Jeep Patriot Problems: 7 Common Issues

While the Jeep Patriot fills the gap between the Compass and the Cherokee well. It would be a great option if it weren’t for the seven common problems mentioned below. 

The Jeep Patriot suffers from random engine shut-offs after refueling, sunroof leaks, faulty front and rear subframes prone to rust, faulty TIPM modules, CVT transmissions overheating, ABS module and sensors dying prematurely, as well as airbag problems.

To help you make a more informed decision, we’ve broken down these issues below and looked at some Patriot recalls you need to be aware of (especially if you have one of these models).

7 Main Jeep Patriot problems to be aware of

problems with Jeep Patriot

1. Random vehicle shut-offs after refueling

The biggest complaint among Jeep Patriot owners, which AFAIK has not yet been recalled, is random vehicle shut-offs after refueling.

When refueled, the Jeep will start, but within 15 minutes of driving, the car will abruptly shut off the engine.

Many dangerous situations can arise from this issue. The brake vacuum assistance no longer works since the engine isn’t producing a vacuum when it is off, so braking needs a lot more force to bring the car to a halt.

Another problem is that the steering becomes heavy since the engine can’t drive the power steering pump.

2. Sunroof leaks

The sunroofs have leaked since the Jeep Patriot’s inception, and many people believed they were clogged up because of the water drain. This, however, does not seem to be the cause.

The design of the sunroof is just so bad that any water running next to it will enter the cabin and start dripping from the dome light.

A wet car interior is a perfect location for mold to start growing and can lead to health problems.

Another issue is that the wiring inside the car can start to corrode, resulting in future electric issues.

3. Subframes rusting

This problem may not sound too severe until you see the suspension components break off the car when turning, even at low speeds.

The rust proofing on the subframe is atrocious, some owners of Jeep Patriots started seeing rust on the subframes within a year of ownership, and some needed full subframe replacements under 40,000 miles.

You can imagine the risks of driving, and suddenly a whole suspension component breaks off, losing control of the vehicle.

4. TIPM failure

TIPM, the Totally Integrated Power Module, controls everything electronic in the Jeep Patriot. This ranges from the headlights, sound system, and safety features like traction control and airbag deployment.

One owner mentioned his car’s horn would just randomly start going off on its own, which can cause some red-face moments at the wrong places and times.

Some owners have noticed that the TIPM can start smoking resulting in smoke seeping through the dashboard, which can be quite alarming while driving.

5. CVT Transmission overheating

Under normal operation, you might not experience transmission overheating issues, but if you live in a hilly area or load your Patriot regularly full of stuff or tow a lot, you will have a hard time.

The culprit here is bad transmission fluid cooling, and if you don’t react quick enough when the high transmission temperature light comes on, it can cost you a new transmission.

When the high transmission temperature warning light comes on, the car will go into a limp mode limiting the car to 40 MPH or 64 KPH. It is advised to pull off the road and let the gearbox cool down before continuing to a repair center. In this case, fresh transmission fluid will remedy the problem but not fix it.

6. ABS Module and sensor failures

ABS is a lifesaver when it comes to emergency brake situations and when it stops working, it can be a scary experience.

If you haven’t driven a car without ABS, you won’t know the feeling of the wheels locking up and leaving you with no control over the vehicle.

If the Jeep Patriot ABS light comes on, the best bet is not to apply the brakes too hard to prevent lockup and take it to a repair center or replace the faulty ABS module or sensor.

The biggest problem with this is many owners say the ABS module and sensors don’t have a long life span, and some complained of the same problems occurring within seven months after replacement.

7. Airbags not functioning correctly

Luckily, this was a recall, but some Jeep Patriots are roaming freely with faulty airbags and airbag deployment sensors.

It is known among Jeep Patriot owners as the Takata recall. Takata is a Japanese airbag manufacturer.

The problem is the airbag can either deploy randomly or, in an accident, won’t deploy at all, and in both cases, are life-threatening.

One Jeep Patriot owner was busy unloading groceries from the Jeep when the passenger seat headrest airbag was suddenly deployed. Luckily, no one was hurt, but it frightened the owner.

Jeep Patriot Recalls

While many Jeep Patriots have been recalled, many out there were not repaired, so consider these problems when buying a second-hand Patriot. 

If you already own a Patriot, take your vehicle as soon as possible to a dedicated Jeep dealer to rectify these problems.

2008 Recalls

  • The PCM, Power Train Control Module, uses a new adhesive on the circuit board than can cause it to break.

2010 Recalls

  • Marathon(brand) seat covers are recalled as the material used is too heavy and durable to be used on vehicles with seat-mounted airbags and prohibits correct deployment.

2011 Recalls

  • Vehicles may have been built with a missing or incorrectly installed steering column pivot rivet that can cause the steering column not to support the loads of the driver in a frontal crash.

2012 Recalls

  • Some vehicles have faulty rollover valves installed in the fuel tank. This can cause a leak in a crash or rollover that increases the risk of a fire.

2013 Recalls

  • Certain 2012 models were installed with incorrectly manufactured fuel transfer tubes that transfer fuel between the primary and secondary sides of the fuel tank. This can cause the vehicle to run out of fuel even though there is indicated on the gauge.
  • 2008 to 2012 vehicles have a software error that may result in a delayed deployment of the seatbelt pre-tensioners and side airbags.
  • Vehicles fitted with the 2.4L have a loss of oil pressure due to debris generated from the balance shaft bearings that can cause the engine to stall and cause engine failure.

2015 Recalls

  • 2015 Vehicles have a chance that the power steering return hose may detach due to a clamp being installed at the wrong location. This can cause a risk of fire.

2016 Recalls

  • 2010 to 2014 models have a faulty ORC (Occupant Restraint Control) that may be short, preventing the front airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners, and side airbags from deploying in the event of a crash.
  • 2016 models may have faulty crankshaft or camshaft sensors resulting in the engine stalling.

2017 Recalls

  • Any model equipped with Pindicator Fire Extinguishers may be clogged and can prevent it from discharging correctly. In some cases, the nozzle may detach from the valve body, which can cause injury when operated.

Final Thoughts On Jeep Patriot problems

While the Jeep Patriot had a lot of promise for being a good fit between the Compass and the Cherokee, the numerous faults and problems didn’t help its sales numbers.

With most of the big faults not recalled by the manufacturer, this puts unnecessary financial stress on the owners to constantly repair it.

The best thing to do if you own a Jeep Patriot is to take it to a Jeep dealership and have them check for any recalls that haven’t been completed.

If you are in the market for a used Jeep Patriot, get a full vehicle history report and avoid any models with an outstanding recall.