How to repair cigarette lighters

Written by richard toole
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How to repair cigarette lighters
A steel lighter may need a little work from time to time. (feurzeug. lighter. image by Olga Trociuk from

Even the most robust of lighters can have maintenance issues, and require a little home repair. Normally, there is little in the way of repair you can do for a disposable lighter, but there are several ways to fix up a windproof lighter. Whether you simply need to add a little more fuel, or you need to replace a part on you lighter, you can usually find the problem, and fix it, in just a few minutes.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Lighter
  • Small, flathead screwdriver
  • Lighter fuel
  • Clean rag
  • Lighter flint
  • Tweezers
  • Lighter wick
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Check the fuel level. Open the top of the lighter, and grasp the part that houses the wick, the chimney, with one hand. Hold the outside part of the lighter with your other hand. Pull up on the chimney to remove the lighter from the housing. Turn the lighter upside down. Pour lighter fluid or fuel into the bottom loading end, until the lighter is full. Place the lighter back in the housing, before attempting to light it. Wipe any excess fluid with a clean rag. Attempt to light the flame.

  2. 2

    Check the flint. Flick the flint wheel with your thumb, as you normally do to light the flame. Observe if there is a spark. Replace the flint, if there is no spark. Remove the lighter from the housing again. Turn the lighter upside down, so you see the small screw that holds the flint in place. Unscrew the screw with a small, flathead screwdriver. Slowly, remove the flint spring and flint. Take the flint off the end of the spring. Install a new flint in the top of the spring. Insert the flint and spring into the hole in the lighter. Tighten the screw. Flick the wheel to check the spark, and see if the lighter now works.

  3. 3

    Observe the colour of the wick inside the chimney. Replace the wick, if it is black. Remove the fuel padding, or packing, from the bottom of the lighter with a pair of tweezers. Pull the old wick up, and out, of the chimney with the tweezers. Thread a new wick through the opening of the chimney. Add the fuel padding into the bottom of the lighter. Place one piece of padding into the lighter, then weave the new wick through it. Repeat this process, until you have installed wick through all of the fuel padding. Cut the wick, so it is even with the top of the chimney and the bottom of the fuel packing. Add lighter fluid, and insert the lighter into the housing, before attempting to light it.

Tips and warnings

  • Try to change the wick when the lighter is completely out of fuel, so you do not get lighter fluid on your hands.

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