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Getting Smudges On Your Prints?

HP laserjet printers, Brother laser printers, Canon laser printers... it doesn't matter which brand or model, smudges on your prints are almost always one of two things: either your drum/toner cartridge needs to be replaced or your fuser needs to be replaced.  Here's a few tricks to find out which one it is.

  • Run your finger over the smudged area.  Does the toner feel 'clumpy', or does it rub off easily?  Then it's probably the fuser unit.  The fuser roller (or sleeve, depending on the machine) has a defect in it.  Toner is sticking to that area as it goes through the fuser unit, then coming off again at that spot on the paper.
  • Does the smudge repeat itself?  Put a new toner cartridge in.  If the smudge changes AT ALL, then it's probably the toner cartridge.  Remember that you can get two bad toner cartridges in a row--it's not out of the realm of possibility.  So you're not looking to see if the print looks clean, you're just looking for a change.
  • For color printers, look at what color the smudge is.  If the smudge is cyan, it's probably your cyan cartridge.
  • Also for color printers, check your transfer belt (the black, shiny belt you see when you open the printer).  Look for a smudge on the transfer belt that exactly matches the smudge on your prints.

This is the same troubleshooting process every technician goes through when he looks at your machine.  It's generally a simple process of elimination... one you could possibly go through on your own, and save the cost of a service call.

Still can't figure it out?  Call us now to set up a service call at Cincinnati Printer Repair, the leading service center for printers, copiers, and fax machines in the Cincinnati area.