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Why does my vape taste burnt & how to fix it?

Why does my vape taste burnt and how to fix it

No one likes a burnt-tasting vape. We spend time, effort and money finding the perfect flavour and blend of e-liquid and we always want it to taste great and vape perfectly. Occasionally though, you may get a burnt taste as you inhale on your vape. But what is causing it and how do you stop it from happening?

In this blog, we’ll run through the various reasons your vape might taste burnt and exactly how to fix it.

Your coil needs changing

If you’ve been using the coil in your vape for a while and it tastes burnt it could need changing. It’s essential to regularly change your coil to ensure your vape is working at its best and producing the optimum vapour and flavour experience. Changing your coil is a quick and easy process and replacement coils are relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the ever-increasing price of tobacco cigarettes.

The average vaper can expect a coil to last around 1-2 weeks but if you don’t use your vape too often it could last up to a month.


Replace the coil in your vape. If you’re unsure how to do it you can check out our handy How to change a vape coil guide or refer to the instruction manual of your device. Alternatively, give us a call or pop into one of our vape stores and our friendly staff will be happy to show you how.

Your tank needs topping up

If there is not enough e-liquid in your vape tank or pod you’ll experience a burnt taste when you inhale on the device. In essence, instead of vaporising the e-liquid in your tank, the coil will be burning the wicking material inside the coil. This will produce a very unpleasant harsh and acrid taste which is something no one will want to experience. 


Keep your tank constantly topped up with liquid and don’t let it get too low or run out completely. This will also help to prolong the life of your coil. In tanks with a large glass section, it will be easy to see when your liquid is running low, however, in devices such as pod kits it may be less obvious that you’re running out of liquid. Best practice is to periodically inspect your pod and top it up with e-liquid regularly.

You haven’t primed your coil

When you first install a brand new vape coil it is important to prime the coil before first using it. Priming is essentially filling your device with e-liquid and leaving it for enough time for the liquid to fully saturate into the cotton wicking material before first using it. If you fire the device before the cotton is fully saturated with e-liquid, you risk burning the cotton which will lead to a very unpleasant burnt taste as you puff on the vape device. 


Prime all brand new vape coils before you fire your e-cigarette. If you’re unsure how to prime your coil you can check out our How to prime a vape coil to prevent burnout guide

Your power settings are too high

Most vapes have adjustable power settings to allow the user to adjust their device to suit their needs. A lower power setting will produce a cooler less intense vape experience while a higher power setting will put more power through the coil, producing a warmer and more intense vape.  However, if you set the power (or wattage) level too high the vape coil will be unable to cope and could produce a burned taste. Also, once the wick is badly burnt it will always taste bad until you replace the coil in your vape with a new one.


Start with a lower power or wattage setting on your device and slowly increase it until you find the optimum level. If it tastes at all burnt or too hot, reduce the power. You should also check the manufacturer's guidelines on your device to see the recommended wattage for each device or coil resistance. Often, you’ll find the recommended wattage range printed in small text on the side of each coil.

As a rule of thumb, if the coil resistance is above 1.0ohm the wattage should be between 10w and 16w, if it is below 1.0ohm the sweet spot will be between 18w and 50w. This is just a rough guide so check the manufacturer's guidelines or test it out for yourself!

You have the wrong resistance of coil installed

Many vape brands offer their coils in different resistances. When you get a new kit, it may come with two different coils in the box and, more often than not, the two coils will be different resistances. This gives you the chance to try the two options to see which one best suits your vaping needs. However, different resistances will require different power levels to perform optimally.

A higher resistance will require less power than a lower resistance to produce the same amount of vapour and heat from the coil.

Let’s look at a typical example.

If you are used to using say a 1.2ohm coil at 18 watts and you switch to a 1.8ohm coil and continue to use the device at 18 watts, you may find that your vape is tasting burnt. This is because the higher resistance coil doesn’t need as much power to get up to the required temperature to vaporise the e-liquid in the coil. You’ll want to reduce the power or wattage on the device to find the sweet spot for that particular coil. Equally, if the coil resistance is lower than you’ve previously been using, you’ll want to increase the power to get the required vape hit.


Increase or decrease the power/wattage of your vape to suit the resistance of the coil you have installed. It’s best practice to consult the manufacturer's recommended wattage range for your coil or e-cig device to ensure you’re getting the perfect experience.

You’re using the wrong type of e-liquid

It is vitally important to ensure you select the correct e-liquid for your vape kit. Each vape kit is designed to be used with a specific type of e-liquid and if you use one that is either too thick or too thin, it could produce a burnt taste, damage the coil or even leak. 

But which is the correct e-liquid for your vape? The main thing to look out for when selecting an e-liquid for your device is the VG content of the e-liquid. This will determine the viscosity (thickness) of the liquid which will be the cause of a burnt taste from your vape. For simplicity, we can split e-liquids into two main groups.

  1.     VG E-Liquids

VG (vegetable glycerine) e-liquid is now predominantly sold in short-fill bottles (50ml or 100ml), with 0mg nicotine strength. Then, you add a nicotine shot to make the liquid your preferred strength (generally 3mg or 6mg). These liquids have a high VG (vegetable glycerine) content, generally 60%-70% and above. VG is a thick substance and is what produces large vapour clouds. Nearly all pen kits and most pod kits are incompatible with high-VG e-liquids.

Vape kits that are compatible with VG e-liquids will generally have some or all of these features;

  •     Sub-ohm coils i.e. the resistance of the coil is below 1.0ohm (generally 0.2ohm to 0.6ohm)
  •     Large wicking holes in the coil – this is so the thicker liquid can easily soak into the cotton wick. The coils themselves are generally quite large too compared to those in regular vape pens.
  •     High power/wattage – most kits compatible with VG e-liquid will have an output range up to 50w, some even go up to 220w and above. However, just because your device goes up to these levels it doesn’t mean your coil will be able to handle that maximum power and it doesn’t mean it is compatible with VG e-liquid.
  •     Airy draw – you’ll want a device with an airy or loose draw rather than a tight draw that’s like smoking a cigarette. The airy draw is so you can inhale the vapour directly into your lungs (DTL) rather than into your mouth first (MTL).
  1.     PG E-Liquids, 50/50 E-Liquids and Nicotine Salts (Nic Salt or NS)

PG (propylene glycol), 50/50 and Nic Salts are the types of e-liquid sold in 10ml bottles and come in varying nicotine strengths from 0mg all the way up to 20mg. These three types of e-liquid all have one thing in common; their VG content is no more than 50%. This will mean that the e-liquid is thinner and that coils with small wicking holes will be able to sufficiently wick the e-liquid to the coil. These liquids are perfect for devices such as pen kits, pod kits and devices that use coils above 1.0ohms such as Aspire’s BVC coils, Nautilus coils and many more.

Using these liquids in devices designed for high VG liquid can be fine though quite harsh (some vapers like that!), however, there is the possibility that the tank will leak, due to the thinner liquids flooding the coil, and your vape may taste burnt as the e-liquid is too easily vaporised by the coil. 


Choose the correct e-liquid for your device. If you’re still unsure which e-liquid to choose for your kit get in touch with us or see our guide on Choosing the correct e-liquid for your vape kit.

Your disposable vape tastes burnt

If your disposable vape tastes burnt it’s likely that your vape is running out of e-liquid. In most cases with disposable vapes, the battery will run out before the e-liquid, however, occasionally it’s the other way round.

Disposable vapes often suggest a number of puffs that you can expect to get out of them, however, these are often based on small and short puffs. If you take long deep puffs on your disposable vape you could expect significantly fewer puffs from the device.


If your disposable vape is tasting burnt, you could try the following to see if you can get a bit more life out of it.

  •     Leave a longer time between puffs. This will allow the wick to re-saturate with e-liquid.
  •     Give the vape a shake to help distribute the e-liquid in the wick to the coil
  •     Take smaller puffs

If all these steps fail, your disposable vape has simply run out of e-liquid and it’s time to get another. Alternatively, you can browse our wide range of affordable pod kits that replicate the same kind of vape as a disposable, but will save you loads of money in the long run.

On one of the new big puff disposables such as the Instafill 3500 or the Elf Bar AF5000 you need to check the following:

  • There is still vape juice in the attached liquid reservoir.
  • The device has had time between vaping to allow the juice to refill the tank section.

We hope you found this blog helpful. If you have any other suggestions as to why a vape could taste burnt and how to fix it let us know or if you need any more help with your vape get in touch via phone or email.