to; I know you're right.
Rocal

River Oaks, eh? I know Houston well from my twice a year trips to visit my kids. What the heck are you doin' drivin' round in a Patriot? Bit of a Slumdog vehicle for a River Oaks guy, isn't it? :) Only kidding; I bet you're really a banker who daren't drive the real family car around in this present financial climate!
Thanks Rocal....and I don't really live anywhere near River Oaks, I just have my Jeep serviced there..... LOL!
 

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Thanks for the great info David! We brought our '09 Pat to the dealership for the dome light water soon after we bought it. They "cleaned the drain tubes". The water began pouring in the dome light again. I opened up the column as shown in the original post, and sure enough, a right angle kink. It was clearly installed that way at the factory because it is spray-foamed in place in the headliner, and secured to a clip in the column. Really poor design. I cut the tape from the connector, and zip tied the kinked section into the clip, to keep it straight.

I don't know where the drain tube runs on the drivers side but it's not in the front windshield column. I blew it out with an infant squeeze bulb because it was totally stopped up. Now it drains, but kind of slowly.

Note the right angle at the top of the thin tube.




The drain tube is spray foamed in the headliner:


moved the kink into the clip:



This is a rubber infant syringe bulb. I used it to blast water into the drain holes in the sunroof.

 

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Heeeey, keep these tips on the down-low! I'm hoping to snag a used Patriot on the chizz-eap from a disgruntled sort who swears they're all junk.

You ruined it!
 

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Well it's been one month since I cleared out the drain tubes, and water was pouring in the dome light again today. I'll have to see if they are stopped up again, or if the problem lies somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, they do stop up again if you're not careful.

Ultimately the new TSB is the only permanent fix (we hope) for this, but what I posted at least is a temporary solution if nothing else. Since my Patriot is out of warranty I haven't decided if I want to pay a dealer to do the TSB when I can just keep checking periodically to make sure those tubes are unclogged myself.
 

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@freelantz,
Curious if you have had any problems again recently. Just came across the TBS. I have had my front map light leak (more like a waterfall) only four times. I usually have a jacket/napkins (maybe I should keep a cup in the car) to catch the waterfall when there is a large downpour. Since my warranty is out, I will definitely try to take your advice and see if this will be a fix. Was yours an issue with the front map light above the dashboard? Thanks!
 
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