How to Tell if Vape Is Burnt

If you’re new to vaping, you should know before you get started that today’s vapes – though extremely problem free – do encounter issues from time to time. Without a doubt, the first issue you’re going to encounter is that your vape tastes burnt. That’s because a burnt vape is usually a sign that you need to perform a bit of basic maintenance. Every vape requires a periodic pod or coil change, and the first symptom of that is usually a burnt taste. In other words, there’s a 100-percent probability that your vape will eventually taste burnt – so you need to know how to identify a burnt vape and what you can do about it.

Every vape starts to taste burnt eventually.

So, has your vape reached that point? How do you tell if your vape is burnt, and what happens next? As you’re about to learn, there are three different reasons why your vape can taste burnt. We’ll tell you how to identify those reasons and figure out what you should do about it.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, though, it’s possible that this isn’t your first rodeo. In fact, maybe you find yourself dealing with a burnt vape almost constantly. Are you sick of it? It’s time to try a more coil-friendly e-liquid.

Tired of Dealing with a Burnt Vape? Try These Coil-Friendly E-Liquids and Long-Lasting Disposable Vapes

The top reason why a vape might taste burnt is because is because of the dark, caramelized residue that forms on your device’s coil when you use a heavily sweetened e-liquid – and to make the problem worse, just about every vape juice is sweetened these days. There are some exceptions, however, if you’re willing to look for them. If you want to enjoy the maximum possible coil life without your vape tasting burnt, you’ve got to try an e-liquid that’s either unflavored or flavored with nothing but plain menthol. Take a look at these e-liquids and disposable vapes if you’re sick of your vape tasting burnt after a day or two.

What Does It Mean if a Vape Is Burnt?

We’ll talk about the solutions for a burnt vape in a moment. First, though, let’s talk about the causes. If your vape is burnt, what’s actually happening? A burnt vape happens for one of three reasons.

  • Residue from sucralose and other e-liquid ingredients has collected on the coil, and the residue is becoming aerated when you vape. This is the most common reason why a vape tastes burnt.
  • Your coil is overheating because it’s dry.
  • Your coil’s cotton wick is burnt because of repeated usage in conditions that caused the coil to overheat.

If your vape is burnt, it’s definitely due to one of those three reasons. Now that you have a better idea of what’s going on, let’s answer the question that brought you here: How can you tell if a vape is burnt? You can answer that question conclusively by looking at the coil, but the first sign will always be the way your vape tastes. We’ll discuss that next.

What Does a Burnt Vape Taste Like?

Keeping your tank full is one way to avoid a burnt vape.

When you have a burnt vape, your palate will always tell you first. The three different causes of a burnt vape all taste different from one another, so you can actually tell what’s going on just by paying attention to the way your vape tastes.

  • If your vape tastes burnt because of coil residue: This situation tends to occur gradually. At first, your e-liquid will start to taste a bit darker and sweeter, almost like caramel. As the residue continues to collect on your device’s coil, though, the caramelized sweetness will take on a smoky note. Things will only get worse from there, until it becomes almost impossible to taste your e-liquid. Eventually, your vape will also start to irritate your throat. Chances are that you’ll want to replace your device’s pod or coil long before it gets to that point. If you’re trying to stretch your coils as long as you possibly can, though, you should know that your vaping experience will end up becoming pretty unpleasant.
  • If your vape tastes burnt because the coil is overheating: When a coil overheats, it begins to glow and release horrible fumes. In this case, you’ll experience severe throat irritation and won’t want to vape at all. This is what’s known as a “dry hit,” and no one wants to experience it. If you experience a dry hit, you’ll definitely know it.
  • If your vape tastes burnt because the wick is burnt: If the coil in your vape has overheated several times, the cotton wick is eventually going to burn. At this point, you’re going to experience an unpleasant flavor – almost like a foul t-shirt – every time you vape. If the wick is burnt, there’s no way to resolve the issue except by replacing the pod or coil. Changing the way you vape can help to prevent your wick from burning in the future.

What Does a Burnt Vape Look Like?

If your vape has a removable coil, it’s actually pretty easy to confirm the exact reason why it tastes burnt. All that you need to do is look at the coil after you remove it from the tank or pod. Here’s what you need to look out for.

  • If your vape tastes burnt because of residue on the coil, you’ll actually see the residue when you look down through the top of the coil. In a new coil, the heating surface is shiny, and the wick is white. If the coil is covered with residue, the heating surface and wick will both be discolored and may range from brown to nearly black.
  • If your vape tastes burnt because of a burnt wick, neither the heating surface nor the wick will be discolored. In this case, you’ll have to disassemble the coil to take a closer look. In most cases, the bottom of the coil assembly will have a cap that you can remove to access the coil’s positive and negative leads. Remove the cap and push the wick and wire out through the top of the coil assembly. Unwrap the cotton from the wire, and you’ll see burnt spots on it.

What to Do When Your Vape Is Burnt

We’ve devoted an entire article on this site to explaining how to fix a burnt vape, and we recommend checking it out if you’d like a more detailed explanation on how to solve this issue. To get you started, though, we’ll provide a few basic tips, starting with the most important one.

If your vape is burnt because of residue on the coil or because the wick is burnt, there’s no way to fix the problem except by replacing your device’s coil or pod. Once you’ve done that, the next step is to consider whether you need to change the way you vape in order to prevent the problem from happening in the future.

If you’re using a disposable vape, you’re unfortunately going to be stuck with the burnt flavor until you replace your device. Because today’s best disposable vapes hold so much e-liquid – and because the e-liquid is often heavily sweetened – it’s likely that you’ll begin to detect a burnt flavor before your device is completely out of vape juice. That’s why we suggested some unflavored and unsweetened disposables at the top of this article.

With refillable vapes, though, there are four simple ways to prevent your vape from tasting burnt in the future or at least prolong the life of your coils or pods. Here’s what you should do.

  • Always refill your tank or pod before it’s completely empty. Accidentally using a vape when it’s empty is one of the most common reasons for dry hits and burnt wicks.
  • After you puff on your vape, always wait a few seconds before puffing again. If you use your vape repeatedly without ever pausing, the wick will eventually dry out. That’s another common cause of dry hits and burnt wicks.
  • If your device has adjustable power, reduce the wattage. When you buy new coils for your device, you’ll see that the box has a suggested wattage range printed on the front. You’ll probably also see a power range etched into the coil itself. Make sure that your device always stays within that range. If you prefer to take very long, deep puffs, you’ll probably want to keep your device on the low side of the advised power range.
  • If you’re constantly dealing with coils that burn out in a day or two because of residue, try using a vape juice that’s either unflavored or unsweetened. We suggested a few good options near the beginning of this article. If you use an e-liquid that contains no sucralose, you’ll find that your coils or pods will last dramatically longer.