1998 FORD: BATTERY (NEG.) POST SMOKING.

I got a Ford Escort ZX2 and went to Drive it and it would not start. Check under the hood and the (NEG) Battery Post was SMOKING>. Went and got new Battery. OLD battery was 5 years old. Put in new battery and
went to start it and same thing happen, (NEG.) Post SMOKING! What could be the PROBLEM? Any help would be Apprecated.
Thanks.
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Corrosion in the cable or connection... easiest way to find where (if it isn't obvious on a visual inspection) is to perform a voltage drop test. If you have a multimeter, the instruction booklet should describe how to perform this test.

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Common problem, what happens is the acid eats up into the cable under the insulation. What you really have is just a few good strands of copper still in place. When you hit the key the remaining strands get cherry red hot. Simply replace the neg cable from the battery to the engine block. I suspect the other cable might not be much better condition. You can get them pre-sized at many auto parts stores with the fittings already installed on the ends. Let us know if this helps...
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