An inkjet printer is one of the oldest and most popular types of printers in today's market. The basic printer mechanism is based on ink nozzles or pipes spraying ink on the page to produce printed media. The nozzle never touches the paper. Though there are innumerable comparisons made between laser and inkjet printers over their respective advantages, there's no denying the effectiveness of this little device in printing. But even the best inkjet printer is error-prone. Fret not, read the following inkjet printer repair tips to help solve your printer's issues.
How to Repair an Inkjet Printer
The following are some repair tips and steps, based on certain problems related to the printer.
Printed Output Quality
When a printed page looks nothing like what you imagined, it's time to check under the printer's hood. Print quality problems that you could face include:
- Lighter print color in images, white lines or spots are present
- Spots or deep blotches of color in certain areas
- Lines are not straight and seem jagged
- Poor color quality, sometimes too dark or too bright colors are produced
- Certain colors are missing
☛ Power on the printer and lift the top cover, then wait for the mechanical arm to bring the cartridges to the front. Very gently, with minimal force, tilt the cartridge forward and lift it out. Keep it aside.
☛ Using a lightly-dampened cloth, clean the cartridge carrier or print head carrier, where the cartridge were held. Remove ink pools and residue as well as dust. Clean the print head mechanism with a cotton swab or even a earbud.
☛ Now check the cartridges by shaking them. If you can hear ink sloshing around within, the cartridge is good for use. Else you need to use a new cartridge. Be very gentle through this entire process, do not rub any of the internal parts with force.
☛ Cleaning the print head helps with line alignment issues, but sometimes the printer head itself is misaligned. There is a line alignment utility located in your printer software, run the tool to help with this issue.
☛ Printing at a lower quality-setting can help resolve color issues as well. Some printer quality issues can have nothing to do with the printer and all to do with the printout settings that you have specified. When testing for such defects, use the "print test page" option from your computer or if present on the printer.
Failure to Communicate
Sometimes your printer will just not turn on. Or a little orange or red light will blink at you. Such attitude means the printer and the computer are having a tiff, it's up to you to bring them together. Steps to follow:
☛ Are they physically connected? Check the power supply from the printer to the outlet. Disconnect connections, reconnect them and make sure they are tight. Try using a different power source. Turn off both the PC and the printer and leave them alone for some time.
☛ A message on your PC says "Printer not recognized" or "Printer not responding". Now this is usually a driver issue. The firmware on the printer has either become old or gone bad and needs to be updated. In case of connecting to a new PC or operating system, the driver is incompatible. To confirm, check out the Device Manager, you may see Other Devices, under which your printer's name is listed, with a yellow "?" or "!" mark. Time to head over to the manufacturer's site and download the latest driver, then update the printer. Check for error codes or messages and refer to your printer's manual for a solution.
☛ It's not fair to blame the printer entirely for communication problems, it can be the computer's fault. Malware or viruses can block incoming and outgoing connections, so the outgoing message from computer to printer is never sent. Check for viruses with an updated anti-virus program and do a system cleanup.
Printing blank pages - Caused by sticker attached to ink cartridge in printer. Remove sticker completely.
Printing gibberish - Driver or firmware issue, time to upgrade the firmware through the manufacturer's site.
Paper jams - Use dry, crinkle-free, crisp paper. The paper tray should be properly fixed. If a jam occurs, open the top of the printer and gently pull the paper in the direction it is ejected while printing is done.
Those were some inkjet printer repair tips, based on common issues faced by inkjet printers. While troubleshooting printer issues, frustrating as they are, it's necessary to be patient and calm. In case of serious issues or you are really nervous about fiddling with the printer, please contact the manufacturer or a technician for resolving the issue.