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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 23611
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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I have an MP480. After refilling the blank ink cartridge,

Customer Question

I have an MP480. After refilling the blank ink cartridge, the printer did not recognize a full cartridge. I ran the thorough clean print heads , several times, but to no avail. So, with a full black ink cartridge, the printer says I am out of ink and will not print. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 12 months 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.

There are a few possible causes of this issue, including a bad cartridge, internal debris/contamination, or a hardware failure (bad printhead, bad logic board, faulty sensor, etc).

The head cleaning from the menu cannot fix this, and in all likelihood the only resolution will come from replacing with a new OEM ink cartridge. These are not designed to be refilled and rarely work well when you try.

What we can try are some cleaning and reset steps.

First remove all of the ink cartridges, then clean the metal electrical contacts on the back, as well as where they mate up inside the printer, using qtips and rubbing alcohol. Dry well, then reseat the cartridges.

Then reset the machine:
unplug power at the wall outlet
wait 5 minutes
press and hold the power/on button for 60+ seconds
keep holding while plugging back in, and for another 60 seconds after, then release

Let me know the results, and I'll advise further if needed.


Customer: replied 12 months ago.
No change.
Expert:  Nathan replied 12 months ago.

Thanks for trying.

That does tend to indicate a hardware fault, which is not surprising for a printer of this age.
The next step if you wished to proceed with this printer, would be to replace it with a new OEM canon ink (not generic, not refilled, etc):

If that does not help (or if you don't want to try), then it would indicate a faulty printhead (or the logic board that controls it).

The head is a "wear item" that fails with age/use. As this is a 2008 model printer, it is well 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/carriage assembly, which costs about $85; if the logic board is bad you’re looking at $200-250. For $80-100 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.

Depending how you'd like to proceed, I can advise on finding parts, finding a local repair shop, or recommending replacement options for you. Just let me know.

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


Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you, Nathan. I guess replacing the unit is in order, but am not ready to do so at this time. I was so hoping that you would be able to help me with an easy fix to this unit. While I am pleased with your advice, I am disappointed in the outcome.
Expert:  Nathan replied 12 months ago.

I do wish I had a better outcome for you as well, but this type of failure is really to be expected at this point. The printer is at nearly 3 times its designed lifespan and has greatly exceeded any reasonable value that could be expected of it. That is especially true if using generic or refilled inks which accelerate the wear on the printer by about 3x.

If looking for a replacement, I’d recommend any of the Epson workforce series printers. They tend to be very reliable, are easy to set up and use, have good print quality, and reasonably priced ink. Example: or

Note that these, like all consumer grade inkjet printers, are designed to be low cost and are essentially disposable after a few years, subsidized by the high cost of ink cartridges. If you wish to have a better quality and longer lasting printer, that comes with years worth of ink up front, consider the Epson ecotank models instead:

Alternately, for a more business/commercial grade product that will be rated for a 5 year life, consider a laser printer. Lasers cost more up front also, but a toner cartridge can last for thousands of pages. A black only all in one laser is around $125:

while a color model is about twice that:

If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please take a moment to rate my service using the stars at the top of the page; hopefully I have earned 5 Stars. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at and ask for Nathan.

Thank you, ***** ***** a good day,


Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** your advice. Patrick
Expert:  Nathan replied 12 months ago.

You are very welcome, Patrick.

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