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Matt
Matt, Engineer
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 21253
Experience:  Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked 8 years as a Formula 1 engine engineer.
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I have a 2002 Vista. The RV would not start even after

Customer Question

I have a 2002 Vista. The RV would not start even after charging the
JA: Have you checked the battery, particularly the terminal connections? Are they corroded?
Customer: Yes. I did check. Then, we connected the dead battery to the house battery which produced lights. However, the steering wheel will not turn and the key will not turn when inserted into the key slot
JA: What is the make/model of your car?
Customer: It is a 2002 VW Vista RV
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: As I said, we tried charging the battery. Then, we connected the
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Again, the battery appears to be charged when connected to the
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  Matt replied 5 months ago.

Hello

If the car's not cranking then first check it can turned over by hand so double checking for any mechanical issues

If OK then check that the main battery cables are on tight and the terminals are clean and bright. Do the same for the engine / gearbox earth strap.
Then follow the main positive lead back to the engine and down to the starter motor, and check the connection at this end as well.

There should also be a small wire to the motor which should have 12V when you're turning the ignition switch to crank. If the 12V isn't there, check back along this wire for damage to the insulation or corroded connections

This 12V feed comes directly from the ignition switch so this may be faulty and need replacing

Check the resistance of the main positive lead that runs down to the motor as anything more than a few ohms and it should be replaced

Don't forget to try a jump start from another car / battery as its possible the battery is poor, if you have a voltmeter a healthy battery should read 12.7+V

also try substituting the battery for another as I've known a very flat battery to drag down the system voltage too far even with jump cables

one other thing to consider is that the immobiliser is faulty and preventing the starter from being enabled - however if the dash / ignition lights are on then this usually means that its off

If this is all OK then its possible the car needs a new starter motor