It sounds like you have a battery or a charging system problem. By using jumper cables for 15 minutes, the battery should have charged enough to allow you to drive the car for a few miles at least, if the charging system wasn't working. Since it seemed to run okay until you stopped the engine and tried to restart it, that would suggest the battery is the cause of the problem.
You'll need an inexpensive digital voltmeter to perform the tests. After the battery has been charged, it will read 12.6 volts if it's good and fully-charged. If you find closer to 12.2 volts, it's okay but discharged. If you find around 11 volts, it has a shorted cell, and must be replaced.
With a good battery in the car, its voltage with the engine running must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is low, the charging system isn't keeping the battery charged while you're driving. That voltage reading is only part of the test though. That will tell you whether or not the system is working, but not how well. You also need a professional load tester to see how much maximum current the generator can produce. You'll either get its full rated output current, which is good and desirable, no output, which is obviously not good, or exactly one third of its rating. That's due to a bad internal diode, and will usually result in the battery slowly running down over days or weeks as you drive the car. The additional clue there is everything will work fine for a few days if you recharge the battery at a slow rate for an hour or two.
Thursday, November 28th, 2013 AT 1:27 AM