Clocked 10k kms on my Jeep Compass: Learnings as a first time car owner

Ethel Walsh

As careful as I am of not giving cars to valet and always parking them in our society, two minor scratches did end up on my car.

BHPian parthdmaniar recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

As a first-time car owner, there are multitudes of learning, and I hope to document our learning as our beloved Jeep Compass crossed 10,000 km within five months of ownership.

The learnings are not technical or comprehensive, but I sincerely wish they help other members positively.

Requirements and research are vital; however, avoid getting lost in the negative comments online:

My two primary goals were six airbags along with a manual transmission. A few other goals were a diesel engine, 200mm+ ground clearance and 17′ or larger tyre size.

I researched substantially about cars within my ~25 lakhs INR budget & test-drove four cars – Jeep Compass, Skoda Kushaq, Tata Harrier, and MG Hector. While the current threat of Jeep Compass is filled with negative comments & experiences, I sincerely empathise with the users while wishing them better service & support from Jeep India.

Unfortunately, the statistical reality of the modern social media-driven corporate world is that those with good or positive reviews seldom take the time to post them; however, given how the companies have adopted social media as a way of listening to customers as opposed to being fundamentally excellent at product and service forces the customer to post at all reputable locations.

Hence my first learning was that while negative reviews and comments provide you with knowledge, they do not offer you the correct ratio of a good v/s poor product & service.

Pre-Delivery inspection is necessary, but protect your heart and mind while doing it:

Here is a quick link to the PDI resources I used – 1, 2

When I went for our car PDI, I was elated, and I even hired a detailer (from whom I eventually did Llumar PPF) to help find quality issues.

I did not subscribe to the idea of “letting go of small quality issues”, just as I don’t subscribe to testing “beta” software of companies for free.

I said “did not” because my Jeep Compass had two quality issues; initially, I had teary eyes and called up the sales associate, area sales manager and senior most contact I had from Jeep/Landmark Mumbai. Since I had only paid 11,000 INR, I was emotionally prepared to let go of the car. However, I quickly learned that minor quality issues are plenty.

The stockyard had over 100 cars, and I found minor issues with all the seven additional cars I checked – all of which were either my option – Limited or one above “S”. Further, the SA honestly stated that diesel + manual transmission in white colour is infrequent so if I did intend to let go of the piece it would take a while to get another one.

While I do not suggest overlooking quality issues, the effort v/s reward ratio is low. While it bothers me – in my humble opinion, if it is a “finishing” quality issue with the car as opposed to mechanical, electrical, or the date of a manufacturing issue, I would suggest convincing oneself.

Finally, I learned to complete the check and not stop once you find the fault. I forgot to check the car tyre’s manufacturing month & year.

Read about accessories and stick to the OEMs:

Even though I was careful, I got different PDFs of available accessories from the same showroom. I was also told a few accessories were unavailable on the delivery date.

I learned to confirm the availability of the accessory and avoid purchasing the most expensive ones – especially the floor mat solution. For example, I paid for 7D mats only to discover that slush or 5D mats were more practical. Lastly, a few accessories, such as window blinds, are best purchased from the OEM instead of an outside one, irrespective of the cost.

Here is what I would refer to for a list of accessories I would have. (Jeep Compass : Official Review)

Inspect the car on delivery but remember to savour the joy of the occasion:

This is immensely subjective, and I was so engrossed and worried about not losing out on any paper(work) I completely missed out on savouring the moment. Thankfully my wife and family captured many happy moments.

Hence my learning is that if you’re pedantic, go early for the paperwork; once you have them savour the moment.

To PPF or not:

Again an individual choice; however, i have two learnings here.

One – PPF does help & provides confidence that minor touches, especially from shrubbery on (older) highways, will not affect the paint. I also learned that pain from the factor (even if there are minor defects) is way solid compared to repainted parts.

Second – PPF on a white colour car carries an additional risk of “yellowing” (I a certain I have misused the technical term). Hence, discuss with your detailer the warranty towards yellowing along with the comprehensive warranty for the PPF.

Follow the engine run-in requirements and give yourself and the machine time to sync:

Jeep manual states:

A long break-in period is not required for the engine and drivetrain (transmission and axle) in your vehicle. Drive moderately during the first 300 miles (500 km). After the initial 60 miles (100 km),
speeds up to 50 or 55 mph (80 or 90 km/h) are desirable. I followed them diligently.

However, my learning was the acceptance of that it would take to be in sync with the vehicle. I had stalled the car for almost the first 2,000 or maybe even 3,000 km because it was in a higher gear, or I tried to up-shift precisely as per the manual.

Rest assured; you will be one with the vehicle over time, allow yourself and be gentle with the clutch until that happens.

Small and large bumps and minor scratches will happen:

This is the painful truth.

As careful as I am of not giving cars to valet and always parking them in our society, two minor scratches did end up on my car. I mentioned two because I paid money to replace my PPF (while the detailing shop was happy to do it for free, I didn’t want that).

Hence with no fault of my own and spending 10K on replacing PPF, I could convincingly tell you from my own experience that even if you brake the car slowly, keep enough space for bikers to zoom through and never give your car to anyone else to drive, minor mishaps will happen – I wish you the strength to calmly move from them and sensibly not replace PPF/covers the way I did.

Respect yourself and the occupants to never get into road rage. (Trigger discipline):

I’ve driven cars (and my bike) for over ~60,000 km. However, while driving our car, I had severe road rage for almost ~7,000 km.

I would try to stop every person who wanted to cut lanes and face them often since I kept a car-and-half gap instead of bumper-to-bumper driving. I would honk in anger whenever someone successfully cut in front of me. It led to two things – my emotional and physiological state would boil, and I would feel exhausted and fall into a loop.

However, the wise words of a friend and my wife’s constant & polite attempts finally gave me a reason to stop. It was very much with my training in trigger discipline. I realised the fundamental truth – road rage would hurt the occupants of the car and me, but it would not affect the other driver.

Now I happily allow others to cut lanes and carefully overtake from the left on expressways; even with polite horns, people never leave the “overtake” lane. I wish all drivers and riders follow traffic rules, but I still smile until then.

Defensive driving:

It may sound like a heavily tactical term. However, my reference is for civilian use, and this thread wonderfully encompasses everything I’d like to document. For example, I am the only driver in the family. Whenever I drive, I am focused and aware of every speeding biker coming from the rear, every impulsive turner ahead of me & everyone in the middle! Do I occasionally have to brake firmly – yes, but every time I do, I quickly do a mental root cause analysis to ensure I am aware of it henceforth. While I do wish everyone follows, lane discipline and slow vehicles are on the left-hand side – until that happens – stay frosty.

Must read: The Ten Commandments of Driving Safely.

Keep a log and pass it on.

Finally, keep a log of your trips & if you wish, the expenses. Here is the application I use to track my fuel expenses.

Pass on the memorable places & experiences to the community – I have documented most of our trips in detail. I will be posting, taking inspiration from others who have posted, like 1, 2 and 3.

I want to thank the Team BHP community, for if it weren’t for the community, I would still be lost.

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