Compass not calibrating - Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > JK Jeep Wrangler Forum > JK General Discussion Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today

Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on
Old 10-20-2011, 07:45 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 178
Compass not calibrating


2012 Rubicon 2-door, my compass doesn't seem to want to calibrate properly;
I tried the drive around in circles a few times (dizzy!) but it still not accurate, always displays/flashes "Cal"; is there a way to correct this or disable it?


Vulcan Classic is offline   Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 07:48 AM   #2
cu in oz's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: South Coast of Massachusetts
Posts: 624
Have you set for magnetic variance? Look in your owners manual and set your compass for your area. This might help.

'11 Sahara Tan Sport "S" H/T 6spd
cu in oz is offline   Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 07:49 AM   #3
The Bad Guy

WF Supporting Member
daggo66's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NJ exile living in Baltimore
Posts: 22,854
The compass on your vehicle will automatically calibrate
when new, and will continuously adjust itself over the
life of the vehicle. If the CAL indicator is on (or flashing),
drive slowly (under 10 MPH) in an open area until the
CAL indicator is off.
A good calibration requires a level surface and an
environment free from large metallic objects such as
buildings, bridges, underground cables, railroad
tracks, etc.

Magnetic and battery powered devices, (such as cell
phones, iPod’s, radar detectors, PDA’s and laptops)
should be kept away from the top of the instrument
panel. This is where the compass module is located
and such devices may interfere and cause false compass

Automatic Compass Calibration
The self-calibrating feature of the compass eliminates the
need to calibrate the compass for normal conditions.
During a short initial period, the compass may appear
erratic and the CAL symbol will appear (blinking) on the
display. After the vehicle has completed at least one
complete circle under 5 mph (8 km/h) in an area free
from large metal objects, calibration will be complete
when the CAL symbol is extinguished.
After initial calibration, the compass will continue to
automatically update this calibration whenever the vehicle
is in motion.
Manual Compass Calibration
NOTE: Before attempting a manual compass calibration,
the engine must be running and the transmission
in the PARK position (if equipped).

If the compass appears erratic or inaccurate and the
variance has been properly set, you may wish to manually
recalibrate the compass. To manually calibrate the
1. First enter the variance mode. Press and hold the left
button (located on the instrument cluster) for approximately
10 seconds to enter the variance mode, and
release the button when the VAR (Compass Variance)
symbol appears.
2. The current variance value will also be displayed.
Once in the variance mode, it is necessary to release the
button, and then press and hold it again (approximately
10 seconds) until CAL is displayed (solid, not blinking).
3. Manual compass calibration has been initiated. Drive
the vehicle slowly in one or more circles under 5 mph
(8 km/h) in an area free from large metal objects until the
CAL symbol is extinguished.
When the CAL symbol is no longer displayed, the
compass is calibrated and should display correct headings.
Verify proper calibration by checking North (N),
South (S), East (E), andWest (W). If the compass does not
appear accurate, repeat the calibration procedure in another
Compass Variance (VAR)
Compass Variance is the difference between Magnetic
North and Geographic North. To ensure compass accuracy,
the compass variance should be properly set according
to the variance map for the zone where the vehicle
will be driven. When properly set, the compass will
automatically account for this difference.
Setting the Compass Variance
Refer to the variance map for the correct compass variance
zone. To check the variance zone, the ignition must
be ON. Press and hold the left button (located on the
instrument cluster) for approximately 10 seconds to enter
the variance mode and release the button when the VAR
symbol appears. The current variance value will also be
displayed. To change the zone, press the left button once
to increment the zone. The default is Zone 8. After Zone
15, the values will wrap around to Zone 1. When the
correct zone is displayed (per the Compass Variance
Zone Map) for the zone that the vehicle is located in, wait
for about five seconds; then the trip computer will store
the variance value in memory and the compass will
resume normal operation.
The U.S./Metric display will change from English
to Metric or Metric to English before the VAR
symbol appears, however, it will revert back to its

original setting after programming the compass functions.

"I've got two things in this world, my balls and my word and I don't break them for no one."
daggo66 is offline   Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 10:45 PM   #4

WF Supporting Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 77
"Drive the vehicle slowly in one or more circles under 5 mph
(8 km/h) in an area free from large metal objects until the
CAL symbol is extinguished."

I got tired of the flashing 'CAL' after about 30 miles and did what the manual says. Driving in slow circles works, but the description of "one or more circles" is way misleading - I was getting dizzy by the time it finally calibrated.
hunterxyz is offline   Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Electronic Vehicle Information Center Mikial JK General Discussion Forum 22 10-28-2015 09:19 AM
Compass stuck and unable to calibrate desertfun JK General Discussion Forum 10 09-07-2012 10:31 PM
Compass is absolutely crazy, even after calibration. AEsco48 JK General Discussion Forum 37 05-05-2012 10:29 AM
Calibrating my compass spleify JK General Discussion Forum 18 06-29-2010 12:34 PM
Compass in Jeep 2009 jk stucking on SW rj5570 JK Tech Forum 6 09-22-2009 02:31 PM

Download our Mobile App

» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:16 PM.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2015 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC. is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC