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Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 21509
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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My MP530 All-in-one is "printing" blanks. Ink cartridges are

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My MP530 All-in-one is "printing" blanks. Ink cartridges are full. I'm getting a "Head Alignment Error" when I run auto align.

Nathan :

Hello, and welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’ll be assisting you today.
My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority. Let’s get started!

Nathan :

Hi there, sorry to hear you're having trouble with the Canon,

Nathan :

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head (or the logic board that controls it, about a 50/50 chance of either being the failure point)


Alignment won't fix this issue, only cleaning might. You can try going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function, if it doesn’t work try it a second time. If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning.

Nathan :

To try manually cleaning the print heads:
Open up the printer, and look for the "carriage" that goes back and forth (on metal rails) over the paper while printing.


You'll remove the cartridges, then clean on the bottom of them (focus on the ink port/hole) as well as inside the carriage using qtips and rubbing alcohol.


If you can, remove the carriage/print head (there will be a small lever at the side/rear of it that lifts up to release) and clean the bottom this way as well.


 

Customer:

There are quite a few selections for the machine to clean itself. Which one am I selecting? Clean, Deep Clean, Roller cleaning, Bottom Cleaning?

Nathan :

You can try the plain "clean" first, if that doesn't help, try the deep clean next.

Nathan :

And if that still doesn't work, then you can move on to the manual cleaning I mentioned earlier.

Customer:

The machine cleaning options didn't seem to work. Still spitting out blanks. I'll try the manual now.

Nathan :

Ok, let me know how it works out.

Nathan :

If that doesn't help, I can advise on service options.

Customer:

No success. It's sort of printing again, but the pages are washed out pretty badly.

Customer:

Hello? Another print job yielded blank results again. :(

Nathan :

Hi there,

Nathan :

sorry I missed you earlier.

Customer:

all good.

Nathan :

since the cleaning didn't help, you can try cleaning again, but this time set the print head so the bottom is sitting in about an inch of alcohol in a dish overnight, so it can really soak in and dissolve any clogs stuck inside.

Nathan :

I only suggest this since you temporarily had some improvement, which is an indication that it helped somewhat.

Nathan :

It can't hurt anything, so it's worth a try.

Nathan :

Beyond that, the next step would be to replace the printhead,

Nathan :

If it comes to that, you can get the part here:



Canon QY6-0059 Printhead (click for link)

Customer:

Yeah I can give that a try. I did notice that the print head seemed to be leaking quite a bit of black ink when I was wiping it down. Hard to say if it was ALL black ink since the red, yellow and blue would've just blended in.

Nathan :

however, at that point, I'd strongly suggest you consider replacing the printer instead.

Customer:

Eh...it's never really caused any problems until now.

Nathan :

You'll spend $60 on a new printhead, but if you're at the point that you've printed enough for the head to fail, then there are several other components that aren't far behind.

Customer:

that sucks.

Nathan :

Your printer is well past it's expected lifespan, by several years in fact,

Nathan :

I primarily suggest going with a new model,

Nathan :

because it isn't that much more than you'd spend for the printhaed,

Customer:

hahaha! I picked it up from a computer geek friend who more than babied it

Nathan :

you can get a comparable (in fact, better/upgraded) machine for under $100, with a fresh warranty.

Nathan :

I'm not saying at all that you have to replace it, the choice is certainly yours. That is just the way I'd lean in most cases.

Nathan :

If everything else is in good shape, there is no reason you can't replace the part and keep on using it.

Customer:

Yeah, I feel like everything else seems to be working well on it

Nathan :

But for a 2004 model printer, that is typically expected to last 5 years max, you're going to have other age related issues in the near future, like the rollers breaking down, capacitors in the power supply failing, etc

Nathan :

Just something to think about.

Nathan :

Hopefully the deeper cleaning will get you back on track, and that won't even be needed.

Customer:

for sure.

Nathan :

Best of luck to you with the cleaning. Let me know how it works out, if you have a chance.

Customer:

For sure, good sir.In the meantime, I'd love to give you an "excellent" rating, but I was reserving that for a complete fix of the problem. Hopefully a "good" will suffice. I very much appreciate your help tho.

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