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I have a 1998 Ford Contour GL 2.0 with 114,000 miles The carrecently developed an electrical issue. The first noticeable sign was the gauges quite working. The dash lights still work as do the blinkers, but nothing else on the panel. Also, and this may be unrelated, but the a/c stopped cooling. It still blows, but hot and it was ice cold before. My daughter continued to drive the car for a day or so and then the battery died. I replaced the alternator, like a nitwit without testing it first. It wasn't bad. Now we've also realized the brake lights aren't working. As long as the battery is fully charged, the car runs and drives just fine, however, no brake lights, gauges, a/c or warning lights. The battery will not stay charged while driving the car, so I'm certain there's a heavy drain on it.

I'm stumped.
 

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Have you load tested the battery and checked alternator output when running on car ? If you have a dud / weak cell in battery it wont hold a charge and alternator will be battering it's brains in trying to keep up .
 
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