Where Can I Find Replacement Parts To Repair My Vintage Petrol Lighter?

With the exception of Zippo lighters and possibly a few other notable brands, the vast majority of vintage lighters are no longer being manufactured. With plenty of them still being carried for everyday use and others seeking repair so that working examples can be displayed in lighter collections, many lighter enthusiasts find themselves asking, “Where can I find replacement parts to repair my vintage petrol lighter?” This article will discuss proven methods for sourcing replacement parts and perhaps suggest a couple others.

What You Need?

It would be nice if anytime an old petrol lighter quit working correctly, the owner could simply package up the lighter and send it back to the manufacturer who would put the lighter back into working order(per their product warranty) and get it back to the owner ASAP. This is exactly the way that the Zippo Manufacturing Company continues to operate just as they have since they established their “It Works Or We Fix It Free” slogan way back in the 1930s.

While there may still be another company or two that can currently uphold their product warranty or supply replacement parts to those needing parts to repair a lighter, the vast majority of companies that produced and guaranteed petrol lighters in days gone by have not only gone out of business but often times seem to have taken all evidence they ever existed with them as they faded.

My friend Donald Hein who runs the website lighterfix.dk for instance, has mentioned correspondence with the current iteration of the Ronson company that exists in Europe and his frustration with their inability to supply much newer parts that he needs to repair certain butane lighters that have been produced more recently. So even companies that still exist in one form or another aren’t typically able to help with parts for petrol lighters that ceased production decades ago.

Keep Checking Those Auctions

If the companies that produced the lighters in the first place are no help then where is a vintage petrol lighter enthusiast to turn when they need a new file wheel in their Evans Spitfire because the original has been worn smooth or a long-lost fuel screw needs replaced to make a Ronson lighter whole again?

Caches of old parts do show up on Ebay from time to time so that is always worth keeping an eye open for. There are many old parts kits available for Ronson lighters especially and you just never know exactly what kind of lot of old lighter parts may show up.

The easiest and most common way to acquire any parts needed for vintage petrol lighter repair is to purchase an identical or similar donor lighter to rob the parts off of. Enthusiasts who find themselves needing parts often, may even develop a parts “clinic” of sorts where they accumulate and curate an assortment of parts to have continuously on hand.

So while it may seem obvious and there’s really no secret or tricks of the trade to be employed, the most common way to acquire the parts needed to repair your old lighter is to buy a cheap example on Ebay that contains the specific part you need. Over time, perhaps you’ll even develop your own parts clinic from which you can supply parts to other shade tree lighter mechanics(more on this in the Kindness Of Strangers section below.)

Scour Local Spots

I think many people would be surprised about the number of vintage lighter replacement parts they can find local to them if they just familiarize themselves with what’s available at local vintage malls, flea markets and antique stores. Keep in mind these parts will not likely be salvaged and cataloged like the parts an automotive supply company has available for cars but more like the pull-a-part salvage model where you will need to extract them yourself.

A couple yrs ago I was in need of a replacement file wheel for a Thorens Double Claw that I found in good order save for a lug missing from one spot on the wheel. I knew where there was a Double Claw that needed some work and thought I might be able to make a deal on it and rob the file wheel from it but when I went to check it out again it was gone.

I put out some feelers via social media(again, we’ll talk about this phenomenon below in just a moment) but didn’t get any bites, so began to check the local spots that I know contain lighters even if I had no reason to believe I’d find a Thorens or the part I needed. I just happened to walk in one of my favorite local antique shops that has a display of old lighters that the vendor keeps somewhat rotated fresh and not only spotted a Double Claw table lighter that contained the file wheel I needed but the whole booth was marked at fifty percent off!

The Kindness Of Strangers

I don’t want to be presumptuous here but considering it is a practice that I have maintained myself when asked about a certain part that I may have been in possession of but not currently in dire need of, I will mention that it never hurts just to ask a person or group of people what kind of parts they may have available.

DependableFlame is a good place to ask as I have given away many parts over the yrs that I might have needed later to repair a lighter of my own but was swayed by the request of a YouTube subscriber or Ebay corresponder who needs it now! It’s a difficult sentiment to place a finger on exactly but I will almost always give away a part that someone else needs now rather than save it for a project that I might need it for in the future.

I have seen this same sentiment at work in some of the vintage Facebook lighter groups. There have been several occasions where someone makes a post in a Facebook group inquiring if anyone knows where a certain vintage lighter part can be found when more than one fellow enthusiast has responded that if the inquirer would simply provide their mailing address, the responder would get that part in the mail to them in short order.

Joining The Fray

They may not always be easy to find but these are some of the ways that I have found most productive in the area of sourcing vintage petrol lighter parts that are needed to put a lighter back into proper working order. I have also traded for replacement parts in the past, so there are other avenues and perhaps you have a method of acquiring replacement parts that you would like to share with the DependableFlame.com audience.

I would like to invite you to share these methods or anything else you would like to discuss in the comments section at the bottom of this or any other article here on this website. Some of the greatest camaraderie to be had in the vintage cigarette lighter hobby is to share what we once discerned as secrets or tricks of the trade.

Please check out the DependableFlame.com YouTube channel where we regularly publish vintage lighter repair and show & tell videos. Also consider joining us for the YouTube live stream Vintage Coffee And Lighters Live! where you can share in some of the previously aforementioned camaraderie that the hobby has to offer.

Until next time…✌️

Author: Joseph

Be cautious when anyone tells you what you need or have to do...

10 thoughts on “Where Can I Find Replacement Parts To Repair My Vintage Petrol Lighter?”

  1. Hello, Dependable Flame! I just finished reading your article Where Can I Find Replacement Parts To Repair My Vintage Petrol Lighter? And I really enjoyed reading it! I have never personally repaired or tried to attempt repairing a vintage petrol lighter. But, I’m sure sometimes if you have a rare one, they are often hard to find parts for. 

    I also was not aware that Zippo has that slogan and policy about “It Works, Or We Fix it!” That is a major selling point for Zippo, I would buy another Zippo in a heartbeat had I known this previously haha. The only thing I’m not too used to (Being 26 years of age here) is when I did buy a Zippo once upon a time as a flashy novelty item, and for use to light up a smoke when I did smoke.

     I disliked that I always needed to have lighter fluid on me all the time. And it dries up quite quickly if you don’t make use of it in your Zippo lighter as well. Or it leaks, or the many other complaints people might have about lighter-fluid-refillable- lighters. If you’re not going far, they are great to show off to your mates, but, if you’re on the go, they’re a little cumbersome compared to traditional “Bic” or many other disposable styles of lighters that are quick, easy, and relatively cheap. 

    But, if you’re collecting Zippos as a hobby, that’s a totally different story. You’re not necessarily using every one of those Zippos all of the time, but, you do want to ensure they are in working order when the time comes that you do wish to show them off to someone of course. I was not aware that parts and pieces for lighters might be easier to come by than one might have thought.

    Ebay, is a great place, Facebook Groups are really fantastic, for anything really, not just Vintage Lighter repair parts. I’ve found many bargains or trades on Facebook that have proved to be quite helpful to me over the years. Fleamarkets as well, you can usually find a good deal. 

    Sometimes although you might not find lighter parts here, but, my grandmother’s favorite hobby on weekends was to get up very early in the morning and go yard-saling. But, depending on the yard sale, who knows, you might just find lighter parts there too, if the owner of the yard sale happens to be a lighter collector like yourself. 

    Thank you for such an excellent article on where to find replacement or repair parts and pieces for vintage petrol lighters. Even someone like myself who isn’t a light collector, found this article quite interesting. 🙂

    1. Thank you Cal, I appreciate you taking the time to read the article and to share with us here. I understand that man people have the same complaint as you concerning fueling up old petrol lighters but it really isn’t that much of an imposition once you get used to using them. A fueled lighter will typically last at least a few day and more likely around a week or so. Most petrol lighters are going to evaporate fuel to some degree but this is just a consequence of the rudimentary principles off of which these lighters operate, similar to the phenomenon of vapor lock which must be dealt with from time to time.

  2. Hi there, Joseph.

    Thank you for sharing your YouTube videos and information about your vintage collectables. You have really curated great videos and made me be more appreciative of vintage petrol lighters. I am well-educated about a lighter that I previously knew nothing about. You are not only ana amazing storyteller, you are also a talented YouTuber with a great channel.


    1. Thank you Rachele, I really appreciate your compliments and am glad to hear that you now feel educated on the wonderful topic of refillable, reusable vintage petrol lighters. The YouTube channel is a lot of fun and there’s now a stack of well over seven hundred videos over there covering just about every aspect of the vintage cigarette lighter hobby that a person can imagine plus we have many more plans to continue the show & tell and lighter repair videos as well as branching out into a few areas we have hardly touched on as of yet. I hope you will continue to appreciate the work we are doing both here at DependableFlame.com and on our social media outlets such as YouTube.

  3. This is a very helpful post on finding replacement parts for vintage lighters. Amazing to see that Zippo still honours their promise to repair their lighters, even though it stems from the 1930s. 

    What a great attitude to help those in need of a spare part today, rather than keeping it for yourself for the incase you need it sometime in the future. I have a Ronson lighter that is about 45 years old, but it stopped working many years ago. Is this something that you would be able to fix, or where can I sell it for those that might want to use it for spare parts? Thank you. 

    1. Hey Linè, I appreciate your insight and questions as always. It just seems kind of like a waste to me to hoard parts that I might never need if someone else would really appreciate them today.

      As far as your 45 yr old Ronson lighter, the ability to easily repair it will depend on whether it is fuel by petrol fluid or compressed butane. Ronson automatic petrol lighters can be repaired pretty easy but butane lighters usually leak from o-ring seals that are more difficult to repair.

  4. I have an old lighter that was my dad’s lighter in the Navy and was wondering how to get parts for it. This article is a great resource for me. I will definitely take a look on eBay and will most likely just start locally trying to find someone with the parts or a local store where I might get lucky. Thanks for a great article. Brian

    1. Glad to be of help Brian and I hope that you will continue to check back and read all of our vintage cigarette lighter articles and stories. Ebay is definitely your best bet to find the parts you need in the least amount of time while not having to pay an exorbitant price for them. It can take time though to find the parts for some of the more scarce lighters that you may need to repair and I would say that is when it’s worth your while to check out the local vendor malls and such.

  5. Who would have though that vintage lighters could be so fascinating?  I found your article so interesting and informative about these lovely lighters that I remember from my youth.  Although not being a smoker myself and never had the need to own one, I remember my Grandfather having one with a fancy design on the side.  You have clearly put a lot of effort and passion into creating your website, Well done.

    1. Thank you Ruth, I appreciate you taking the time to read the article and to share your unjust on the subject of vintage petrol lighters here in the comment section. I don’t know what the numbers are for people who have been smokers at some point in their lifetime but I think most people have some experience similar to yours in regard to a grandparent or mom, dad or uncle that they can remember using a particular lighter to light up. It gives a sense of nostalgia even for those who never smoked themselves.

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