A Lighter Overhaul – What Does That Mean?

99.9% of all repairable lighters that come in for service require what we call a lighter “overhaul”. But what does that consist of and what’s the process? Not to mention–what’s the difference between overhauling a butane lighter vs a petrol lighter?

Overhaul Butane

An overhaul of your butane lighter means that the cigarette, cigar or pipe lighter will be completely disassembled and thoroughly inspected for worn or broken parts. Those damaged parts will be replaced with factory original parts. New seals will be put in place. The valve system will be carefully rebuilt. The tank will be tested for leaks and any leaks found will be repaired. Then a thorough cleaning is done to both the inside and outside of your lighter. Once complete, the outside is polished and then the lighter passes onto testing.

Overhaul Petrol

An overhaul of your petrol lighter, which is any lighter that uses lighter fluid instead of butane gas (like a Zippo and many older and vintage lighters), means that the lighter is completely disassembled. Then, all the cotton packing is removed from the tank of the lighter as well as the cotton wick. Any worn springs are replaced and cut to custom length for that particular lighter. The flint tube is then drilled out to remove any “frozen” flints or flint residue. Any worn or broken parts are replaced from the lighter mechanism with factory original parts. The lighter is thoroughly cleaned inside and out. A new wick and new cotton packing are replaced to hold the lighter fluid. The outside is polished and then the lighter passes onto testing.

Testy, Testy

Testing your lighter is essential prior to shipping in order to make sure that the repair was done correctly. We also want to ensure that the lighter is free of leaks. The lighter is filled, tested, adjusted, re-tested, adjusted again and then left to sit for 2-3 days. After sitting untouched, the lighter is tested again to ensure that no leaks are present and all is functioning.

After testing, your lighter passes to the shipping department where it is tested again prior to shipping label creation. All butane or fluid is then emptied from the lighter before shipment. We cannot ship butane in a device that can cause combustion.

Save Your Eyebrows

Once you receive your lighter, be sure to fill it up with either butane or lighter fluid and give it a test. Please point it AWAY from your face… just in case. Note that butane lighters that have adjustable flame heights will be set to around a half an inch by the technician. Remember to keep your lighter clean and for heaven’s sake… don’t light candles with it. We HATE cleaning candle wax out of your lighters.


Lighter Maintenance

Which Lighters Can We Fix?

How To Send Your Lighter For Repair

Lighter Repair – Frequently Asked Questions

As you can imagine, there have been a lot of questions posed to us about lighter repairs since 1957. We figured it was high time to share some of them. In no particular order, here you go…

Can you fix my lighter?

See our list of commonly repairable lighters here.

What’s my lighter worth?

While there are some average prices for different lighters sold new, it’s much more difficult to determine value on a used lighter. Style, model, finish and design all contribute. Then you have the condition of the lighter to consider. Are there dents and scratches? Plating wear? Rust? All factors contribute. In our experience, 99.9% of the value of a lighter comes in how sentimental the piece is to you. Spending over $100 to repair a lighter you picked up at a flea market for $10.00 may or may not be worth it to you. Spending over $100 to repair Grandma’s old lighter that she left to you can be priceless.

Can you re-plate, refinish, re-lacquer or otherwise make my busted up lighter look new again?

Unfortunately not. There is nothing we can do to change the finish of your lighter. Dents, scratches, plating wear, chips or missing lacquer – consider it all part of the charm of your lighter.

How fast can I get my lighter back from repair?

Lighter repairs generally take 3-4 weeks from the date of payment. Why? Because we repair lighters from all over the world. Sometimes it goes a little faster.

If I don’t see my lighter listed on commonly repairable lighters, then is there a chance you can still fix it?

If the lighter is a petrol lighter (uses lighter fluid and NOT butane gas) then there is a chance we can still repair it. Send an email with pictures of your lighter and a brief description of what it is and what’s wrong with it to: Repairs@LighterRepairs.com.

Can I pay you more money to push my lighter to the head of the repair line?


How long is the guarantee period for my repaired lighter?

All S.T. Dupont and Alfred Dunhill repair warrantee’s are 1-year. All other lighters are 90-days.

Why can’t you call me with my repair estimate?

Nobody picks up their phones these days. It takes too much time to make the call, leave a message (when your voicemail box is not full) hope for a call-back, on and on… We email estimates or if you do not have an email will send it regular mail.

Can you take parts out of one lighter to use them to repair another, similar, lighter?

No. We just don’t do work like that. If we do not have new, unused parts to repair a particular lighter, we simply don’t take on the job. And yes, even unused parts that we have in our inventory that may be forty years old are still considered “new” parts for us.

Can you put the “PING” back into my S.T. Dupont lighter?

Sorry. The “ping” sound made when popping open the cap of certain S.T. Dupont lighters is an accident based on fine craftsmanship. Since these lighters are hand made to such high tolerances, this “ping” sound has come to have meaning to some buyers. Unfortunately, the Dupont company has also started mentioning this sound in some of their advertising and product descriptions. The problem is the fact that not all of them will “ping”. Some come straight from the factory with a dull or absent sound. There is simply nothing that can be done about it. Even more unfortunate is that through normal use of the lighter and wear and tear on the hinge, the sound will eventually disappear. Our advice? Use the lighter for what it was designed for–a high quality accessory of superb craftsmanship. Something for the distinctive smoker that looks and works the way it should in making fire. The “sound” your lighter makes is inconsequential.

It's All In The O-Ring

Your lighter has stopped working. It was working six years ago when you put it in that drawer, but now it’s not. Well, it happens right? You’ve heard all about how o-ring dry out, get cracked or corroded, decay with the normal passage of time. Simple solution–just go on eBay or Etsy and buy yourself a little “o-ring kit” that’s all the rage now. Watch a few online videos made by gentlemen who barely speak the English language and presto… lighter is good as new. After all, it’s all in the o-ring.

Or… at least that’s how it was supposed to happen

More times than not, the reality is that you have damaged your lighter even worse than before trying to replace o-rings. Most high-end cigarette, cigar and pipe lighters require specialized tools and replacement parts in order to rebuild valves. Often times you can break the delicate valve systems by the simple act of even taking the lighter apart.

That was not mentioned in the o-ring video

Very rarely does the easy way out actually work. Do yourself a favor and save yourself the aggravation. The parts that you need are not for sale. The books that are out there on the subject of lighter repair are for historic appreciation. In all our years of doing this (since 1957) it has been many times that a customer has presented us with a smoldering pile of lighter parts because the “DIY” drive got the best of them.


But all is not lost! Your high-end S.T. Dupont or Alfred Dunhill lighter, your IM Corona and Elie Bleu lighters can still be saved! Save yourself the aggravation first and send your lighter in for repair. Your lighter is not one of these listed above, you say? Check out our list of lighters that we can and cannot repair.

When it comes to your valued maker-of-fire that you spent a kajillion dollars on… or even one that cost just a few bucks but you love it dearly… trust us and believe when we tell you that its more than just the o-rings. We will take great care of your lighter, saving you the wasted time and money trying to do it yourself. It’s okay… we believe that you are handy. Go fix that squeaky cabinet door and leave the lighters to us.