Question about 1998 Ford Escort

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98 Ford Escort ZX2

While the battery was being replaced the main fuse burnt out and was replaced and now I have no dome light, radio, etc...but the car starts up. The battery symbol is lit. Does that mean the electrical has a short somewhere?

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If the battery was improperly polarized (polarity reversed) you may have a lot of damage.
The main fuse isn't the last one you need to replace.
To measure them, you should have some kind of multimeter and it would help for the other tests as well.
(They can be had for <$20 US at electronics stores or, for a few bucks more, auto parts stores.
Any of them are accurate enough for home use.)

If that has happened, the alternator could well be fried; the output diodes are oriented so that they would have looked a lot like a piece of wire to the battery and while they are rated at high amperage (100 amps or so) the battery could have supplied twice that and caused them to fail.

You need to measure the terminal voltage across the battery.
Normal for a charged battery is 12.6 volts, charging at an idle 13-13.5 volts and maximum at any RPMs, ~14.3.

If the main fuse was blown, I suspect the battery was installed incorrectly.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008

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