Q: RV won't say a word but headlights come on

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I have an 1988 Coachmen Catalina on a chevy van chasis v8. When I bought it the guy put a new starter, solenoid, and battery on it. He also changed a few fusable link wire. I let it sit over the winter and only started 2-3 times to check that it started. The choke light came on. I never fixed the choke or timing so it idled fast. Finally I drove it to work one time. On my way home I put some Marvel Mystery Oil into the gas tank and fueled up. The darn thing wouldn't start. I got towed home. I checked the starter wire and reconnected it. While unhooking the starter at first I forgot to disconnect the battery and the blasted thing kept turning on in my hand until I moved it away from metal parts. So I know the starter works. I reconnected the wires and hooked it back up. I then tested the solenoid. When I took the wire off the right small terminal and touched it to the left terminal I got a buzz sound. I got the battery charged. Still nothing. What gives?

Hi! It sounds like you’re saying that now it will "crank", but not start. If this is correct, then we can approach it that way. I’m not sure why the Marvel Mystery Oil was added, but it did lead to a mystery - now the car will not start!

Depending on how much oil is in the fuel, it may be fouling the spark plugs. Let’s start by installing a fresh set of plugs. And check for spark while you’re there. Someone will need to verify proper choke operation as well. It should be nearly closed before cold start-up.

A little shot of starting fluid before cranking can indicate if it’s fuel or spark that is lacking. Be careful with this stuff as it is very flammable! You may want to get some help on this one from an experienced technician to diagnose the starting trouble on your RV.

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