Why Is My Vape Pen Not Working? (Common Reasons & Solutions)

Why Is My Vape Pen Not Working

Is your vape pen acting up? Sure enough, this can ruin the entire experience, for it can lead to weak draws, clogs, and whatnot.

There are different reasons why this happens, so it’s crucial to answer this question: why is my vape pen not working?

9 Most Common Reasons Why a Vape Pen Doesn’t Work – and What to Do

1. Empty Battery

Before you explore all the possible reasons below, make sure to check the battery level first. It may be empty, and you might not even know it!

This is a common scenario amongst vapers who use a pull-to-draw battery. They’re always on, so even if you don’t use the pen, it will continue draining the battery’s life.

The same can be said about a new disposable vape pen. Once you draw on it, you only have 30 days to use the device. So if you go beyond this timespan, your pen will cease functioning.

Solution: Recharge your battery, or replace it as needed. More often than not, your device’s battery will only last for 1-2 years.

As for the case of disposables, be sure to replace your pen as needed.


2. Faulty Atomizer

The atomizer is responsible for heating the e-liquid and transforming it into vapor. Needless to say, your pen won’t work if you have a malfunctioning atomizer.

The good news is most mods will tell you that it’s the reason with the help of an ‘atomizer error message.’

And should this be the case, the reason could be any of these things:

  • Presence of debris, which can affect the atomizer’s connection
  • Overtightened atomizer, which can cut the device’s connections
  • A broken chipset can affect the pen’s temperature, wattage, etc.
  • Shorted coil, which may result from the loop touching the tank’s sides

Solution: Address the problem/s stated above.

  • Debris– Use a damp cloth to clean the pen.
  • Overtightened atomizer – Avoid overtightening the connection. If the links are intact and the pen is still not working, make sure to check the 510/connector for damage.
  • Broken chipset – Replace the chipset accordingly.
  • Shorted coil– See to it that the loop is in the center. If it’s not, adjust its placement so it doesn’t touch the sides.

Overtightened Threading

3. Overtightened Threading

Like the atomizer, an overtightened threading will render your vape pen non-functional. This action will destroy the 510 connection pin, which the vape carts need to work.

Similarly, overtightening the device may destroy the O-rings that secure the threading. Should this happen, you can expect any of these two things:

  • Messy oil leaks and drips.
  • Rings are pressed downwards – so the contact between the connection plate is lost.

Solution: Refrain from overtightening the threading. Once you feel the cart make contact, make a half-turn – and do nothing more.

For depressed metal rings, you can lift them by prying them with a paper clip. Do so carefully, as fragile wires connect these rings.

Here’s a video on how to lift the pushed metal rings.

4. ‘Cold’ Cannabis Oil

Cannabis is high in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the component that makes it psychoactive. Unfortunately, high THC levels make cannabis a relatively viscous oil. So when it gets ‘cold,’ it settles in one side of the vape cartridge – thus preventing it from flowing freely.

Solution: Apply heat to the device. This should make the oil ‘less thick,’ thus allowing it to smoothly flow when you pull.

There are several ways to heat your cannabis oil. The first method is the use of a hairdryer.

For this procedure, you first need to disassemble the cart and place it upright. Turn the hairdryer on to its lowest setting. Place it at least 6 inches from the cartridge before applying heat to the affected area. Stop using heat once the oil bubbles up.

Another option is to use steam. To do so, heat water on the stovetop until the pot produces steam. Use a tong or any other product to hold the device and expose it to the steam for about 20 seconds.

You can also try to rub the cartridge in between your hands. This should help warm the oil and make it less dense.

Whatever process you’ve done, make sure to let the cartridge sit before assembling it with the rest of the device. Test the pen by taking a pull. If the cart is still obstructed, repeat the above methods until the pull becomes smoother.

Tip 1: If you’re tired of constantly reheating your cannabis oil, use a product with lower THC levels. An 80% or lower range is less likely to clog since it’s thinner. Your ‘high’ may not be as strong as before, but it’s a compromise you will have to take.

Tip 2: To prevent your cannabis oil from getting ‘cold’ and blocking the vape cartridge, store it at room temperature – 60 to 70°F (16 to 21°C). Avoid storing it in places where temperatures shift quickly (i.e., your car.)

5. Dirty Vape Pen Battery Port

Your vape pen will not function if the battery point is dirty. The presence of residue, such as oil, will stop the delivery from powering your device completely.

Solution: Inspect and clean the vape’s battery port.

Check the device for the presence of dirt. If there is, make sure to clean the dirty area with isopropyl alcohol. You can also use a toothpick to pick out the gunk.

Let the alcohol dry before you install the batteries once again.

Dried Coil Wick

6. Dried Coil Wick

If you experience a burnt taste or dry hit when you vape, then a dried coil may be to blame. This happens when the atomizer burns the wick – rather than vaporizing the oil.

Solution: Replace the wick. Unfortunately, once this component has been burnt, there’s nothing much you can do but get a new one.

And, should you decide to use a new vape pen instead, you need to be careful so that you don’t end up burning the wick again.

You can prevent this from happening simply by following these tips:

  • Use a lower wattage and/or temperature setting. Higher settings will burn the wick since the atomizer burns the oil too quickly.
  • Take a shorter pull. This will limit the heat that can end up burning the wick.
  • Rest your pen in between hits. This will help the oil saturate the wick – thus preventing it from getting burned.
  • Clean the coils. Removing residue help prolong the lifespan of your vape’s coil wicks.
  • Prime the coil. Priming can help prevent wick burns. To do this, remove the battery, take a dry hit, and blow your cartridge gently.


7. Fluid Leakage

There are many reasons why the oil is leaking into your mouthpiece:

  • Fluid leakage occurs because tightening damages the O-rings.
  • Storing the pen upside down or sideways. Doing so will make the oil leak toward the vaporization chamber. As a result, the atomizer won’t be able to gasify the vape juice immediately.
  • Getting oil into the central tube and/or overfilling the oil tank during refilling.

Solution: Address the problem/s stated above.

As mentioned before, you shouldn’t overtighten your pen. Doing a half turn once you feel ‘contact’ should suffice.

Likewise, make sure to store your vape pen upright in a room-temperature area.

When filling your cart, position it at a 45-degree angle, as this will prevent the oil from getting into the central tube. Avoid overfilling the tank; always make sure to leave a vacuum-creating bubble on top.

And, if these solutions don’t work, try to use a higher voltage and temperature setting when taking a hit. This will help prevent coil oversaturation since more oil is vaporized in the process.

Low Oil Amount

8. Low Oil Amount

If your new vape pen looks like it already has low oil levels, the oil may have pooled on one side.

As mentioned, cannabis oil is viscous and could settle in one place due to wrong storage procedures (keeping it in a cold place or placing it upside down/sideways.)

Solution: Heat the cart. As mentioned above, you can use a hairdryer or stovetop steam to do so.

9. Clogged Cart

If your vape doesn’t work no matter how hard you pull, then a clogged cart may be the culprit. This can happen due to the following:

  • Old cartridge age
  • Oil viscosity (as is the case with cannabis)
  • Cold temperatures
  • Mouthpiece obstructions
  • Other mechanical problems

Solution: Unclog the cart.

Inspect the airflow holes to see if they’re open. If it’s blocked with debris, then be sure to remove them.

If there is no accumulation, then the device itself may be causing the obstruction. To fix this, disassemble your pen and re-assemble it in a way that keeps the airflow holes clear.


Your vape won’t work if it has any of the following problems:

  1. Empty battery
  2. Faulty atomizer
  3. Overtightened threading
  4. ‘Cold’ cannabis oil
  5. Dirty battery port
  6. Dried coil wick
  7. Fluid leakage
  8. Low oil amount
  9. Clogged cart

The good news is that you can address these issues right away. As long as you follow the tips above, you’ll be able to puff and huff in no time!


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