The Compass is a compact SUV with decent off road capabilities.
Like most modern-day cars, however, this model’s alarm system can sometimes go off unexpectedly due to different factors.
If your Compass alarm keeps sounding off, continue reading this article.
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Why Does My Jeep Compass Alarm Keep Going Off?
A Jeep Compass alarm can be triggered by a faulty key fob, a door or window not properly closed, a problematic door or hood switch, accidentally pressing the panic button, a weak 12V battery, a badly installed aftermarket alarm, software issues or damaged wiring.
1. Faulty Key Fob or Low Key Fob Battery
A problematic key fob is one of the leading causes of the Jeep Compass alarm going off. This includes it being damaged, faulty, dirty or most commonly – low on battery.
The first thing to do is clean your key fob(s) using a cotton swab and a bit of rubbing alcohol.
Bits of dust, fluff and grime can impede the electrical contacts and cause various issue.
For the sake of a few dollars its worth changing the battery in your fob(s) too.
You will generally require a prying tool or a flathead screwdriver.
A replacement battery for the Compass is typically a CR2032 coin battery, but you should double check with a quick Google search for your specific model year.
Also ensure the new battery is inserted correctly, the right way up.
- To open your key fob, stick your prying tool into the slit or gap between the two halves of the outer casing and gently apply upward pressure to pop open the device.
- Inspect the internal components and mechanisms for damage or rust. Once accomplished, proceed to take out the battery (no need to use the prying tool as your fingernails should do the trick).
- Make sure to carefully embed the replacement battery in the slot, ensuring that it is facing in the right direction.
- Assemble the outer casing of your key fob by clamping them back together and you should be good to go!
2. Door or Window Not Shut Properly
Another likely cause of your Compass alarm going off is not properly closing a door or window.
See this remark below from a commenter on JeepGarage.org:
“Check all the doors/windows that could set it off to make sure they are solidly closed. I recall reading about people who couldn’t get the rear hatch to go up and thought there was a problem with the lift mechanism but it turned out the rear glass was not completely closed. If it’s ‘partially’ closed then all it may take is a breeze or a heavy vehicle driving by to move it and set off the alarm.”
This is supported by another owner who experienced similar circumstances:
“After opening and reclosing all doors, liftgate and flipper glass, no further alarms so far. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.”
3. Problematic Door Switch or Hood Switch
A problematic door or hood switch is another common cause of alarms going at random on a Jeep Compass.
These switch’s are simple in operation, they monitor whether the doors/hood are open or closed and relays this information to the cars computer.
However if a switch is faulty or damaged it can send false signals to the cars computer, thus triggering the alarm.
These components will incur a lot of wear and tear so its a common point of failure.
Below is some expert insight provided by a Jeep mechanic, as posted on JustAnswer.com:
“The most likely cause for the alarm going off on its own would be a bad door or hood ajar switch. It will require some testing to determine exactly what is wrong, starting by looking at stored alarm data.”
As mentioned above, the one true solution to this issue is to have your vehicle checked at your local dealer or service center.
Another Jeep owner shared this helpful information on myjeepcompass.com, in response to one owner whose alarm would go off when they attempted to lock the door.
“I had a similar problem with a ’15 Cherokee I bought new. The rear driver side door did the exact same thing. I took it to the dealer in the 3 year/30k miles. The lock was the problem. They replaced it at no charge and I had no other issues. Since your problem is only that one door, I would lean toward a physical problem with the lock, not an electrical system issue.”
Its also a good idea to give all door latches a good clean and some lubricant such as WD-40, this may solve the problem by itself.
4. Accidentally Pressing the Panic Button
Another common reason why the Compass alarm is triggered is accidental pressing of the panic button located on the vehicle’s key fob. To stop the panic alarm, you must press the panic alarm button again.
It can easily happen when you are carrying a lot of items in your pocket or if you have on a tight pair of jeans or bend down to pick something up.
Here are what owners on MyJeepCompass forum had to say:
“That is one issue I have had since owning this Compass. Since it is a keyless ignition, I just keep my keys in my pocket and have on several occasions, tripped the panic button on the fob several times when getting in the vehicle.”
“My car did the same thing today. I had a bunch of people track me down at work to tell me my car was sounding off in the parking lot. It took me a few minutes to turn it off. I had to get in the car, turn it on, and then hit the panic button. That was the only sequence that would get it to stop.”
5. Drained 12V Battery
A drained or weakened 12V car battery can cause various issues, including triggering the vehicle’s alarm system at random.
In order to rule out this possibility, conducting a battery health test is advisable.
If you are mechanically inclined and have a multimeter of your own, you can conduct the test yourself (refer to the quick guide at the end of the article).
Otherwise, we suggest visiting your local dealer or having a free check-up booked at your nearest AutoZone establishment.
In either case, you can do some work on the battery yourself by giving the battery terminals a good and thorough cleaning using a toothbrush dipped in a baking soda and water mixture to remove any dust, grime, debris, or gunk from the area.
If you discover any sign of rust or corrosion, however, then a visit to your dealership is all the more important.
6. Poorly Installed Aftermarket Alarm
We have nothing against installing aftermarket equipment.
However, not all third-party accessories are installed properly.
A poorly installed aftermarket alarm system, for example, may lead to random, seemingly unexplainable alarms.
If this is the case, it would be best to consult a reputable auto electrician to try and fix the issue or remove the aftermarket alarm all together.
7. Software Issue
One interesting issue reported by some owners on JeepGarage.com is software-related.
According to some reports, certain models of the Compass require a software patch/update to ensure that electrical systems (such as the alarm system) are working as intended.
Take a look at one owner’s story below:
“Well, I went to the dealer and had the TSB/Flash/Update done this morning… I asked the service writer what codes were found. He kind of looked at me with a blank expression and looked at the repair order the tech handed in. He said that no codes were found, but that with this particular issue, it doesn’t always leave a code. He went on to say the tech plugged into my car, and that little green thunderbolts show each parameter that’s being updated.”
To find out if your model requires a software update, look up your model online and check if it is eligible for any recalls or technical service bulletins (TSBs).
8. Damaged Wiring
Damaged electrical wiring can cause a wide variety of issues, especially with the alarm system.
Damaged, corroded or faulty wires aren’t easy to find and you’ll need to have an auto electrician carry out some fault finding on your car.
A common point of failure for electrical wiring is in and around the doors,.
If you’ve had some kind of water leak in your car then this issue is one to investigate.
Check for Recalls or TSBs
By entering your car’s VIN number on Jeep’s recall page or the NTHSA’s Safety Issues & Recalls page you can determine whether or not there is a TSB or recall for your vehicle and if there is you’ll want to get it addressed.
A recall is issued by a vehicle manufacturer for issues that are safety-related, while a TSB covers components that may be malfunctioning but don’t compromise the safety of the vehicle.
Disconnect the Battery
Sometimes mysterious alarm problems can disappear with a simple reboot, there are no guarantees here but it’s worth a try.
Disconnect the battery for 20 seconds and this resets many of the electronics in the vehicle.
Check For Warning Messages
When the alarm occurs can you see any lights or warning messages on the instrument panel?
This can give a clue as to what’s causing the alarm e.g. ‘Hood Ajar’.
Take it to a Jeep Dealership
If needed, take your Jeep to the dealership.
Tell them you are NOT paying for a check on what the problem might be.
Ask them if they will check it for free.
Most dealerships and other places do quick/initial diagnosis for no money as they plan to make money for the repair of your vehicle.
If your unit is still under warranty then they should fix and resolve the issue for free.
How To Test the 12V Battery
How to Test the Battery:
- Before testing, remove the surface charge from the battery, this allows for an accurate reading.
- Simply turn on the headlights for 2 minutes then turn off.
- Set the multimeter dial to the ’20 Volts’ setting.
- Make sure the car is turned OFF.
The multimeter will have a red probe and a black probe.
- The red probe is for making contact with the positive terminal.
- The black probe is for making contact with the negative terminal.
Measure across the battery terminals.
- The meter should display a reading, if the battery is fully charged the voltage should be between 12.2 and 12.6 volts.
- Anything under 12V and the battery should be charged or replaced.