Battery or alternator or?

2000 Silverado 2500 4WD

Yesterday I left the driveway and 100’ later the truck died. 2nd attempt starting the truck acted like it had a cold, dead battery (no starter clicking btw). I used my lithium ion jumper, the truck started and I backed up ~50’ before the truck died again. This time I did not remove the jumper from the battery, and when the truck started I backed up to the house. The jumper had come disconnected at some point but held long enough.

I attached the trickle charger. It read ~60%. There’s no way I charged the battery from a point at which it couldn’t turn the engine to 60% in that amount of time with the jumper. Several hours later on a 15amp charging setting, the battery was 100%. I checked the battery this morning and it was 95% and again 95% this afternoon.

Based upon yesterday, I’m not looking to drive the truck to the garage which is ~8 miles. I’m thinking that whatever is going on, I won’t make it. I’m inclined to have AAA tow the truck to the garage. But I’m holding off doing so pending your opinion/response.


does truck have volt gauge in dash?

Side terminal battery? Did you remove the bolts and clean everything up?


I don’t know where you live or whether you have another car. In my situation, I would first remove the battery and take it to an auto parts store to have the battery tested. If it’s bad, I would buy a new one and replace it myself. I would then drive it to the parts store and have the alternator tested.
If the battery isn’t bad, I then would probably go the towing route.

Gauge shows charging. Side terminals clean.

Can a gauge show charging even if the alternator isn’t working?

I can’t take the battery out. No weight lift/pull etc right arm–rotator cuff surgery.

Mark, surely you know someone ( relative or friend ) that would be willing to remove battery for you.

But, what are the battery volts with engine off, and then with engine idling?

You’re saying with the ignition key forward to just before start vs. idle? If so, I’ll do in the a.m. What would that test tell me?

Not my style to ask for help if there’s a way I can get around the problem–more $ or time. I’m just not good at asking.

Most times when I see a no start happen happen on a GM vehicle, I can walk up and move the cables by hand on those lousy side terminals and the car starts.