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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2002 Escort; 80K miles; I'm the second owner.

Previously it would die at idle, but I think that is a vacuum line issue, which I have yet to fix.

Car has sat for over a month since it wouldn't start on its own. Tried to start it today; no lights, no clicks, no nothing. Jumped it, ran for about five minutes of real time and then began to idle rough and then died. Tried the key again. No lights, no clicks, no nothing.

Took battery to O'Reilly's; bad battery; free warranty replacement.

Installed new battery. No start. Check engine light did stay on, however, even with the key out of the ignition.

Jumped. Took it around the block, about 3/4 mile. Red battery light flickered a lot, not just once or twice, but continously for several seconds several times in this trip. Seemed to flicker (at first) with the turn signals, but later the flicker did not match to the turn signals. When I acclerated on the service road the battery light did flicker quite a bit more.

From what I've seen here, this might be an alternator/alternator brush issue.

Could it be something else?

I've seen an alternator before but I haven't located it on this car. Manuals don't exist for this model, either.

I don't mind being a mechanic, but I hate to tinker with something when I don't know what I'm doing! :D

EDIT:
Just went outside to close up; 8pm local time (CDT). 'Check Engine Soon' is still lit up; shines brighter when the key is in the ignition. Would not start.

EDIT 2:
Unhooked the battery and put the battery caps back onto the posts; negative first, then positive. Had a spark between the negative battery cable and the negative terminal which caused the interior lights of the car came on for a bit; quite evident in the dark.

Maybe it is not the alternator but the terminal clamps?
 

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If the battery was new, and fully charged, it wouldn't matter whether your alternator worked or not - the car would turn on. Unless you have some other issue with the starter for instance. Your issue sounds strange, and my first suspicion would be some kind of short in one of your electrical wires. Check all your fuses (under the hood, and under the dash) for any burned fuses. If one or more is burned, have it/them replaced, and see if that helps. If they burn again, you will find in what area the short is coming from. Taking the car to your local autozone, you can have the check engine light checked for free. This might help you to narrow down your problem. - Definitely make sure your battery clamps are properly tightened, and free of corrosion. The clamps at the battery, and at the bottom of the clamp, connecting all the various wires to the battery. (2 nuts)
 
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