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I have a 2000 Ford Focus SE that recently stopped working. battery light was coming on and off, and the last time it came on it started to smell like rotten eggs. Turned the car off and popped the hood and the battery was steaming (not from the posts, from the actual battery).The battery was also leaking from the edges (battery was bought, brand new, in April 2014). After that the car won't start and just keeps clicking over and over when you turn the key over to try to start it. Got it towed home, and disconnected that battery. Noticed the cables were also melted in some places, and what I think is the grounding(?) cable came apart from the battery cable. Should I get my alternator changed (with the drive belt replaced) as well as the battery cables? Or is it a different problem ?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi Marki, I recommend that you have your Focus towed to the garage that sold you the battery. There should be a warranty on the battery. Also, you don't want to be messing around with the battery if it is leaking - the battery acid is dangerous. I would have your shop test the alternator before you go ahead and have it replaced & I would think your drive belt should be fine unless it got battery acid on it.

Gelina Aquilina, Service Advisor / Mechanic at Check the entire charging system, including that battery. The battery cable terminals may need to be replaced & the alternator can be tested.

Helaine Kurot, Owner/Technician at 360 Automotive I would have the car checked over by a technician before replacing the battery (and cables). It sounds like there is a direct short to ground somewhere on this vehicle. It is possible that the alternator may also need to be replaced, but that is something a technician can confirm when they look at the vehicle.

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