Jeep Compass Problems – What Should You Know?

by Conner Mckay

Many reports claim that Jeep Compass vehicles are inefficient and underpowered. The brand has no redeeming qualities, including a poor track record of reliability and other Jeep Compass problems. The car has had numerous faults since its inception in 2007. Plus, many of them persist in the current model.

The electrical system, engine, and powertrain are the key Jeep Compass problems. So, let’s look at some more difficulties with various models and recalls. Elsewhere, the Jeep Compass is a solid compact SUV with roomy interiors and towing capability. After five years, this model has a 47 percent rate of depreciation. In other words, the Jeep Compass’s five-year resale value is roughly $13,000, assuming a brand-new model costs $25,000 at the time of purchase.

Is The Jeep Compass A Trustworthy Vehicle?

The Jeep Compass has a lot of conflicting ratings when it comes to reliability. This Jeep Compass had fairly ordinary reliability scores from J.D. Power and Associates, ranging from 75 to 78 out of 100.

A Jeep Compass is relatively inexpensive to maintain. The average yearly repair cost for this SUV is roughly $526, which is rather ordinary compared to the average annual maintenance cost for comparable compact SUVs, which is $521. You may also anticipate taking your Jeep Compass to a shop for unscheduled repairs 0.2 times per year on average, with an 11% chance that the repair would be significant.

2018 Jeep Compass Problems

Because the Jeep Compass has just been on the market since 2006, we should have a lot of information concerning how reliable they are. However, knowing that many Jeeps may last more than ten years and 200,000 miles with proper care, you can expect the Jeep Compass to last a decently long time.

The Most Common Jeep Compass Problems

The Jeep Compass, like most vehicles, has its share of difficulties and issues that many owners find unpleasant or even dangerous. Some of the most prevalent Jeep Compass problems are listed below:

1. The Vehicle Isn’t Starting

A no-start condition is a rather typical 2018 Jeep Compass problem. The afflicted owners initially observed the problem when the vehicle was still relatively new, at around 25,000 miles. Even after having their car checked by a mechanic, one owner claimed that their car would not start. They were advised that the vehicle’s battery might be malfunctioning.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued three technical service bulletins (TSBs) in response to the no-start issue with select 2018 Jeep Compasses. The first bulletin, TSB #S1908000108, describes how to repair and diagnose no-start problems accompanied by multiple U-codes. This bulletin was most recently updated on November 10, 2020.

The second bulletin is TSB #09-004-20, which was released on March 5, 2020. This bulletin incorporates updates to a previous document published in March 2018. According to this document, some 2018 Jeep Compasses with a no-start problem in freezing temperatures may have a muffler without a weep hole.

On June 25, 2020, the third bulletin, TSB #S2008000075, was released. A broken connection to the auxiliary battery and other related components may produce a no-start problem accompanied by cluster messages to service the shifter or service the start/stop system, according to this TSB.

2. The Passenger Cabin Is Leaking Water

Everyone should feel safe inside their vehicle when driving through adverse weather, knowing that the snow or rain won’t get inside the passenger cabin. Unfortunately, some Jeep Compass owners have had a different experience. A leaking roof or sunroof is one of the most common 2014 Jeep Compass problems.

According to some of the affected owners, rain or snow would always come inside the passenger compartment anytime they drove through inclement weather. According to one of the owners, the leak is apparent via the vehicle’s dome light, but others claim there are no visible leaks.

In September 2015, FCA issued a TSB (#23-035-15) to remedy the roof leak issue. This bulletin, aside from the Jeep Compass, this issue was also found in some Jeep Patriot, Dodge Journey, and Dodge Caliber models. The technique for changing the sunroof service trough is outlined in the document.

3. Brakes That Are Noisy Or Grind

Owners of 2012 and 2014 Jeep Compasses have expressed their disappointment with the noisy/grinding brakes. According to the afflicted owners, the noise would be low in pitch, but it was immediately visible and bothersome. This problem would become apparent at roughly 8,950 miles for 2012 models. Owners of the 2014 year models, on the other hand, would detect the problem after averaging 12,700 miles.

Some owners have taken their vehicles to the shop, only to be told by mechanics that the noise is a common Jeep Compass problem and that nothing can be done about it. While some owners have replaced the brakes and other relevant components, the problem has continued in most cases.

On August 20, 2016, FCA issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) to fix this issue. Affected owners should add an anti-vibration bracket to the rear brake caliper, according to TSB #05-003-16, to eliminate the low grinding noise they hear when braking.

4. Overheating CVT Transmissions

The most severe Jeep Compass problems on this list are overheated CVT transmissions. It had an impact on models for the year 2011. It’s not only expensive to fix, but it’s also a major safety hazard. According to owners who have encountered this problem, the CVT transmission on their Jeep Compass overheats when the outside temperature is hot, or they’re driving at high speeds on the highway.

Their cars would suddenly make weird whining noises and lose their ability to sustain speed. This would occur multiple times in the afflicted automobiles. This is a serious Jeep Compass problem, especially on the road, where passengers normally go 65-75 mph. Suddenly losing speed might result in serious accidents and severe injury in these scenarios.

The average cost of diagnosing and fixing the problem for affected owners was $1,700. Unfortunately, many mechanics were confused about dealing with the situation. There are currently no TSBs or recalls related to this problem. In a similar development, Jeep has issued Technical Service Bulletins #9004265 and #9004266 to address another transmission/powertrain issue.

5. Failure Of The Tie Rod And The Control Arm

The suspension system improves steering and handling while keeping your ride comfortable. The suspension system of the Jeep Compass has a few difficulties, including tie rod and control arm/bushing failure. Tie rod failure is one of the most common 2008 Jeep Compass problems.

While driving, owners have reported hearing strange noises. Their tires had worn in an unusual pattern, which they discovered when they checked. Aside from replacing the tie rod ends and control arms, specialists recommended realigning the wheels, which cost the affected owners an average of $480.

Control arms are the most common 2007 Jeep Compass problems. Affected owners first noticed the problem at roughly 36000 miles. The average cost of the repair was $690. According to one Compass owner, the first sign was a strange noise made by the vehicle as it turned a corner. As they turned, the car tilted to the passenger side, forcing the car to collide with the sidewalk.

These suspension system faults were usually resolved by replacing the ball joints, tie rod ends, control arms, and control arm bushings. However, as of this writing, Jeep/FCA has not issued a TSB or a recall regarding these issues.

6. Failure Of The TIPM

The Totally Integrated Power Module, or TIPM, is an electrical device that controls power distribution throughout the vehicle. If this component fails, the entire vehicle may appear to be possessed. Many Jeep Compass owners learned the hard way about the signs of a bad TIPM. One of the most costly 2007 Jeep Compass problems is a malfunctioning TIPM.

Many owners have stated that their vehicle’s lights (headlights, dashboard lights, etc.) have been flashing on and off. Some people have even reported that their car honked on its own while parked.

According to the afflicted Compass owners, the symptoms began to appear at 110,000 miles. Most owners claimed that replacing the TIPM solved the problem, however, this came at a high cost. This problem cost the affected owners an average of $1,650 to fix. There are currently no technical service bulletins (TSBs) or recalls to address these Jeep Compass problems.

You should be fine as long as you’re aware of any potential issues with the Jeep Compass year model you’re considering purchasing. It’s best to avoid models with major problems that are costly to fix. Investing time and money in research prior to purchasing a used Compass can help you save time and money in the long term.

Just double-check with the seller to ensure everything is in order before proceeding with the purchase.

7. Jeep Compass 1st Generation Relay Box Failure

The ASD relay, starter relay, and cooling fan relay are located in the 2.4L engine’s relay box. The relay box is positioned inside the fender well on the driver’s side. Water, sand, and other contaminants can collect and erode the electrical components in this location.

Rewire the harness into the firewall and replace the complete relay module box. Clean the area and cover it with electrical tape to protect it from the elements after rewiring the junction box with new connectors and relays.

8. Engine-Related Issues

Any working SUV’s engine is by far the most significant component. The ride is anything but smooth without a properly operating motor.

This is evident in the NHTSA’s review. “While driving on the street and freeway, as well as turning, my 2020 Compass stalls. This has happened to me six or seven times, and one time a driver slammed on his brakes and swerved past me to avoid hitting me.

I took it to the dealer twice, and it’s been in the shop for 25 days. I provided video documentation of the problem, and the dealer stated they wouldn’t do anything if they didn’t see it. The automobile continues to receive various check engine codes, which are simply cleared. There’s clearly a problem because the dealer won’t let you test drive the automobile for two miles. Clearly, there is an electrical problem.”

Jeep isn’t trying to disguise its engine problems. Even Service Bulletin #09-004-19 mentions an engine vibration and sensation when shifting gears. The technician will need to replace an engine mount to fix this Jeep Compass problem. So far, customers’ initial impressions have been of engine noises and a trip to the dealership for repairs. The Compass moves in the opposite direction.

9. Electrical System Issues

Any contemporary vehicle’s electrical system is essential for its correct operation. Nonetheless, the Compass is having trouble in this area as well. Another NHTSA complaint worth reading is this one. “On two occasions, the vehicle has shut down while traveling. The car shut off both times after I slowed to a stop and applied the gas to reaccelerate at a green light.

The infotainment panels remained illuminated, and the shift knob’s lights began to blink. While sitting at an intersection, I had to put the car in park, turn it off, and restart it. It was not an easy task. The car had an idle option to save gas (more so if you know how to save gas), but it was not in use; the car was entirely turned off.”

Jeep Compass Problems

Jeep can’t seem to make a reliable SUV that works as it should. While not an electrical problem, a recall demonstrates the company’s inability to master the basics. The windshield wipers in more than 425,000 vehicles may not work properly, according to NHTSA Campaign Number 20V208000. A fault causes the Jeep Compass problem in the windshield wiper arm, which might cause the wipers to loosen.

There is a severe safety risk to be concerned about if owners cannot utilize their wipers during inclement weather.

10. Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) Issues

Modern automobiles’ advanced systems necessitate a high level of precision, but a lot may go wrong. That’s what we observe with the Compass’s Forward Collision Avoidance. “The individual has a 2020 Jeep Compass,” says another NHTSA review. The caller said that the Forward Collision-Avoidance system failed to perform as intended when driving 40 mph.

According to the informant, the speed was not dropped, and there was no warning of stopped vehicles ahead. The contact squeezed the brake pedal and brought the vehicle to a complete halt. The vehicle’s Forward Collision-Avoidance system was reset, and it performed as expected. The failure occurred multiple times, according to the contact.

The vehicle was taken to the dealership, where the customer was advised that it was in good working order. The vehicle’s condition was not determined. The problem was reported to the manufacturer, who was contacted. The client was notified that the front sensor for the Forward Collision-Avoidance system needed to be changed. No repairs were made to the car. The failure mileage was around 600.”

Common 2015 Jeep Compass Problems

  • There are no automatic lamp functions on this model, so you’ll have to remember to turn on the lights when it gets dark.
  • It produces a meager amount of power and accelerates slowly.
  • The engine is unrefined and noisy.

Common 2016 Jeep Compass Problems

  • The engine is noisy and lacks power.
  • It has subpar seats and a poor driving stance.
  • Visibility is an issue.

Common 2017 Jeep Compass Problems

The following are some of the common 2017 Jeep Compass problems:

  • Some vehicles’ stop/start systems are unavailable due to electrical issues. In some cases, the cruise control does not maintain the downhill speed.
  • Vehicles shut down while driving due to engine problems caused by high oil consumption.
  • Gas problems include vehicles stalling after refueling and fuel spilling when filling up.

Common 2018 Jeep Compass Problems

  • The electrical system has a number of problems. The instrument cluster gets extremely bright at night, obstructing the driver’s vision. The device continues to have difficulty adjusting the brightness. This was the subject of a recall, but the problem was not rectified.
  • While driving, the Jeep jams and shuts down. There have been multiple reports of the engine failing without notice. The dealers believe the issue is with a voltage regulator, which they can fix for free.
  • There is also a case for the 6-speed and 9-speed transmissions. Jerking and falling into limp mode (which may help if you know how to bypass limp mode) are issues with the units. According to the owner, after 15 minutes of driving, the vehicle goes limp and won’t go faster than 30 mph. Unfortunately, the dealers have yet to come up with a remedy to the problem, which means it will continue to occur.

Jeep Compass Problems

Recalls To Be Aware

1. The 2014 Jeep Compass Had Two Recalls For The Engine And Airbag

  • A total of 521 automobiles with a 2.4L engine were affected by the recall. The machine would halt, increasing the likelihood of a collision. The engine balance shaft module would be replaced for free by the dealers.
  • Many automobiles were affected by the airbag recall, which totaled 1435625. Frontal airbags, seat belt pretensioners, and side bags would all fail, putting the passengers in danger. The OCR will be replaced at no cost by the dealers.

2. A Steering Recall Has Been Issued For The 2016 Jeep Compass

  • The power steering hose retention clamp was placed incorrectly, allowing the low-pressure return line to detach. The problem would cause liquids to leak, thus increasing the risk of a fire.
  • The engine and engine cooling of the 2016 Jeep Compass were recalled. The crankshaft intermittently failed to work, causing the machine to stop.
  •  A total of 42231 automobiles were affected by the recall, which took place between May and July 2016. There’s a higher chance of crashing if the engine stalls. The vehicle’s owners will receive a free replacement crankshaft from the dealers.

3. NHTSA Has Issued Four Recalls For The 2017 Jeep Compass

  • Extinguishers with a plastic handle or a push-button are being recalled for safety reasons. The extinguishers become clogged, preventing the unit from discharging the requisite force to activate. Furthermore, the nozzle might still separate with great force from the valve assembly, causing harm and rendering the equipment useless. The number of vehicles impacted is 61791.
  • The illumination brightness on the instrument panel is not adjustable, which is a second recall. As a result, the automobiles fail to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards.
  • A driver’s ability to see at night is harmed by excessively bright light, which raises the chance of a collision.
  • Another recall involves automobiles whose owners’ manuals contain incorrect information about how to jumpstart them. In the battery terminal graphic, the polarity of the battery terminals is reversed. The owners may connect the battery wires incorrectly, resulting in injuries. Check to see if your car is one of the 12989 that has been affected, and if so, get the guide updates for free.
  • The most recent Jeep 2017 Compass recall affects vehicles with 6-speed transmissions. The transmission may disengage because the left front of the half shaft is seated incorrectly. Breaks in the transmission might cause the automobile to lose drive and crash. Dealers will inspect the half shaft and replace any that are improperly engaged. A total of 4705 units are affected.

Compact SUV crossover reliability

4. Jeep Compass 2018 Recall

  • The brakes on the rear axle wheels were not working properly due to improper brake piston coating. The coating, however, can still cause gas to develop in the hydraulic system. As a result, the braking system’s power performance may result in a crash. Check with your local dealers to see whether your vehicle is affected.
  • A recall for vehicles in which the powertrain control module causes stopping or a no-start condition raises the danger of a crash.
  • A vehicle with poorly welded front lower control arms, resulting in separation. The issue can lead a vehicle to lose control, increasing the chance of a collision. The front lower control arms will be inspected and replaced free of charge by the dealers.
  • The airbag inflator mounting nuts on the vehicle’s passenger side is loose. In the event of a collision, the airbag may collide with the vehicle’s occupants, causing harm or death. The owners will be notified, and the passenger airbag module will be replaced free of charge.
  • Recall on vehicles where the brightness of the illumination in the instrument panel cluster cannot be altered. As a result, a bright instrumental cluster reduces the driver’s nighttime visibility and increases the risk of a collision.
  • Vehicles with 2.4 L engines are being recalled because some have damaged oil pump housing, which causes the engine to halt, increasing the danger of a crash. The owners will be notified, and the oil pump will be inspected and replaced as needed.

What Are The Jeep Compass’s Least Troublesome Years And Trim?

The top trim level for all cars is the 2020 Jeep Compass. The model stands out even from the outside with bi-xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps.

What Are The Jeep Compass’ Most Troublesome Years And Trim?

There are some good and bad years for the Jeep Compass model. Owner complaints are higher in some years than others, suggesting more problems. According to reports, the 2007 year was the most complex and stressful, with several issues. There have been a few incidents this year, such as stalling after refueling, TIPM failure, and so on.

Tips And Tricks For Maintenance

  • To stay ahead of problems, perform regular maintenance on the vehicle according to the approved maintenance schedule.
  • You must replace any defective components.
  • In the event of a major failure, seek the advice of an expert technician.
  • To counterbalance the effect of the loud air noise, turn up the radio volume.

Jeep Compass Years to Avoid and Buy: Facts and Comparisons

  • The Jeep Compass is a compact crossover SUV, and its reliability rating is 4.0 out of 5 according to RepairPal.
  • Some years of the Jeep Compass are more reliable than others, and the worst model years to avoid are the 2007, 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2018.
  • The 2007 Jeep Compass had control arm problems and issues with electronics, particularly its Totally Integrated Power Module or TIPM, which can cost $1,650 to repair.
  • The 2008 Jeep Compass had tie rods and/or control arm failures, and the engine is prone to stalling or shutting down while driving.
  • The 2012 Jeep Compass had brake grinding and TIPM failures that can result in stalled engines and other problems.
  • The 2014 Jeep Compass had loud noise coming from the back brakes, and the wireless control module (WCM) may fail and cause a no crank or start condition.
  • The 2018 Jeep Compass had engine and electrical system problems, with the highest number of complaints at 918.
  • The Jeep Compass models that are safe to buy used are the 2009, 2010, and 2017 versions.
  • The common problems with the Jeep Compass include a no-start issue, grinding brakes, overheating transmission, and tie rod and control arm failures.
  • Fiat-Chrysler has released several service bulletins to address some of the problems with the Jeep Compass.

Final Verdict:

The 2020 Jeep Compass is expected to be as popular as the automaker’s classic lineup. Although this SUV states that “first impressions matter,” initial feedback has been unfavorable. It turns out that this model has a faulty engine, a faulty electrical system, and issues with the front collision avoidance system.

Troubles plagued the 2007 Jeep Compass, and for the next several years, electrical and suspension faults were so severe that they might be life-threatening if something went wrong at the time.

If you’re looking for a Jeep Compass that will give you the least amount of trouble, the best model years to look at are 2013, 2019, and 2020. As with any car or SUV, you should have it thoroughly inspected by a mechanic to ensure that you are purchasing a vehicle in good working order. It’s preferable to be safe rather than sorry for Jeep compass problems.

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John Mowris 03/19/2023 - 10:32 pm

2014 jeep compass with abs/4wd/traction lights on dash board. steering wheel vibrates when driving.

Paul Hadley 07/25/2023 - 4:18 pm

John Mowris, it seems like you are experiencing some concerning issues with your 2014 Jeep Compass. The ABS/4WD/Traction lights illuminating on the dashboard, along with a vibrating steering wheel while driving, can indeed be worrisome. These symptoms may indicate potential problems with the vehicle’s braking system, drivetrain, or suspension.

To address these issues, it is advisable to have your Jeep Compass inspected by a qualified mechanic or take it to an authorized Jeep dealership. They have the expertise and diagnostic tools necessary to identify the root causes of these problems accurately. By doing so, you can ensure that any necessary repairs or maintenance will be performed correctly.

Additionally, if there have been any previous discussions or suggestions in this comment thread regarding similar problems, it would be beneficial to review them. Sometimes, other Jeep Compass owners may have encountered and resolved similar issues, and their experiences could provide valuable insights.

Remember, addressing these concerns promptly is crucial to ensure your safety on the road and to prevent any potential further damage. Good luck, and I hope your Jeep Compass gets back to its optimal condition soon.

John Mowris 03/19/2023 - 10:46 pm

also the previous reply i forgot to include steering wheel vibrates after 45 – 50 miles per hour

Paul Hadley 07/25/2023 - 4:18 pm

John, it’s important to address the issue of the steering wheel vibrating after reaching speeds of 45-50 miles per hour in the Jeep Compass. This symptom could potentially indicate an issue with wheel balance or alignment. It’s advisable to have the tires checked and balanced by a qualified technician. Additionally, a wheel alignment may be necessary to ensure that the wheels are properly aligned, which can contribute to a smoother driving experience. Remember to consult a certified mechanic or contact your local Jeep dealership for a thorough inspection and accurate diagnosis.


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