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Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 23566
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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My Canon MG3220 printer is suddenly printing text that is

Customer Question

My Canon MG3220 printer is suddenly printing text that is unreadable in that it is doubled and tripled so that all the words blend together. I have done all of the trouble shooting items of cleaning the ink jets and ink nozzles. Why can't I read the text suddenly - any suggestions? Many thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble.

If you make a photocopy, directly from the glass (please test both color and black only modes), how does that come out?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The text is clear but every two inches the text is out of alignment(above)making the sentence look wavy. That happens all the way down the page of text when you make a copy
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nathan,
I hope that you are still there because my printer still isn't working and I've been charged 25 dollars.
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Good evening,

I'm sorry I missed you earlier.

Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head.

It is not an alignment issue, but rather some of the nozzles in that 2 inch pattern section are misfiring or not firing at all.

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.

I have to caution you up front though that the manual cleaning process is messy and time consuming. It also has a low chance of success, if you see no improvement at all from the automated cleaning. It is most likely a hardware failure (bad head) which the cleaning can’t fix, as printheads are a wear item and do fail with time/use.

Realistically, it’s probably time for a new printer. As this is a 2012 model printer, it is at/past its 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising. While it can be fixed, it is not worthwhile to do so. You would have to, at a minimum, replace the printhead, which costs about $85; if the logic board is bad you’re looking at $200-250. For $80 or less you can replace the entire machine with a brand new model, with current technology and a fresh warranty, which makes more sense than buying the new part for an older printer.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, if you wish. Let me know how the built in cleaning function works, and I’ll guide you through the manual steps next, or I can recommend replacement options if you prefer.

Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,

Nathan

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, how does one "manually" clean the heads because pushing the buttons on the printer top did not solve the problem.
Thanks,
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

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. This is the printhead.

You'll remove the ink cartridges from the printer, then clean on the bottom of them (focus on the ink port/hole) as well as inside the printer where they mate up 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.

When cleaning the port on the print head that the ink flows into from the cartridge, also try using a qtip to "pump" the liquid down into the port and force it through, which will help to dissolve any clogs. If possible, you'll get better results by using a syringe and appropriately sized rubber tubing (that will fit into the ink inlet port) to force the alcohol to flush through the head)

After all of this swab again with a few dry qtips or give a blast of compressed air to dry everything well, then put it all back together. You can now try to print, or run the automated print head cleaning function in the setup menu. You may have to run a few pages through before everything starts flowing properly again.

If none of this helps, then you've got a faulty print head(s) which would need to be replaced.