im guessing the solution is to replace the battery but i dont want to spend $100+ on a battery if that is not the fix. here is the scenario: headlights stopped working so i bought some fuses and replaced but did not fix. seems that i left the headlight switch on overnight and when i went to start the car next time battery was dead. as i was jumping the battery the headlights started working again. i have driven the car around to try to juice up the battery but headlights are not working again. the car is a 98 ford escort. sounds like i need a new battery but i really dont know so im asking the community for help as i dont have any real life help except for taking it to a mechanic.

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Sounds like you might need an alternator if it isn't charging the battery ... could be you need both. You need to use a multi-meter and see what the battery voltage is, as well as what the alternator is putting out while running. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 6 '18 at 21:21
  • Buy a multimeter and make sure the headlight fuses have power. Then check the power and ground circuits at the bulb. You may need a battery regardless, but I don't think a battery by it self is going to solve your problem. – Ben Apr 6 '18 at 21:50
  • How old is the battery? Amazing a 98 escort is still running! – Moab Apr 6 '18 at 23:21
  • @Moab I wouldn't say it is that amazing. Here in Finland, the average age for gasoline-powered cars is 13.2 years (for diesels it's 8.8 years). From this, you can conclude that gasoline-powered cars are scrapped at 26.4 years approximately. Diesels are younger because people started buying them after recent taxation changes. – juhist Apr 7 '18 at 10:59
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    I need a multimeter to check current on battery and alternator Thanks for your help all! Seems I lucked out having to fix or replace anything by selling it. Of course I am relaying all the information you guys gave me to new owners. Thanks again and I will be hanging around as I bought a new (to me) car and it has its own set of problems. – Zac Apr 13 '18 at 14:57

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