So I have a 2000 Dodge Durango and I had just gotten it up and running again after some repairs irrelevant to this but I got it down the road and it was driving fine for about 20 minutes and then the vehicle started to overheat well I figure this has happened before I’ll just wait for it to cool down turn back on and drive till I can get to the nearest gas station (less than half a mile)... as soon as I hit that off ramp I started smelling burning rubber and thinking it was my brakes trying to lock up because my abs and brake light were on I hurried up and pulled into the gas station. Come to find out my tensioner broke and the serpentine belt was rubbing on my alternator and tensioner arm. I got it fixed a couple days later no problem but when I started it up, it was shifting really at random rpm levels. Low, high, it didn’t matter. The more I ran it, it started to backfire if I tried to speed up, it would shoot up to 5 thousand, backfire, let off gas and it would shift. And if I stopped the engine, it eventually would turn of completely.

  • Can you please explain your "some repairs" comment? I suspect that the serpentine belt issue is unrelated to the real problem that is causing the symptoms you describe.
    – jwh20
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 9:32
  • Your battery may have been going flat due to the alternator not working which would cause the ECU to do crazy things. Could you restart the engine?
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


Though I want to know what “some repairs” entails, this screams voltage voltage voltage to me. Belt breaks, alternator doesn’t charge, battery voltage drops. 90% percent of the sensors on your car run on a 5 volt reference signal, drop the signal voltage, then you drop the return voltage as well, so the ECM sees weird numbers coming back and makes all of its calculations incorrectly. Fully charge up your battery before continuing with any other diagnosis.

P.S. Chrysler products in my experience are more finicky than some other brands with their electronics

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