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June 1, 2023
9 min to read

How to Fix a New Cart That Isn't Hitting

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Hayley Heidelbaugh

Brand-new vape carts aren’t immune to defects or damage, despite our best hopes. And weed vape pens of any age can encounter clogs, poor connection, airflow problems, and other common issues.

Don’t give up on a cart if it doesn’t hit right away! Although these problems can be frustrating, they’re almost all solvable. In more severe cases, you can also contact the cart manufacturer for repairs or a refund.

These fixes apply to all kinds of oil carts, including pre-filled THC and delta 8 carts. We’ve previously covered advice on how to unclog a cart that isn’t hitting, but in this article, we’re focusing on carts fresh out of the box.

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How to unclog a new weed cart

Clogging is one of the most common concerns faced by weed vapers. Sadly, it’s possible for a THC or CBD cart to become clogged within the first few puffs. This could be caused by suboptimal storage, faulty production, or overpriming the coil,

To begin unclogging a cart, you’ll need to pinpoint the type of clog you’re working with. There are two big categories of vape pen clogs: chamber flooding and condensation buildup. Flooded chambers are the more complex scenario and require some patience.

It’s possible for any user to resolve either of these situations.

Chamber flooding in new carts

Failing to prime a fresh coil correctly can lead to a flooded chamber.

As we’ll discuss further down, priming your coil is important if you’d like to minimize new cart problems. Overpriming occurs when you saturate the wick with a dry hit, but pull through too much oil.

Give the cart a few flicks from side to side. This will help disperse oil and dislodge the excess. After that, remove the vape cart from your pen and blow into the cart to clear out the flooded oil. Don’t inhale, as this can trigger additional flooding.

Next, reconnect your cart to the battery and fire up your vape. Without inhaling, hold the button down for one to two seconds, then release it. You can take a short, gentle pull from your vape to see if this cleared up the flood.

Repeat this process if it doesn’t work on the first attempt.

Condensation buildup in new carts

Condensation in weed carts is sometimes a byproduct of improper storage, such as exposure to heat or sunlight. Too much condensation in your cart’s airways can result in wet pulls with reduced vapor.

Oil in your mouth upon inhaling is the simplest way to identify condensation buildup. Considering your cart is new, you probably aren’t going to be inhaling oil by the mouthful. In fact, the issue may not become obvious until you’ve taken several pulls.

Clear up excess condensation by taking a hard pull on the mouthpiece. Inhale without firing up your vape, pulling moisture through. You can then remove leftover residue with a paper clip or wire. Insert this thin object into the mouthpiece and manually scrape away the residue, being careful not to scratch the interior.

Why is my new cart not hitting if it isn’t clogged?

While it’s important to check for clogs, you may discover that your cart is lacking any signs of leaks or condensation buildup. A defective product might seem like the logical conclusion, but a new cart can face other issues. Some only require minor tweaks to resolve.

  • The coil needs to be primed: Before using your new cart, take a dry hit to saturate the wick. Hitting a dry coil can burn the wick and coil.
  • Battery or charger problems: You could have a dead battery, or the USB charger might be on its last legs. Keep an eye on the indicator light.
  • Poor connection between cart and battery: A standard 510 thread battery is compatible with any 510 thread cart. A pin or wire out of place can interfere with this connection. It could also be screwed in too loosely or tightly.
  • Airflow settings are off: Users can modify the airflow of select carts with a twist of the device’s collar. Confirm whether this is part of your cart's design, then make adjustments.
  • Incorrect voltage settings: Vaping at the wrong voltage can result in subpar vapor. If your cart offers control over voltage, try reducing or raising it.
  • Low-quality carts: It’s sad, but poor-quality carts are out there. Poorly constructed carts are more prone to airflow problems. This can’t always be repaired by the individual.
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    How to fix a new cart (that isn’t clogged)

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    Issues unrelated to clogging can plague weed carts. Here are solutions to all of the scenarios we described above, including preventative measures like priming the coil.

    Prime the coil

    To reduce your risk of a burnt wick, prime your coil before puffing on your THC, CBD, or delta 8 cart. Priming saturates the coil and wick before heating.

    Keep your cart separate from the battery and take a few dry hits. Inhale through the mouthpiece between five and eight times—not aggressive, deep puffs, but the normal short pulls you would normally use. Remember, all you should be inhaling at this stage is air. If oil enters your mouth instead, refer to our section on condensation buildup.

    If the oil is too thick, you can warm it by rubbing the cart between the palms of your hands. Or, pull out a hairdryer on its lowest setting and hold your cart underneath for around a minute.

    Check the battery

    Ensure that your battery is actually charged. This can be an easy mistake to make, particularly if you haven’t experienced charging mishaps in the past.

    Look at the battery’s indicator light. A green or blue light typically shows that the device is fully or half-charged, respectively. In these cases, an undercharged battery is unlikely to be the concern.

    A yellow, orange, or red light means that your battery is running out of power, or that it’s completely dead. You can give it more charging time to see if this brings it to full power. Keep in mind that even high-quality batteries don’t last forever.

    Starting to suspect that your charger isn’t working? Hook up another battery and check that it’s charging. If there’s still no progress, consider picking up a new USB or external battery charger.

    Repair the cart’s connection

    The cart and battery need to make contact for any vapor to be produced. When that connection is interrupted, the battery can’t provide energy to the coil, and no heat is created.

    The solution can be straightforward or involved. For example, a cart that’s screwed on too tightly or loosely can block the connection. Your average weed vaper can correct this in a matter of seconds. A cart should be snug and shouldn’t wobble, but forcing it any tighter can cause trouble.

    Due to a manufacturing error, you may need to adjust the wires at the base of your cart. These wires should make contact with the center pin of your battery. Without that contact, there will be airflow but no vapor or bubble movement. Complete the following steps to restore a connection:

    1. Use a small screwdriver or paper clip to gently remove the metal cap at the base of your cart.
    2. You should see two wires along the interior edges. If the wires aren’t visible, use your tool to pull them down.
    3. Position the wires so that they aren’t touching. Place one wire along the inside wall, and bring the wire with a rubber casing through the center and into the metal cap.
    4. Finally, reassemble your cart and give it another try.
    5. Repair the battery connection

      The issue could also be caused by the connection on your pen or 510 thread battery. Sometimes the spring-loaded positive connection pin in a vape pen can get pushed down into the pen so it won’t make contact with the cart. Fix it like this:

      1. Turn your device off.
      2. Use a small screwdriver or thin knife blade to work the pin back into the proper position gently.
      3. Moving in a circle around the pin, slowly push the edge of it toward the other side until the pin pops up into its normal position. It should then make proper contact with the cart.
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        Adjust the airflow settings

        Certain THC or CBD carts have adjustable airflow. To figure out if this applies to your product, refer to the manufacturer’s guide or website.

        Try adjusting to a more open airflow setting. When the airflow is restricted, vapor production will be poor, and you’ll be more likely to flood the cart by pulling extra hard. Opening the vents might be all you need to get a good hit.

        Change the voltage setting

        Become familiar with the best voltage for your cart. Although some batteries have a fixed voltage, this setting is often adjustable.

        Depending on the voltage you choose, you modify the wattage and power output. The electrical resistance of vape carts varies, meaning that the same voltage may not produce identical output. If you’re using a new battery, take some time to experiment with voltage settings.

        For optimal vapor, set your THC, CBD, or delta 8 cart to 2.5 volts or above. A sweet spot for most weed oil carts is 3.0 volts. Start at a lower setting and carefully increase the power until you have the hit you like.

        Different kinds of oils need particular settings to perform at their peak. While a live resin cart can provide fantastic vapor at just 2.2 or 2.3 volts, 4.0 volts may be ideal for distillate carts.

        Avoid low-quality weed carts

        If you haven’t already, find more information about your product, including customer reviews. Don’t waste your time with a cart that was built broken.

        Black market carts are affordable, but they’re far more likely to have basic construction flaws. Low-quality oils or carts mixed with filler oils won’t produce the vapor you’re seeking—and they could be unhealthy.

        Warranties, refunds, returns: when all else fails

        When you’ve tried everything to no avail, check to see if the cart’s manufacturer provides a warranty. Dispensaries and online retailers might also offer warranties, refunds, or returns on new products.

        Most adjustments we’ve described won’t impact your ability to return a product. However, pulling apart your cart to fix the connection could complicate a return or refund request.

        At the end of the day, a cart is designed to work with any compatible battery right out of the package. Even a well-designed, new product can have problems, but these can typically be fixed with a few adjustments of your battery or cart. Return to this article before throwing out a brand-new vape cart—you might be a quick fix away.

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        Hayley Heidelbaugh

        Vaping since: 3 years

        Favorite products:

        Favorite flavors: White Wedding, Northern Lights, Platinum Valley, OG Kush

        Expertise in: Oil carts, cannabis concentrates, cannabis flower

        Hayley Heidelbaugh

        I'm a Pennsylvania-based cannabis enthusiast and writer. As a part of the Vaping360 team, I'm eager to help cannabis consumers explore vaping and get the most out of their experience. You can also find me @faeberrystudios on Instagram.

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