Fixing a Wind-Resistant Lighter




Introduction: Fixing a Wind-Resistant Lighter

About: Don't worry about a thing. 'Cause everything is going to be alright.

Wind resistant lighters (aka Zippo) are a popular item among smoking, camping, and candle-lighting enthusiasts. While these lighters are very durable, after some long term use a few problems may occur. The butane that fuels the lighter may run low or the flint that creates the lighters spark may have been warn down. Below is a thorough explanation on how to complete both maintaining tasks. These steps are easy to accomplish, affordable, and will help keep your wind-resistant lighter working for a long time.

Warning: when disassembling the lighter and using the lighter fluid, please avoid open flames and promptly clean up any spills.

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Step 1: Materials

  • Butane
  • Flint
  • Flathead Screwdriver

That's all! Isn't this easy?

Step 2: Refueling

Checking the butane levels in your Zippo is the easiest and quickest step, therefore should be the one you consider first if the lighter isn't producing a flame.

Step 3: Remove the Lighter

Pull firmly on the top of the lighter to remove the cover. The section to the left in the photo contains the fuel and flint. The section to the right is the case.

Step 4: Prepare the Butane

Purchase a bottle of lighter fluid specifically for lighters. I used the Ronsonal brand. I prefer this brand because the top of the bottle fits perfectly into the hole for the fuel in the Zippo. Open the top of the lighter fluid so the spout is pointing up and ready to dispense lighter fluid.

Step 5: Fuel It!

Identify the small hole in the middle of the soft bottom of the lighter. Place the applicator of the lighter fluid in the hole and allow the fluid to flow into the lighter until the bottom of the lighter becomes visibly damp.

Step 6: Reassemble

Holding the lighter upside down, replace the lighter into the case. Once it is snugly back inside the case, use the lighter and spark a flame!

Step 7: Replacing the Flint

Replacing the flint of a wind-proof lighter is slightly more difficult that refilling the lighter fluid, but not by much. You will want to begin by assembling the materials listed below and again removing the lighter from it's case.

  • Lighter
  • Flint
  • Flathead screwdriver

Photo credit:

Step 8: Removing the Flint

Identify the small screw to the left of the hole you used to fill the lighter fluid (on the bottom of the lighter). Use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the screw until it easily pulls out of the lighter.

Step 9: Replace the Flint

Pull the screw all the way out of the lighter. Once it is out there should be a small cylindrical object that is separate from the screw (as indicated by the finger in the second photo). This is the flint.

Note: If there is no flint or it is very small, this means that your flint needs to be replaced.

Steps for replacing the flint:

  • Open your package of flints.
  • Remove only one.
  • Place it into the hole where the screw was removed with the flat sides of the flint on the top and bottom.
  • The flint should slide easily to the top of the lighter through the hole.

Step 10: Replace the Screw

Place the screw back into the lighter and firmly tighten it with the flathead screwdriver.

Step 11: Reassemble the Lighter

Place the lighter back in the case. Spark a light and enjoy your lighter!


If your lighter still isn't working, there may be an issue with the wick or the mechanics of the lighter itself. Those issues are more difficult to fix and will require more detailed instructions.

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    11 Discussions

    Antonio V
    Antonio V

    4 years ago on Introduction

    the best way to fill the Zippo is close it and put it in upside down in
    its shell, so do not risk dropping the liquid from the top on the hands


    5 years ago

    If people can't figure out how to fill it they sure shouldn't be playing with fire

    Thanks for the input guys!! Always helpful to know a few tricks when your lighter is on the fritz.


    5 years ago

    Another short tip. If you overfill wrap your lighter in a paper towel for a while to wick up fluid. Saves you from a painful "pocket burn" later. And a bic flint throws more spark than a ronson or zippo flint. Cut them in half with a wire cutter if they are too long


    5 years ago

    Sometimes I use old flints from my friends Bic lighters that are out of fluid and they work very well. I'm not sure if using them does any harm to the lighter but I can say I have not had any problems with any of my zippo lighters.


    Waaay back when I was young I smoked ( that was before I knew better) and carried a Zippo. Often finding I was running low on fuel but not near my refill, I would pull the cartridge, blow in the rear, forcing the last fluid up to the wick, and party on. That hole you think is a fill hole? It's for a spare flint. Speaking of the last flint, it may pop out if worn down and if you locate it, re- insert it sideways to get a few more strikes out of it. All this I learned when I was a sailor boy many moons ago, along with smoking is bad for you.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    That is an awesome maintenance guide but if it's a real Zippo then it carries a lifetime warranty and all you have to do is ship it back to them and they will replace the inner workings and make sure the outer is functional (they don't fix scratches) and boom like new lighter in no time. Even if it has been buried for years.

    I received about 50 lighters when my father passed and Zippo fixed all the broken ones free.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have a zippo that has lasted for years by doing the things that you just mentioned. Thanks for sharing!