How to Troubleshoot a Coleman Lantern

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Things You'll Need

  • Container

  • Denatured alcohol

  • Unleaded gasoline or white gas

  • Propane bottle, 1-lb.

  • Replacement mantle

Coleman lanterns are used around the camp, on the trail and in the backyard to provide light. Available in different models, Coleman lanterns feature such options as instant-start automatic ignition and dual-fuel or propane capability. Operating issues can arise, however, that affect the normal operation of the lantern, but after pinpointing the problem, perform basic troubleshooting steps -- that often involve carefully following setup and starting procedures -- to get your Coleman lantern working again.


Step 1

Open the fuel cap on the Coleman lantern and pour out the old fuel, if any, from the tank and into a container.

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Step 2

Add a few ounces of denatured alcohol to the tank. Pressurize the tank with the pump on the side of the fuel tank and allow the alcohol to dissolve any lacquer buildup in the tank or fuel line. Leave the pressurized lantern overnight.

Step 3

Release the pressure on the tank and pour out the alcohol. Rinse the tank with unleaded gasoline or white gas, and then fill the tank as normal. Attempt to light the lantern following the manufacturer's directions.

Step 4

Loosen and remove the knurled knob on the lantern top. Pull the cap from the lantern and lift off the glass globe. Remove the old mantle with scissors. Tie or clamp a new mantle on the generator. Light the new mantle with a match and allow it to burn -- in preparation for lighting the lantern.


Step 5

Assemble the globe and top back on the lantern and secure in place with the knurled knob.

Step 6

Thread a 1-lb. propane bottle onto the fuel valve if your lantern is designed to use propane gas. Avoid cross-threading the bottle onto the lantern. Tighten the bottle securely to avoid gas leaks.


Always consult the manufacturer's instructions that came with your Coleman lantern for proper starting procedures.


Light and use the lantern outdoors.

Thread the propane onto the lantern securely to avoid a potentially dangerous gas leak.


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