Why Won’t My Jeep Compass Start?

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Introduced in the market in 2007, the Jeep Compass was one of the first-ever crossover SUVs produced by the Jeep brand.

It became a huge success in the market, especially here in the United States. This was despite all of the issues it came with.

You are mistaken if you think that this jeep is perfect in every way.

You will be surprised to know that it too, has various problems and issues that, when they arise, make you go why won’t my Jeep Compass start?

If you want to be a proud jeep owner but do not know the extent of the problems, don’t worry, I have you covered.

Here are the main problems you can face:

  1. Dead/Low Charged Battery
  2. Worn Sparks Plugs
  3. Fuel Issues
  4. Faulty Ignition Switch
  5. Electrical Issues

I will go over all of these issues and various other questions and concerns you may have.

This is a great reason to read the article from top to bottom, as you will get all the relevant information you need.

What Would Cause A Jeep Compass To Not Start?

What does it mean when your Jeep Compass doesn't start? Let's find out

There are a lot of reasons why your Jeep Compass may struggle to start but most of them revolve around bad or little maintenance or issues with components.

I will highlight all of the main issues you can find in this nameplate.

1: Dead/Low Charged Battery

One of the more common issues most cars face, the battery is always going out of charge or dying completely.

While you do not have to directly maintain the charge of the battery, there are many factors you must maintain if you want to keep your battery well charged.

You must do so, as the battery is responsible for providing energy to the entire car.

If your battery lacks an adequate amount of charge, it will not be able to turn the car’s engine. As a result, your Jeep Compass will not be able to start.

There can also be various issues surrounding the battery, which I will cover later but for now, let’s just talk about the charge.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Assess the battery’s state first and see if it does not have any other electrical issues.
  • You can jump to the relevant section of the article, but for clarity, you should be on the look for loose wires and corrosion.
  • If you find none of this, you can move towards a voltage test. If the output of the voltage test is less than 12 volts, then it is confirmed that your battery is causing the starting issue.
  • You can fix the issue by getting the battery jumpstarted. This is recommended if your battery has been recently purchased or has not been used for more than four years.
  • If your battery is four years old, you are better off changing your battery for a new one.

2: Worn Spark Plugs

I have talked about how the battery is required by the car to be able to turn on. This is directly seen with the spark plugs, which need electricity to generate a small current.

They are a key ignition system component and must work properly if you want to start the entire combustion process.

Moreover, they utilize the battery by generating a small charge to ignite the fuel. Spark plugs are very small and are not usually built to last.

Over time, the more your start your Jeep Compass, the more the spark plugs begin to wear out.

Eventually, they will become unusable and will need to be replaced. Other times, they may sustain damage that prevents them from functioning properly.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you know what you are doing, you can detach the spark plugs and inspect them for any damage.
  • You should also be on the lookout for any leaks or issues which may have caused issues with the spark plugs.
  • If you are not well-versed in fixing the spark plugs, you should take the car to the mechanic and have them check it out.
  • More often than not, you are better off getting your spark plugs replaced and installing new ones.
  • I recommend getting higher-quality spark plugs, such as those made of iridium, as they will last longer and wear out less.

3: Fuel Issues

The spark plugs play an important role in igniting the fuel, but without the fuel itself, there would be no need for the spark plugs.

You need the fuel if you want to travel in any vehicle unless it is an electric car, and unfortunately, for many models of the Jeep Compass, they are not electrical.

Not only do you need a sustainable amount of fuel, but you will also need to ensure that all of that fuel is properly reaching the engine.

Additionally, you are also better off using higher-quality fuel.

Low-quality fuel is full of contaminants that can easily clog the fuel pipes, preventing the rest of the fuel from reaching the engine.

You should also check to ensure that there are no leaks or holes in the fuel pipes.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Inspect the fuel pipes and the fuel filters. Look for and patch up any leaks that you may find. Also, inspect the fuel filters to clear out any blockages.
  • If your fuel filters are badly clogged, you are better off getting them replaced with new ones.
  • The Jeep Compass has also had issues with its fuel pumps, so if you are still unable to start the engine, you will have to get the fuel pumps checked.
  • Have the mechanic conduct the relevant fix for the fuel pumps to get them back to optimal condition.
  • Remember that it may be more economical to replace the fuel pumps with new ones.

4: Faulty Ignition Switch

I have discussed in depth how the ignition uses the spark plugs and how the quality of the fuel affects the running of the car in the long run.

Now, it is the time I discuss what starts the ignition process and the engine; the ignition switch.

If your car has frequently been stalling and you have had issues turning the key off the car, then you are likely suffering from ignition switch issues.

If your ignition switch is faulty, you will not be able to activate the car and engage all the systems. This makes your car unusable until it is fixed.

It is usually caused by rough usage of the ignition switch/ column, which you should tone down.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Start by learning to gently put the key inside the switch column and engage the button as softly as possible.
  • This will prevent the button from getting jammed and the switch column from getting worn out.
  • You should also avoid using heavy key chains as well.
  • If you have issues in this department, your only choice is to get the columns checked out by a mechanic and see what the issue is.
  • With any luck, the problem should be solved, but if the worst comes to worst, you might have to replace your entire ignition switch or the ignition column.

5: Electrical Issues

When you talk about the car’s electronics, most people think of the gadgets and gizmos you normally find in a car.

Electronic components are found everywhere within a car, and they are very sensitive yet integral parts.

For this article, I will discuss major components essential to the car. These include wires, batteries, fuses, and relays.

The Jeep Compass has had issues with these components. While I have talked in depth about the battery, there are issues that it can face other than its charge level.

These issues usually revolve around corrosion on the terminals and short circuits.

Furthermore, these can also revolve around loose or frayed wires, which can cause many issues preventing the car from turning on.

Some of these issues can be fixed easily, while others require you to replace the components entirely.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Check the battery and its terminals. Look for corrosion and loose or frayed wires.
  • You should work towards getting rid of the corroded terminals and patch up the wires.
  • Move on to the fuse box and look for any blown fuses. You will need to replace these with new ones; a blown fuse cannot be fixed.
  • Relays can get damaged, and you can have them fixed, but replacing them is much more economical and faster.
  • Most electric issues are usually caused by leaks, so you should also look for leaks that can cause a short circuit.
  • Have all the electronic components checked out by a mechanic to see if they work as they should.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Jeep Compass Start With New Battery?

It is possible that your new battery has been installed by an amateur and has been done so poorly.

Check to see any loose wires and if the battery has been placed properly.

If everything is fine on this side, you are likely having issues in other parts of the Jeep Compass, which you should have checked out by a mechanic.

Q2. Why Won’t My Jeep Compass Start Even With A Jump?

Battery-related issues are usually fixed via a simple jumpstart, but if the problem does not lie in the battery, it will not do anything.

Check if the battery is being jumped the right way. If everything is set up fine and is still not working, then your issue is not with the battery.

Q3. Why Won’t My Jeep Compass Start But Lights Work?

This is likely to be caused by a bad or low-charged battery. The lights do not require a lot of power to get started, which is why you can turn them on but not the engine.

Getting the battery jumpstarted is the best course of action for issues like this while getting it replaced is a last resort.

Q4. Why Won’t My Jeep Compass Start But Cranks?

Cranking is a good sign, as all of your electronic components are working properly, allowing the engine to crank.

You may have issues in other parts of the system. These issues are likely to be found in the ignition or the starting system, which you should have assessed by a mechanic.

Q5. Why Won’t My Jeep Compass Start Just Clicks?

You are likely dealing with a bad battery limiting the engine from starting. It is also possible that you are dealing with issues with the starting system or other electrical issues.

You are better off having all this checked out by a mechanic just because the issues can be very complex and hard to diagnose.

Q6. Why Won’t My Jeep Compass Start In The Cold Weather?

Operating on a lower battery output and difficult-to-start spark plugs can prevent the engine from starting.

All of this is caused by the cold weather, which further degrades the health of your Jeep Compass.

The engine also becomes very difficult to turn on, making it quite difficult to get the car started if it is stuck in cold weather.

Q7. Why Won’t My Jeep Compass Start After I Get Gas?

You are likely dealing with an issue with a fuel system component or general issues such as fuel leaks or blockages preventing the engine from getting a good amount of fuel.

Inspect the fuel pipes and filters, clean them out and fix any leaks and finally, have the fuel pumps and injectors checked out.

Q8. Why Won’t My Jeep Compass Start But Radio Works?

Check the charge of the battery to see if it is low. This issue is likely because you have a dead or low-charged battery that turns on the radio but not the engine.

You can resolve this problem via a simple jumpstart. You can also have your battery replaced if it is old.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Jeep Compass?


The Jeep Compass began as a concept vehicle in 2002 and became an actual nameplate in 2007.

This shows the level of development that went into the car and how much work it takes to manufacture a great vehicle.

Even with five years of development, issues still raised the question, “Why won’t my Jeep Compass start?”.

While some of the issues mentioned in this article may be rarer than others, they are still a possibility and can occur.

With the help of this article, you should be ready to deal with these problems and figure out which of them is causing the issue.