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Here Are The Jeep Compass Years To Avoid

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Red Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass by Kevauto — CC-BY-SA-4.0

When most people talk about the iconic Jeep brand, they usually mean a rugged Wrangler is cruising an off-road terrain. However, it’s been a while since Jeep has expanded its lineup to include the compact crossover SUV segment. This is where the popular Jeep Compass comes into the picture.

If you’re looking to buy a used Jeep Compass, you’re likely concerned about its reliability. According to RepairPal, the Jeep Compass SUV boasts a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5, which is pretty great. However, like most SUV models, some years are more reliable than others.


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For today’s vehicle comparison, we have listed some of the Jeep Compass years to avoid, along with the ones you can purchase confidently.

Which Jeep Compass Years to Avoid?

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick list of the worst Jeep Compass years to avoid:

  • 2007 Jeep Compass
  • 2008 Jeep Compass
  • 2012 Jeep Compass
  • 2014 Jeep Compass
  • 2018 Jeep Compass

2007 Jeep Compass

According to the good folks at, the 2007 Jeep Compass is the worst model year for this compact SUV. It’s hardly a surprise considering it’s the first version of the Compass. Like many things in life, Jeep’s first attempt is far from perfect.

The SUV’s control arm was the most common problem of the 2007 Compass. Several owners have reported that the control arm bushings just failed. This issue is a headache because it occurs at lower mileage, around 58k miles on average. Possible solutions include replacing the lower ball joints or the entire control arm.

The 2007 Compass also suffers problems with electronics, particularly its Totally Integrated Power Module or TIPM. A standard solution is to get a new TIPM, but you’ll be on the hook for about $1,650.


If you’re interested in saving money by picking a used Compass, it’s vital to get the right model. You might wonder - what is the most reliable year Jeep Compass offers interested drivers?

2008 Jeep Compass

With the 2008 Compass, Jeep has managed to improve plenty of things. However, the 2008 Jeep Compass did have some significant problems.

According to Car Complaints, the most common problem with the 2008 Compass is the tendency of the tie rods and/or control arm to fail. Many owners reported replacing their tie rods and lower control arms, not once but multiple times. Again, this is a problem seen at lower miles of around 50k.

Additionally, the Compass engine is prone to stalling or shutting down while driving. Several reports stated that it happened to them while driving on a highway or freeway - a huge safety hazard.

2012 Jeep Compass

At this point, Jeep has done a great job of refining the Compass SUV. The 2012 Compass isn’t as problematic as the previous years above, but it does have issues that most people would rather not deal with.

One of the most common problems with the 2012 Jeep Compass is when the brakes are grinding. When a brake rubs, it produces a lower-pitched sound different from a squeaking brake. Also, stopping and decelerating feel different with grinding brakes. Worn brake pads or foreign objects are the potential causes.

Also, the TIPM failure pops up once again with the 2012 Jeep Compass. If your TIPM fails, it may result in problems like stalled engine, horn going off randomly, faulty power windows, airbags not deploying, and more.

2014 Jeep Compass

While 2014 has made it into this list of Jeep Compass years to avoid, it doesn’t have that many red flags like major mechanical problems.

For the most part, the number one issue with the 2014 Compass is the loud noise coming from the back brakes. Although not strictly a pressing concern, most people don’t need unwanted attention when they press the brake. Unfortunately, this issue has no repair option, and it appears at around 10k miles.

Another prevalent issue this year is the no crank or start condition related to a faulty wireless control module (WCM). When the WCM fails, the remote keyless entry system will also not operate. Replacing the WCM is the standard solution to correct this problem.


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2018 Jeep Compass

As one of the newer models on this list, the 2018 Jeep Compass has the highest number of complaints at 918.

Unfortunately, the 2018 Compass is yet another Jeep SUV that suffers from an engine that dies out of nowhere, often during the most inopportune times. Most complaints detailed how the engine dies while on the road. Again, this is a major safety issue that most shoppers would rather avoid.

The 2018 Compass is also plagued with electrical system problems like difficulty with starting, check engine light engaging, and more. Most electrical problems are reported around 20k miles and are likely covered under an extended warranty.

Which Jeep Compass Years are Safe to Buy Used?

Below are the Jeep Compass models that you can confidently buy as used:

2009 Jeep Compass

If you’re in the market for an older Compass, make it the 2009 version. The 2009 Compass isn’t going to blow you away, but it has plenty to offer, like car-like ride quality, decent fuel economy (for a Jeep), good safety features, traditional Jeep styling, and more. The 2009 Compass is a good bang for your buck for an older model, especially when it’s relatively affordable.

2010 Jeep Compass

Thanks to its comfortable ride and good fuel economy, customers and critics alike praised the 2010 Compass as a reliable daily commuter. It has a traditional Jeep aesthetic, but it’s perceived as polarizing in an SUV setup. Moreover, this model offers a decent list of standard features and an extensive list of optional goodies. However, the main selling point of this used model is the price - it’s good value for your money.

2017 Jeep Compass

The 2017 Jeep Compass is a redesign year, where Jeep gets plenty of things right. The exterior styling is one of the best in the market, and its drive quality can only be described as fun. The interior space is also pretty good, considering its small size. It has some problems, but that doesn’t take away from its reliability.

Common Jeep Compass Problems

While the Jeep Compass is a reasonably reliable compact SUV, it does have some reliability woes that many owners find annoying.

  • No-start issue: Many owners complained about being unable to start their Compass, usually in the most inopportune times. Basically, it’s a no-start condition that happens at relatively low mileage, adding to the owners’ frustration. Fiat-Chrysler had to release several service bulletins to address the issue.
  • Grinding brakes: Another prominent problem that plagued several Compass models is the noisy or grinding brakes. People kept hearing a low-pitch noise from the brakes, which can be alarming, annoying, or both. A service bulletin was issued to install an anti-vibration bracket on the rear brake calipers.
  • Overheating transmission: Frustrated owners claimed that their Compass’ CVT transmission is prone to overheating. Not only is this an expensive problem to repair, but it’s also a potential safety hazard because you suddenly lose the ability to control your speed.
  • Tie rod and control arm failure: Several Compass models reportedly had faulty control arms and/or tie rods. Owners would hear unusual sounds from the suspension system, and many have observed unusual tire wear on their Compass. The general fix is to replace the related components.
  • TIPM problems: Many Compass owners (particularly with the 2007 model) reported that their car’s Totally Integrated Power Module or TIPM failed. Once the TIPM fails, it can cause various electrical problems that may affect your door locks, windshield wipers, headlights, dashboard lights, fuel pumps, and other components. Basically, it will seem like your vehicle is possessed and refuses to behave like you want it to. Replacing the TIPM is the most common fix, and it will cost you about $1,650.
  • Water leaking into the cabin: Jeep Compass models from 2007 to 2014 have problems with water leaking into the cabin. The water leaks were observed from the SUV’s front and/or rear roof area. Experts recommend inspecting the sunroof and roof ditch, along with the grommets, reseal roof seams, plugs, and replacing the sunroof drain tubes if needed.
  • Check engine light: Multiple Compass owners have been annoyed by the ever-present and illuminating check engine light that randomly comes and goes. According to RepairPal, the “check engine light” issue may be due to an outdated powertrain control module (PCM). Updating the PCM software may correct the issue.

FAQs: Most Reliable Ford Explorer Years

Q: Which Jeep Compass years should be avoided?

A: When considering a used Jeep Compass, it’s best to steer clear of the 2007, 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2018 model years. These particular years have been identified with more frequent issues, impacting their overall reliability and making them less desirable choices for the best Jeep experience.

Q: What issues did the 2007 and 2008 Jeep Compass models face?

A: The 2007 and 2008 Jeep Compass models, among the first generation, encountered several problems, including control arm issues and electrical faults. These early models, especially the 2007 Compass, faced significant challenges like failing control arm bushings and problems with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM), which could lead to various electrical malfunctions.

Q: How can transmission issues affect the overall reliability of the Jeep Compass?

A: Transmission problems can significantly impact any vehicle’s reliability and driving experience, including the Jeep Compass. Transmission woes such as delayed gear engagement, unexpected shifting, and even complete transmission failure can occur, particularly in the years recommended to avoid. These problems can lead to costly repairs and diminish the overall dependability of this crossover SUV.

Q: Are there any Jeep Compass models known for their reliability?

A: Jeep Compass models from 2009 and 2010 are good picks. These versions have demonstrated better reliability than the other years, with fewer reported problems and a superior performance and satisfaction record. Opting for these models will offer a more dependable and enjoyable compact SUV experience.

Are Jeep Compasses typically reliable?

Debuting in 2007, the Compass offered a more affordable option (along with the Jeep Patriot) for buyers to join the Jeep family. Dependability is hit or miss, with certain years from the first and second generations being particularly troublesome. 

How much does a used Jeep Compass typically cost?

Crossovers and SUVs are highly sought after by today’s used car shoppers. This is reflected in pricing that includes an approximate 25% market premium for the Jeep Compass, according to CoPilot Price Pulse. Tight supplies also keep prices higher. A 2010 Jeep Compass typically goes for $7,667, with costs rising greatly for more recent examples. A 2020 Jeep Compass has an average asking price of $24,439.

Is the Jeep Compass a good car to purchase?

Car buyers should know that the Compass isn’t as off-road-capable as other Jeeps such as the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. The Compass is better suited to paved streets and less-severe dirt paths. In fact, this Jeep didn’t even get a “Trail-Rated” badge until 2011. If your driving involves going off-road, you’ll want to learn about the Compass’s capabilities, like ground clearance, before purchasing.

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