Why Won't My Zippo Light Any More?
By Reuben Robestier
Your Zippo isn't lighting. You strike the flint wheel, but nothing happens. As far as you know, nothing is broken or damaged. Nothing appears to be wrong with this lighter, but there's a problem.
You don't really want to mail your beloved lighter back to the manufacturer: even though you don't have to pay for them to fix the problem, you'd really prefer to have the lighter on hand.
These simple solutions will help you fix most problems with your Zippo lighter. Unless there's a larger problem, you should have your lighter working again in just a few moments. Try these fixes before you contact Zippo.
First, make sure that the Zippo has enough lighter fluid. Even if you just added some a few days ago, it's worth checking again. This is particularly important if you've left your Zippo alone for a few weeks or longer. The lighter fluid evaporates even when you aren't using the lighter. Refill the Zippo and see if that helps the problem.
Unscrew the flint spring and check the flint. If you have only the tiniest nub left, go ahead and exchange that piece for new flint. Replace the screw and secure it tightly so that the flint makes good contact with the wheel.
You should open up the lighter and check the flint even if you can see what appears to be a big piece of flint underneath the wheel. Zippo flints and the end of the spring are very similar in color and shape. It's easy to mistake that part of the spring for a flint. Many a person has opened up his or her Zippo, only to find that there was in fact no flint left at all.
Another problem is that the flint wheel tends to collect tiny particles of flint. This fills in the rough striking surface, which makes lighting difficult. Clean off the wheel with a small, soft brush to remove these particles.
Make sure that your wick is in good condition. If there's nothing left but a tiny bit of charred, burned copper, get a pair of tweezers. Gently pull up on the wick until you can cut off all of the old junk.
Change the brand of lighter fluid and flint that you're using. Zippo recommends that you use their accessories: this is a pretty good idea because the people who make the lighter are best at making the rest of the stuff that goes with it.
Sometimes leaving your lighter out in the cold can cause problems. Warm up your Zippo by storing it in your pocket for a few minutes. In most cases, a Zippo that won't strike will work fine after it's had a chance to warm up.
If your Zippo still doesn't work, you'll have to send it back to the manufacturer for repairs. This is easy to do: just visit the official Web site. You'll find the mailing address as well as packaging instructions. The good news is that Zippo has a fairly quick turnaround, and will ship your lighter back to you at no charge. Your only expense is the shipping charges to send your precious lighter to the company.