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DrKlahn
DrKlahn, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 1917
Experience:  BSci: Electrical Engr., Industrial Engr, and Computer Sci.
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My Canon PIXMA MX350 gives me an error message when it should

Resolved Question:

My Canon PIXMA MX350 gives me an error message when it should be printing. I can't find a manual online. What should I do? Please help.
Hanna
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  DrKlahn replied 2 years ago.

DrKlahn :

Good afternoon. Thanks for using JustAnswer, the independent source for answers to your questions. I'm XXXXX XXXXX, XXXXXnamed "DrKlahn."

DrKlahn :

Please let me know with a brief message when you're online and ready to chat, and we'll proceed.

Customer:

I am online, ready to hear your answer.

DrKlahn :

I have disabled the Accept button for the duration of our session, because that terminates the session and transfers your payment. If we find an acceptable solution, I'll enable it at the end of this session.

DrKlahn :

Well. I've located the manual for the MX350. It is an executable file that must be installed on your computer. It can be downloaded at the following web page:

DrKlahn :

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/printers_multifunction/pixma_mx_series/pixma_mx350#BrochuresAndManuals

DrKlahn :

Choose the "MX350 On-Screen Manual (Windows ...".

DrKlahn :

Now as to the immediate problem. What message is the printer displaying?

Customer:

ok, the printer says , this is an error message please consult your manual. Are you still here?

DrKlahn :

It literally says, "This is an error message, please consult your manual" and nothing else?

Customer:

yes

DrKlahn :

There is no error code such as "U041" displayed?

Customer:

there is a number 5200 on top of the message displayed

DrKlahn :

Aha. Now we have something to work with. Please bear with me a moment while I look that up.

Customer:

ok

DrKlahn :

Error code 5200 indicates that there is a problem either with one (or possibly both) of the ink cartridges, or the printhead itself.

DrKlahn :

Here's the troubleshooting procedure.

Customer:

I'm listening

DrKlahn :

Open the cover and wait for the printhead carrier to slide to the ready position. Remove the ink cartridges carefully. Using a cotton swap moistened with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, clean the contacts on the cartridges. Replace the cartridges. Cycle the power on the printer and see if the problem is remedied.

DrKlahn :

If this fails to solve the problem, troubleshooting will start to get expensive.

Customer:

ok, stay with me

DrKlahn :

The next step is to replace every ink cartridge, one by one, to see if the problem is remedied. If that fails, replace them all at once.

DrKlahn :

If none of the above work, then the problem is in the printhead, and it will be cheaper to buy a replacement printer than to have the printhead replaced.

DrKlahn :

One moment while I check the prices of MX350s on the internet.

DrKlahn :

I've found a new MX350 on ebay for $30 plus $30 shipping. This would be far, far cheaper than having the printer repaired. Here is the link:

DrKlahn :

http://www.ebay.com/itm/170855157260

DrKlahn :

Replacing the printer with an identical unit would let you keep your investment in ink cartridges, and let you continue using the same printer software that you're already used to. Removing printer software and installing new is always iffy, particularly if the printers are different models from the same manufacturer.

DrKlahn :

Given that step 2 -- replace all ink cartridges with new -- is going to be expensive, if cleaning the existing cartridges does not solve the problem, I'd go directly to buying the new printer. I don't think you can replace all the ink cartridges in the printer for the $60 cost of replacing the printer.

DrKlahn :

Do you have any questions about this?

Customer:

Thanks I cleaned the ink cartridges and put them back in. There was a lot of ink on them. I will try printing now. Hold on. The printer was relatively cheap, but this luck did not last long. I put the new cartridges in already, but if I start to print anything I will loose our contact.

Customer:

Thanks for the tip of e-bay, I'm not ready to give up. Are these printers really so flimsy that you have to replace them constantly?

DrKlahn :

There is sometimes an "escape hatch" on the printer warranty, depending on how long the initial manufacturer's warranty is. Some credit cards (AmEx and Visa are good about this) double the original warranty period up to a year. If the printer is less than 2 years old, and was purchased with a credit card, this may be worth investigating.

DrKlahn :

Well ...

DrKlahn :

I have a standard commentary about why printers are replace-not-repair today. Let me fetch it and drop it in.

DrKlahn :

Except for business-grade workgroup printers, few modern printers are repairable, and fewer are worth repairing. It is unfortunate that printers are now manufactured to a "replace not repair" standard. To understand why this is the case, consider the cold, hard, real-world cost of having a printer repaired.

In most repair facilities there's a two hour shop time minimum charge, with technician time at $US 65/hour. Then comes the cost of parts - figure a $US 50 minimum for parts. The minimum cost of having a printer repaired is $US 180. Then add another $US 40 for shipping if the repair must be sent off to be fixed at a regional repair center outside your local area, for a total of around $US 220.

The rule of thumb for repair vs. replace is repair only when the repair cost is less than 2/3 of the cost of replacement. Therefore, if you can buy a replacement printer for $US 300 or less, you're better off with a replacement printer.

Customer:

So, this is the best answer you have for me?

DrKlahn :

I'm afraid so. Clean the cartridges carefully, and if you can see the corresponding contacts on the printhead, clean those too. Make sure the contacts are dry, as isopropyl alcohol is hygroscopic and tends to leave tiny water beads behind.

DrKlahn :

If the printer still doesn't work after replacing the cartridges, the problem is most likely in the printhead, and it is cheaper to replace the printer than to pay $200 to have it fixed.

DrKlahn :

If the printer is less than 2 years old, check the credit card possibility.

Customer:

ok, I will clean them again and let them dry and then try to print. The printer is less than two years old and was a present so I have to check with the gift giver. thanks for your help.

DrKlahn :

It is my pleasure. Can I assist you further today, with this problem or any other computer-related issue?

Customer:

You have given me some ideas, which I will execute. I hope it works. I will also look at the manual. Thanks again and have a good evening.

DrKlahn :

At this time I'll unlock the Accept button, so that you can accept this answer if you find it satisfactory.

DrKlahn :

I thank you for using JustAnswer, and I wish you a pleasant evening.

DrKlahn, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 1917
Experience: BSci: Electrical Engr., Industrial Engr, and Computer Sci.
DrKlahn and 3 other Printers Specialists are ready to help you

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