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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I finally had a little time to investigate the widespread reported-issue of the doors retaining water. Hopefully this puts a few people at-rest for their concerns, and dispels many of the incorrect beliefs…

A quick summary:
  • EVERY Trailblazer has this condition. Its only “evident” however if you’re parked on a flat surface. Any incline or angle, and the majority of the water will already drain before you open any of your doors. Similarly, depending upon the orientation of the vehicle on the inclined surface, only certain doors might exhibit the issue.
  • The water is NOT being trapped within the inner and outer door panels. I have verified this.
  • There is zero risk to any electrical or speakers within the door itself.
  • The drain holes in the door panels are sized correctly, and there is nothing blocking their functionality within the doors. There is no need to make these holes larger.
  • The drain holes in the door panels do NOT get blocked by the exterior plastic cladding, nor by the door-sill or weatherstripping when the doors are in their closed-position. I have verified this; I observed & located the holes and the sufficient gaps to all these other potential surfaces.
  • The water is being trapped in a shallow “V” section at the bottom of the exterior plastic cladding, between the outer door-panel and the plastic cladding. Have a look at my attached images; I have verified this.
  • With the vehicle parked on a “flat” surface, the water will be retained in this long channel. When you open the door, the bracket-angle of the door anchored to the body opens the doors on a slightly ‘upward’ angle (just a few degrees), which makes all of the water in this channel travel to the front-corner of each door, overflowing and spilling out at the front-corner between the door and the cladding. It APPEARS to be coming from the front drain-hole in the door, but it is NOT.
  • It is inherent in the design itself, there is no defective or misinstalled part, and there will not be any ‘fix’ from GM ever issued. (At best I could see a TSB issued to alert dealers what it is / what to do if a customer ever complains.)
  • As an experienced engineer, I personally consider it a non-issue and will not be performing any modifications to the underside of the plastic cladding. And I live in Michigan, where we face 3-4 months of snow each year. (As a testament to my vehicle ownership, we still own our 2002 Trailblazer, 250k+ miles and still going strong; it has lived exclusively outside for the past 15 years. I know and have seen firsthand where high-potentials of rust can and will be formed…)
  • HOWEVER, if you want to still guarantee that no residual water stays in this shallow channel, you can perform the following at YOUR OWN RISK:
    • Drill as many 4-5mm sized holes along the length of the BOTTOM of the body cladding as you desire. IMO, three should be sufficient – one at the front, middle and back of each cladding piece.
    • Periodically clean these holes with any poking tool to free it of any dirt or debris buildup.

One other comment; I have seen an image or two of people actually having water retained within their door panels – and encroaching into the interior trim pieces. THE “ISSUE” ABOVE IS NOT YOUR ISSUE. You have a different problem, one that is real and should be checked via your dealer-warranty.

Hopes this helps calm some of the panic (term used lightheartedly) floating around about the doors and needing a recall, etc….



 

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So, I finally had a little time to investigate the widespread reported-issue of the doors retaining water. Hopefully this puts a few people at-rest for their concerns, and dispels many of the incorrect beliefs…

A quick summary:
  • EVERY Trailblazer has this condition. Its only “evident” however if you’re parked on a flat surface. Any incline or angle, and the majority of the water will already drain before you open any of your doors. Similarly, depending upon the orientation of the vehicle on the inclined surface, only certain doors might exhibit the issue.
  • The water is NOT being trapped within the inner and outer door panels. I have verified this.
  • There is zero risk to any electrical or speakers within the door itself.
  • The drain holes in the door panels are sized correctly, and there is nothing blocking their functionality within the doors. There is no need to make these holes larger.
  • The drain holes in the door panels do NOT get blocked by the exterior plastic cladding, nor by the door-sill or weatherstripping when the doors are in their closed-position. I have verified this; I observed & located the holes and the sufficient gaps to all these other potential surfaces.
  • The water is being trapped in a shallow “V” section at the bottom of the exterior plastic cladding, between the outer door-panel and the plastic cladding. Have a look at my attached images; I have verified this.
  • With the vehicle parked on a “flat” surface, the water will be retained in this long channel. When you open the door, the bracket-angle of the door anchored to the body opens the doors on a slightly ‘upward’ angle (just a few degrees), which makes all of the water in this channel travel to the front-corner of each door, overflowing and spilling out at the front-corner between the door and the cladding. It APPEARS to be coming from the front drain-hole in the door, but it is NOT.
  • It is inherent in the design itself, there is no defective or misinstalled part, and there will not be any ‘fix’ from GM ever issued. (At best I could see a TSB issued to alert dealers what it is / what to do if a customer ever complains.)
  • As an experienced engineer, I personally consider it a non-issue and will not be performing any modifications to the underside of the plastic cladding. And I live in Michigan, where we face 3-4 months of snow each year. (As a testament to my vehicle ownership, we still own our 2002 Trailblazer, 250k+ miles and still going strong; it has lived exclusively outside for the past 15 years. I know and have seen firsthand where high-potentials of rust can and will be formed…)
  • HOWEVER, if you want to still guarantee that no residual water stays in this shallow channel, you can perform the following at YOUR OWN RISK:
    • Drill as many 4-5mm sized holes along the length of the BOTTOM of the body cladding as you desire. IMO, three should be sufficient – one at the front, middle and back of each cladding piece.
    • Periodically clean these holes with any poking tool to free it of any dirt or debris buildup.

One other comment; I have seen an image or two of people actually having water retained within their door panels – and encroaching into the interior trim pieces. THE “ISSUE” ABOVE IS NOT YOUR ISSUE. You have a different problem, one that is real and should be checked via your dealer-warranty.

Hopes this helps calm some of the panic (term used lightheartedly) floating around about the doors and needing a recall, etc….


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Thanks for the detailed summary. The condition you are describing was brought to light in the original thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the detailed summary. The condition you are describing was brought to light in the original thread.
Somewhat, I’ve seen scatterings of theories across several threads in history. I have seen many allusions that water was coming from the first drain hole which isn’t the case. Likewise I recall persons saying the water was between the door panels etc….
 

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Somewhat, I’ve seen scatterings of theories across several threads in history. I have seen many allusions that water was coming from the first drain hole which isn’t the case. Likewise I recall persons saying the water was between the door panels etc….
Your'e the man!
 

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So, I finally had a little time to investigate the widespread reported-issue of the doors retaining water. Hopefully this puts a few people at-rest for their concerns, and dispels many of the incorrect beliefs…

A quick summary:
  • EVERY Trailblazer has this condition. Its only “evident” however if you’re parked on a flat surface. Any incline or angle, and the majority of the water will already drain before you open any of your doors. Similarly, depending upon the orientation of the vehicle on the inclined surface, only certain doors might exhibit the issue.
  • The water is NOT being trapped within the inner and outer door panels. I have verified this.
  • There is zero risk to any electrical or speakers within the door itself.
  • The drain holes in the door panels are sized correctly, and there is nothing blocking their functionality within the doors. There is no need to make these holes larger.
  • The drain holes in the door panels do NOT get blocked by the exterior plastic cladding, nor by the door-sill or weatherstripping when the doors are in their closed-position. I have verified this; I observed & located the holes and the sufficient gaps to all these other potential surfaces.
  • The water is being trapped in a shallow “V” section at the bottom of the exterior plastic cladding, between the outer door-panel and the plastic cladding. Have a look at my attached images; I have verified this.
  • With the vehicle parked on a “flat” surface, the water will be retained in this long channel. When you open the door, the bracket-angle of the door anchored to the body opens the doors on a slightly ‘upward’ angle (just a few degrees), which makes all of the water in this channel travel to the front-corner of each door, overflowing and spilling out at the front-corner between the door and the cladding. It APPEARS to be coming from the front drain-hole in the door, but it is NOT.
  • It is inherent in the design itself, there is no defective or misinstalled part, and there will not be any ‘fix’ from GM ever issued. (At best I could see a TSB issued to alert dealers what it is / what to do if a customer ever complains.)
  • As an experienced engineer, I personally consider it a non-issue and will not be performing any modifications to the underside of the plastic cladding. And I live in Michigan, where we face 3-4 months of snow each year. (As a testament to my vehicle ownership, we still own our 2002 Trailblazer, 250k+ miles and still going strong; it has lived exclusively outside for the past 15 years. I know and have seen firsthand where high-potentials of rust can and will be formed…)
  • HOWEVER, if you want to still guarantee that no residual water stays in this shallow channel, you can perform the following at YOUR OWN RISK:
    • Drill as many 4-5mm sized holes along the length of the BOTTOM of the body cladding as you desire. IMO, three should be sufficient – one at the front, middle and back of each cladding piece.
    • Periodically clean these holes with any poking tool to free it of any dirt or debris buildup.

One other comment; I have seen an image or two of people actually having water retained within their door panels – and encroaching into the interior trim pieces. THE “ISSUE” ABOVE IS NOT YOUR ISSUE. You have a different problem, one that is real and should be checked via your dealer-warranty.

Hopes this helps calm some of the panic (term used lightheartedly) floating around about the doors and needing a recall, etc….


View attachment 1048 View attachment 1049
View attachment 1050 View attachment 1051 View attachment 1052
One question where does the water come from?
When I checked my TB water does drain from first door drain hole. With the molding sticking past bottom of door the water drips into molding and collects inside between door and molding when door is opened angle changes and trapped water drains.I have cut a v notch right below drain hole so water does not drip into molding. No problem,
 

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I have confirmed that the water is draining from the first drain hole and not from the corner you posted. At least on my TB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One question where does the water come from?
When I checked my TB water does drain from first door drain hole. With the molding sticking past bottom of door the water drips into molding and collects inside between door and molding when door is opened angle changes and trapped water drains.I have cut a v notch right below drain hole so water does not drip into molding. No problem,
Yes, water does drain from the first drain hole….that’s the purpose of it. But, not the water that you see draining when you open the door. That water drains from the collected water in the shallow V-shaped contour of the bottom of the cladding.

Your V-notch does accomplish your goal of preventing the water specifically from the drain hole from partially collecting in the cladding bottom. But, the water in the cladding bottom is also (and majority) filled from the exterior of the door, between the door and the cladding at the top of the cladding. So, a deep V-notch would be necessary or a few drilled holes to actually allow the pooled water in the cladding to drain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have confirmed that the water is draining from the first drain hole and not from the corner you posted. At least on my TB.
So a suggestion with how to test/verify your theory…. Take a piece of weatherseal or similar rubber/gasket material and fill the entire edge/length of the door between the door panel and the plastic cladding, front to back.
Then pour water on the outside of the door, between the door and cladding seam, and pour water at the window-glass seam (to have water fall into the door panel where the drain holes will be utilized.). This puts water in two theoretical places, one in the cladding bottom and the second is inside the door (if it’s being retained in there). Wait a minute or two to let the water “settle” where it needs to be and let the various dripping stop.

Open the door and first observe if any water drains. The only water that could drain at this moment with the weatherseal intact will be from the drain holes of the door panel. If any stream of water is visible with this step then you have a unique issue inside the door itself which is retaining water until the angle change of the door allows it to flow out of the drain holes. (The drain holes are not blocked when the door is closed.) If you see no water, then the water you poured at the window-glass seam has already properly drained out from the factory drain holes, and nothing is collecting inside your inner/outer door panels.

Then, remove the weatherseal. You should now see the shallow v channel of water now drain from the front corner. This is the water draining from the bottom of the plastic cladding, and is the design trait that we all share.

Would be very interested to hear of your findings. Hope this helps you out.
 

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I have confirmed that the water is draining from the first drain hole and not from the corner you posted. At least on my TB.
Same here, I've observed it several times after washing.
 

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Yes, water does drain from the first drain hole….that’s the purpose of it. But, not the water that you see draining when you open the door. That water drains from the collected water in the shallow V-shaped contour of the bottom of the cladding.

Your V-notch does accomplish your goal of preventing the water specifically from the drain hole from partially collecting in the cladding bottom. But, the water in the cladding bottom is also (and majority) filled from the exterior of the door, between the door and the cladding at the top of the cladding. So, a deep V-notch would be necessary or a few drilled holes to actually allow the pooled water in the cladding to drain.
Sorry but the water build up does come from the door drain hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry but the water build up does come from the door drain hole.
I think we are saying the same thing, only the other source of the water collecting in the cladding (besides from all of the drain holes as you have pointed out) is predominately from the outside of the door, water draining between the top of the cladding and the door panel.
 

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This weekend was the first time I saw water come out of the front of the doors when I opened them after a rain. Seems to me a good rain followed with a flash freeze (happens here in Cincy OH) could cause an issue????
 
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