You can check the fuses check the smaller red battery cable where it bolts to the under-hood fuse box. Be sure it is clean and tight. That is a common place to find a problem. Next, follow the smaller black negative battery cable to where it bolts to the body sheet metal and be sure that one is clean and tight.
If you do not identify a bad connection, you will need a test light. A digital voltmeter will work too, but in this type of circuit the test light can be more accurate. Turn on the headlights so some current is leaving the battery. That will help make a bad connection show up. Now start with the test light's clip lead right on the negative battery terminal. If they still have the battery behind the left front tire like they did in the 1990's, just use the jump-start terminal under the hood. Place the test light's probe on the positive battery terminal, or the jump-start terminal by the left strut tower. The light should be bright. If it is not, work back to the battery to find the broken connection.
If the test light is bright, move the clip lead to the engine block or head. Next, move the probe down to the starter and check on the larger bolt-on terminal. The light must still be bright.
If you are doing this with a voltmeter, you want to find full battery voltage, (12.6 volts), all the way to the starter. If you find around 12.0 volts, the battery is discharged. If you find closer to 11 volts or less, the battery has a shorted cell and there's no way to know what will work and what wont until it is replaced.
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 AT 12:48 AM