Hello. I have a 93 Escort - About a month and ahalf ago the battery would go dead overnight and wouldn't hold a charge. I had it replaced and it worked fine until yesterday. My wife said she had to get a jump in the grocery store parking lot and on the way home the lights were going dim. This morning it was dead. I jumped it and let it idle for about 30 minutes. Drove it around the block with no troubles. I shut it off and immediately tried to restart it - it was completely dead. No headlights no nothing. I jumped it again and let it charge for a few minutes and as soon as I turned the headlights on, the car shut off and wouldn't start back up. I live pretty far from an Auto Zone and don;t want to break down on the way (to get the Alt checked). Anybody have any ideas/suggesstions? Thanks.
check the battery with a volt meter while the car is running. if it reads 14 volts your alternator is doing its job
One of the first things I'd would do is check the charge cable from the
alternator to the battery post for corrosion and tightness. Secondly I'd
check the chassis strap from the batt -ve to the body, likewise for
corrosion. Next check that my alternator belt isn't loose. Then a
hydrometer on the battery fluid, followed by a stab test.
Having disqualified those I would start the engine, remove the battery chassis strap, idle up the engine and turn the lights on to make sure the alternator is doing it's duty. (actually I would throw a current tong tester on the charge wire along with a CRO, but I'm supposing not everyone has that kinda gear). If the engine shuts down get your alternator checked for faulty diodes, worn brushes/sliprings, faulty regulator.
If the battery itself is not the one causing the problems (as it seems to be), I would check for the connection to the battery. There is a cable going to it. I think it's from the alternator. I would start by checking on that.
Ended up being a battery cable - it had been taped before and some wire was exposed. After replacing the cable it fired right up. Thanks for the help guys.