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Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 20362
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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On my Canon pixma mx220 I am getting shadow black text,

Customer Question

On my Canon pixma mx220 I am getting shadow black text, alternating in severity every line (shadow/worse shadow/no shadow/shadow/worse shadow/no shadow/etc.). Tried everything (deep clean, automatic and manual head realignments, etc.). No improvement.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Shefin replied 5 months ago.

Hello!

Thank you for your question. I am Shefin and I look forward to helping you with your issue today.

Please try the following and let me know the response.

Remove all the ink cartridges from the machine.
Then clean the contacts on the cartridges as well as inside the machine itself. Inside means the printhead where the cartrdige seats.
Do this with a small amount of warm water on a cotton swab until no ink comes off on the swab.
If any of the other cartridges are low, empty, leaking or bulging replace them.
Then turn off the machine and unplug it for 5 minutes.
Plug it back it and wait for the insert cartridges message.
Insert the cartridges and check to see if the problem is still there.

If the issue persists, or you have any questions, please be back and let me know.

If you appreciate my service, please rate it EXCELLENT by clicking the EXCELLENT (5 Stars) and Submit. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

Thank you!

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No change in the print quality or the pattern of shadow printing.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I put the wrong model number. It is MX922.
Expert:  Shefin replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

May I know the program you are trying to print from? Is it Excel?

Have you tried printing from other programs?

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Printing from Word. Same thing happens in Excel.
Expert:  Shefin replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

When you clean the printhead and then printing a test page, do you get the same shadows?

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Expert:  Shefin replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

Please try copying like Xerox without using the computer and check if the issue persists.

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Same thing when I just copy from the printer
Expert:  Shefin replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

It seems that the issue is with the Printhead itself. I would suggest you try the cleaning procedure two more time and let me know the response.

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Just to make sure I understand the cleaning procedure-- When I remove the ink cartridges, I see metal contact bands. I clean those. I also see, behind the carriage that holds the cartridges, a series of metal contact bands. Are they the "print heads" that you want me to clean (again)?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Just to make sure I understand the cleaning procedure-- When I remove the ink cartridges, I see metal contact bands ON THE UNDERSIDE OF EACH CARTRIDGE. I clean those. I also see, behind the carriage that holds the cartridges, a series of metal contact bands. Are they the "print heads" that you want me to clean (again)?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What do the printheads look like? Where, exactly, are they located on this printer?
Expert:  Shefin replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

Printhead is where the cartridge seats. Please try the cleaning procedure from the printer control panel.

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I identified the printheads from an internet video, removed the printhead portion of the carriage, thoroughly washed the printheads until no more ink washed out, dried it thoroughly, put it back in the printer. It made NO DIFFERENCE in the printing. Same issue remains.
Expert:  Shefin replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

I apologize that I am out of ideas. If the printhead has clogged, the issue will persist even if cleaned it properly.

I will open the question for other experts.

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Expert:  Nathan replied 5 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.

Can you please tell me specifically how you "washed" the head? There is a lot of misleading and outright bad information on the internet, and if you've used just plain tap water, you've likely done more harm than good and made a bad situation worse. Let me know more about what you've done, and I'll advise further on options.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I washed it with plain warm tap water, until no more ink washed out, and then thoroughly dried it using paper towels and a low heat hair dryer. It had no perceptible effect on the printing.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The "shadow effect" is not constant (it varies, almost in a pattern from one text line to the next, with every third line or so being fine). It does not occur when I print text in red, and does not see to affect colored graphics. A similar occurrence has been reported in the Canon users' group, but I could not find any reported "fix."
Expert:  Nathan replied 5 months ago.
This issue is almost always the result of a bad print head or logic board. Both are highly common failures in this model and part of normal wear and tear. Take the head out again and repeat the cleaning process using running alcohol.
Expert:  Nathan replied 5 months ago.

Do you need more help with this?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I may need more help if your latest suggestion (cleaning with alcohol) does not work). I won't be able to try that until tomorrow.
Expert:  Nathan replied 5 months ago.

Thanks.

To give you more specific detail in case it is needed:

When cleaning, you'll use qtips and alcohol to clean 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.

Expert:  Nathan replied 5 months ago.

Were you able to run through the cleaning process?

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