Severe rattling issues on my brand new Jeep Compass

My 9 year Polo with the front suspension conked off doesn’t rattle as badly as the brand new Jeep Compass.

BHPian yamoody recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello Fellow BHPians,

This is my first contribution to team-bhp and hope this helps anyone considering the Jeep Compass. I’ll keep it as succinct as possible.

Background

My first car was a 2013 Polo Petrol (1.2) Manual. Anyone who has driven a polo (especially of 2012-2014 generation) would know that it’s not an exaggeration to call it a solid no-nonsense car. It is robust, safe, handles well and responds beautifully to all situations.

Being in Bengaluru for ~8years had taken away all joy of driving.

Due to the pandemic, I took to driving between Bengaluru and my hometown of Pune (~900kms | 14h drive). While the long scenic drives definitely rekindled my joy of driving, I still won’t consider myself an enthusiast. I don’t drive particularly fast, not into unnecessary revs and certainly not a connoisseur that can critique the refinement levels of different engines.

I value function over form.

Why I chose the Jeep

While upgrading, I was looking for a similar well built, safe, no-nonsense vehicle and some functional (essential?) features to aid in day-to-day & highway drives.

  • Automatic: for city driving; and cruise control – for highways.
  • Someone also advised me to go for Dual Clutch and not AMT
  • Auto Hold: I realised a significant cause of driving fatigue is having to hold the brake in stop & go traffic.
  • Ventilated Seats: 14hour drives need air circulation everywhere
  • Dual a/c: my family members really prefer different temperatures
  • Wireless android auto/car play: I dislike cables
  • 5 seater and not too long: Due to Parking constraints in the apartment
  • Slightly higher seating than the Polo for my parents’ convenience (but not too high)
  • 360 Degree Camera: I confess this was added to the list after the Jeep Compass test drive
  • Jeep Compass checked almost all of the above (except, it’s a tad higher than my parents prefer).

Ownership Experience

The Good

  • The 9 speed Gearbox is comfortable. This is my first automatic( I’ve been driving manuals for 15 years) and I didn’t find it wanting on any occasion. Whether it’s a quick acceleration to overtake a truck on the highway, or the gentle tap needed in cities – the car has always responded to what I needed at the moment. I get what the enthusiasts complain about. There are occasions where I’ve felt the drag & sluggishness. It’s momentary, though, and doesn’t bother me that much.
  • I’m glad I went for diesel. This is my first diesel vehicle and I spent a while thinking about Petrol vs Diesel. However, when I see it cruising at 100kmph on the highway (yes, 100kmph is allowed in some stretches on NH4) at around 1800RPM making that gentle reassuring brrr, it makes me smile and think of how I agonised over what now seems to be an obvious choice.
  • The Fuel efficiency on highways is great too and if kept around 80-85, I’ve even got 20kmpl. If I stretch the car a bit, I get around 18kmpl on long journeys.
  • Car feels stable & safe on the highways. It handles well at high speeds too.
  • It just drowns out the noise outside! When the car isn’t rattling (read on), it’s a pleasure to drive.
  • Manoeuvrability – I describe the Jeep Compass as a big small car. I appreciate it’s ability to make tight U-turns and fit into traffic nooks.
  • The Tech: There are a host of really good features. For example, the way auto-hold & auto-shutdown work in tandem. A gentle tap on the break puts the car on auto-hold whereas a long press activates the auto-shutdown.Similarly, the 360 degree camera is a highly underrated feature. The top view is amazing! It even works in mall parking lots. I think I’m ruined for life.

The Bad

  • Unrelated to the car, but I had a terrible experience with KHT Prime in Bengaluru. They were very unprofessional and demanded that I pay the full amount even before PDI of the car. They claimed “we usually don’t allow PDIs since these are luxury cars”. I backed out of that booking and went with PPS.
  • A huge shout out to folks at PPS Jeep, Bengaluru – the sales & the service team. They’re awesome & very professional.
  • At times the wireless Carplay doesn’t work . I have never reset the UConnect to factory settings. Sometimes restarting the phone and/or switching off the car helps.
  • The wireless charging pad is useless. I checked the spec online before buying and it said 15W. That’s the same as the charging pad I have at home but for some reason, the one in the car simply doesn’t charge the phone.

The Ugly – Rattles!

  • At about a week old, I heard rattling noises coming from the driver side of the dashboard. I was on St Marks road in Bengaluru which is one of the smoothest roads we have (we don’t have many). The noise then went away after I parked so I didn’t bother about it.
  • It came back again a few weeks later, and I took it to the service centre.
  • Service centre folks were very helpful and they kept the car for 3 days and ensured all rattles are taken care of.
  • At about 2.5 months in, the car developed niggling “clickety” noises on the co-driver side of the door. Each time there was sudden acceleration or if one goes over a bumper, I could hear a distinct click. I didn’t bother about it as I could live with it till the free service. However, on the way back from Chikmanglur (about ~250km from Bengaluru), the car developed continuous rattling combined with clickety noises from the co-driver and/or left rear door.This time, it was a 7 day stay at the service centre. Again folks at the Service centre were very helpful (and really empathised with me). They tested the car numerous times (and drove about 75kms+) and ironed out a bunch of rattle sounds.
  • While picking the car up from this 2nd service, as I was reversing, I could here a rattle sound again. Immediately, I called in the service advisor who was also nonplussed to hear a continuous mild vibration/rattling. He then put a finger on the tiny Ganesha Idol on the dashboard and the sound went away.A tiny Ganesha Idol which wasn’t visibly bobbing created the noise that could be heard in the entire cabin! Unbelievable, but true!
  • This one time, I heard rattling again. Remembering the Ganesha Idol incident, I started touching around to see if it’s something as simple as that. Turns out, this time it was the sunroof!Holding the sunroof fabric silenced the noise. Go figure.
  • I’ve had 4 really long trips in the car (~900kms) and she has always developed rattles after about 600kms of constant running .
  • The Jeep Group on Facebook is full of posts of rattling noises coming from different parts of the body. There’s one where changing the rubber lining of the window frame eliminated the noise. There’s also a 30k review on team-bhp that mentions occasional rattles in the passing.
  • There’s definitely something up with the acoustics of the car as well as the materials used that makes it conducive to rattling. My 9 year Polo with the front suspension conked off doesn’t rattle as badly as the brand new Jeep Compass.

Verdict

There are a lot of positives about the car- the tech is great and the interiors feel luxurious. It’s a good car to drive both in the city & on the highway.

But, if you’re like me, and you’re looking for a no-nonsense car and assume that you’ll get one because of the amount you pay and the rugged image of the brand – you’ll be disappointed (just like I am).

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

Very few cars remain rattle-free on our kind of roads, but yours is definitely showing them too early in life. Guess that’s the infamous FCA build quality for you!

I have tuned my brain to ignore rattles (“if you can’t change the world, change yourself”) as they are omnipresent. Plus, I listen to my music loud, so I don’t hear them at all.

Suggest you also find ways to tune out the rattles from your head, simply because your Compass is otherwise so good. There are worse problems a car can have.

Here’s what BHPian lapiz_lauzuli had to say on the matter:

My two cents : Please check if your tyre pressure is what is recommended. Often a stiff tyre or heated tyre after spirited driving, with a way higher pressure, causes rattles.

Second : Best rattle free solution is to DIY. Identify, locate, kill!  Often, people interchangably use rattle and squeak: for squeak use a good silicone spray on rubbers and non metal mating surfaces and you should be good to go. Locating yourself, like you already started to do, is a sure shot way to eliminate.

I was(am) real OCD about rattles. My Punto was made totally rattle free: I probably used a tonne of foam and double tape here and there!

With age, I became less bothered, like, my Superb has a sunroof rattle that I eventually learnt to live with.

Often, some problems are better not solved : they disappear on their own. Temperature extremes, resonances, flex and torsion : no design can predict these.

Here’s what BHPian himanshugoswami had to say on the matter:

I completely empathise and identify with the OP. To all those advising him to “grin and bear it”, all I will say is that please drive a Compass over 600 kms with these rattles on a regular basis and then sermonise. For someone spending north of 30 Lakhs on a supposedly premium vehicle, these inherent design defects are not acceptable. What is even more shocking is that “enthusiasts” on a forum such as this, which should ideally be a pressure group for forcing manufacturers to get their act in order, is instead advising people to look the other way, ignore the problem etc. It’s attitude like this that emboldens manufacturers to take consumers for a ride.

FCA is the absolute pits when it comes to customer care, the company is totally unsupportive to customers (ironically, the dealers are somewhat of a saving grace in a few cities).

In any other country, the number of instances of these rattles would have forced a recall or a class action lawsuit. I had in fact called upon owners to come forward to file a class action suit against FCA, but to date we haven’t got the requisite numbers. And this, when I offered to do it pro bono. Most consumers in India love to rave and rant on social media but will do precious little else.

To the OP. Please don’t let FCA brush this under the carpet or have them offer you freebies to “buy” your silence. I have turned the screws on them, and would advise more people to come forward.

Here’s what BHPian Spinerr had to say on the matter:

Slightly OT, but still Jeep.

From personal experience, persistent rattles, mild ticking in Jeeps have to be taken seriously.

If you identify it early, while your ride is still under warranty, it can be a major cash saver. Rush to the dealer, get it logged in their system.

Background: In Doha, I drive a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. During Q1 2020, I started hearing this mild rattling from somewhere under the car on cold starts. Initial days, it was once a week, I didn’t give it much thought. After about a month or so, it became more frequent, slightly louder. I still didn’t feel it was major, decided to address it during the next periodic service. Made a video recording of the sound, taking the phone close to the source of the sound right after the morning start.

The Jeep ran well, other than this sound, there were no issues. The sound did get louder with time.

Then I took it for the periodic service, around May/Jun 2020. Mentioned the sound to the service advisor, played the video. He was not able to conclude from the audio part, but took a note of the concern and promised to get back in a day.

Then came the shocker. Diagnosis report says, Transfer case module and Transfer case motor to be replaced. The ride had completed 5 years, so no warranty. And the total cost was mighty expensive, over 10,000 QAR (Over 2 lakhs INR).

And they said, the transfer case module was not available in stock, it would take 25-30days to ship it from USA, 3 days to fix and complete all testing. I was looking at about a month without the car.

Luckily, this extra time worked out slightly in my favor. After the initial shock, I quickly wrote to FCA, requested their support, to treat this a part failure under warranty and it has just crossed 5 year mark, it was low mileage car, about 55K kms, all service done on time at their authorized service center in Doha.

FCA Dubai helped me out here, big time, it was their regional head office. They called, reassured, that they will expedite the delivery, extend a good-will discount of 50% on parts and even advised the local dealer to extend a discount on labor. In the end, I did have to shell out some money, but worked out 45% of the initial estimate.

Lesson learnt: With Jeep, slightest rattle, knocking or any unusual sounds, if the car is under warranty, just out of warranty, rush to dealer, get it registered in the system. FCA can be very helpful.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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