Jeep Compass Suspension Issues Explained(+Top 5 Issues and Tips)

In this brief article, we are going to discuss the different Jeep Compass Suspension problems, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

Top 5 most common suspension issues in the Jeep Compass? 

The most common suspension issues seen in the Jeep Compass are:

  • Front Shock Absorber Strut Failure
  • Front Tie Rod Ball joint Failure
  • Front Lower Control Arm Failure
  • Front Subframe mounting Failure
  • Rear Shock Absorber Failure
  • Front Wheel Bearing Failure
  • Rear Anti-roll bar end-link and bush Failure

What suspension does the Jeep Compass have?

The Jeep Compass has been classified as a Compact Crossover SUV. It was launched in 2007 and is now in its second generation

(MP/552).

Front Suspension

The Front suspension in the Jeep Compass is a fairly conventional MacPherson Strut and Lower control Arm with Anti-roll bar. This arrangement is mounted onto the front subframe.

Rear Suspension

In its current 2nd gen, the Jeep Compass has a rear independent 3- link suspension along with a MacPherson strut and Anti-roll bar.

 The Gen1 Compass (MK49) had a 3-Link (upper control arm, Trailing Arm, Lower control arm) with Coil-over struts and anti-roll bar

Front Shock Absorber Strut Failure

Symptoms:

  • Rattling Noise going over any rough patches
  • Front end bouncier than normal
  • Changes in handling behaviour; Vehicle not feeling stable at high speed cornering

Troubleshooting Front Shock Absorber Failure

  • The Bouncy Ride symptom points to the Shock Absorber as a probable cause.
  • If your vehicle has crossed 50K miles, then it could be due for a shock replacement. Due to long-term internal wear, the shock starts becoming ineffective over time.
  • If the front strut shock has started leaking oil due to a failed oil-seal, then it means that the shock will no longer be effective.
  • One good way to tell if your shock has failed or not is to do a “Bounce Test”. Put all your weight on one of the front corners of the vehicle pushing it downwards. Keep oscillating the corner till you feel that it has reached its maximum height. Once you take your hands off the corner, observe how it settles. If it takes more than 2 oscillations to settle, that means the damper has failed.

Front Tie Rod Ball Joint Failure

Symptoms:

  • Front Tire uneven Wear pattern
  • Steering shake at high speeds
  • Poor handling; Steering feels vague and is hard to control

Troubleshooting Front Tie Rod Ball Joint Failure

  • Front Tire uneven wear is due to one of the ball-joints of the front suspension
  • If the steering feels like it has a lot of play, then it is most probably the Tie-rod ball joint that is causing it.
  • You can easily check for Ball-joint condition by this simple procedure:
    • Get the car on a Ramp
    • Lock the steering wheel
    • Hold the front tire with both your hands at a 9 o’clock, 3 o’clock position and try to steer the wheel
    • If you hear a ‘Knock’ or ‘Click’, then it is very much likely that the noise is due to a play in the Tie-rod Ball-joint
  • The Tie-rod ball-joint is threaded onto the Toe-rod. The Ball-joint end of the Tie-rod can be replaced separately.

Pro-Tip:

  • Make sure to maintain the same thread position of the old tie-rod end by not backing up the lock nut too much
  • Any change in the thread adjustment position with alter the wheel toe setting and lead to Tire wear issues

Rear Shock Absorber Failure

Symptoms:

  • Knocking and Popping Noises from the Rear going over bumps
  • Rear end feels bouncier

Troubleshooting Rear Shock Failure

  • The Bouncy Ride symptom points to the Shock Absorber as a probable cause.
  • The noises coming from the rear are partly due to the failed shock absorber allowing the bump stops to contact more often. And also the noises partly come from the worn out shock mounting bushes that allow the shock to move and hit against the mounting brackets.
  • If your vehicle has crossed 40-50K miles, then it could be due for a shock replacement. Due to long-term internal wear, the shock starts losing its damping action over time.
  • If the rear shock has started leaking oil due to a failed oil-seal, then it means that the shock will no longer be effective.
  • One good way to tell if your shock has failed or not is to do a “Bounce Test”. Put all your weight on one of the front corners of the vehicle pushing it downwards. Keep oscillating the corner till you feel that it has reached its maximum height. Once you take your hands off the corner, observe how it settles. If it takes more than 2 oscillations to settle, that means the damper has failed.
  • In the Jeep Compass, the Rear Shock Top mount can only be accessed from inside the vehicle behind the rear seats
  • In order to access the bolts, all the side panel trim behind the seat needs to be removed

Pro Tip

  • When tightening the Shock bottom bolt, make sure that the vehicle is at its normal ride height.
  • If this bush is tightened at any other ride height, the Bush  always rests in a twisted condition at normal ride height and will result in a reduced Bush service life.

Front Lower Control Arm Failure

Symptoms:

  • The car seems to be drifting
  • Steering seems vague while Lane Changing
  • Uneven Tire Wear pattern
  • Knocking Noises while going over Rough Patches
  • Usually seen in MK49 Jeep Compass Model years

Root Cause:

  • Due to a Tire wear issue, it can be inferred that the alignment of the front suspension is outside of the recommended settings. But this is still a symptom.
  • The cause for alignment change points to the Lower control arm Bushings and Ball-joints that may have got worn or damaged

Troubleshooting Front Lower Control Arm Bushing Failure: Lower Control Arm Bushing

  • Lower Control Arm bushing wears out over time and cracks due to age
  • To assess the bushing condition, you can use a Pry-bar and insert it between the Lower control arm and the Subframe. Now, try to move the Lower Control arm using the Pry-bar and observe the movement at the Bush location. If the lower control arm moves without much force, then it means that the bushes have worn out.
  • When inspecting the Lower control arm after removal, it is clear that there are tears and cracks in the rubber portion.

Pro-Tip

  • For Rusted Bolt connections that are hard to Break-open, do not try repeatedly using hand or pneumatic tools.
  • Always first soak it for 10-15 min after spraying a good Rust-penetrant

Troubleshooting Front Control Arm Ball-Joint

  • The lower control arm ball-joints are also subject to wear and tear.
  • The deterioration is usually initiated as a crack or rupture in the rubber boot around the ball-joint
  • This leads to loss of lubrication and finally to complete wear out
  • The wear out causes play or movement accompanied by knocking noise. The play in the ball-joint is probably the main reason for the vehicle steering feeling vague.
  • You can easily check for Ball-joint condition by this simple procedure:
    • Get the car on a Ramp
    • Lock the steering wheel
    • Hold the front tire with both your hands at a 6 o’clock position and try to move the wheel vertically upwards and downwards
    • If you hear a ‘Knock’ or ‘Click’, then it is very much likely that the noise is due to a play in the Lower Ball-joint
  • For the first generation (2007-2017) Jeep Compass, if you have already covered 40K-50K miles since you last replaced the Lower control arm, the best course of action would be to replace the whole set lower control arm which comes already assembled with 2 new bushings and 1 lower ball-joint.
  • The bushes would anyway be due for replacement soon after the 50K mark. So a new Lower control arm would save you the effort of dismantling the front suspension once again.
  • For a low mileage vehicle of the second Gen (2017 onwards), the lower control arm design has changed and incorporated a Bolt-on Ball-joint which can be replaced independent of the control arm

Front Wheel Bearing Failure

Symptoms:

  • Droning noise above 30 mph speeds
  • Sound is louder with increasing speed

Troubleshooting Front Wheel Bearing Failure

  • Droning noise is generally associated with one of the wheel bearings depending on where the noise is coming from
  • Wheel bearings generally have a life of 70K miles, after which, on detecting noise issues, must be replaced
  • In the Jeep Compass, the wheel bearing is housed within the Hub and is available as an assembly.
  • During fitment and removal take special care to remove and  reattach the Wheel sensor to the back of the hub

Rear Anti-Roll Bar End links and Anti-roll bar bush failure

Symptoms:

  • Rear Clunking Noises during normal driving
  • Noise increases on a rough road and over bumps

Troubleshooting Rear Anti-roll Bar

  • The rear anti-roll bar is connected to the axle through Drop-Links or End links. The link ends are connected using two rubber doughnut-shaped bushings and tightened against a washer at both ends
  • The Anti-roll bar is connected to the rear subframe through D-shaped rubber bushings that are bolted using a C-Clamp
  • Wear-out in any of these bushings cause the Anti-roll bar to move front its position and create Clunking noises

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the different Jeep Compass Suspension problems, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

For any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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