My comment about replacing the battery is something I include for future reference for all GM car owners for '87 and newer models. The generators are a real common problem and the aged battery is the solution to repeat generator failures. As the batteries age, they lose their ability to dampen and absorb those harmful voltage spikes.
In your case the jumper cables were the clue. They will put tension on the connections by their very nature of being a stiff wire. With the better connection, that's why the engine will crank. Start by taking the cables off, (remove the negative one first because if the wrench hits the metal of the car, nothing will happen. If you take the positive off first or put it on last, and the wrench hits the car, you'll have a serious spark issue. Sparks can lead to a battery explosion from the hydrogen gas they give off). Scrub the cable ends and battery terminals with a wire brush to shine them up. If you see excessive white corrosion that looks like cauliflower, that is a sign the battery is about to fail within the next six months to a year, so you can be justified in replacing it. There are a lot of chemicals and coatings for that corrosion but none can address the underlying cause of the imminent battery failure.
Monday, September 30th, 2013 AT 12:53 PM