Butane lighters offer a great deal of efficiency and reliability but there are occasions on which they will fail to light. This could be for myriad reasons but the most common is that there is air trapped in the reservoir. The air, of course, interrupts the fuel supply to the jet which results in a lighter that either fails to light altogether or which lights and then immediately goes out; this may happen over and over.
Bleeding a lighter simply means allowing a bit of fuel to flow through the system without actually igniting it. This may be done on any type of butane lighter, cigarette or cigar lighter. To accomplish this, one simply engages the first step of the lighting process without engaging the second. On most lighters, fuel begins to flow as soon as one presses the button halfway. The spark isn't introduced to the fuel until one fully-depresses the igniter.
Butane lighters require a tight connection between the seal and the can when being filled. In some cases, individuals may fail to provide this. This loose seal can result in air being forced into the lighter's reservoir resulting in the types of problems described. On lighters which haven't a transparent reservoir, this can become a very frustrating problem. The only way to remedy the problem is to bleed the lighter. If this problem is constant, it may indicate that there is something else going wrong with the device.
The very high-end butane lighters are sophisticated devices. Generally, the more one pays for such a device, the better the components used in its manufacture. With an expensive cigar lighter, for instance, an individual can rest assured that any flaws are not due to lacking manufacturing processes. However, there is always the chance that a lighter will be a "lemon", as the saying goes. Those who purchase high-end lighters have a definite advantage over those who do not in these cases.
A high-quality lighter almost always comes with a warranty. Because of the quality of the devices, manufacturers are willing to stand behind their products. Aside from bleeding the lighter, one should not attempt to fix the lighter on their own. This can result in the warranty being voided altogether. A technician can look at the device to determine if there is a problem.