Escort Electrical Issue?

The lights on my 1999 Ford Escort pulsate (along with the engine idle) when first started. It goes away after driving for a short distance. A new battery did not correct the problem. Any ideas on the cause and fix?

Did you have the charging system tested when you installed the new battery?

No. I was overdue for a new battery and was going to be away from home for an extended period of time. This seems like it is a recent problem with the weather turning colder. In a new area now and not sure where to take the car for a reliable diagnosis. I’m trying to get a rough opinion ahead of time and gauge how serious an issue it is, for my fear an alternator is going to be expensive.

Many auto parts stores will test the charging system free.

I recommend you have someone test the charging system. If you install a new battery in a car with a weak charging system you will soon have problems, and you will have wasted your money.

Have the charging system tested. If you need a new alternator (it happens) you need a new alternator. Rebuilt alternators from auto parts stores are not prohibitively expensive.