How to Know When Your Coil Needs Replacing

Coils are one of the most important parts of the vape; these small but powerful twists of metal and cotton wicking material are what convert your e-liquid into delicious clouds of vapour.

However, no matter how well you take care of your coils, they'll need to be changed eventually. Here are the tell-tale signs that it's time to replace your vape coil. 

Don't forget to scroll to the end of this article for some useful tips to extend your coil life!

You're getting an unpleasant burnt taste

Perhaps the most common sign that it's time to get a new coil is tasting an unpleasant burnt flavour instead of your delicious e-liquid. This horrible burnt taste can come on quickly and feels like an acrid, hot sensation at the back of your throat. 

Why does a burnt hit occur? It's usually a result of your coil's wick burning out. This may be because you have fun out of vape juice in your tank or have been vaping too quickly to allow the e-liquid to saturate the wick before your next hit. 

To resolve the burnt taste, you'll need to replace the coil with a new one and possibly top up your tank with e-liquid, too. 

The throat hit has become uncomfortable

More subtle than a noticeable burnt flavour, sometimes you might find that your vape is making your throat feel irritated or tight. This sensation is often a result of a burnt vape coil or wick. 

When you notice this while vaping, it's probably time to change the coil. If the sensation doesn't go away with the fresh coil, consider reducing the amount of nicotine in your e-juice or switching to a nic salt to see if that reduces the uncomfortable feeling. 

Your vape is making an unusual gurgling noise

Hearing a gurgling sound from your vape doesn't always mean that it's time for a coil replacement, but that is often the case. 

The gurgle might indicate that your coil has not been properly installed in the vape tank -- try removing and reattaching the coil to see if the issue is resolved. 

However, if this doesn't stop the gurgling sound, it's likely that you need to switch to a new vape coil. 

Your e-liquid tastes different

Finding that your e-liquid tastes weaker or different to normal is another sign that you might need to change your coil. Perhaps the vape juice has lost its usual flavour or simply tastes duller or weaker than usual. Maybe it even tastes sweeter than usual, the sweet flavour overpowering all the other flavours in the e-juice. 

A changing e-liquid flavour might be a result of your wick being overly saturated with the remains of other vape juice. The solution to this issue is to change your coil for a new one with a brand new wick. 

Note: if you find that switching to a different coil doesn't make any difference, try changing your e-liquid for a completely different flavour. For example, if you were previously vaping a fruity or dessert flavour, try a menthol or tobacco instead. You may have been suffering from vaper's tongue, a problem where if you vape a particular e-liquid too often you'll lose your ability to taste it as strongly. Switching to a menthol e-juice for a while is a good way to resolve this issue. 

Your e-juice is leaking out of the vape

If you notice e-liquid leaking out of your device's tank, it might be time for a replacement coil. Take the vape apart, clean it, and carefully put it back together with new coils. 

Installing a different vape coil often resolves the issue of a leaky vape, but if you find that it continues leaking the problem probably lies elsewhere. It might be time to start shopping for a new vape. 

It's been a while since your last coil change

If you want to avoid leaking, gurgling, and that horrible burnt tasting e-liquid, it's a good idea to keep track of when you last changed your coils. 

The ideal frequency of coil changes will vary between vapers, depending on how often they vape, their vaping style, and what type of e-juice they use. We recommend making a note of how long your coils usually last and using this to plan your coil changes. Set a note on your calendar or create a reminder on your phone to ensure you always change the coils before they start acting up. 

As a general rule, people who vape heavily (using their device many times a day) will probably need to change their dead coils once every few days, whereas moderate vapers will find their coils lasting a week or two. For the more casual vape users, a new replacement coil can last up to a month. Always replace your vape coils at least once a month, no matter how infrequently you vape. 

How can I make my vape coils last longer?

Now that you know all the signs that your coils need replacing, your next question might be: 'how can I make my vape coils last longer?' 

There are a few techniques that can extend your vape coil's lifespan and reduce the number of new coils you need to buy. 

1. Prime your coils

If you don't already prime your vape coils before use, now is the time to start. Coil priming involves saturating the wick with e-liquid before you start vaping, giving the e-liquid a chance to soak in completely. 

2. Switch to a different e-liquid

The sweeteners in your e-liquid can leave residue on your coils, which can caramelise and lead to a shorter lifespan. If you want to make the vape coils last longer, switching to an unsweetened vape juice can help. 

3. Vape less frequently 

Chain vaping can often lead to coils burning out because taking frequent puffs doesn't allow the wick to re-saturate quickly enough. Leaving longer gaps between draws can help increase your vape coils' lifespan. 

4. Clean your coils

Cleaning your vape coils is another way to make them last longer. E-liquids with a high VG percentage often leave a sticky residue on your coils which reduces their lifespan, so removing your coils from your device and cleaning them to get rid of this goopy build-up is a good idea. However, if the wicking material is already burnt, cleaning the coils cannot restore them and you'll need to buy a replacement. 

5. Keep the wattage low at first

If you are vaping with a variable wattage device, we recommend using a lower power level every time you install a new coil. This allows you to break in the coil before slowly ramping up the wattage to your preferred level. 


No matter whether you're vaping with MTL coils, sub-ohm coils, ceramic coils, mesh coils, or a wide range of other coil types, every coil will need to be replaced at some point. Using our handy techniques can help extend your coil life but eventually you'll still need to replace them.

At Vaping 101, we stock a huge range of replacement vape coils so you can get all the vaping equipment you need at budget-friendly prices. Browse our full range of vape coils to find your perfect replacements today.

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