When and How to Change Your Vape Coil: Everything You Need to Know

Changing out coils is an essential part of owning a vape. It’s the price we pay for the convenience and effectiveness of vape mods. Replacing worn-out coils is part of your mod’s basic maintenance, and keeping up with it will extend your device’s lifespan. Neglect to change your coil and you’ll find yourself buying a new vape mod sooner than you’d like.

If you’re a seasoned vaper, then you’re probably all too familiar with the consequences of trying to use a coil beyond the end of its lifespan. Burnt out coils make vaping an unpleasant experience, so you should always be prepared to change one out. Vapers go through a lot of coils each year, so don’t be shy about stocking up.

In this post, we’ll detail the reasons why your coil may have worn out sooner than usual, how to immediately tell if your coil is dead, and how to replace it with a new one.

All about vape coils

The coil is the key to a smooth-tasting vape experience. Many new vapers are turned off of vaping all together because they’ve inadvertently used a coil for too long and don’t realize the terrible taste they’re experiencing can be avoided.

Coils consist of a wire and a wick and are housed within your mod’s cartridge. Coils are typically made of resistance wire and covered by cotton in fiberglass or synthetic foam. The wick soaks up e-Juice and the coil then heats the wick.

Vape coil versus atomizer

You may have heard the terms coil and atomizer used interchangeably. They’re not exactly the same thing, but many people don’t bother to differentiate between them. Put simply, an atomizer is anything that creates a mist from a liquid. In the world of vaping, an atomizer can refer to the coil that holds your e-Juice while it vaporizes or the entire device that contains the coil. So when you’re looking for replacement coils, don’t be surprised if the products you find are labeled as atomizers.

Vape coil longevity: how vape coils break down over time

Coils just aren’t meant to last forever. They suffer repeated re-heating and cool downs, meaning they’ll eventually burn out. Sometimes, the way you use your vape device can cause them to burn out even faster than normal.

Chain vaping (taking multiple hits within a short period of time) is often responsible for the quick degradation of coils. Taking multiple draws from your device within a few seconds can also dry out your wick because you’re not giving it enough time to soak up the proper amount of e-Juice.

Give your device a good 30 seconds between hits to help slow down the death of your coil and wick.

How often do I need to change my vape coil?

Your coil will need to be replaced fairly frequently. Depending on how much you vape, it may need changed as often as once a week or as infrequently as once a month. Using your vape more frequently means you’ll need to change the coil more often, but even if you rarely vape, your coil will still need to be replaced at least once a month.

Signs it’s time to change your vape coil

To make sure you’re not vaping with a damaged coil (or changing out a perfectly good one), keep an eye out for these four signs that your coil has reached the end of its life.

  1. A burning taste

    Vaping a dead coil will eventually result in an acrid, burning taste. Usually, this taste is so unpleasant that it completely ruins your hit. Never try to continue vaping if you’re getting a foul taste. It’s not worth it. While an accidental hit off a worn-out coil won’t do lasting harm, it’s something you want to avoid doing repeatedly. If you push a coil past its lifespan and the vape begins to burn the coil, you may be exposing yourself to heavy metals.
    Want to make your coil last longer? Sometimes, when your vape starts to taste a little off, you can salvage the coil by cleaning it. Not all coils can be cleaned, so check which device you have. Cleaning your coil may buy you a few extra days or a week, but you will still have to replace the coil eventually.

  2. Gurgling sounds

    Vapes shouldn’t gurgle. Gurgling sounds are always a bad sign and require a prompt investigation. Changing out your coil is the easiest solution to gurgling noises, but it may not always be the correct one. If your device continues to produce gurgling noises even after you’ve replaced the coil, it’s a sign that something more serious is wrong with your vape.

  3. Weak or “off” e-Juice flavor

    This often precedes a burnt taste. Sometimes a worn coil can make your flavored e-Liquid seem just a little bit off. You’re most likely to notice this with flavors you’re familiar with. If your favorite lemonade-flavored e-Juice just suddenly tastes “off”, then it could be a sign that you’re coil is dying.

    There is always the possibility that you got a bad bottle of e-Juice, but a dead coil is much more likely. Sometimes a burnt-out coil can also weaken your e-Juice flavor. Normally, the last hit you take should be just as flavorful as the first, so a weak flavor is also a sign of a dead coil.

    Finally, worn-out coils can cause flavors to mix. If you’ve switched from lemonade e-Juice to mint and now you’re getting a hideous combination of the two, your coil may also be to blame. Many vapers change coils each time they switch flavors to completely avoid this problem.

  4. Low vapor production

    The vapor produced by your coil will gradually lessen with time. By the end of your coil’s lifespan, you’ll be seeing a much lower vapor output than usual. So, if your cloud chasing seems to be going much worse than usual, you may be vaping with an old coil. Whether you choose to change the coil immediately when you notice a lower vapor output or continue using it until other symptoms appear is up to you.

    It is possible that low vapor production may also be the result of a dying battery. Be sure to check your device’s charge to make sure the battery isn’t running out of power before you commit to replacing your entire coil. (Device no longer holding a charge? It may be time to upgrade your mod’s battery.)

How to change a coil on a vape: 5 quick steps to change your own coil

If you’re just coming over to mods after a lifetime of disposable cig-a-likes, then you may not be familiar with changing a coil. Fortunately, it’s a simple and painless process that you’ll soon be very good at.

  1. Disassemble your vape

    To change out your coils, you’ll need to fully disassemble your vape. Don’t worry, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Every vape is a little bit different, so check your manual, but typically all you have to do is unscrew the tank from the bottom of your vape. You may want to wrap your device in a paper towel to keep your hands from getting e-Juice on them. Next, simply flip your tank upside down and twist counterclockwise to remove your tank.

  2. Empty your tank

    You want to replace your coil while there’s little to no vape juice left in your device, so go ahead and empty your tank out now. You can pour the vape juice into a trash can. If you want to be extra careful, pour it into a small bag of something super absorbent, like cat litter, and then throw the bag away.

  3. Pre-soak your new coil’s wicking material

    You don’t want to put a new coil straight into your vape device because the dry wick will burn. Instead, pre-saturated your new wick using 5-10 drops of e-Liquid, depending on the size of your coil. Obviously, you’ll be using the e-Juice you plan to refill your tank with to avoid mixing flavors.

  4. Swap the coils

    Your coil will easily unscrew from the bottom of your device. Now you’re free to replace it with the new, pre-soaked coil. Feel free to continue using the paper towel to keep your hands clean.

  5. Replace and refill your tank

    Once your new coil is in place, you’ll be able to reassemble your vape by screwing the tank back on. Next, fill your tank with your preferred e-Liquid. Now that you’re ready to rock with a new coil and fresh e-Juice, feel free to vape away!

Prebuilt coils versus making your own

Pre-made coil replacements are often called coil heads. The ease and convenience of prebuilt coils make them the preferred method of coil replacement. However, for the adventurous out there, you can also build your own coils. Doing so gives you a greater degree of control over your vaping experience, especially the ability to produce extremely high levels of vapor. So for all, you cloud chasers out there, building your own coil might be worth it. For those who are just looking for a good hit, there’s no reason not to stick with pre-made coils.

Never be left without a coil

Replacing coils is something you’ll quickly grow accustomed to as you continue to vape. Don’t wait until your vape tastes like a burnt newspaper to order more coils. Stock up ahead of time so you’ll never be caught short.

Pieces of your vaping rig will need replacing from time to time. Sometimes parts wear out, and other times you may just be looking to upgrade. Whatever the reason, AtmosRx has you covered with all the vape replacement parts you need. Check out our wide selection here.

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Michael Ashby

Michael is a long established writer of Fiction, Poetry, and Marketing based content. When he's not working on his countless literary projects, he spends his time educating customers on various growing industries and products.