Zippo lighters are designed and built to last for a long time. The Zippo manufacturers are so confident in their long lifespan that they offer free service and repair if you do come across a situation where you need it. However, you can do a few simple repair and maintenance procedures yourself, usually within a few minutes. For any extensive work you should send it in for professional, free-of-charge repairs.
Open the lighter, grasp the top, and pull it away from the housing case. Look into the chamber where the wick is and see if it is fully burnt. Grab the wick with needle nose pliers and pull it up until you see the unburned part of the wick.
Flip the lighter over, pull the wadding from the lighter and check to make sure at least a ¾-inch section of fresh wick is inside. Replace the wick with a new one if there is less than that amount left.
Remove the old wick with the needle nose pliers and push a new wick through the bottom of the lighter until you see it coming flush with the top of the wick chamber.
Unscrew the small flint screw and spring from the lighter. Make sure the screw is still attached to the spring. If it is not, reattach them with a small amount of carpenter's glue on the screw and twist them together.
Remove the old flint and place a new flint into the flint tube.
Reattach the flint screw and spring. Try to light a flame to see if the flint is in correctly. If it doesn't light, try steps 1 and 2 again.
Remove the old wadding from the inner chamber of the lighter with needle nose pliers. Move the wick to one side.
Place a third of the wadding into the inner chamber on the side of the lighter that you did not push the wick to. Push the wick to the other side, the side with the new wadding, and push the rest of your wadding into place with the tip of your needle nose pliers.
Place the felt pad along the spring tube and push the inner lighter case back into the outer shell casing.
Inspect the wadding for melted or burnt areas. If these are present, send the lighter to the Zippo Repair Clinic to be fixed free of charge. If you are missing a hinge pin, the lid does not shut properly, or any other problems you should also send it in for repairs.