Using a Vehicle to boost start another


I have a 2005 Chevy Uplander and I have

heard that you should not use this Vehicle to boost start another


Keep your ears open and you will hear all kinds of nonsense.

Review your owner’s manual. If there is no warning regarding this routine action, you should disregard the cautionary advice you heard as simply a myth.


I was curious since I own a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander. The owner’s manual gives instructions for jump starting. The manual gives the normal precautions:

  1. Both vehicles must be 12 volts
  2. All accessories should be turned off
  3. Connect first to postive terminal of dead battery and then to positive terminal of good battery
  4. Connect cable to negative of good battery and then to some point on the frame of the vehicle with dead battery.
  5. Reverse these steps when disconnecting cables.

The Uplander does have a remote positive jump start terminal, so Chevrolet must have had jump starting in mind.

My dad’s 1939 Chevrolet had an emergency crank which could be used to start the engine in the event of a dead battery. I watched him start the Chevrolet this way on several occasions. Maybe Chevrolet furnished the crank because the battery was hidden under the passenger side floor and was hard to access.


I would not use any newer car to jump another. to much electrical componants to ruin if you get a surge or short when doing this.


To safely boost another vehicle is to do like you did. Read the GM instructions on HOW TO and make certain you turn OFF ALL accessories like the stereo, etc., first.

First and foremost, like with ANY boost, do not cross the connections and cause a short or you WILL have problems you sure don’t want.


It’s the engine computer, and other ELECTRONICS you want to protect from voltage spikes, on BOTH cars. 1. Turn off the ENGINE and accessories on BOTH cars. 2. Connect jumper cable clamps from positive post to positive post. 3. Connect negative cable clamps to frame or engine of both cars. 4. Start donor car and check the receiving car for brighter headlights. 5. If the lights aren’t brighter (poor clamp connection), DON’T wriggle the cable clamps to get a better connection until BOTH cars are turned OFF, again. 6. Start donor car, and observe headlights on the receiving car. 7. If the receiving car’s headlights are bright, let its battery charge for about 15 minuets, and then, try to start the car. 8. If the car starts, DON’T disconnect a jumper cable until BOTH cars are turned OFF. Summary: Always connect, and adjust, and disconnect, the jumper cables with BOTH cars turned OFF.


If you turn off the car with the bad battery to disconnect the cables haven’t you have wasted your time?


I think I have the safest solution, I bought one of those portable battery packs that you charge from 120VAC (about $100 at any auto parts store) and put it in my trunk. I bought it because my alternator failed while traveling, but it will allow me to jump my car or anyone else’s without all these concerns.


me_art, where did you get this list?
Is it in some owner’s manual or did
you make it up yourself?


You can boost with it if you want to, but check the price of a rebuilt alternator and see if you really want to.


When the jumper cables are connected, you see small sparks arc between the clamps and the point of connection, don’t you? Those sparks induce voltage spikes into the electrical system of several hundred volts. Those voltage spikes damage electric systems. If you connect an oscilloscope to the electrical system, you can see the spikes on the o-scope’s screen. +++ The receiver car should start, after being jumped, started, and ran a few minuets, then, shut down, cables disconnected, and restarted. If is doesn’t, it needs repairs. ++++ The same cautions are involved when connecting a portable charger or battery: the receiving car must be turned OFF before any connections are made OR unmade.++++ The damage to the electronics may not show up today, but, can show up days, weeks, or months later. Who wants to buy an engine computer, body computer, or other electronic component on your own, or somebody else’s car?


Thanks for all your good info.