Oil Cartridge Vape Troubleshooting Problems and Solutions

Oil cartridges can be clogged, attached to the wrong vape pen, and yes oil cartridges can go bad. This post will offer every common problem along with solutions to fully evaluate your vape cartridge and situation.

by: Mathew H. | 07/22/19 1:30PM


How to Test an Oil Cartridge

A malfunctioning oil cartridge can be frustrating, but there are ways to test to see if it is the cartridge that is malfunctioning or the vape pen. Make sure you are using the vape correctly and if you have an extra vape pen to test the cartridge with, that really helps too. If it does not function in either vape pen, then you can likely pinpoint the issue to be the cartridge, however, there are ways to determine where the issue is even with a single vape pen, as long as you are using it correctly.


Of course, not everyone has an extra vape pen lying around. If this describes your situation, going to a local vape shop would likely be an easy solution. If they have an available vape pen for you to test your cartridge on, you would quickly be able to determine if the culprit was your pen or cartridge.

Experts at a vape shop may also be able to help you determine if the vape cartridge is malfunctioning or if it is simply incompatible with your vaporizer pen. Even if the threading fits, not all cartridges can be vaped by all pens, there are contact points on both the battery and all vape tanks – it is a must for those contact points to touch in order for the battery to transfer the electricity from itself to the cartridge. If you are unsure about the specifications of cartridges that are ideal for your vape pen, that is another reason to go to a vape store for assistance.


Oil Cartridge Problems and Solutions

Though it can happen, an oil cartridge going bad without the oil being used up is definitely worst-case scenario. It may surprise you that there are a lot of other problems that your oil cartridge can experience that would lead you to believe it is broken or there is a problem with the vape pen, but in actuality, there are some common issues that occur with just about all oil cartridges, all simple problems you will be able to fix yourself.

Below are some common problems with cartridges along with the common solutions. It is important to note that this list is not all-encompassing. However, if none of these solutions seems to help your problem, you can always reach out to nyvapeshop.com for assistance with literally any question.

Clogged Vapor Pathway

This is a really common problem that, at first, seems like your cartridge is not heating the vape oil, but in fact it is just a clogged airway that needs clearing. Over time, as you vape oil from a cartridge, as the vapor travels, oil residue will be displaced in the mouthpiece. As the cartridge cools, and when it is not being heated, that small oil particles along the airway will condense back to oil, which can sometimes clog the pathway, especially in the skinny cartridges as the airway is super thin. The solution is a simple one. Simply allow the pen to heat the cartridge for extra time, and soon you will be able to take draws like normal.

Stylus Vape Pen without a Power Button

If you are experiencing a clogged vapor pathway as mention above, it may be a little more difficult to get the vapor airway open again if your vape pen doesn’t have a power button to activate the heating. The issue, of course, is that these pens automatically power when you take a draw, but if you are unable to take a draw because of a clogged vapor pathway, you have no way to get the vape oil heated. You will likely need to manually heat the vape pen with an outside source to gently get the oil moving again to where you can take a draw. Try a heater, they work great, these are electronics so NO water You can even heat the stove and leave the cartridge on top, Not Inside – as the oven heats up, so will the cartridge.

Not Enough Power from the Vape

As we have mentioned, just because you have an oil cartridge that fits on your oil vape pen, it does not always mean that it is perfectly made for your vape pen. Depending on the viscosity (thickness) of your oil, the manufacturer of your cartridge, and other various factors, a vape battery is not always powerful enough to power all oil cartridges. If your pen offers variable voltage functionality, upping the temperature can resolve this issue.  If you are using the simply, Stylus Oil Vape Pens, power can be an issue with some cartridges.

Bad Connection between Cartridge and Vape Battery

This can be an issue that oil vapers will face at some point. As mentioned, there are contacts on both the battery and the oil cartridge. If your cartridge is too loose on your vape battery, then the contacts may not be touching. If you screw too tightly it is possible the cartridge will malfunction and not heat as well. Slightly loosening or tightening the cartridge is the best way to resolve this issue. You may also have residue on either connection point of the vape battery or cartridge, which can be cleaned off by rubbing with your finger or towel – again, No water, these are electronics. If the vape cartridge and battery seem to be connected properly, but no go, measure the bottom part of the oil cartridge – if you measure the part of the cartridge which screws into the vape battery, you will be able to determine if the cartridge contact is even long enough to touch the battery contact.

Vape Battery Not Compatible

You may have come across a cartridge that simply does not work in your vape battery. It could be a voltage issue, a certain oil viscosity that is not compatible with your pen, or more. The way to confirm this is to test your cartridge on other vape pens, which can be done with extra vape pens you may have access to, or by going to a local vape shop and seeing if they have vape pens you can test. At the end of the day, if you go through 2-3 different types of vape pen batteries, it is likely not a compatibility issue and the oil cartridge is likely dead.

Vape Battery is Dead

Sometimes we get so into the vape session that we completely forget to check whether or not the vape battery has a charge or not. It is best to reference your user manual to determine how to check the battery charge and ensure that there is not an issue while you are charging the pen battery. The manual can also help set you straight if you are using the pen incorrectly, which may cause issues as well. Make sure the vape pen battery is on, and if it won’t turn on, make sure to charge it. 2-3 hours will give ANY vape battery enough power to operate. If it still won’t turn on, try another charger and power source. If still no life in the battery, a broken battery is your issue.

Why an Oil Vape Cartridge Dies

If you went through the troubleshooting steps mentioned above and you still are unable to get your vape cartridge to work on your oil vape pen, your cartridge has likely died. There are several reasons that an oil cartridge may die and knowing how it can happen can help prevent you from burning out any oil cartridges in the future.

Too Much Vape Power

This is a danger with vaporizers that offer variable voltage settings, and especially a potential danger with powerful vaporizer batteries like box mod vapes. If you blast max voltage into an oil cartridge, you may end up frying the coil inside, completely ruining the cartridge. Even if your cartridge is specifically made to handle higher voltages, starting with a high setting right off the bat can cause issues. Always start with your lowest voltage setting and work your way up to avoid burning out the circuits.

Dry Firing the Oil Cartridge

Dry firing just means you press the power button and heat an oil cartridge when it is empty. This is not a real issue for pre-filled cartridges, as they are well, pre-filled with oil and not empty. But more for refillable cartridges that use a wick to heat and vaporize your choice of oils is at risk of this. Usually, when you power on your pen, that energy goes into the coil and wick, which heats the oil, which produces vapor. However, heating the coil without oil means the wick does not have anything to vaporize and transfer heat to, resulting in permanently burning the wick. Though you can technically use the cartridge still, it will forever have a burnt, nasty taste that essentially ruins it for vaping.

Power Button Sleeping

Even if you have taken the care to slowly amp up your voltage, holding the power button too long can also damage the electronics in a cartridge. A lot of vape pens will auto-shutoff after 10 consecutive seconds of the power button being pressed, which is meant to prevent this issue. However, if you continually heat the pen by repeatedly pressing the power button, or you have your voltage setting high, that continuous heat can burn out circuits.

Fresh Vape Cartridge

This is a little different from a cartridge dying, but there may come a time when a cartridge simply is not meeting your needs anymore. Maybe you have an oil that needs a higher voltage than your cartridge provides. Maybe you have a new vape battery that is not compatible with your current cartridge. Whatever the case, you may find yourself moving on simply for something new.

Poor Vape Cartridge Quality

Generally, you get what you pay for, and vape cartridges are no different. Did the price of that cartridge seem too good to be true? Perhaps it was from a brand you did not recognize. Low-quality parts can cause a cartridge to die prematurely, even if you are following the proper steps in using it. Especially if you are using refillable cartridges, it is always best to go with high-quality, products from a reputable brand you can trust.

Old Age – Do Oil Cartridges go Bad

This question comes up fairly often, do Oil cartridges go bad – even if you take care of any vape cartridge, they do have a shelf life. Over time, you will notice the taste of your vape oil degrading with unpleasant notes beginning to take hold. This is a good opportunity to replace the cartridge with a new one, especially if you are changing flavors or oil types. Some of the large vape tanks have replaceable coils – if this is the case, you just need to replace the coil versus the entire tank.

How to Extract Oil from Cartridge and Transfer to New One

If you find that you have a cartridge that is full of usable vape oil that has died, fret not! You can get the oil out and use it in a refillable cartridge! Though specific steps may vary depending on the specific cartridge in question, the following is the general process of how this is done.

Firstly, get the new cartridge, open it up, and set it up where you can easily fill it and nothing will be spilled. Unscrew the mouthpiece from the dead oil cartridge. This should give you access to the vape oil inside. Using a syringe, remove the oil from the dead cartridge. Using the syringe that is now full with your original vape oil, inject it into the new cartridge. Continue to do so until satisfied. When done, screw the mouthpiece on both the new and dead coil – even though you have emptied the dead coil, there will be residue that can get on places unwanted if you are careless.

If you have a prefilled cartridge, the process becomes a bit more dangerous. Some prefilled cartridges are made with propylene glycol, which can become toxic under certain conditions. The best method for these is to contact the point of sale for warranty issues, as reputable retailers can help in the case of a defect. They may also be able to tell you if that specific oil is safe to be removed.

Best Oil Cartridge Pens

The market today is flooded with Oil vaporizer options. You can find small, discreet pens and big, powerful box mods. You can even find vape pens that can handle dry herbs and waxes. However, there is on simple “best” oil vape pen. You will find that the best pen is the one that best fits your needs!

If you are looking for reputable brands as a starting point for finding your perfect vape pen, SteamCloud has a great selection of very popular models, including the Mini 2.0 and EVOD.

Where to Buy Oil Cartridges

Just as the market is flooded with vape oil pens, so too is it flooded with oil cartridges. You can find them in gas stations, head shops, and dedicated vape shops. Online vape shop retailers have also popped up, and regularly provide the best availability of options. You can even buy re-fillable oil cartridges right here at nyvapeshop.com, where we offer a satisfaction guarantee, offer great support on any problems that may arise (like troubleshooting oil cartridge problems) and offer free U.S. shipping on ALL orders. No minimum! We would love to help you find your perfect vape pen and your ideal vape oil!

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