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Error message “High coolant temperature”

24430 Views 48 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  mikes
Since I purchased my Jeep Compass Trailhawk in February 2019, sporadically a message appears on the dashboard display about "High Coolant Temperature" and immediately sends the vehicle to shut down and after a couple of seconds the error disappears and the temperature returns to normal. I must clarify that at no time does the vehicle overheat. This error occurs at any time of the day, regardless of whether the vehicle is cold in the morning or after driving for several hours; sometimes it occurs several times a week and sometimes not at all for weeks; the vehicle may be stopped at a traffic light or in motion on the highway, a particular situation that worries me greatly, because when this happens, the vehicle locks up for an instant (approximately one second) in which the steering hardens and the vehicle tends to stop abruptly, and I fear that this may cause damage to my car or even worse cause an accident.

This situation has been reported since the first time it happened (about 18 months ago) and I have had to go to the garage about 20 times. In each occasion the technical team has tried to solve the problem without success, they even replaced a control module, installed updates, ran the scanner, and made long driving tests trying to recreate the condition that causes the error without succeeding.

I would like to know if anyone else has had this problem and what solution they have been given in the workshop, perhaps it could be the temperature sensor. Thank you for your comments!
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First off, welcome to the site. Glad to have you on the board.

It seems like your dealer is trying to help so I don't fault them. You must be getting frustrated. I once had an vehicle that was almost new and had multiple problems. I went to a different dealer and told them I was seriously unhappy with what I was driving even though it was new. They got me into another (new) car for three more payments so about $1000 difference over 3 years. I just walked away from the disaster and into what turned out to be one of my favorite vehicles of all time (I've had plenty).
It could be air in the coolant system.
Thanks for checking back. Sorry they can't find the problem. At least they admit it. The only thing to worry about is if the temp really is running hot -- that could damage the engine. Keep a record of all those shop trips in case you need help after the warranty is gone. At least you'll have proof that the problem was pre-existing.
Did you check the temp and was it actually hot? Before you blame the sensor, but sure it isn't telling you the truth. Check your coolant level, too. Have you had the coolant refilled recently? Air in the system can make hot spots.

Presuming these are false alarms, I can only add that the electronics in these new vehicles are still being perfected. I've not had your exact problem, but I have had problems with the TPMS coming on and telling me a tire is going down. A quick check of the gauge says they're all in the mid-30s PSI. That has happened twice. At least mine doesn't shut down. I also had one snowy morning when I backed out of my driveway over the road rind while my neighbor plowed my driveway. When I restarted every possible warning light came on. I shut it off, told my Wife I was going to get a diagnosis, and took it to a store that reads codes for free. When I restarted again all but the CEL were gone. When I got to the store the CEL went out by itself and they couldn't even find any stored codes.

Unfortunately complexity is the enemy of reliability and these new vehicles are fabulously complex with all sorts of features, gizmos, and sensors. I know I'm not helping you, but at least you know you are not alone.
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So I've been driving myself crazy with this same issue. My 2019 Compass Altitude begain shutting down last year with the high coolant temperature warning; it happened at highway speeds and shut down on the Tappan Zee bridge when I was bringing my 1 year old to the ER at 2am.

I began taking it in to the dealership every time it happened and had a dashcam installed on the instrument panel to record the lights and proof the car shut down with all the lights and loss of RPM since the delaer kept telling me they couldn't "replicate the issue" and the car never stored a code.

I had my PCR, PCM, battery terminals, auxillary batteries replaced, and coolant flushed/replaced over the course of a year. My Jeep has 20k miles on it right now.

I am currently going through the FCA Repurchase/Buyback program right now after filing a Consumer Complaint with my State since JeepCares/FCA refused to help and my case manager told me I was crazy. After submitting my dash cam videos and pictures to Jeep and the State; I was told it would be Lemon'd and bought back.

I was told by FCA they would refund my loan minus the mandated usage and any interest paid within 30-90 days. That was 5 months ago and they've stopped communicating. I've submitted all of the paperwork to FCA as requested and I'm left with a lawn ornament. I won't drive the Jeep since it keeps shutting down and I have 2 small children. I purchased a new vehicle with the expectation this one would be repurchased.

This is a model specific issue FCA refuses to recall and until someone dies, we're all left in this weird limbo
It looks like you've exhausted the reasonable routes to satisfaction. Did you get the buy-back agreement in writing? If so, maybe a lawyer can take that and run with it. If someone told you something, that can easily be denied so your best bet is to go back to the state and tell them where you're at. If your state consumer affairs department is good, they should get action. Remember to document everything. Even keep a diary of oral contact -- date, time, person's name and title, and a summary of the conversation. If you contact a lawyer they can give you far better advice than I can. I'm just a vehicle owner like you.
Here we are in November 2022 and our 2020 Jeep Compass Limited has experienced the same issue multiple times lately with the high temp light coming on and shutting the vehicle down. It is extremely unsafe and was wondering if there has been any resolution to any of the issues documented on this forum yet?
Presuming you've checked your coolant level, then as @MaggieA suggested, it could be a bad aux battery. A bad battery (or any other electrical problems) can make strange warnings appear. The aux battery is barely good for 3 years, even less if operated in a harsh climate. Two winters in northern NH killed mine in 2 years, but I was well past the warranty mileage so it was on my dime. When the aux wears down, it starts sapping the life out of the service battery. Do you get any auto/start/stop warnings? I ignored the warning and just figured it was the cold weather cuz my start/stop was working fine -- only later I realized it was killing my service battery.
The change of the pcm module did not solve the problem, yesterday it failed again. I don't know what else to do, because the dealer assured that it was a fault in the PCM :(
Check the aux battery! That's what my post was about.
Thanks, How can I check it myself?
Honestly I've never checked mine, or any battery for that matter. In conventional set-ups either the car started or it didn't, so it was obvious. The Compass is the first vehicle I've had with an aux battery.

Many parts stores will check for free because, of course, they want to sell you the parts you need.
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