It sounds like everything’s working

January 1, 2013 | By Staff


I was stranded by a dead battery. It was 7 years old in a 2000 Ford Escort. I noticed no warning at the instrument panel of charging system malfunction, and there was no problem after I changed the battery.

The old vibrating points voltage regulator would have put out a constant potential, but are the solid state regulators only putting out slightly more volts than the battery? This problem first came with a loss of tachometer, then speedometer, and then the engine died. I will get a voltmeter to plug into the cigarette lighter and monitor voltage while driving.


The death of your battery likely has nothing to do with the type of voltage regulator in your car, but rather is the simple result of old age. I would characterize seven good years from a lead acid battery in a 2000 Ford Escort as superb service. And car batteries that die from old age typically do die suddenly. A voltmeter won’t prevent this from happening again when your new battery tosses its cookies. The only thing the voltmeter will do is let you know whether the charging system is working properly.