Maintenance and Upkeep Discussion HHR maintenance tips ranging from oil change intervals to brake pads and everything in between.

How to jump start an HHR?

Old 02-10-2019, 11:31 AM
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How to jump start an HHR?

I have jumper cables, and know the instructions in the owner's manual, clamping to the + and + terminals under the hood (not the battery itself).

And I have two HHRs, so would jump from one to the other.

But I can't seem to ever get the contacts right. I attach the cables, but nothing happens.I try to wiggle the cables to get a metal-to-metal connection (thinking the paint was an issue) but that doesn't help.

Is there some trick to getting a good connection? I haven't had trouble with other cars I've owned.

Since I have two HHRs, I rotate them every week. But I missed a couple of weeks, and now the Blue is dead. The batteries in both are about a year old, so they're not due for replacement.

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Old 02-10-2019, 01:19 PM
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You can definitely jump start them directly from the batteries, but the owners manual details the process for under the hood.

Are you sure you are following the manuals instructions correctly - the positive cable is attached to the forward-most (+) connection under the red plastic cover, and the negative to the post at the top of the drivers side suspension strut.
A lot of people make a mistake by connecting the negative to the connection under the black cover - definitely wrong wrong wrong.

If you are not getting a good connection for the (-) ground, try connecting it to a different ground under the hood, or even on the block itself. It might be worthwhile to throw an ohmmeter on that (-) connection post on the inner fender and check it for ground - you may have a loose, or more likely, a poor ground cable somewhere.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:53 PM
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Maybe it's the jumper cables themselves that are the problem ? I have tried many pairs of cables over the years (mostly other peoples) Always had issues with the lightweight or cheap jumper cables making a good connection.
A good quality set of cables aren't cheap but will save a lot of headaches. Plus they'll last a long time.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:23 PM
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I always had problems withe the tiny bolt for a ground. I ended up putting a piece of metal with a bolt hole in it under the nut, that gave the clamps a good chunk to bite on.

Theoretically the engine hoist is a good alternative, I stress theoretically.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:01 PM
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Yes thatís what I use red capped stud for positive and left bracket for ground

Here is the red capped positive and the lift bracket

Here is the cap safety cap on the left side of the fuse block towards the front

Pop up the red cap and use this stud for positive cable

The lift bracket is over here by the upper rad hose to the left of the bolt I have circled
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:09 AM
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Thanks for the pics! I'll give it a shot today or tomorrow, depending on rain (I wonder if our drought is over?). And I'll examine my cables, and if it still doesn't work, I'll invest in a new set.

And just to confirm, since I'm using one HHR to charge the other, I'm planning on putting them nose-to-nose (so to speak), and connecting them the same way.

You guys are great!
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:58 AM
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I would look carefully at the Jumper Cable attaching clamps. Many of the cables made do not have a proper design to clamp down correctly on the small ground point. I had an expensive set and found that it was not detailed to clamp tight on a smaller screw or bolt.
Many are made to go on the battery posts.
I ended up buying a medium grade set that had the proper clamp style and have had no problem since.

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Old 02-11-2019, 09:32 PM
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Be sure to have the radio turned off as well as AC & etc. Prior to attempting to jump.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:28 PM
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End of the story (I think) --
I got it jumpstarted this afternoon, yay! Bought new cables,'specially designed to include remote access. Still had a bit of trouble getting a good connection at the left/lift bracket, so ended up using the dead car's official" Ground" bolt for the Negative. The Security icon on the instrument panel was on, and I didn't realize what it was at the time, so headed to a new garage I'd researched last week anyway. The Blue needs a brake job anyway, and probably a new air filter, and they'll charge the battery fully. So tomorrow it's in for the maintenance.

Definitely progress, though! Thanks, all!
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:24 PM
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Dead battery triggers the security light it will go out the next start, with a good battery.
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