2019 Jeep Compass Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, engine, and transmission issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners


2019 Jeep Compass

Drivers in the market for a compact SUV are attracted to the 2019 Jeep Compass. It offers some of the same features as the larger SUV lineup from the company, but at a lower price. The automaker’s website claims this vehicle is “Your Partner in Travels.” From the research we performed, we found that owners will have plenty of time traveling in this SUV – to the repair shop. The engine is riddled with defects, electrical systems often go berserk and the powertrain is anything but reliable. 

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018

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Problems with the Engine

When people search for a reliable car, the first thing that’s often considered is the engine. After all, if the motor isn’t functioning right, this turns into costly and time-consuming repairs. It’s the heart of the car. Not only is reliability a top concern, but drivers also want consistency. When turning a key in the ignition, the vehicle should start, without trouble. Then, driving down the road, you expect the SUV to perform the same way it always does, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the Compass.

One owner wrote on Edmunds, “The vehicle’s push-button start failed 4 times the first 2 weeks I had it. Looked up online and it’s a common problem. Dealer fixed it with a software update from a technical service bulletin.”

If this were the only instance of this complaint, we would call it a fluke, but it’s not. In fact, review sites across the internet are filled with similar reports. We do notice that both Service Bulletin #21-028-19 and 18-007-19 REV A discuss a software update, but neither of them seem to relate to this malfunction specifically. Oddly, there’s no other communication available to reference from the company. It’s like getting the silent treatment. Still, we aren’t sure how customers are supposed to enjoy their “travels” when they can’t even start the engine.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Compass Engine Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 JEEP COMPASS. WHILE ATTEMPTING TO START THE VEHICLE, IT FAILED TO OPERATE AND THE CHECK ENGINE WARNING INDICATOR ILLUMINATED. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO ROUTE 46 CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE WHERE THE CAUSE OF THE FAILURE WAS UNDETERMINED. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 1,038.

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT COMES ON AND CAR WILL NOT CRANK; EVERYTHING ELSE WORKS. LET CAR SIT AND IT FINALLY STARTS. DEALERSHIP SAYS NO CODES SHOW UP. HAPPENED 5 TIMES SINCE CAR WAS PURCHASED

THIS IS A BRAND NEW VEHICLE WITH LESS THAN 100 MILES. INTERMITTENT STARTING. WILL NOT START CONSISTANTLY. KNOWN PROBLEM WITH THE VEHICLE, NEEDS A SOFTWARE UPGRADE BUT STILL DO NOT HAVE ONE. THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE, AS YOU CAN PUT THE VEHICLE IN GEAR WITHOUT THE ENGINE E RUNNING AS THE VEHICLE THINKS THE ENGINE IS RUNNING BUT IT IS NOT!. THE DEALERSHIP HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THE PROBLEM BUT DOES NOT HAVE A FIX.

Problems with the Electrical

One of the reasons a car wouldn’t start stems from a faulty electrical system. Electrical components run just about everything in modern vehicles. When there’s a short circuit or defective part, everything goes haywire. From glitches in a stereo system to a battery that won’t charge, it’s simple to pinpoint the cause to something electric.

One driver wrote on the NHTSA website, “Car losses all electrical, won’t start. Not a battery problem. Has happened 4 times since I bought the car 2 months ago.”

Again, this isn’t an isolated instance, but you can find numerous reports from current drivers. Similarly, the company remains silent on the situation. You won’t find any service bulletins addressing the issues. Instead, it’s supposed to be considered normal that a newer vehicle won’t start twice a month. Hopefully, the boss understands when you don’t make it into work. That gives us an idea – if you don’t feel like going in one day, you can always claim it was your Compass’s fault!

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Compass Electrical Problems:

VEHICLE WON’T START. ITS THE THIRD TIME IN A WEEK. THE FIRST ONE TAKE 10 MINUTES TO START, THE SECOND TIME 15 TO 20 MINUTES AND THE THIRD TIME I CALL THE DEALER AND THEY SEND A TOW TRUCK(ALL TIMES THE VEHICLE WAS STATIONARY). THEY USE JUMPER CABLES. THEY SAID IN THAT MOMENT THAT PROBABLY IS THE BATTERY BUT THEY LEAVE UNTIL NEXT DAY. NEXT DAY CALL ME TO PICK MY COMPASS AND THEY SAID THAT IT’S NOT THE BATTERY THAT THE BATTERY IT’S OK AND THEY DON’T FIND NOTHING. I’M WORRIED BECAUSE I SEARCH ONLINE AND I’M NOT THE FIRST ONE WITH THE PROBLEM

THE START/STOP SYSTEM FAILED AT A STOP SIGN AND MY CAR STALLED AND I COULDN’T GET THE CAR MOVING UNTIL I TURNED OFF THE AUTOMATIC STOP/START SYSTEM. THE START/STOP ICON APPEARED WITH AN EXCLAMATION POINT WITH THE WORDS “STOP/START SYSTEM FAILURE” ON THE DASH. MY CAR IS A MONTH OLD.

Problems with the Transmission

A car’s powertrain consists of every element that takes the power from the engine and converts it to the road. One of the major components of this system is the transmission. Malfunctioning transmissions reveal themselves in many ways, such as a bucking ride, trouble shifting or a burning smell. It’s also possible to experience engine problems that cause drivability issues. What do you do when your vehicle experiences numerous complaints that don’t point to just one part?

One driver wrote this on the NHTSA website, “Less than 2,500 miles as of today. Since start of lease in January: Check Tire Pressure System light on, checked 5 times, pressure is fine. Car stalls and stops when driving on highway. Does not accelerate. Car fails to start, says press brake and start button but does not start until 3x of turning off and on. Sometimes D flashes; sometimes A@ flashes on screen. Does not always restart at traffic lights when A@ is not pressed. For this reason I always press A@ to reduce stalling. Car will not initially started when A@ is pressed. In the last three weeks: Engine Not Warm Enough notice appears constantly despite warming car 5 plus minutes in 60 degree weather.”

By the way, that user’s complaints continue on for even longer, but for the sake of time, we figured you didn’t need much more to get the point. These are serious concerns that could lead to an accident and aren’t uncommon among the Compass driving community. With all these complaints and concerns, we wish the automaker was doing more communicating about the problems and potential fixes. Sadly, their camp is quiet. In fact, the 2019 Jeep Compass only has one recall on it to date and it’s for defective brakes. Other than that, there’s not much to report about. The Compass might be compact, but it’s clearly the elephant in the room.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Compass Transmission Problems:

I BOUGHT A 2019 JEEP COMPASS LIMITED 5 DAYS AGO ALL SEEMED WELL AT FIRST THEN ON THE FIFTH DAY I WENT ON MY LUNCH BREAK AND CAR WOULD NOT TURN ON. TRIED LOCKING, UNLOCKING, PUSHING THE START BUTTON REPEATEDLY. AFTER ABOUT 20 MINUTES CAR STARTED ON THE WAY TO MY DESTINATION THE CAR STALLED AND WOULD NOT TURN ON AND AFTER A FEW MINUTES FINALLY RESTARTED. AT THE DESTINATION CAR AGAIN WOULD NOT TURN ON AFTER BEING STATIONARY.

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 JEEP COMPASS. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE VEHICLE STALLED MORE THAN 35 TIMES WITHOUT WARNING. LESTER GLENN CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP RAM FIAT WAS NOTIFIED SEVERAL TIMES, BUT HAD BEEN UNABLE TO REPLICATE AND DIAGNOSE THE FAILURE TO PROVIDE A PERMANENT REMEDY. THE DEALER INDICATED THAT THE VEHICLE’S COMPUTER MAY BE THE SOURCE OF THE FAILURE; HOWEVER, THE PART WAS ON BACK ORDER UNTIL MID MARCH OF 2019. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. A LOANER VEHICLE OPTION WAS NOT PROVIDED. THE CONTACT WAS UNCERTAIN IF THE FAILURE WAS RELATED TO NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBERS: 18V524000 (ELECTRICAL SYSTEM), 17V670000 (ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING), AND 16V907000 (ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING). THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURES AND THE CONTACT WAS WAITING ON A RESPONSE TO DETERMINE THE GUIDELINES TO REPAIR THE VEHICLE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 0.

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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12 COMMENTS
  • Sarah

    I loved everything about my 2019 compass ever since I bought it. (Was a rental car prior, so I bought it with around 15k miles.) It now has 37k, and is now having a severe oil pressure problem. It’s been know ever since the 2017 compasses, that the (tigershark) engine consumes and burns oil… My dad checked it out and replaced a sensor, and my oil level was perfect. I believe my engine is just starting to do what all of those others have done…. Any ideas?

  • Dan H

    Am at 24,636mi over a year with the car and zero issues or complaints

  • Dan H

    Am at 24,636mi over a year with the car and zero issues or complaints

  • Mandy

    My Jeep Compass sport is practically brand new. It has a rattling sound when gearing up which is significant. I have returned this to the service centre 6 times. Each time it goes unresolved or they claim to have adjusted something, I drive away and it happens again. This has occurred since time of purchase. It has less than 10,000 kms and is 18 months old. Due to Covid it wasn’t able to be looked at for 12 months. I’m extremely frustrated and wouldn’t recommend this car

  • Kesha

    I’ve been having problems with my keep compass with starting . It has stalled on me has been in the dealership multiple times and have been working old they can’t find anything except for the first time was told it was a system update . Sometimes it won’t accelerate.

  • Carrie w

    Just took my compass to the dealership for the thrid time only 15000 miles on it! My main problem is when driving the rpm jump randomly and car revs engine without a foot on the accelerator,I was told by jeep it was my problem because my oil was low was not do for a oil change for another 3000 miles also problems with radio stations changing randomly and lights not going off I was told for the thrid time it need a software update I’m starting to believe I got sold a lemon

  • Lori T

    2019 Compass, 15k and it is back in the shop. It started the morning after I initially brought it home. I was stranded at the grocery store. I called the dealership in a panic and was told to 1. open the driver door, 2. push the start button (no brake), 3. close the door, 4. push the start button with the brake on. It started but continued to do this until I was able to get it in the shop. Then the random bells and “dings” started while driving, after that it was issues with the parking brake turning on on its own, the the radio shutting off or the screen going black and the radio still plays, and this time was the panic alarm would go off randomly and wouldn’t shut off. Every time I take it in, they say they are software updates. I’ve had it about a year and a half and can’t wait to get rid of it. Extremely disappointed with Jeep at this point.

  • Nichole

    My 2019 jeep compass keeps having a “tweeting” random noise, that I only notice it hole driving slower than 20-25 mph, it seems to happen when slowly turning, going down side roads and pulling into a driveway. It’s annoying and does not happen while breaking, or just hitting a bump in the road. Also the radio sometimes will just not power on at all, even when button is pushed. Then it randomly comes on by itself after 5-10 minutes. The quality of calls while using Bluetooth is great for me in the car, but it seems like the person I’m talking to can never hear me well, or it’s broken up or like I’m taking through a tunnel. Worse while my phone is plugged into the charger too. Got a new phone, still happening. Also had to replace my tires after 40k miles recently. Almost bald! This shouldn’t happen if you rotate them on a schedule, right?!?! Tires should last longer than that.

  • Oceanna

    I have a 2019 jeep compass but its at 35000 miles now and we have only had a minor issue which was the brakes being dusty and i had to pay a cleaning fee. It does seem do drive a little different than when I first got it one year ago,I do regular oil changes and maintenance and so far so good. My fiance is a mechanic so makes things alot cheaper and easier but iam renewing my warranted on this to 150,000 miles just in case. It started to make a humming noise when coasting.
    No problems with vehicle shutting off, or not starting though besides

  • Casey H

    My wife and I leased a 2019 Jeep Compass. About 3 months after we got the Jeep it started to randomly stall out with no warning while driving and my wife would lose all function of the vehicle and would have to coast to the side of the road. We took the vehicle to the dealership where it is currently at with them telling us they needed to do an oil consumption test one guy at the dealership telling my wife the test is 5000 miles and another guy telling me it was 500 miles. The dealer wanted to just do an oil change and give us the vehicle back to drive for the test. I refused the vehicle because it is not safe for my wife or 9 month old baby to be in. The dealership said they will keep the Jeep giving us a loaner and drive it 500 miles for the test which would either complete the test or leave us with the other 4500 miles to drive to complete the test depending on who you talk to. I spoke to Chrysler they told me that this engines acceptable oil consumption rate is 1 quart every 2000 miles. My wife’s vehicle was 2 quarts low at 4000 miles when we took it to the dealership which prompted this whole oil consumption test. It is not safe for the manufacturer or these dealers to be putting the consumers back in to the vehicle to have them do the test for them to determine a problem of such magnitude. The dealership and Chrysler themselves continue to act as though my wife and I are overreacting and that they need to go through steps all the while failing to have any sympathy toward how unsafe the stalling problem really is. The dealership has told us that the vehicle is shutting off because the engine was too low on oil and this is a normal function but I asked them how it could just shut off without any warning or indication it is going to do so as to give you enough time to get the vehicle to a safe spot to turn off only to have my question danced around and not answered in the slightest. When asked about the warning lights the dealer proceeded to tell me how the engine works without ever answering my question whilst also being condescending. I told the dealer we would much rather get out of the Jeep lease all together because we do not feel like the vehicle is safe if this is a normal thing for it to stall out with no warning, the dealer told me that if his dog broke it’s foot he wouldn’t just take the dog outside and shoot it, why do the same with a vehicle? Prompting me to wonder how the two are even comparable considering a dog with a broken foot isn’t a risk to the life of my wife or our baby.

  • Steph B

    My 2019 Jeep Compass was making strange noises and i brought it in to a mechanic to get it checked. The mechanic said that the last time I got an oil change with Jeep they didnt fully replenish the oil tank. I brought it to jeeps attention and they said that it could be the engine that is having issues and how they wanted me to experiment with the car and drive it an additional 1000 miles so that they can diagnose the problem. I told them I did not feel comfortable being a lab rat and wanted to leave the car with them. They told me if I left it with them they would not look at it and no work would be done on the car. I reluctantly took the car and drove it home after that. Less than a week later Jeep calls me and tells me I have to bring my compass in ASAP because theres an engine issue and how they needed to replace the engine. I bring my Jeep in and they keep it for about a day and a half. When I get the car back they said that the engine was replaced and how everything should be under control. Less than 2 weeks after getting the car back from Jeep my car completely shuts off on me in the middle of the street while Im on my way to work. After 10 minutes of fighting with the car to turn on and to drive I drive my car back home completely traumatized by the ordeal and call Jeep so that I can opt out of my lease at this point. its clear that nothing was ever done about the engine and clear that they really didnt care about my well being in the entire process. Now when trying to return the car and opt out on my lease Jeep tells me theres nothing I can do and how I have to just stick with the car due to the contracts that I signed before getting my car. I feel like I have no help and I really dont know what to do.

    Thank you for taking my issue into consideration, I look forward to hearing back very soon.

  • Brittany K

    I purchased a brand new jeep compass in May Once it hit 5000 miles I noticed it started to stall at relights, that happened 2 times then a week later I was backing up out of my driveway onto the street and once i put it in Drive the entire dashboard screen starting to flash and the jeep shut off.. I Immediately parked the vehicle and that following Monday I contacted jeep as it was a Saturday evening when the issue happened and they was not open.
    They could not get me in until that Friday as they was booked up, I went in Friday morning, he told me the vehicle was burning oil faster as I only drove it 10 miles to work and 10 miles home and it was low 2 quarts of oil. I asked how it could be low on oil so fast as I ever never owned a brand new vehicle that burnt oil so fast, he did not have an explanation and just went out.. I left that friday morning around 10:30am, went home and the very next day at a red light my keep gas pedal would not work, it took about 10 seconds for it to kick in and finally jerked into gear. I immediately took it home and parked it. I called Monday morning upset and they told me to bring it in that day. Once i got there he hooked his computer up and said nothing is wrong with it. I refused to drive it as its a safety hazard for me and my family, they gave me a rental but told me he was unsure if he could find anything wrong with it but he would keep the jeep a few days. I am very upset as I have seen many complaints of the same issue happening with multiple 2019 jeep compass’s & jeep is doing nothing about this safety issue. My jeep is still in shop, going on 2 days now and still not a word or any resolved issues.

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