2000 Ford Focus won't start

Hi,
I was hoping someone here could tell me what's wrong with my 2000 Ford Focus SE. I was about to go to work this past Friday when it wouldn't start. When I turned the key, the lights in the dash would come on and
there is a clicking noise. I bought a new battery, put it in and everything was fine. Until tonight when it wouldn't start again. It was doing the exact same thing as before. Lights coming on in the dash and clicking noise. Fortunately, I found someone to give me a jump start and was able to get home. Can anyone tell me what the problem is? Also, the headlights, interior lights, radio and everything else works just fine.
Thanks
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If a jump start worked then your battery was dead. You stated you replaced the battery and all was fine for awhile. That means your new battery is either bad as well or it was not being charged. Sounds like the alternator is not doing its job.
With the engine off measure the battery volts at the terminal posts. Should be about 12 volts. Now start the car, jump start it if you have to. Measure the volts again. Should be close to 14 volts. If it does not increase when the engine is running your alternator is dead.
Noty wrote:

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Yeah, sounds like a bad alternator. What was the old rule, if while the engine is running and you disconnect the + (positive) battery connector and the engine shuts off, you have a bad alternator (besides the draining of the new battery).
Mojo

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Mojo JoJo wrote:

If you remove the battery while the engine is running, you're risking damage to the car's electronics. Don't do it.
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Good to know, I guess that applied to cars without electronics huh? :-/
Mojo

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Or there is something wrong in an electrical connection. But you're right - the battery is not being charged.
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If the alternator is charging ok @14 volts or so - BTW, I think it is as the car runs after jumping it and if the alternator was bad, the dead battery would not run the fuel pump and ignitions system/computer long at all! A fully charged battery will be at least 12.6 volts after sitting awhile after a drive.
So a new bateery goes dead too. Check for too much parasitic drain on the battery when the engine is off and all is off, no lights on, doors closed, etc. Remove the negative batt cable and put a multimeter in series with the cable and battery post. Set it to a milliamp range. If you get much over 100 mA of current, something is wrong. Make sure any small lights are off. If they are, you need to remove a fuse one at a time for each circuit to find which circuit is taking power and go from there. The ECU will draw power, same with the alrm system or remote door thingy. But not 1/4 amp (250mA) or something. That will kill a battery overt a weekend.
Gary
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BTW:
Most auto parts stores and some service centers (Pep Boys) will test your charging voltage/amperes and battery charge cycle for free. This will tell you right away which it is.
I once put a new battery in a used car I had just bought just 'cause I didn't know the condition and history of the battery. The new battery turned out to be bad.
I put the original battery back in and never thought about it again for three years after that when it finally wouldn't hold a charge.
John
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On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 21:50:57 -0700, Miles wrote:

Not necessarily, if the starter motor (or whatever its called in english) is broken then a jumpstart would start the car.
--
Kjell


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So, Noty, what did you find out? jor

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