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Diagnosing and Troubleshooting HP LaserJet Jams, Image Defects And Error Messages

Troubleshooting print defects, paper jams, error codes, and printer noises.


This article helps printer service technicians trace the potential sources of common problems and issues on mono chrome HP LaserJet printers. Issues that include print defects, paper jams, error codes, and printer noises.


Image Defects

High percentage of print defects come from a faulty toner cartridge. Even if the cartridge is somewhat full, other components can fail within the cartridge and cause defects. A halfway test can help eliminate the fuser as the problem.

Troubleshooting Laser Printer Parts and Techniques With The Halfway Test Or Stop Test


Paper Jams


Which paper tray does the Paper jams at?

1. All trays

2. Manual feed tray only

3. Main cassette tray only

4. Optional cassette tray only


Where does the leading edge of the paper stop?

1. Never leaves the tray

2. Stops underneath the toner cartridge

3. Stops inside the fuser, or just exiting the fuser

4.  Stops only when duplexing

5.  Stops as it exits the printer


Error codes and messages


Numeric error codes:

Error Codes 0 - 19

Error Codes 20 - 49

Error Codes 50-59

Error Codes 60 and up


Text error messages:

Text Error Messages A - M

Text Error Messages N -Z


Printer Noises Location

What area of the printer does the noise seem to be coming from, the front or rear?

-- Rear noises are usually fuser, drive gears, or output assembly

-- Front noises are usually pickup rollers, toner cartridges, laser scanners


What kind of noise: high-pitched squeals, or low-pitched rumbling?

Higher-pitched noises are usually:

-- printer toner cartridge

-- printer laser scanner

-- printer output assembly


Lower-pitched noises are usually:

-- worn printer roller

-- worn printer gear

-- damaged fuser


Does paper actually leave the tray?

"Yes"

Continue on trouble-shooting.


"No"

1. Examine the paper pickup and feed rollers for wear. Replace worn rollers as needed.

2. Inspect quantity of paper in tray; if tray is overfilled, remove excess paper and re-test.

3. Inspect separation tabs in tray which hold down the paper stack. Make sure separation tabs are not bent or tweaked.

4. Check to see if rollers are OK, examine the cassette separation clutch (torque delimiter) in the paper tray for failure.

5. Inspect paper path where paper is attempting to leave the tray for obstruction.

6. If rollers and separation clutch are OK, disassemble printer to inspect the paper pickup drive mechanism for solenoid failure or drive gear misalignment (this is an advanced procedure).


Does paper jam under the toner cartridge? "Yes"

Continue on trouble-shooting.


"No"

1. Try swapping toner cartridges.

2. Inspect transfer roller for proper seating. Re seat transfer roller

3. On the legacy LaserJet series printers, remove the fuser and inspect the fuser drive gears for wear, as well as the pivot gear on the main drive gear assembly. Replace fuser and/or main gear drive assembly as needed (advanced procedure).

4. Remove the fuser and inspect the swing plate assembly or drive gear assembly for wear. Change as needed.

5. On some LaserJet printers remove the fuser and inspect the fuser drive gears inside the printer for wear.  Replace drive gears as needed.

5. Inspect paper flags under toner cartridge, near the registration assembly for obstruction , malfunction , or damage.


Does paper jam somewhere inside the fuser? "No"

Continue on trouble-shooting.


"Yes"

1. If available, try swapping fusers. If problem goes away, replace fuser, If problem goes away, but printer is noisy, consider replacing fuser and fuser drive gears (swing plate assembly / main gear assembly).

2. Remove the fuser and inspect the fuser drive gears for wear, as well as the pivot gear on the main drive gear assembly. Replace fuser and/or main drive assembly as needed.

3. Remove the fuser and inspect the swing plate assembly for wear. Change the swing plate assembly as needed.

4. Remove the fuser and inspect the fuser drive gears inside the printer for wear.  Replace drive gears as needed.

5. If jams in fuser only occur with specialty media (glossy paper, envelopes, labels, transparencies) try printing a test with regular paper.  If regular paper prints fine, double-check your specialty media to be sure it is within the printer's recommended specs.  If it is not within recommended specs, change media type.  If media is within recommended specs, replace the fuser (fuser sleeve is worn and slipping on specialty media.)

6. Inspect the fuser's exit path and the paper diverter on the printer's rear cover for physical wear or damage that would prevent the paper from exiting properly.

7. Inspect the front half of the paper path for another piece of paper stuck elsewhere in the printer. Sometimes paper will simply stop moving inside the fuser because another piece of paper was picked up too early, etc. and that piece actually triggered the paper jam.



Does paper jam when duplexing? "No"

Continue on trouble-shooting.


"Yes"

1. If available, try swapping duplexers. If problem goes away, replace duplexer.

2. For external duplexers: remove & reseat duplexer.  Check printer's power cable to ensure the position of the cable is not interfering with proper seating of duplexer.

3. Remove the cassette paper tray, turn printer over to view bottom of printer, open duplexer cover using the green duplexer cover handle (visible from bottom of printer), and clean any paper jams or small obstructions from duplexer paper path.

4. If another fuser is available or can be borrowed from a similar machine, swap fusers.  Sometimes the fuser entrance ramp gets worn and refuses re-entry to duplexed page. If an alternate fuser clears the jams, replace the fuser.

5. Check diverter assembly on duplexer for malfunction / damage.

6. Inspect the front half of the paper path for another piece of paper stuck elsewhere in the printer. In rare cases paper will simply stop moving inside the duplexer because another piece of paper was picked up too early, etc. and that piece actually triggered the paper jam.


Does paper jam when exiting the printer? "Yes"


1. On legacy LaserJet printers, if you have an accordion-style paper jam at the rear of the printer, with the paper trapped trying to go up the exit path, the problem is a failing output assembly. Replace output assembly as needed.

2. On legacy LaserJet printers the output assembly may be failing. Inspect output assembly drive gear for wear; replace output assembly as needed.

3. Inspect the front half of the paper path for another piece of paper stuck elsewhere in the printer. In some cases paper will simply stop moving at the exit point because another piece of paper was picked up too early, etc. and that piece actually triggered the paper jam.

4. Inspect the rear door / diverter assembly for wear or damage. Replace as needed.


Other Helpful Resources


Metrofuser is a leading global innovator, manufacturer of printer parts, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include hp printer parts, printers and printer repair training. Parts include hp printer parts such as printer fusers, printer maintenance kits and other hp printer replacement parts. The company's, customers include office equipment dealerships, online retailers, repair centers and MPS service providers nationwide. Metrofuser has been named to Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies five consecutive years.