Jeep Compass Transmission Fluid Check: A Step-by-Step Guide

jeep compass transmission fluid check

The transmission is arguably the most complex component within your Jeep Compass. It’s a precisely engineered system tasked with smoothly shifting gears to transfer power from the engine to the wheels.

With such an important mechanical role, knowing how to properly check and change your Jeep Compass’ transmission fluid is crucial.

This step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to know, including:

  • When to check transmission fluid
  • How to check fluid level
  • Steps for adding fluid
  • Signs you need a change
  • How to change the fluid and filter
  • Best practices to follow

And more Jeep Compass transmission fluid FAQs.

When Should You Check the Transmission Fluid in a Jeep Compass?

Monitoring and replacing worn out transmission fluid is vital for longevity. Jeep recommends checking fluid levels about every 30,000 miles or 2 years in the Compass.

Fluid level is visible via the dipstick, similar to checking engine oil. It’s also smart to check if you notice any potential symptoms of low fluid:

  • Shifting issues – delayed, hard, or slipping
  • Gear engagement problems
  • Leaks or strange smells

Catching low fluid early allows you to top it off before lack of lubrication causes permanent damage.

How to Check Jeep Compass Transmission Fluid Level

Items Needed:

  • Rags
  • Funnel (for adding fluid)
  • Approved transmission fluid

Checking transmission fluid level takes less than a minute when armed with the basics:

Park Your Compass on Level Ground

Fluid measurements get thrown off if the vehicle is at an angle. Make sure the ground is flat beneath you. The engine should also be warmed up to operating temperature first.

Locate the Transmission Dipstick

The Jeep Compass houses its transmission dipstick separately from the engine oil version. You’ll find the transmission dipstick tucked deeper under the hood.

Check Transmission Fluid Level

Now the hands-on part. To check if Compass fluid levels are sufficient:

  1. Pull out transmission dipstick entirely and wipe clean with a rag
  2. Fully reinsert back in place
  3. Remove again and inspect the fluid coloring and level
  4. Fluid should be between the “HOT” or upper level marking

If the dipstick is dry or fluid lies outside the designated area, adding more is likely needed.

The transmission fluid on this Jeep Compass dipstick shows the appropriate level when warmed up. It’s halfway between the bottom and top markings, signaling everything looks good.

How to Add Transmission Fluid

Don’t overlook low transmission fluid. Driving any distance without adequate lubrication will rapidly accelerate wear and tear.

Supplies Needed

  • Recommended transmission fluid (Mopar ATF+4 or equivalent)
  • Funnel with ~6 inch flexible tube

Adding fluid back to sufficient levels takes 5-10 minutes:

Check Fluid First

Before pouring in new fluid, double check the current level as shown above. This gives you an accurate starting point measurement.

Carefully Pour in Fluid

Insert the funnel tube fully into the dipstick hole. Slowly pour your chosen fluid until you approach the “HOT” full mark. Don’t overfill.

Recheck Level After Driving

Drive a short distance to circulate the new fluid, then recheck levels. Add a bit more if still shy of the full mark.

With the right supplies, topping off Jeep Compass transmission fluid is straightforward DIY car care.

Signs You Need to Change Your Transmission Fluid

How long can you drive without a transmission fluid change? The Compass needs a flush every 30,000 miles or 2 years.

But it’s smart to do it sooner if you spot any of these red flags:

Dark Fluid Color/Burnt Smell

Fresh fluid is typically red or reddish-pink. Dark brown/black colored fluid with a burnt odor indicates excessive heat and component wear.

Slipping Gears When Accelerating

Does your Compass seem sluggish speeding up or struggle when shifting gears? This slipping sensation when accelerating likely stems from low fluid.

A flush fills it back up to minimize further wear and tear.

Strange Noises in Neutral

Listen for grinding, whining, or humming noises when parked with the engine running. Too little fluid allows parts to knock together abnormally minus lubrication.

Catching deteriorating fluid early limits transmission damage down the road!

How to Change Jeep Compass Transmission Fluid?

While checking and adding fluid every 2 years helps, a complete fluid drain and replacement takes things a step further. This flushes out even more built-up sediment and shearing/worn out fluid.

Here’s how to swap out old ATF for fresh lubrication:

Transfer Fluid to a Drain Pan

  • Raise front of vehicle or access your Compass transmission pan
  • Position drain pan underneath
  • Loosen pan plug bolt to drain dirty fluid completely

It’s crucial to capture old fluid so none spills while draining from the pan.

Change Filter If Equipped

The Jeep Compass filter screens out larger debris circulating throughout the transmission. Replace it simultaneously if your model came factory equipped with one.

Reinstall Pan Plug Bolt

Carefully reseal your Compass’ transmission pan once satisfied with drainage. Wipe away residual fluid and allow your Jeep to lower/level out.

Fill Transmission Through Dipstick

Using your funnel, pour in 4-5 quarts of fresh, approved fluid until reaching the “HOT” full line. This fills the transmission with clean fluid.

Driving helps blend new transmission fluid. Check levels after test drives to guarantee sufficient topping off.

While not overly complex for comfortable DIYers, flushing your Compass transmission does require heavy lifting, some special tools, and handling hot fluid.

Having a repair shop perform it ~$150-200 can prove worthwhile if the process intimidates you!

Best Practices When Checking and Changing Transmission Fluid

Sticking to smart guidelines keeps your Jeep Compass shifting smoothly for years:

Only Check Fluid When Engine is Warm – Cold fluid level measurements result in inaccuracies!

Use a Pump When Refilling Fluid – Funnels work for topping off, but pumps better fill the closed transmission system without creating a mess. Shop vacuum pumps simplify sucking out old fluid too.

Don’t Overfill Your Transmission – Too much fluid foams up and causes shifts to feel slippery. Overfilling also blows seals. Stay between additions of 4-5 total quarts.

Immediately Address Leaks– Catch drips and moisture buildup on or round the transmission case before it escalates. slap some gasket sealant on small leaks or replace worn seals if bigger.

Treat your Jeep Compass well and the transmission returns the favor!

Jeep Compass Transmission Fluid Specifications

Fluid TypeMopar ATF +4 automatic transmission fluid (or equivalent)
Capacity6-7 liters = 6.3-7.4 quarts
Change Interval30,000 miles or 2 years

Pros of Proper Transmission Fluid Maintenance

Paying attention to your Jeep Compass’ fluid pays major dividends:

Prevents Premature Transmission Wear – Clean fluid lubricates components so they operate smoothly without grinding down excessively over time. You delay eventual rebuilds.

Ensures Smooth Gear Shifting – New fluid enables gears to engage cleanly without slippage or sudden transitions between speeds.

Extends Transmission Lifespan – Regular fluid changes minimize sediment that hinders function. Keeping levels topped off provides constant lubrication too. Together this keeps the transmission lasting 200K+ miles.

Avoids Expensive Transmission Repairs – Replacing worn seals, bearings, clutch plates, or fixing slippery operation often costs $2,500+ in parts and labor. Maintenance prevents most issues.

Cons of Ignoring Transmission Fluid

The risks of putting off maintenance makes fluid care non-negotiable:

Progressive Transmission Damage – Shearing fluid and low levels equals internal components engaging without sufficient lubrication. Eventually gears wear out completely.

Transmission Slipping – Gears struggle to engage, causing that sluggish slippage feeling when accelerating. Performance suffers tremendously.

Hard Shifts Between Gears – Sticky fluid creates sudden, jarring gear transitions rather than seamless ones. The jerky sensation signals bigger issues brewing.

Full Transmission Rebuild/Replacement – Waiting too long with subpar fluid often requires removing and fully rebuilding your Jeep’s transmission after parts fail. That’s a $4,000+ fix!


Caring for your Jeep Compass’ transmission fluid provides noticeable benefits over 100,000+ miles. Learn how to check levels accurately, signs needing a complete fluid change, and best practices along the way.

Proper fluid maintenance joins regular engine oil changes as vital for keeping your Compass running smoothly for years to come!

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