2018 Jeep Compass Problems – Are They A Deal Breaker?

2018 Jeep Compass Problems – Are They A Deal Breaker?

Are you on the market for the latest generation of the Jeep Compass and do you want to learn more about the 2018 Jeep Compass problems? You came to the right place because we are going to share everything you need to know when it comes to the Jeep Compass of 2018 and more.

Doing the proper research before you buy a car is probably the way to go. I’m saying this because you should always know what you are going to get. Don’t buy now and deal with problems later. Learn how to avoid problems and that is by avoiding problematic engines and models.

There are thousands of models on the used market right now and things can get tricky. That’s why you should narrow the research down to only a few models that are meeting your expectations. Then, do thorough research on each of these models and the engines that you consider buying. This research might take a few weeks but it’s going to save you thousands of dollars in the long run. It’s best to think in advance than be sorry later and we are going to help you out with your research.

In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to the Jeep Compass. We will learn the basics and the background of this model. Then we will cover all the specs of the second generation and then we will discuss the 2018 Jeep Compass problems. Lastly, we will discuss if the Compass is a good purchase. So, without further ado, let’s get into the article.

Background Of The Jeep Compass – 2018 Jeep Compass Problems

The Jeep Compass is a compact crossover SUV. It was first introduced in 2006 for the model year 2007. A global trend has started during this period and many car producers have shifted from sedans to build crossovers. But what is a crossover?

The crossover is like a crossbreed between a sedan and an SUV. It drives like a car but it looks like an SUV. Even though with a body so tall from the ground there is a notable more body roll compared to a regular sedan.

The crossovers have proved to be a good prospect and buyers still enjoy them and that’s why we are discussing the 2018 Jeep Compass problems. The Compass is in its second iteration and it is packing more tech than ever before.

In this article, we will focus on the second generation since the article is about the 2018 Jeep Compass problems. Nevertheless, the Compass is built by Jeep which is owned by Chrysler, and Chrysler was owned by FCA which is now owned by Stellantis. This might sound confusing and I understand since there were a ton of ownership changes with Chrysler.

But the point is that Jeep is sharing a lot of parts with other brands like Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, and now even with the French manufacturers like Citroen and Peugeot. This also has an upside since manufacturers are not limited and they can choose to use what they want to in their cars from many different carmakers. And so is the case with the Jeep Compass which is based on the Fiat Platform.

But we are going to cover more in detail in the next chapter where we will discuss the second generation of the Compass and its specs.

Second Generation Of The Jeep Compass

The second generation of the Compass was welcomed in September 2016 for the 2017-year model and is still in production until this day. This second generation of the Compass has replaced the previous generation of the Compass and also replaced the Jeep Patriot.

2018 Jeep Compass Problems

The North American model production is based in Toluca, Mexico. The Compass is not only an American model but a global model as well. It is produced and sold all over the world.

It is based on Fiat’s or FCA platform that is shared with the Jeep Renegade, the Jeep Commander, the Fiat 500X, and Fiat 500L. This means that these vehicles are sharing a lot of components between them.

Dimensions Of The Jeep Compass

The Compass is considered to be a compact crossover which means that it’s not much larger than a regular sedan. The only difference is the ride height which is much increased compared to the sedans.

The wheelbase of the Compass is around 103.9 inches and the total length is 174.0. The width is 71.7 inches and it has a height of 65 inches. So, what do these numbers mean?

They mean that if you also have a small crossover and you want to get a Compass, it will fit in your garage pretty easily. Similarly, if you have a sedan you will not have a problem with fitting the compass into your garage.

The Compass is perfect for those who have a narrow driveway and not a lot of space to park their cars. Also, for people who like smaller and more compact vehicles as well.

Specs And Engines – 2018 Jeep Compass Problems

The Compass comes with only one engine for the US market and that is the 2.4-liter straight-four engine that produces 184hp and 179 lb. ft of torque. This engine is a single overhead camshaft engine that has variable valve timing and also variable valve lift technology.

This engine is produced by FIAT and is included in many other products. Namely the Fiat 500, Jeep Renegade, Dodge Dart, Chrysler 200, and others.

Drivers who want to purchase the Compass from 2018 can choose either the six-speed manual that is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive. Or they can go with 2 variations of automatic transmissions.

One of these automatics is a six-speed that is available only on the front-wheel-drive models. While there is a 9-speed option that is available on both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models.

The engine is not extremely powerful compared to the size of the body that it needs to move. That’s why it is worth considering doing a test drive before you purchase the car for you to have a better idea of its capabilities.

Equipment And Trims

There are three trim levels on the Jeep Compass. These include the base trim which is the Sport, then there is the Latitude and the higher-end trims are the Limited, and the off-road trim which is the Trailhawk.

All these trims can come in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. While the Trailhawk only comes with the four-wheel-drive configuration.

The styling cues are inspired by its larger brother the Cherokee. The Compass resembles these models in a great manner with the front grille and other styling elements that are shared between these models.

2018 Jeep Compass Problems

Besides the standard safety features that most models have there is the premium audio system made by Beats, the Uconnect infotainment system which is provided by FCA. There are also 18-inch wheels, a backup camera, parking sensors for the front as well as for the rear. Also, there is a full-time 4WD system that comes as standard on the Trailhawk trim. But what about the 2018 Jeep Compass problems? Don’t worry, we will cover them in a bit. First, let’s discuss safety.

Safety – 2018 Jeep Compass Problems

The Compass can be considered a safe vehicle. Its records do not shine and only got an overall rating of 4 stars on the NHTSA crash testing. But 4 stars in 2021 is a lot better than a 10-year-old vehicle that had 5 stars. I’m saying this since the demands from the vehicles are changing over the years and it is normal that new cars are much safer than older models.

If you want your vehicle to have the perfect safety record and all 5 stars on every test then considering an alternative would be recommended for you. If not let’s learn more about the 2018 Jeep Compass problems.


The reliability of the Compass is also questionable since it has some issues here and there. This means that there are not a lot of positive comments online about the reliability of this model. J.D power gave this model 2.5 stars out of 5. Which is not excellent but an average rating.

This is the case because there were some issues reported for this model that we are going to discuss in the next chapter where we will cover the 2018 Jeep Compass problems. So, you don’t want to miss that.

2018 Jeep Compass Problems

We finally came to the important part and that is the 2018 Jeep Compass problems. You need to know all the possible problems that a vehicle can have before you make a purchase. In this chapter, we are going to cover all of them. We will start from the most important problems and these are the engine and transmission issues. Then we will discuss the electrical problems and also the recalls that this model has. So, let’s discuss.

Engine Problems

As we mentioned. Jeep has only one engine that is offered on this model and that is the 2.4 straight-four engine that was designed by FIAT. This engine is used among many models of the Stellantis group.

This engine has debuted in 2007 and is still in production to this day. The code name for this engine is Tigershark. The engine was made to produce somewhere of 172hp to 285hp. So, you could assume that is a durable block that could handle a lot of power. Specifically in the Compass, this engine produces around 185hp which is enough to push the Compass.

The Tigershark nameplate has started somewhere in 2013 when FIAT updated the engine with some 21-century technologies like VVT and this has greatly improved the efficiency of this engine as well as the durability of the block.

The 2.4l engine does not have any major problems that will destroy the engine. But there are still some issues that you have to consider before you buy a Jeep Compass with this engine. So, what are these problems that the 2.4 liter has? Let’s find out.

Increased Oil Consumption – 2018 Jeep Compass Problems

It is a quite known fact that this engine is drinking a lot of oil. If you look online, you will find a ton of results that are focusing on this problem with the excessive oil consumption issue. Many of the owners are claiming that this engine drinks 1 quart of oil per 1,000 miles and more in some situations.

This problem like in most engines that drink oil is caused by bad oil rings. These oil rings are located on each piston and their task is to keep the oil from the combustion process.

When these oil rings are starting to give up, there is a ton of blowby between the cylinder wall and the piston rings. This space lets the oil to go from one chamber into the combustion chamber and the oil will burn.

These actions will cause and increased oil consumption problems and you will experience increased oil consumption symptoms. But which are these symptoms? Let’s find out.

Symptoms Of Excessive Oil Consumption

As we said when the vehicle is drinking oil. There are some symptoms that start to appear. Some of them are mild while some of them are critical and if you don’t treat them the engine will eventually fail.

Black Smoke

Black smoke coming from the exhaust is one of the first symptoms that you will experience when the car is drinking oil. Why is this the case? This is the case because the oil burns differently from gasoline and if there is too much oil inside of the engine that is burning it’s going to cause black smoke to appear. This is most notable when you press your foot on the gas pedal. If you have black smoke then you know that something is wrong and you need to check the oil level.

Low Amount Of Oil

If you pull out the dipstick and you check the oil you will notice how the oil level got lower. When you have this problem, you need to have a quart of oil all the time with you to top off the oil. Topping off the oil will make sure that there is no oil starvation and possible engine damage.

Low Oil Pressure

Low oil pressure is also present when you have this engine. The oil gets low because it burns into the combustion and there isn’t enough oil to build up the oil pressure that the engine needs. If the oil reaches a critical point, the engine will simply seize or stall completely. That’s why make sure that you never leave your engine without oil. Always monitor the levels.

How To Solve The Oil Consumption Problem?

The sad thing is that you can’t solve this problem. The only possible solution is to replace the oil rings with new ones. But this repair will cost you a lot of money. This is because the whole engine has to come apart and has to be disassembled in pieces and then new oil rings and bearings are installed. This costs a lot of money. You will not have this done for any less than $2,000.

Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are another problem with this engine. The problem is the low-quality gasket material that they are using during manufacturing. As the years go by, the material simply starts to give up on you and leaks are visible. The valve cover gasket is leaking as well as the oil pan gasket. If there are leaks at the bottom of your Compass, you can bet that there is some issue with the oil pan gasket.

Symptoms Of Oil Leaks?

The first symptoms are the visible oil leaks. If you notice some oil drops on your driveway then the engine is probably leaking some oil. Also, check the valve cover gasket. If there is a sludge of oil on the head then it’s probably leaking from there as well.

Other symptoms can be burning oil smell coming from the engine bay caused by burning of oil from the heat of the engine. Smoke coming from the engine bay caused by oil burning and low engine oil. Check your oil level and if it’s low you will have to top it off.

How To Solve This Problem?

The solution for this problem is replacing the oil pan gasket as well as the valve cover gasket if one of them is leaking. This work will probably cost you between $200 to $400 for one of the gaskets. It’s not cheap, but if the leaks are too large and are becoming a problem it is worth it.

Transmission Problems – 2018 Jeep Compass Problems

The transmission problems are also present in the long list of 2018 Jeep Compass problems. These problems are mostly affecting the ZF 9 speed automatic transmission and most of the owners are finding a hard time while driving the models that are running on this transmission. But which are the problems? Let’s find out.

Lurching Through The Gears

There were reports that the ZF 9-speed during the first three gears had an issue. The transmission just does hard shifting and skipping gears. For example, from first to third. And also, there were reports of uneven shifting at the RPM range. For example, if the transmission is shifting into second at 2000 RPM in third will shift at 4500 RPM which is not good at all and the fuel economy will suffer. This problem was reportedly patched and on newer vehicles, it doesn’t happen that often.

Many people blame the lousy programming of the transmission for these issues. But mechanically the transmission is perfectly fine.

Electrical Problems – 2018 Jeep Compass Problems

Electrical problems were also reported on the Compass and they can also be the third on the list of biggest 2018 Jeep Compass problems.

Many of the owners have reported some problems with their car like difficulty starting the car or check engine light illuminating for no reason. But more about the electrical issues we will cover in the next chapter where we are going to discuss the recalls of this model.

Jeep Compass Recalls

The Jeep Compass has been involved in six recalls in total for the 2018 model year. Most of these recalls were from electrical nature. Namely one recall for the instrument panel, another recall for the airbags, and also another recall for the wiring because of a faulty voltage regulator circuit board which can fail and potentially stall the vehicle in traffic.

2018 Jeep Compass Problems

There were also mechanical recalls because some of the mechanical components have failed. Namely, the front control arm recall, the problem with the brakes, and bad engine cooling.

Before you buy a vehicle, the best thing is to check if there was a recall on that specific vehicle and if the problem was patched. If your vehicle was not recalled then you have to inform yourself at your local dealership if the vehicle needs to be recalled for the problems to be patched.

Should You Get A Jeep Compass?

This is a good question. The Jeep Compass is not a bad car by any means. But it is also not one of the best cars that you must not avoid. It has good looks and clever design that can be attractive to a lot of young buyers and the best thing is to consider this model.

There are also other models on the market that are worthy of your attention and it is a good idea to take a look at them and see if you can find a better alternative. If not, there are a lot of Compasses on the market, so you can pick one for yourself.

Jeep Compass: Electrical, Engine, and Transmission Issues

  1. The 2018 Jeep Compass has a reputation for being unreliable and underpowered.
  2. The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) website identifies electrical system/exterior lighting and engine/powertrain as the major problem areas for the 2018 model year.
  3. The Multiview Driver Information Display and Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system have both been problematic, with the former refusing to dim and the latter freezing up and crashing.
  4. The rearview camera is abnormally bright, which creates a safety hazard, and the Uconnect display’s brightness can be blinding, making it impossible to see when backing up.
  5. Many owners have complained to the NHTSA about electrical and exterior lighting issues, including a bright instrument cluster and interior gauges, controls, and dials that are stuck on full brightness, making it difficult to operate the vehicle at night.
  6. The 2018 Jeep Compass is well-known for an engine that dies without warning, often at the most inopportune times.
  7. The SUV’s engine also burns excessive oil, with some owners reporting that their vehicle was almost completely out of oil at 5000 miles.
  8. There is a recall (18V524000) for the engine dying issue, which may be caused by the voltage regulator.
  9. The 2018 Jeep Compass continues a long tradition of subpar transmissions, with both the 6-speed and 9-speed automatics known for jerking and falling into “limp mode.”
  10. Many owners have complained to the NHTSA about transmission issues, including the vehicle starting to roll in reverse on an incline, a humming noise, and the engine shut off without warning while driving.

Conclusion – 2018 Jeep Compass Problems

In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to the Jeep Compass. We learned about the background of this model and the specs. Which engines and transmissions it is using and also the trim levels and equipment.

Then we have covered the 2018 Jeep Compass problems. As we mentioned these problems include problems with the engine like excessive oil consumption that could possibly hurt your engine if you don’t top off the oil. There were also some oil leaks present from the gaskets. Nothing major.

The transmission on the other hand, more specifically the ZF has some issues when shifting the first three gears and most of the cars are affected by this problem. This problem was reported to be caused by software issues. All the mechanicals of the transmission are excellent.

Overall the Compass isn’t a bad car, but there are still some other better options on the market if you look for a small crossover.

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