2018 Jeep Compass Top 3 Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

Many reports portray Jeep’s compact offering, the Compass, as inefficient and underpowered. Nothing about the warmed-over SUV – including its reliability record – is encouraging. Since its introduction in 2007, the vehicle has been plagued by issues, and things remain the same for the current model year. According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, the main problem areas for the 2018 Jeep Compass are the electrical system/exterior lighting, engine and powertrain.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019

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Electrical System/Exterior Lighting

These days, most vehicle dashboards contain a myriad of gauges and displays. Take, for example, the Jeep Compass with its supposedly high-tech Multiview Driver Information Display and Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system. Both gadgets sound good on paper but fail all too often in real life.

Let’s start with the ultra-bright driver information display that refuses to dim, no matter which setting the driver adjusts it to.

On the NHTSA website, one owner complains of the instrument cluster, “Instrument cluster is very bright at night, affecting the ability to see the roadway. Instrument cluster does not dim when attempting to adjust brightness.”

Obviously, the wayward cluster is a safety issue, yet Jeep has not issued a recall to address the problem.

Next up there’s the abysmal Uconnect infotainment display. The unit houses the rearview camera, which, like the aforementioned instrument cluster, is abnormally bright.

“Problem relates to 2018 Jeep Compass Latitude. When vehicle is placed in reverse, the 8.4” Uconnect screen shows the backup camera at full brightness. This is blinding and makes it impossible to see when backing up. This is going to cause an accident,” states an owner.

The blazingly intense backup camera isn’t the Uconnect display’s only problem; the unit is also known to freeze up and crash without warning. So far, Jeep has not made public a remedy for any of these issues.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Jeep Compass Electrical and Exterior Lighting Problems:

I bought my Jeep Compass 2018 in April of 2018. When i was finally able to drive it at night i realized the touch screen and instrument panel did not dim when the headlights came on as it says that it will do. It makes it very difficult to drive at night with how bright the displays are

Multiple issues with car display, and dimmer capabilities. Navigation screen and backup camera blindingly bright when dark out, creating safety hazard. Had instrument panel cluster software update recall work completed but issue not resolved with recall work. Problem persists when vehicle is in motion and stationary

Dimmer for dash lights / gauges does nothing. All interior gauges, controls, dials, etc. Stuck on full brightness. Very dangerous – makes it hard to operate vehicle at night with glaring gauges.
I had my vehicle diagnosed due to interior lights do not dim at night leaving the Jeep very bright and dangerous. I have called Jeep and they refuse to fix the issue or give me a solution on what to do! They still refuse at of today


Most brand-new vehicles don’t stall in the middle of an intersection. But, then again, the Jeep Compass isn’t like other new vehicles. The SUV is well-known for an engine that dies without warning, often at the most inopportune times.

On the NHTSA website, one owner writes, “Car has shut off three times while driving. Simply shuts down in the middle of a highway or side street.”

“Front display panel flashes off and screen goes completely black then service light comes on and engine stalls,” complains another driver.

There is a potential cause for these concerns, and a corresponding recall (18V524000). According to Jeep, the problem may be the voltage regulator; a part of the car’s computer used to control alternator output. Dealers will repair the problem free of charge.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Jeep Compass Engine and Excessive Oil Burn Problems:

The 2018 Jeep Compass stalled and shut down while driving with 335 miles on the odometer
Car has shut off 3 times while driving in last week. Simply shuts down in middle of a highway or side street

At around 5000 miles my Jeep was almost completely out of oil. I brought this to the dealers attention at the first oil change. Brought the Jeep back after 2000 miles and again it was low (about 2 quarts). The service tech admitted it was burning oil but will not remedy the situation because it is within spec for Chrysler ( burning 1 quart every 1000 miles).

On March 30 2018, vehicle had 6000 miles and would not start. Extreme amount of steam was coming out of the exhaust. Car was towed to dealership. Internal engine issue (not clearly identified) caused the engine to internally explode leaving metal fragments all over the inside of the engine. The entire engine needs to be replaced. In addition the vehicle was missing a bolt in a bar in the undercarriage of the vehicle, which has been on order for several weeks. The undercarriage bar was an issue known previously.


Jeep and reliable transmissions have always been a contradiction. The 2018 Compass carries on a long-lasting tradition of subpar gearboxes with two new automatics: a 6-speed and a 9-speed. Both units are known for all kinds of problems from jerking to falling into “limp mode”.

One owner complains to the NHTSA, “Vehicle transmission would jerk or bump hard enough for seat belt tension system to jerk you into your seat.”

“The contact owns a 2018 Jeep Compass. While attempting to accelerate, the vehicle failed to move. The contact depressed the accelerator pedal and the “gear shift” message displayed. Shortly after, the vehicle violently jolted forward and then dropped,” states another account on the NHTSA website.

“We purchased our 2018 Jeep Compass in December 2017 and have been in and out of the shop FOUR TIMES! Matter of fact my car is sitting at the shop right now. 15 minutes down the road the car goes into limp mode and won’t drive over 30 mph. The engine and transmission light come on and no one seems to understand the problem. Jeep and the dealership have been NO help!!! Please save your time and money and no NOT get the Compass,” writes an owner on Edmunds.com.

So far, no recalls or public campaigns have been issued to address the transmission concerns.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Jeep Compass Transmission Problems:

Upon starting vehicle and shifting into drive, vehicle has started rolling in reverse on the incline even though the transmission is in drive. Upon inspection of the shift indicator, the “d” drive position indicator has been flashing and transmission is not engaged, and the vehicle is freewheeling . Per dealer, computer shows no indication of the problem or code information about it. Returned from dealer service on 09-01-2018 at approximately 10:30 hours. This has happened on at least three (3) occasions.

It makes a humming noise and it sounds like when you are slowing down it’s almost like it’s shifting down. Been doing since i picked it up from the dealer on 01/19/2018. I have had it at the dealership they say the noise is normal . I disagree. I have had a symbol twice come up that looks like this (a)! . My main concern is that humming noise and where is it coming from should i be concerned with the transmission? It happens around 25 and higher speed.

Engine shut off without warning while driving on interstate highway. Received messages service transmission and service engine. Coasted to stop on shoulder of road. Car would not restart for about 10 minutes. Checked codes afterwards; shows P0339 crankshaft position sensor a circuit intermittent and P0335 crankshaft position sensor a circuit. This presents a serious safety issue when car engine stops without warning.

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Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

  • Ali

    After coming across your website I knew I had to reach out. I have had nothing but issues with my 2018 Jeep Compass the moment I started leasing it. The radio has been replaced 3 times, the brakes had a recall, and it broke down on the side of the road completely out of oil at 6,000 miles. It started saying I needed an oil change today with 4,000 miles left until I was due again, so I brought it to the dealer and they are replacing the engine. At this point I do not feel safe in the car and would like to explore legal options.

  • Toni L

    I have had my car with a dealership for 2 weeks, then a month with the same problem. Lights in mirrors stay on, radio goes black, and locks dont work. The computer sometimes works on the screen and sometimes doesnt. ( map went crazy one day and froze up. Couldnt find my destination. Blue tooth occasionally works. Switched phones and upgraded. Still does the same. Doesnt want to stay paired. I didnt even make it home a week ago, after having my car for 3 weeks. Lights in mirrors came on and stayed on. I miss my car. I like my car. Just want one that is going to work and not fear the fact that the system can fry. Need help.

  • Elizabeth

    Once again My Jeep Compass is not running Jerks when in drive a rolls backwards , electrical systems are iffy at best .. after dealership put a new battery in it .. one month later battery dead again … shuts down at random while driving . Lights dim at all times now 9900 miles on this 2018 leased new paying for 15,000 miles a year I’m almost 2 years into 3 year lease .. it’s unsafe to drive

  • Kathy B

    I have a 2018 Jeep Compass with 7000 miles on it. It has already accelerated in reverse 3 times and accelerate forward once which hit bricks and went through bushes and did damage to the vehicle. You start the car, put it in reverse, take your foot off the brake and it takes off. The last time, we had our foot on the brake and put it into drive and it took off. It’s been to the dealership and, of course, they find nothing wrong. We have to pay to get it fixed, we have to pay for a rental car, and our insurance will go up. I hate this car and I have NO confidence in the dealership.

  • Al R

    Bought a 2018 Jeep Compass and it turns off on the road. Dealer is checking it for excessive oil consumption. After 4900 miles of driving the engine oil light came on and car turned off. It had turned off three times before.

    After much research it looks like I might have a lemon.

    Want to explore options to have my money refunded to me.

  • Zulema

    I bought a 2018 Jeep Compass and the transmisión and service engine lights are ON. I heard a noise while I tried to reverse or drive . Jeep still in warranty , now I don’t feel safe driving it!! What do I do??

  • Danielle

    2018 Jeep Compass latitude has had multiple issues with the screen and radio system , but is now on it second round back at the dealership with a constant ticking sound . Like a ticking when turning and going over bumps. They said they needed to fix the axle shafts which they did but still hearing sound. Heading back again this week .

  • Jessica R

    i have a 2018 jeep compass trail hawk. i purchased the vehicle November of 2018. it is still under warranty. since buying the vehicle it has been in the shop multiple times. i have had it towed to the dealership twice, because it would not move… wouldn’t shift into drive or reverse. i also had an error with the stop/start feature. they “cleared” the errors at the dealership. i already have to replace the pads and rotors on this vehicle. Now i have the same stop/start unavailable error again, AND the headliner is now leaking! every time we get a hard rain it drips with water. there are water stains all over the headliner. the dealership has put me on a waiting list to have it looked at. and i had to argue with them about getting a loaner vehicle, which they originally wanted me to pay for. i am worried about what kind of situation i will be in when the warranty is up.

  • Mike H

    I have a 2012 2.0l manual jeep compass… it has just 35000miles.. i bought it 2017 and it has fsh….the gearbox started whining a few weeks ago and now is very rattley and feels like it will pack in altogether at any time so no longer driving it at rhis point.
    This is surely unacceptable performance for such low mileage

  • Edisney C

    I bought a 2019 jeep compass sport 2 months ago it had a symbol (A!) Since I got it, not normal and it started making a sound whet you turn it off and it doesn’t feel right. I took it to the dealer they the symbol with some Upgrade they set but The noise is normal apparently, the guy told me that is bc the engine gets hot and it has to cool dawn bc is to hot.I set ok I will wait until winter and let see if it continue doing it. I am really unhappy with that let see what happen in a few months.

  • Felipe

    Worst car ever… bought a compass 3 weeks ago for memorial day, after the 3 day the engine start to shake and the automatic transmission jumps like crazy when accelerating, now the car it’s at the shop and it’s been 4 days since I left it, they said it’s a torque mount that need to be replaced and there it’s not more issues, “everything works perfect they said” don’t buy Jeep Compass, worst car ever

  • Ratinesh K

    Many issues. My Jeep compass 2018 had 1. the display system crash several times including screen going static and remaining on with very high volume even after switching car off (thought it was going to blow), 2. Heated seat option greys out intermittently, 3. reversing camera stops working, 4. Voice command for search does not work (eg ‘gas stations’ not address in NZ)

    New Zealand Jeep and Andrew Simms (dealer) is so bad at support that they have not come back to me for vseveral months

  • Elizabeth

    I leased a 2018 Jeep Compass in Jan 2018 worst car I have ever driven. Took the car on a road trip and it shut down twice while driving once on a railroad track. 2 weeks later the car would not go more than 9 mph towed to dealership where they said they were charging the batteries (2) for three days then I was told the car isn’t running because I don’t drive it enough . Now it is hesitating to start . This car has 8k miles on it .

  • E D

    I have a 2018 Jeep Compass That has shut down twice while driving , no explanation. Would not run over 9 miles an hour had it towed to the dealership where they “charged “ one of the two batteries for 3 days the car has 8k miles on it and I was told “ you don’t drive the car enough “ now 3 weeks later car ( with new battery per the dealership) doesn’t want to start !!

  • S.Kumar

    I had a Jeep Compass April 2018 bought in May 2018 . I had planned a first long trip (100 Miles) and in the middle of the trip it started giving problems . The Engine was overheated and the warning lights shown up. I have taken the car to the showroom and they said the coolant pipe was blocked and luckily I have not driven too much other wise Engine would have burnt out. Lost the confidence and credibility of the car and sold it for a cheaper price .

  • Ricardo

    2018 compass . After putting in in parking for 10 minutes i tried to put it in reverse and felt like it didn’t had engine mounts. The screen showed a”transmission service needed” . It stayed in 3rd gear and did not shifted. After 20 minutes i restarted it and worked normal. 6,500 miles only

  • shirley c

    I purchased a 2018 Jeep Compass, and my car jumps in 2nd gear when going up a hill or on random days. I have taken it to the Jeep and they can’t duplicate the problem! My car only has 14,500 miles and I have taken it to Jeep 14 TIMES! When my car was only 3 month old, they found a gasket leakage because the car won’t speed up. My windows went down on their own when I was in a carwash, my radio turn would turn on and off randomly, and my fog lights would not turn off when turning corners. Im still experiencing the jerking since 7,000 miles and I am going to report my car to the Lemon Law Department because I am fed up.

  • Jessie

    I’ve been dealing with many issues on my 2011 Jeep compass. No one seems to care. The problems didn’t start 2018, they started with the introduction of the cvt transmission and the tpim. I would love for my vehicle to be taken care of too.

  • Pankaj T

    Jeep is not good in transmission from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rdgear

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