Jeep Compass Won’t Start – What Could Be Wrong?

If you are trying to make it to work or run errands, but your Jeep Compass won't start then, it can throw a wrench in your day. What could be wrong with your Compass that would cause it not to start? Not to worry because we have helped answer this question in this article!

If your Jeep Compass won't start, then it could be due to the following:

  • Dead Battery
  • Loose Battery Cables
  • Corroded Battery Terminals
  • Dead Key Fob Battery
  • Bad Alternator
  • Blown Fuse
  • Faulty Fuel Pump
  • Bad Starter Motor
  • Failed Starter Relay
  • Failed Starter Solenoid
  • Clogged Fuel Filter
  • Worn Spark Plugs
  • Malfunctioning Immobilizer System

These are the most common reasons why your Jeep Compass won't start. First, however, it is essential to understand the warning signs of each to help pinpoint the issue.

In this article, we will take a look at the functions of each mechanical component and the reason why they can keep your vehicle from starting. In addition, we will discuss the most common issues that Jeep Compasses have, so read on!

A black Jeep Compass trekking in the dense forest area, Jeep Compass Won't Start - What Could Be Wrong?

What would cause my Jeep not to start?

The Jeep Compass was first introduced in 2006. It is a part of the Chrysler group and is known for its off-road capabilities. The Compass falls under the category of compact SUV or crossover SUV.

However, you can't take advantage of its daily driving capabilities if it won't start. There are many reasons why your Jeep Compass may not start, but we have narrowed it down to the most common issues.

A white 2021 Jeep Compass parked on the side of the streets

Dead Battery

The battery is the first to see if your Jeep Compass won't start. The most common reason for a dead battery is simply forgetting to turn off the headlights or interior lights before exiting the vehicle. In addition, if your battery is over three years old, it could be time for a replacement because it isn't holding a charge.

Loose Battery Cables

If your Jeep Compass still won't start, the next step would be to check all battery cables for any sign that they may have become loose or disconnected. Make sure the battery cables are secure and tight before starting the Compass again. 

Corroded Battery Terminals

If the connections are still secure, you will want to check if the terminals have any corrosion. The terminals should be shiny and smooth when they contact the battery cables. Clean the with water and baking soda and try starting the Compass again.

Dead Key Fob Battery

Some Jeep Compass is equipped with a push-button start; the key fob battery may be dead. If you have an extra key fob, try starting the Compass with it. If it starts, it is a sign that the other key battery is dead and needs to be replaced.

Bad Alternator

close up photo of car alternator

If all of the above checks out, then it is likely that your alternator isn't working properly. The alternator is responsible for supplying power to the battery to power the electrical system. So if it isn't working, it can prevent your Jeep Compass from starting.

Blown Fuse

Several fuses within the electrical system supply power to different components. If any one of these fuses blows then, it could prevent your Jeep Compass from starting.

To pinpoint the blown fuse, you will need to check your owner's manual for a reference guide on where each fuse is located and what is responsible for power.

Faulty Fuel Pump

If the alternator is functioning correctly, the next thing to check would be the fuel pump. The fuel pump is responsible for supplying gasoline from the tank to the engine, and if it is making a whining noise, it is failing.

Bad Starter Motor

The starter motor is the following item to check if you have tried starting your Jeep Compass a few times, and it still won't start. The starter motor sends an electrical current from the battery to the engine to get it started.

If this part is malfunctioning, either the battery will not hold a charge or send electricity to the engine. The starter motor will make a clicking or grinding noise if it is bad. 

Failed Starter Relay

If the starter motor is good, the next place to look would be the starter relay. The starter relay sends power from the battery to the starter motor.

Sometimes the starter will still be running when you take the key out. This is because the battery is still trying to send power to the starter.

Failed Starter Solenoid

Old transmission solenoid of an old car

IThe solenoid may be bad if the starter relay is good, and the starter motor is also good; this is because the starter solenoid sends power from the battery to the starter motor when you turn the key in the ignition.

If the starter solenoid is bad, the starter will make no noise.

Clogged Fuel Filter

The clogged fuel filter is another possible cause of the Jeep Compass not starting. If there is a blockage in the fuel line, it will stop gas from reaching the engine, and it won't start.

This type of problem may be caused by rust or corrosion in the tank or a clog in the fuel filter.

Worn Spark Plugs

Used spark plugs

If there is no blockage in the fuel line and no problems with the starter motor, the spark plugs may be worn out. However, if you notice a lack of power or misfiring during engine operation, then it could mean that these parts need to be replaced.

Malfunctioning Immobilizer System

Like most cars, the Jeep Compass uses an immobilizer system that prevents it from being started if the proper key isn't present. If this part is malfunctioning, you will see a flashing green security light on the dash.

How do you start a Jeep Compass with a dead key?

A black Jeep Compass trekking in a foggy forest trail

If you have a dead key fob, then there is a way you can start your Jeep Compass. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. First, push down the brake pedal.
  2. Next, take the key fob, use the key fob's tip, and press the start button.

The Jeep Compass will recognize the key fob and start the vehicle.

So how do you reset the key fob on a Jeep Compass?

To reset the key fob on a Jeep Compass, follow these steps:

  1. First, enter your Jeep Compass and make sure all doors are closed.
  2. Next, insert the key into the ignition and open the driver's door.
  3. Next, press the door lock button on the driver's door with the door ajar.
  4. Now, turn the key to the on or accessory position.
  5. Next, press the lock button on the key fob and hold it for at least five seconds.
  6. After five seconds, release the lock button on the key fob and remove the key from the ignition.

How do I know if my starter is bad on my Jeep?

The starter is bad on a Jeep Compass if it makes a clicking or grinding noise when you try to start it. In addition, if your battery has the correct voltage, cables are secure, and the terminals aren't corroded, then see if the starter makes any noise at all.

Sometimes the starters will make the clicking noise, or they won't make any noise if they are bad. These components that could fail include the starter motor, starter relay, or starter solenoid.

A black Jeep Compass displayed at the car show

What issues do Jeep Compasses have?

Since the Jeep Compass has been around since 2006, several issues have come to consumers' attention. However, some are more common than others. Let's take a look at them below:

Excessive Oil Consumption

The 2.4L Tigershark engine has been known to have excessive oil consumption. As a result, the oil needs to be constantly topped off, and risks include the engine seizing. If you have noticed this problem with your Jeep Compass, then get it to a Jeep dealer for a diagnostic.

Excessive Emissions

The Jeep Compass has also been known to have excessive emissions. So if you see a check engine light, the problem may be with the emissions system. The code readers will be able to help determine what is wrong.

Electrical Problems

The electrical system is also prone to having problems. This can include issues with the battery, alternator, and starter. If you are experiencing any of these problems, it's best to take it to a Jeep dealer for further inspection.

Interior Water Leaks

If your Jeep Compass has been exposed to water, the water may seep into the interior. In addition, consumers have reported that when driving in the rain, water seeps in from the vehicle's roof.

Defective Crash Sensor

Another common issue is the crash sensor. There have been reports of drivers involved in an accident, and their airbags don't deploy. If you notice this, it's best to take your vehicle to a Jeep dealer for further inspection.

Faulty Wireless Control Module

Another common issue is the wireless control module (WCM). The problem with this component is that it can cause a no-turn-on condition. In addition, the keyless entry feature will no longer work.

Final Thoughts

A black Jeep Compass trekking in the dense forest area

If your Jeep Compass has problems starting, it can be frustrating. However, you can troubleshoot this issue by starting with the standard components. This includes checking the battery power, cables, key fob battery, and battery terminals.

From there, it is a good idea to reach out to a Jeep dealer for an inspection.

For more maintenance guides, check out these articles:

Hissing Noise From Car AC – What Could Be Wrong?

Dashboard Lights Flickering Car Won't Start – What Could Be Wrong?

Antifreeze Leaking From Car – What Could Be Wrong?

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