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Why Isn’t My Cart Hitting?


Christopher Fournier


Aug 11, 2023


U Vape Blog

Why Isn’t My Cart Hitting?

Summary of Key Points

  • Vape cartridges, or "carts," are primarily used for cannabis vaping, and are popular due to their convenience, portability, variety, and customization. However, they can sometimes stop "hitting" or producing vapor, so it’s important to know why and how to address the problem if it happens.
  • Common issues include connection problems between the cart and battery, battery problems, airflow obstructions or clogs, and the use of counterfeit or low-quality cartridges. Proper checking and cleaning of contact points, ensuring the battery is charged, clearing any clogs, and verifying cartridge authenticity are steps for troubleshooting.
  • Maintaining the quality of cartridges is essential. High-quality cartridges provide a smooth, flavorful vaping experience and are less likely to cause issues. Signs of a counterfeit or low-quality cart include leaking, a burnt taste, and off-brand packaging.
  • Proper handling and storage of carts, like storing them upright in a cool, dry place, avoiding extreme temperatures, regular cleaning, and using the correct voltage settings, can extend their lifespan and prevent issues.
  • If a cart isn't hitting despite all troubleshooting efforts, it might be time to seek professional help or replace the cartridge. Responsible disposal through an electronics recycling program is recommended—and when purchasing a replacement, it’s vital to choose a high-quality, genuine product from reliable retailers like U Vape.

Why Isn’t My Cart Hitting?

Vape cartridges or “carts” make it even easier to use cannabis for medical or recreational purposes. Their function is similar to the pods and tanks used for e-liquid in nicotine vapes, but with a few key differences. However, carts can occasionally be finicky, so knowing how to solve the various issues that can crop up with them is the key to enjoying a consistent experience.

If you’ve recently found yourself wondering "why isn't my cart hitting?", you’re in the right place to find out. Join the team of experienced enthusiasts at U Vape as we uncover the answers together, demystifying vape cartridges and their occasional rebellious nature.

Cannabis vape cart on neutral background

What Are Vape “Carts” & Why Do People Love Them?

Vape cartridges (or "carts" as they're affectionately known) are primarily used for vaping cannabis. Marijuana extract, concentrate, or oil is placed inside a container made from plastic, ceramic, or glass. This chamber is then placed inside the device so that the contents can be vapourized and inhaled when it’s activated.

Vape Cart Benefits

Vape carts owe their increasing popularity to numerous factors, including:

  • Convenience: Filling a cart and popping it into most compatible devices takes just a few moments.
  • Portability: Most carts are small and light, making them easy to carry discretely.
  • Variety: With tons of different brands and flavours available, cart lovers have no shortage of options.
  • Customization: Carts let you control the strength of your cannabis and make it consistent from one hit to the next.

All said, there are lots of reasons why people enjoy using vape carts. But what happens when this critical component throws a tantrum and refuses to "hit" or produce vapor? Let's find out.

Troubleshooting Vape Cart Issues

When a cart isn't hitting, it could be due to a few common culprits: connection issues, battery problems, airflow and clogging, or issues related to the quality and authenticity of the cartridge itself. Let's roll up our sleeves and tackle each one.

Connector visible on vape cart

Connection Issues

The connection between your cart and battery is like a handshake—it needs to be firm and secure. A loose or dirty connection can prevent the electrical current from flowing, leaving you high and dry. Here are some things to try if you suspect a poor connection is the problem:

  • Checking and cleaning the contact points: Dust and e-liquid residue can build up over time, getting in the way of the battery terminals. Make sure to check and clean the contact points regularly with a dry cloth or a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
  • Adjusting the battery's center pin (if applicable): For some vape models, adjusting the battery's center pin can solve connection problems. This pin connects to the cart and sometimes gets pushed in too far. If your model allows it, gently wiggle it upwards using a paperclip or tweezers. Be careful, though, as too much force can damage the pin.

Battery Problems

Even the best carts can't produce vapor without power, making the battery an integral part of your vaping experience. Try these steps to see if your battery is bad:

  • Ensuring the battery is charged: Sounds simple, right? But you'd be surprised how often vapers get caught with a dead battery. Most vapes have a LED light that indicates when it's time to recharge, so keep an eye on that helpful little signal.
  • Identifying signs of a faulty battery: If your battery is fully charged but still not producing vapor, it could be faulty. Signs of a faulty battery include not holding a charge, overheating, or physical damage like bulging or leaking. If you spot these signs, it's time to replace your battery.
Man blowing cloud after inhaling from vape cart

Airflow and Clogging

Carts, like straws, work on the principle of airflow. And just like a milkshake-straw, they can get clogged. Here’s what to do if this is your issue:

  • Recognizing signs of a clogged cart: A clogged cart can cause a weak hit, no hit, or cause your battery to blink when you try to vape. If you're experiencing any of these, it's time to unclog.
  • Clearing clogs using gentle heat or a paperclip: Often, a gentle heat can resolve clogs. Hold your vape pen (cartridge side down) under a warm (not hot) tap for a few seconds. If that doesn't work, you can gently insert a paperclip or toothpick into the cartridge’s opening to clear the blockage—but be careful not to damage the coil.
  • Prevent future clogs: To avoid future clogs, make sure you're not overfilling your cartridge or drawing too hard when you vape. Both can lead to e-liquid getting where it shouldn't and causing clogs.

Cartridge Quality and Authenticity

Finally, it's crucial to ensure that your cartridges are high-quality and authentic. Counterfeit or low-quality cartridges can leak, clog, or worse, harm your device.

Why Cartridge Quality Matters

High-quality cartridges provide a smooth, flavorful vaping experience and are less likely to give you problems. They are also safer to use, as they are made with high-grade materials and adhere to industry standards.

How to Spot a Low-Quality Cart

Signs of a counterfeit or low-quality cart include:

  • Leaking
  • A burnt taste
  • Packaging that looks off or lacks a brand name

Finally, consistent performance issues are usually a giveaway that your cart isn’t up to snuff. If your cart isn't hitting and you've tried everything else, it may be time to switch. The best way to ensure you're getting a genuine vaping product of any kind is to purchase from reputable retailers like U Vape or directly from the manufacturer.

Vape cart lying sideways on surface

How to Handle & Store Your Carts

The way you take care of your carts has a major impact on their performance. Here are some tips to extend the lifespan of your cartridges.

  • Store your carts upright in a cool, dry place to prevent leakage or damage. Extreme temperatures and humidity can degrade the e-liquid and the cart itself.
  • Avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures. Extreme heat or cold can damage your cartridge and affect the contents. Try to keep your vape device at room temperature, and never leave it in your car on a hot or freezing day.
  • Clean your cart regularly. This will prevent residue from building up and affecting the connections or creating clogs.
  • Avoid overfilling your carts, as this make leaks that could damage your device more likely.
  • Use the correct voltage settings. Keep your temperature between 315°F and 400°F for best results, and stay between 2.5V to 3.3V.

When to Replace Your Cart

Sometimes, despite all your efforts, a cart may be beyond repair. That's when it's time to seek professional help or replace your cartridge. If you've tried all the troubleshooting steps above and your cart still isn't hitting, it may be time to admit defeat. It's better to replace a faulty cart than risk damaging your device or getting a subpar vaping experience. But there are a couple of things you can try first:

Contacting the Manufacturer

If you're not sure what's wrong, contact the manufacturer of your cart. They can often identify issues that aren't immediately apparent and give specific advice based on your device model.

Asking an Expert

We’re always happy to share information that helps people improve their vaping experience, so feel free to contact U Vape and get some advice from one of our team members if you still have questions.

Disposing of Faulty Cartridges & Replacing Them

Most vape carts are recyclable, so consider using a local electronics recycling program to get rid of your old one responsibly. And when purchasing a replacement, make sure to choose a high-quality, genuine product. Explore all our vape devices here and find the one that’s right for you.

Make Your Cart Problems a Thing of the Past

Troubleshooting carts that aren't hitting can feel like a daunting task—but with a bit of know-how and patience, you can often get back to vaping in no time. Remember, the key to a better vaping experience lies in proper handling, regular maintenance, and using quality products.

When in doubt, never hesitate to seek help from knowledgeable sources. We're always here to help at U Vape, passionately dedicated to ensuring your vaping experience is nothing short of spectacular.

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