When your vape device works as it should, enjoying an exceptional everyday vape experience is a breeze. Whether you consider yourself a cloud chaser or prefer to aim for flavor nirvana, a functioning vape is key to a satisfying vape session.
Unfortunately, nearly every vaper has experienced a vape issue of one kind or another – and there are few things more frustrating than when your vape starts acting up right when you’re hoping to fit in a solid vape session. Even the most expensive, top-of-the-line vaporizer can run into problems and the most common vape issues aren’t limited to beginner vapers, either.
No matter how experienced you may be, what you’re vaping with, or what your personal vape style looks like, the odds are that you’ll run into at least a few vape problems somewhere along the line.
But before you assume that a misbehaving vape device is one that requires replacement, it’s important to know that there are plenty of ways to fix the most common vaping problems. Being about to troubleshoot your vape, and tackle some of the issues you’re most likely to encounter, will not only help you extend the life of your vape investment. You’ll also be able to cut down on the time wasted not vaping, and get back into the regularly scheduled vape sessions that you know and love.
In this handy guide, we’ll break down everything from temperamental tanks to problematic batteries, making it easy for you to resolve a wide variety of vape problems like a true professional.
Common Vape Issues and How to Solve Them
Is your vape acting up? Here are some of the most common problems that vapers encounter, what causes them, and exactly how you can fix each one.
Why won’t my vape turn on?
One of the most common – and often most easy to fix – vape problems is a device that simply won’t turn on. There are myriad reasons that your vaporizer might be refusing to power up, many of which have fairly straightforward solutions:
Your vape device is turned off
It might sound obvious to say that if your vape won’t turn on, it might just be switched off – but this is actually a very common problem. Whether you’re new to vaping or just working with a new-to-you vape device, it’s an easy mistake to make.
If you’ve confirmed that your vape is completely charged, but it won’t turn on, it could just be completely switched off. Many modern vapes have a default feature that switches them off completely when not in use. The purpose of this feature is to prevent a discharge in the event of an accidental firing – as you likely already know, you definitely don’t want your vape going off while it’s in your pocket or purse.
Depending on your device, there will be a specific button sequence that switches it off completely. For example, many require you to hit the firing button five times within two seconds. Often, this same sequence will command the device to switch back on. Double-check your instruction manual to confirm the button sequence that applies to your device and give it a try.
Your batteries need to be recharged or replaced
If you can’t get your vape to turn on, try connecting it to the charging cable or placing the batteries in the charging station. Allow ample time for batteries to recharge, then try again. If you notice that your batteries aren’t charging, make sure it’s not an issue with the charger or cable itself.
Also, keep in mind that the average vape battery has a lifespan of about two to three years, though some can stop functioning before that. If your vape won’t power up, it could be as simple as a case of dead batteries. If your batteries won’t hold a charge, and the charging mechanism is working fine, it’s time to replace the batteries. If your device uses built-in batteries, you’ll need to purchase a new device.
The battery door isn’t completely closed
If your battery door hasn’t been closed properly, it could easily prevent your vape from turning on. The majority of vape devices require the battery door to be completely closed in order to complete the electrical circuit, which is required for power to be delivered to the device. Double-check that your battery door is correctly closed and locked. If you are unable to close the door, you can check to see if a part replacement is an option.
Your vape batteries are uneven
Sometimes, a simple error in the battery manufacturing process can be the culprit behind a vape that won’t turn on. Occasional faults in the process of making batteries can result in batteries that are unevenly sized, causing connection issues.
Try swapping the batteries (making sure you insert them in the correct configuration). If this solves your problem, the positive poles of the battery could be slightly uneven or one battery’s pole may be deformed resulting in an incomplete circuit. If you notice any damage to your battery, discontinue use, dispose of it responsibly, and replace it immediately.
Your mod is in stealth mode or set to a low brightness display level
Many of today’s vape devices feature a display screen, which is very useful for viewing your vape stats, adjusting settings, and more. On these vapes, you have the option to set it to “stealth mode,” which turns the display off while still maintaining full vape functionality. If your device is firing the tank, then you can confirm that it’s receiving power – in that case, you might just have accidentally activated stealth mode. A quick adjustment to your display settings can fix the issue in seconds.
Another display-related issue is low brightness, which will also cause the appearance of a display that won’t turn on. If your mod still fires the tank, but you can’t see anything on the screen, check the brightness setting and adjust if possible.
The battery connection is blocked by e-juice residue
Sometimes, vape juice can leak into the battery connection. Once there, it turns into a residue that can block the electrical circuit. Disassemble your device so you can check the vape mod’s terminals and battery poles. Look for residue, dust, and other contamination, then gently wipe it off using a clean tissue or cloth.
Your vape device has been damaged
Sometimes, a vape won’t turn on simply because it’s been damaged beyond repair. If your vape recently got wet or was dropped, there could be internal damage that’s preventing it from working. If none of the above solutions work for you, it might just be time to buy a new device.
Why is my vape not producing vapor?
When your vape doesn’t make enough vapor (or worse, stops producing vapor altogether), don’t jump to the conclusion that it’s completely shot – you might be able to figure out the cause and find an effective fix. Here are a few simple causes behind a vape that doesn’t produce vapor at all:
Your device is turned off
Again, this might sound like a mistake only the newest vapers would make, but you’d be surprised how often it happens. Luckily, it’s incredibly easy to fix. Double-check that you’ve actually powered up your vape, and if it still doesn’t produce vapor, move on to the next possible cause.
The battery is low
Another common issue with another simple fix: batteries that are running low on power. Take a quick look at your vape’s battery indicator light, if it has one. If the light is orange and/or red, it’s an indication that the charge is extremely low. Sometimes, the batteries have just enough power to turn on the vape, but can’t produce vapor. Recharge your batteries (or replace if necessary), then try again.
There’s an issue with your device’s atomizer pin
Atomizer, or “center”, pins can also cause issues with vapor production because a pin problem can prevent the proper electrical flow. Examine the pin at the center of your atomizer connector (you’ll likely have to disassemble your device to do this), and see if it’s been pushed down away from the connector. If so, use a small tool to gently pull it back into position.
You’re low on vape juice
If your tank is running low on vape juice, it won’t be able to deliver vapor – simple as that. Check to make sure your tank isn’t in need of a refill. Top off the vape tank, then try again.
You’ve overfilled your e-juice
On the opposite end of the spectrum of the no-vapor problem is the issue of too much vape juice. Overfilling a vape pen or mod is a big no-no, especially because it can damage the battery, leave you with a mouthful of liquid, and prevent your device from producing vapor altogether. Pay attention to the max fill line, and never go above it.
If you have made the mistake of putting too much e-juice in the tank, it’s possible to remedy the issue. Dump out the liquid, then take your atomizer apart. Clean out the center tube or chamber using a clean paper towel. Then, wipe any residue from the center pin. Reassemble your device, fill it appropriately, and give it another shot.
Why does my vape taste burnt?
One of the most dreaded vaper experiences is sucking in a mouthful of vapor and being punished with a terribly burnt flavor. This unfortunate occurrence typically comes down to burnt coils, a fairly common problem for vapers. Here are the most common reasons for burnt vapor flavor, and how to fix each one:
You need to replace your coils
Do a quick check: when did you last replace your coils? If you can’t remember, then that’s a big red flag. As soon as you notice a shift in the flavor of your vapor, that’s a sign that you might need to swap out your coils. On average, coils should be replaced every two weeks at a minimum.
Your coils were not properly primed
Priming your coils might sound like a hassle, but it’s important to understand that the process is not optional – especially if you want to avoid degrading your flavor quality. Every time you install new coils in your vape, you should be priming them. It takes just a few minutes and little to no effort, and makes a marked difference in your overall experience.
You’ve been chain vaping
We’ve all been tempted to keep vaping without taking time to pause between puffs, but that’s a good way to end up with a burnt-out flavor. Because chain vaping doesn’t give your wicks enough time to absorb e-liquid, they can easily dry out and end up burning. Instead, give yourself at least 30 seconds or so between each puff. Or, if you’re searching for that quick throat hit, make the switch to a PG-based e-liquid instead.
You need to clean the coils
In between regular coil replacements, cleaning your vape coils is also key. One of the number one causes of burnt taste and dry hits are dirty coils. Try to get in the habit of regularly checking your coils for e-juice buildup, rinsing with warm distilled water as needed.
You’ve been pushing your device limits with high-powered vaping
All vapes come with a recommended range for wattage, and going beyond that can easily burn out your coils. Additionally, vaping at a high temperature makes it much more likely that you’ll dry out your wicks faster than they can absorb e-juice.
Check your vape to see if you’ve been going above the recommended limit, and adjust as needed. If you’re committed to vaping at high temperatures, you might want to think about upgrading your set-up to an RDA.
You’ve run too low on vape juice
If you’re trying to use up every last drop of e-liquid before you refill the tank, you’re running the risk of burning your coil wicks. A good rule of thumb is to avoid letting your e-juice levels drop below the quarter-tank mark.
Why is my vape making Loud Popping or Gurgling Sounds?
Mystery noises from your vape can be alarming but are often caused by something that’s relatively easy to fix. Here are a few reasons you might hear loud pops or gurgles coming from your device:
Your tank is overfilled
If your vape is making a popping noise, it could be that you’ve put too much e-liquid in your tank. Make sure your liquid level isn’t over the maximum line, and carefully dump out any excess if necessary.
Your atomizer isn’t properly attached
Worn-out o-rings and grommets can allow air droplets into the device while you’re vaping, which can result in odd noises (including pops and gurgles). Check your atomizer, including its o-rings and grommets, and replace any that appear comprised. When you reassemble your device, make sure that everything is positioned correctly and securely attached.
Your e-liquid is too thin
Depending on your vape set-up e-juices with a thinner consistency may flood your vape coil and cause popping sounds. Try swapping it out for a thicker liquid to see if that remedies the issue.
You have condensation building up on your drip tip or chimney
Occasionally, excess vapor can build up on the vape’s drip tip or chimney, establishing a barrier to the flow of vapor. When this happens, you’ll immediately notice spit-back and popping noises. If this seems to be a regular problem for you, switching to a wide bore drip tip (or even an RTA with a wider chimney) could be the key to solving it once and for all.