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Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 20313
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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My Canon PIXMA MP500 just started printing only every other

Customer Question

Hi there. My Canon PIXMA MP500 just started printing only every other line of documents... how do I fix it?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble with this but I'll do my best to help you.

Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

Hello, Charlie.

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head (or the logic board that controls it).

You can try again going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function repeatedly, up to 5 times total, testing after each.

If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning as a next step.

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 2005 model printer, it is well past its 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising. At this point the printer has served its designed maximum lifespan nearly 4 times over and greatly exceeded any value that could be reasonably expected of it.

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 $80-100 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.

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.

My apologies for the news.

If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please take a moment to rate my service as this is the only way I am credited for my time. Hopefully I have earned 5 Stars but if not please let me know what I can do to ensure you are satisfied. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at http://bit.ly/1QwLxGh and ask for Nathan.

Thank you, ***** ***** a nice day,

Nathan

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I will perform a few more cleanings. do you know if a newer model would use the same ink as I just purchased a whole bunch of ink for it....?
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

No there is not unfortunately. This model has been obsolete for 10 years now and they purposely change the ink cartridge format with every new model year, though honestly even if it would fit there are no current canon models that I would recommend. Their quality has gone down considerably in recent years.

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: http://amzn.to/29wF4OP or http://amzn.to/1NYUF1P

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: http://amzn.to/1PpOj0C

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: http://amzn.to/1JSHOlQ

while a color model is about twice that: http://amzn.to/1n4I7Q5

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My printer has no problem printing pictures. only documents... does that give you more of a clue as to the source of the problem?
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

The answer really does not change at all, it is exactly what I described, just that the black nozzles are the specific problem. This is typical as black tends to get the most use and thus fails first.

Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

Do you need more help with this?

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