Jeep Compass won’t start – causes and how to fix it

Jeep Compass

The jeep Compass is one of the most reliable Jeeps on the market. But like most cars, it also develops several issues after putting on several miles. One of the problems that Jeep Compass owners may experience is the car failing to start. So, we’re going to look at what causes the Jeep Compass not to start and how to fix it.

Common reasons why your Jeep Compass won’t start are a dead battery, a bad alternator, a failed starter, a clogged fuel filter, a blown fuse, an empty gas tank, worn-out spark plugs, a broken starter, a fault in the electrical system, and corrosion on battery terminals.

Why is my Jeep Compass not starting? How do I fix the issue?

Dead battery

The most common culprit of the Jeep Compass not starting is a dead battery. If your car has been idle for some time or if the night was extremely cold and the car won’t start, there is a high chance that you have a weak or dead battery.

You can fix this by jumpstarting your car. Find another car with a working battery and jumper cables. Next, connect the jumper cables to the batteries of both cars. You can now jumpstart the car. If it fails to start, then you may have to replace the battery.

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Bad alternator

The work of the alternator is to supply power to the battery and start the engine. However, after a few years of use, the alternator may become faulty and fail to deliver power to the battery and engine. Unlike a dead or weak battery, you will have to replace the alternator to fix the problem. 

Failed starter

Apart from a dead battery and faulty, a failed starter can also cause starting problems with your Jeep Compass. The starter motor receives the electrical signal to crank up the engine. Thus, if it’s faulty, the engine won’t start.

To fix this issue, you will need to replace the faulty starter. Note that a starter is slightly complicated to fix, hence you may need a professional to help you out.  

Clogged fuel filter

The work of the fuel filter is to screen out contaminants like dirt, dust, debris, and rust particles from the fuel. So, if the fuel filter is clogged, the engine won’t start. This is because the contaminants bar the flow of fuel to the engine. You can fix this by unclogging the fuel filter or replacing it if it’s old or worn out. 

A broken starter

A starter helps your engine to start. Therefore, if it’s broken, your Jeep Compass won’t start. Note that starters have a lifespan of between 100,000 and 150,000 miles. Therefore, if your Jeep Compass is within this range, the best solution is to replace the worn-out or broken starter.

Corrosion on battery terminals

Another overlooked issue that causes the Jeep Compass not to start is corrosion on battery terminals. If there is corrosion on the contacts of your car battery, there will be a loss of contact and reduced current flow. As a result, your engine won’t start.

To fix this issue, you will have to clean the corroded battery terminals and reconnect the battery.

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Blown fuse

The fuse is meant to protect electrical wiring in vehicles. So, if the fuse is blown, the electrical current won’t flow, which will protect the car from starting. Nevertheless, you should have a professional check this issue as it’s very delicate. If you have a blown fuse, you will have to replace it to fix the problem.

Fault in the electrical system

A fault in the electrical system can also cause your car not to start. For instance, if the ground cable has a problem, your car may fail to start. This cable connects the negative terminal of the car battery to the car’s body.

To fix this problem, you will have to replace the damaged cables or other wires in the electrical system.

Empty gas tank

Your Jeep Compass can also fail to start if you run out of fuel. That’s why it is very important to always check the fuel level before leaving home or your workplace. If this is the issue, then you will have to fill up the fuel tank to have your car start again.

Worn-out spark plugs

Spark plugs ignite the combustion to start the car. However, they are not very durable as they usually need replacing every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. So, if your car has clocked more than 50,000 miles and you’ve not changed the spark plugs, they might be the cause of the starting issues.

To fix this problem, you will have to replace the worn-out spark plugs.


Is the Jeep Compass reliable?

When compared to other compact Jeep models, yes the Jeep compass is reliable. But when compared to most of its competitors, the Jeep Compass is not very reliable. Overall, the Jeep Compass is rated slightly above average by most reliability agencies. For instance, J.D. Power gave it a slightly above reliability score of 81 out of 100, which is pretty good.

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Is it expensive to fix a Jeep Compass?

Yes, fixing the Jeep Compass is way costlier compared to other compact crossover SUVs. On average, it will cost the Jeep Compass owner around $526 to maintain their car annually. On the contrary, most compact SUVs cost around $521 to maintain annually.

Why won’t my Jeep Compass start with a new battery?

If you’ve replaced an old or damaged battery with a new one on your Jeep Compass, the car should work fine. If it doesn’t work, you should inspect the battery cables as they might be loose. Other things that you should check out are the wiring from the battery to the starter, the starter & neutral switch, and the key fob. 


If your Jeep Compass is having trouble starting, it may be due to one of the problems that we’ve discussed above. Ensure to visit a professional mechanic or technician to diagnose the car and pinpoint the real problem. Nonetheless, with proper care and maintenance, most of the above issues can be avoided.

All in all, the Jeep Compass is an exceptional compact crossover SUV. It is also stylish, easy to maintain, fuel-efficient, and a great off-roader. If properly maintained, this car can last for more than 200,000 miles.

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