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Totally crazy Durango possessed

The other night my wife was driving the 2013 Durango and the electrical system went crazy. All the lights and gauges went out. All the warning lights on the dash came on including some I have never seen before. The real problem though was that the car would not shut off. Take key out engine keeps running. Had to use screwdriver after stopping to override shift control to get out of Park. Seemed to drive ok with NO KEY. Eventually some smoke (smelled like coolant) came out of engine compartment. At that point I called fire dept for help. They came said, “No problem take out battery.” Took out battery, engine keeps running. Finally pulling some fuses got it to shut off. Prelim from local dodge mechanic is not helpful. Thinks some fuse needs to be replaced, never heard of an engine that would not shut off. Any ideas?

To be more precise I did put the key back in while I drove it but the engine didn’t seem to notice any difference key or not.

Any after market electrical stuff? I put a power point in for a van for a spot light, if the spot light was plugged in, the van would not turn off. I tapped into a line for a 2 way radio that went off when ignition was off, but somehow it backfed some circuit that should make the car turn off when the key was turned off.

It had heated seats installed by the dealer when new. Only has 20k miles on it but no problems before

One would think at 20k miles all should still be good. Next question how many keys on your key ring, try driving with 1 key and see if things change.

one key on the ring. Tried putting other key in and turning it off. No luck. This was a major electric problem. Headlights dead. Instruments dead. All warning lights on dash on. Including one that said, “No Bus”

Have searched internet. Not found any reference to durango that could not be shut off

When you removed the battery the alternator was still supplying power since the engine was running. That might not have been such a good idea, as an alternator running without connected to a battery can produce voltage spikes throughout the car’s electrical system that could damage other electrical gadgets in the car. The battery eliminates those when it is connected to the alternator. But suggest to ignore that potential problem for now and focus on why the engine runs without a key. The computer must still be powered up & working otherwise the fuel injectors wouldn’t be working otherwise; likewise the ignition system probably wouldn’t work. Given that, the place to start is the ignition switch. There may have been an over-current condition that has melted or welded parts of the ignition switch together. Another possibility, there’s probably a main engine relay, and that may be stuck in the on position.

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My first thought was a bad ignition switch. I’d start there, myself. Good luck.

Bad ignition switches have caused fires. Get that checked out as soon as possible and don’t park in your garage in the meantime.

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Thanks for all the replies. I don’t think the ignition switch had much to do with it. The problem was that the electrical system was haywire. I just don’t know how. And so far nobody else does either. The car has been at the dealer for a week. All we have heard is that they put everything back together and it started right up but as soon as they took it on road test it overheated. Not much help. I suspect that the overheating has something to do with the smoke and coolant smell we got when this happened. Is there a part of the cooling system that is electronically controlled? If so that was probably out and may still be. I almost wish I had just let the damn thing burn itself up. At least then we could just make a claim and be done with it.
Wife told shop this was dangerous and needed to be reported to Dodge. They said no big deal report if you want. I’m thinking I just need to go straight to NHTSA.

The radiator’s electric cooling fans are the main one. Other electric-controlled problems that could cause overheating include

  • ignition timing is wrong
  • variable valve timing not working correctly (if equipped)
  • air/fuel mixture too lean

Has the problem where it won’t shut off been solved then? If so, what was that caused by?

No answer about why it wouldn’t shut off. If the radiator has electric controlled fans then they were probably not working during the time we couldn’t shut it off. HELLO DODGE! GOT ANYBODY MONITORING THIS FORUM?

A Durango may have a radiator fan powered directly by the engine via a clutch mechanism. If so, whether it is on or off may still be electrically controlled. Some are, some aren’t. Not sure how it is done on a Durango.

Edit: It appears both the 3.6 and 5.7 L engine uses an electric radiator cooling fan on the 2013 Durango. The fan version depends on whether it is configured with or without Max Cooling.

The vehicle has a BUS communication problem. If the Ignition Node can’t communicate with the Front Control Module you won’t be able to shut off the engine.

The cause of the BUS failure may be difficult to identify, could be one of many modules or a wiring failure. This can be time consuming, as you place pressure on the service department, be grateful you don’t have to pay for 40 hours of diagnostic time.