I have a 2002 Ford focus and it keeps dying.

When I jump it I can drive it for 5 sec and then shut down and I'm wondering if my radio has something to do with it because I have to twist my red and yellow cables together from the radio to keep the dash and interior lights working.

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    Welcome to the site, Roger. What you are saying doesn't make sense. Can you clarify a little more (please use the edit feature). What have you tried? Have you had the battery tested? – CharlieRB Feb 20 '18 at 12:57
  • @CharlieRB I think he meant to say "dying" instead of "during" (likely auto-correct) – Zaid Feb 20 '18 at 18:45
  • Roger, I've edited the question to make it more readable. If I've misrepresented your intent, please feel free to edit the question. Welcome to the site! – Zaid Feb 20 '18 at 18:49

The yellow wire is usually a permanent +12 from the battery and the red wire is switched by the ignition. So joining them together is like bypassing the ignition switch. If the lights only come on when the ignition switch is turned on, then you have a problem with the permanent live connection to the battery. This could be a bad connection at the battery, a damaged wire, a blown fuse, or a faulty relay. If the lights come on without the ignition switch being in, then it could also be a problem with the ignition switch.

The fact that the engine dies after a jump lead start, then that would indicate that the alternator is not working and so the battery is not charging, which could be a faulty alternator, or again a damaged wire or a large fuse.

First things to check are the connections at the battery and all the fuses in the fuse box.

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  • If it's the alternator, it's probably also the battery. After a jump start, a working battery should provide more than 5 seconds of running time. It isn't unheard of to have a failed battery caused by a failed alternator, because lead-acid batteries like full charge but don't like discharged state. – juhist Feb 21 '18 at 14:10

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