thanks for the feedback. I read that that the service is not transferable (unique to VIN #), so I'm fine with that. Worst case scenario, I'm out $185. Low risk, high reward in my book.
Hopefully you won't total your Compass so it shouldn't matter. As for me, I think my dealer should have done something for me although they are not obligated to -- it would just be good customer relations. I've bought 8 vehicles from them since 2001. They should have said, "Hey Pal, we don't have to do this, but heck, we'll give you a free oil change just because we're sorry to hear about your wreck. Even if FCA is willing to screw you out of it, we won't." For $50 bucks they could be heroes; as it is, they settle into middle-of-the-pack. Funny, they usually send me a customer satisfaction survey via e-mail, but not this time. Hmm . . . I wonder why?
so when I go to check my oil at 500 miles, what should I be looking for? please keep in mind I've never really done this before, and I'm sure I could youtube/google it, but I'd like to see something specific for our model.
If you're really new to car ownership and need basic instructions on checking the oil, I'd suggest taking a car-care seminar. It will give you a lot of basic hands-on information. Some dealers offer a one-evening class for free on a monthly basis for new owners; maybe also technical schools, and I think AAA probably does, too. Back in high school I took Drivers Ed and part of the class covered basic car care. I think there is a paragraph on checking the oil in the owner's manual. In fact, if you are new to car ownership, reading the manual is a "must." Everybody ought to read it, but especially a new owner.
Checking the oil level is pretty simple. The dipstick is on the passenger side at the front of the engine. Its got a yellow loop handle. After the engine has been off for a few minutes, pull out the stick and wipe it with a paper towel. Then insert it back down the tube, wait a couple seconds, and take it back out. Ideally you should see the oil level at or near the top of the hash marks. Being a new engine with clean and very thin oil, it may be difficult to see -- it might be easier to see the oil level on the back of the stick. As long as the oil level is within the span of the hash marks on the dipstick you're OK. That cross-hash area represents about 1 quart. Typically I won't add oil until its down near the bottom of the hash marks, then I'll add 1/2 quart. As long as the oil level is somewhere on the hash marks you're in the safe operating range. Don't overfill! Too much oil is just as bad as too little oil, but for different reasons.
Good luck! I hope you and your Compass are good to each other.