2001 Mazda 626 electrical problem

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If you read my introduction you will remember that I have almost no knowledge at all about cars, so please forgive me if this seems like a dumb problem.
I have a 2001 Mazda 626. Tonight when I went to leave a friends house I unlocked my doors with my remote, put the key in the ignition, and turned the key. When I turned the key all of the dahs lights came on like it was going to start and then suddenly all went black and it wouldn't start. I turned the key back to off and then turned it forwards and the dash lights came on very faintly. I took the key out of the ignition and the interior lights came back on at their normal brightness. I put the key back in and turned it again and the lights went out again. I removed the key and again the interior lights came back to full strength. I left the key out and turned on the headlights and it blacked everything out again (and of course the headlights did not come on either). When this happened the dash lights slowly came on very very faint and there was a humming noise.
The only problem I have ever had with this car was a compressor that seized up and burnt out the power stearing.
I am extremely limited on funds at the moment so I wanted to get some good advice about what to do before I went out and bought a battery or something else that did not work. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

posted by  steck

Have the battery load tested (many parts places will do this free of charge)

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I agree, Bad battery or corroded terminals.

posted by  HD_Softy

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