"Let it sit and again nothing."
What does "nothing" mean? Everything is dead on your car? Everything works normally with no problem?
When you jump-started your car, were the jumper cables connected positive to positive and negative to negative? It's normal for the good car to load the engine down a little and its head lights will dim a little as it works to charge your dead battery, but it shouldn't stall the engine.
If everything was still dead on your car while the jumper cables were connected, there was probably a bad connection on one of them. GM side post battery terminals are REAL hard to get a good connection through. Also, GM went from the second best generator to the world's worst pile starting with the 1987 model year. There's no way to sugar-coat it, it's a very poor design and causes a lot of trouble. It is common to need four to six replacement generators in the life of the car. One way to prevent repeat failures is to replace the perfectly good battery at the same time. The old battery will work fine in older cars, but as they age, they lose their ability to absorb voltage spikes produced by these generators.
You can do the first test yourself. When the engine is running, use an inexpensive digital voltmeter to measure battery voltage. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. That applies to any car, any brand. In addition, due to their design, GM generators develop a lot of voltage spikes that interfere with the signals going to all of the complicated, unreliable computers on the car. Those spikes have been known to cause engine running problems. To test for spikes, you will have to visit a mechanic with specialized equipment, but that is not the problem with your car now.
If you measure battery voltage with the engine not running, you should find very near 12.6 volts if it is fully charged. If you do and everything on the car is still dead, suspect a bad connection on one of the cables. If you find closer to 12.0 volts, the battery is good but discharged. That is a sign of potential generator trouble. The dome and head lights will work but might be dim. If you should find less than 11 volts, that suggests a shorted cell in the battery. That isn't likely in your case since it's less than a year old.
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 AT 4:27 PM