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manladypig Reader
6/21/24 6:44 p.m.

So I've come into this 2015 Jeep Patriot that E36 M3 itself. Family friend had it for a while, it had an overheating problem and a burning coolant problem. Then it overheated one day and wouldn't turn back on.  It sat for a year and then they asked if i wanted for free. pretty sweet deal if this thing is worth it.

So im thinking easy head gasket job and flip. upon taking the Head off it is a little more of a mess than expected but im pretty sure its still worth it. First thing I did when I got it was put a new battery and just see if it cranked and it did. no start but it cranked fine and sounded like it had compression. And you can easily see why it didn't want to start, the cylinders are full of water. So all the brown you can see is mostly gunk and comes off almost clean with just a paper towel, so im not too worried about the cylinder walls. Theres no metal shavings in the oil, all the camshaft bearings are ok, and the oil didnt change into milk shake. My one worry is there is nothing obvious when looking at the head gasket, it looks intact to the naked eye so is there something else that could've caused such a catastrophic dumb of water into the cylinders like that?

So thats the rundown, if everyone agrees this things is worth it. My question is where do I start with this mess? Im gonna take the oil pan off clean the oil pickup, etc. But how should I drain the Cylinders? Best methods to flush and clean all the white gunk out of the water jacket? And how bout the oil passages? Anything else yall have in mind? This kind of job is definitely a first for me. Also im not looking to do any kind of engine out rebuild, I just want this stupid Patriot to work again.

Ranger50 MegaDork
6/21/24 7:03 p.m.

Looks like scrap to me

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/21/24 7:12 p.m.

I suspect the last time it "overheated" it was hood-deep in a body of water.

manladypig Reader
6/21/24 7:30 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I should mention I and the car are from San Diego, Car definitely wasnt flooded 

11GTCS SuperDork
6/21/24 7:35 p.m.

In reply to manladypig :

What's the head look like?  Something must be cracked if it's got that much "coolant" in the cylinders and no apparent issues with the head gasket.   Also, what's with all the white crud in the coolant passages?  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/21/24 8:02 p.m.

Is the white crud from "headgasket in a bottle"?  The PO knew it had an oveheating problem and a coolant burning problem.  Was the PO adding coolant daily/weekly and thereby adding so much coolant that it got to the point where the block was full of coolant.  If not gasket intrusion then it is block intrusion for the water.   

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/21/24 8:07 p.m.

What engine/trans combo?  

Patriots came in 2.0L and 2.4L

2.0L was either manual or CVT - - A bad, unreliable, short life, CVT

2.4L was either manual, CVT, or 6 speed auto.  I do not know how to visually tell the 6 speed from the cvt.  Avoid the cvt.  


Try dropping the vin into this site and see if it returns to you the window sticker and thereby the engine trans combo

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/21/24 8:12 p.m.

My guess is that your best option for easy money would be to list it as:  2015 Jeep Patriot, wont start. 

Noddaz PowerDork
6/21/24 8:16 p.m.

How much is a used engine?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/21/24 8:29 p.m.
Noddaz said:

How much is a used engine?

Failing CVTs seem to keep the supply of used engines high and the prices reasonable-ish.  $1,000- $1,500 engines

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
6/21/24 8:48 p.m.

Sounds like scrap.

Streetwiseguy MegaDork
6/21/24 9:06 p.m.

Mmmm. A jeep Patriot.  A poor quality Calber.  A vehicle with a relay box mounted directly in front of the left front tire, so it an be damp the whole time.  With a spectacularly badly behaved cvt.  With an engine that makes a Neon look indestructible. 

But it's a Jeep, so you can hop curbs without fear.

Scrap, unless you can get a known good used.engine for cheap.

I would not even consider fixing that engine.  It is, at best, a boat anchor.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/21/24 9:44 p.m.

Bores look pitted.


If it was overheated well enough to cause coolant loss, the head and/or block are warped.


if it was overheated well enough to stop turning, the rings have lost their tension.


Easy fix is a replacement engine.  Fortunately the market is flooded with them.  I assume that Hyundai/Kia version of this engine is incompatible, because the Jeep version is very cheap to buy used.


The GRM answer is to find a wrecked Evo X and bolt in as much as possible smiley

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/21/24 9:51 p.m.

Bores are wasted.  Those open decks are fine until they overheat.  I wouldn't be surprised if it needed 0.040" overbore to make them round again.

Good candidate for a swap to something more reliable, but I wouldn't waste time on that particular engine, and junkyard engine will likely only fit with the CVT (which is crappy)

I'd do something like an Atlas or Ecotec... or LS1

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/22/24 4:42 a.m.

Swap engine and trans from a CRV, Mad Max body styling and the Gambler/Rallycross events. 

Patrick MegaDork
6/22/24 9:06 a.m.

Figure out if anything is a bigger money part, part those bits out including selling the cat for scrap, dump it

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/22/24 9:45 a.m.

Mitch took his apart and rebuilt it as an awesome, fun machine:

Someone else in the Gambler Rally Group took theirs apart and didn't rebuild it. Awesome fun machine:

I have no advice on how to do it, but enjoy the process, then enjoy the ride.

EDIT: As pointed out later I was thinking Liberty, not Patriot. Still, it's s Jeep that's not a 'Jeep' - different, but same same.

etifosi SuperDork
6/22/24 10:15 a.m.
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

Mitch took his apart and rebuilt it as an awesome, fun machine:

Someone else in the Gambler Rally Group took theirs apart and didn't rebuild it. Awesome fun machine:

I have no advice on how to do it, but enjoy the process, then enjoy the ride.

That black Jeep Liberty is one of the sketchiest things I've seen here recently yet I love it. Finally, I Jeep thing I understand!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/22/24 10:39 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) :

That's a Liberty.


The Patriot is a transverse engine cute-ute that can trace its chassis heritage to late 90s Mitsubishi economy cars like the Mirage.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/22/24 10:49 a.m.

We're talking these chassis-mates:

Dodge Caliber
Jeep Compass & Compass update
Jeep Patriot

spandak Dork
6/22/24 11:52 a.m.

I always kinda liked the way the patriot looked. 

I'm a sucker for a free car. If the interior isn't a hazard zone I would throw an engine in it and drive until I got bored. Then sell it cheap to a high schooler. 

ddavidv UltimaDork
6/23/24 7:19 a.m.

We had a Patriot. Even with my intense distrust of all things Chrysler, I bought an 80,000 mile example for the missus. We put another 100,000 on it with very few problems and only sold it because it started to rust over the rear wheels and we were kind of tired of it anyway. It had the 2.4 (indestructible, unlike the 2.0) and a five speed manual. Power was 'adequate'. Only problems we had were mostly electrical:  window switch cluster, radio, one of the engine sensors (cam? crank?) and multiple bulbs for the left taillamp. Still had the original clutch in it when sold. I think the sway bar end links started making noise and I replaced those. Nothing else went wrong that I can recall. 

During the same period I had two different ones as company cars. One CVT, one regular sludge-o-matic. Had no  problems with either one.

One thing I did learn before buying ours was to never, ever buy one with a sunroof. The drains clog really easily and will rain water into the interior.

If it's a 2.4 I'd just toss a used engine in it and run it. 

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
6/23/24 7:25 a.m.

As a mopar guy, i can wholeheartedly say:



berkeleying RUN.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/23/24 12:47 p.m.
ddavidv said:

It had the 2.4 (indestructible, unlike the 2.0)


Aren't they the same engine?

I've never seen any issues with this engine, even with the worst bad maintenance one could expect from a small SUV.


I replaced one once, but that was because a coolant hose blew off and the teenage driver didn't notice anything was wrong until the vehicle stopped moving.  Once cooled down, the engine was still coolant-tight, but they wanted a replacement engine anyway.


OTOH, I have seen zero issues with the CVT, too.  They just work provided that you change the fluid.  I did have one where it was shifting absolutely horribly, and it turned out that the fluid in the trans was red, probably Dexron.  Three drain and fills with the proper (not cheap) fluid and it was fine.

APEowner UltraDork
6/23/24 12:56 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

As a mopar guy, i can wholeheartedly say:



berkeleying RUN.

Agreed.  Even at free you overpaid.  That thing is a liability not an asset.

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