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Freddy M.
Freddy M., Technician
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 18398
Experience:  Years of IT and customer support experience
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HP C5280 All in one I get a grinding sound as if the printhead

Resolved Question:

HP C5280 All in one
I get a grinding sound as if the printhead gearing is slipping. Can this be fixed?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Where exactly is the sound coming from if you listen closely? If the print head is moving does the sound move with it?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

When I switch on printer, I get grinding/rapid clicking sound from Righ hand side where cartridges are. the cartridges move across and back to right side and then noise starts again and creates a a vibration as if the motor is tring to send the cartridges further to the right.

The screen dispkays message to clear cartridge jam, but I can see no jam. I can move the cartridge by hand to the left without any noise/vibration.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Turn the machine off and unplug it.
Then look inside the cartridge access with a flashlight.
Make sure the tabs above the cartridge did not pop up.
If they did use something long and thin to push then back down like a flat head screwdriver.
Then look below them there is a small sponge like pad that sometimes gets caught on the bottom.
If it is there push it back down (it will be covered in ink).
After that manually move the print head back and forth 3 or 4 times.
Then leave it in the middle of the guide bar.
Hold down the power button for 30 seconds with the machine still unplugged.
Then plug it back in and turn it on.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I cannot see any tabs, I have removed ink cartridges and reinstalled them, I have looked under the cart and cannoit see sponge - there is a small brush on the far right facing up towards the cart. This does not appear to push down.

When I power on, the printer goes through a diagnostic and still comes back with the paper jam message and the rapid clicking returns.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Can you push the brush back? It should not be sticking out far enough for you to see it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The brush is approx 300mm long x 8mm wide with gold-coloured soft bristles. It does no appear to be moveable in any direction.
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Is there any way you could take a picture for me?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have taken two photos of the right hand side with the ink cartridges moved away to the leftgraphic
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
It looks like there is a lot of ink next to it, or possibly some lubricant is there or is it a reflection? I want to make sure before having you try anything.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
On right hand side near brush there is a sqare hole abour 25mm square. there, what looks like, is a lot of congeled ink. Sholuld I remove this?
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
First please slightly wiggle the brush is it loose? The congealed ink may be your absorber I can't tell for sure from the photo. If it is the absorber it would feel similar to a sponge.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The brush is not loose and won't wiggle. There may have been a sponge at the bottom, but if it was, it is so filled with congeled ink that it is a soft solid mass. It obviously cant absorb any more.
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Ok if it is solid that may be what's causing the sound. Remove it and run it under warm water. Then let it dry for a couple minutes and test the machine. If it is still hard after running it under warm water it would need to be replaced. They are cheap and cost under $5 normally.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have removed the congeled ink, but there is no sponge there - it is the texture of soft clay. Underneath it appears to be fabric, but this is quite thin - about 1mm thick and about 20mm square. Could this have been the sponge? I don't see how it is attached - it looks like it is stuck down.
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Yes that could have been it and I am not sure what would cause that to happen to it. Clean out the ink and insert something to be used as an absorber for not a cut up sponge should work. Then test it make sure to clean around the tank the absorber goes in as well. If the problem goes away please replace the sponge with an absorber when you can.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Will it work if I carefully clean out the old ink with a flat screwdriver and then remove this fabric absorber completely?

I won't be able to clean it too well tonight - I shall need to buy some cotton buds or something to be able to get into the area to clean it.

Will this solve the problem?

Will methylateds spirit act as a solvent to use on cotton buds toi do a final clean?

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Do not use anything but warm water and a lint free cloth or cotton swabs. A flat head screwdriver can damage the machine and so can any chemical solvents like alcohol. When the ink gets wet with warm water it should loosen.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I thought that HP inks were waterproof so they don't run when printed on envelopes that may get wet with rain in the postal system.

I am naturally cautious about using water in electrical equipment in case there is some residue when I switch on the power again.

It looks like we've gone as far as we can tonight until I buy some cotton buds.

When I've cleaned the well, will the printer work without a sponge so that I can test it?

Where do I get a sponge and how do I attach it?

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Yes it should, and any local computer shop should have them. To insert it all you have to do is put it in. It is not like other parts that need assembling or need to be put in a certain way. Only put the water on the end of the cotton swab. You can use a plastic spatula instead of the flat head just don't use anything metal.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

OK, I will try that tomorrow.

When this is successful, can I get back to you to "AcceptAnswer" tomorrow?

(If this is not successful, then we can try other solutions, maybe)

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Yes please come back and let me know the results when you can, you can get back to me by going to and clicking on my questions at the top. If it does not work we will continue to troubleshoot it until either we find the problem or I am out of ideas.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

........Keep thinking !!!


Good night.



Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Freddy,

I have cleaned the area beneath the ink carriage parking position on the left. I found the sponge which was under the flap with the sticker printed with the coloured shapes (Triangle, Pentangle & Square).
I still get the noise like the gears are slipping when the printer does its' diagnostics. Still get message about carriage jam. Still difficult to identify where noise is coming from. It could be the gears at the right hand end of the paper-transporting rollers which is very near the carriage parking position.
Any gear-slipping is not visible.
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Try lubricating the gears with silicon oil and check the bar the print head is on, make sure it is level. Either problem could cause this to happen. Unfortunately when it is none of this it usually means that the print head itself has gotten damaged and needs to be replaced.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The bar is level. Will WD40 be suitable lublicant?
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
No never use WD40 on a printer it can be very bad for the Cogs only use silicon oil.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK. I shall have to go and buy some. Do you have any Brands that I should look for?
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Any brand will work any local hardware or computer shop should carry it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have purchased Silicon Spray lubricant and sprayed the gears. The problem still exists.
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Did you make sure to let the turn a few times? If they didn't or you can't see some you should be able to manually turn it and spray it until the gear stops making any type of squeak sound.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have sprayed it a couple more times and switched it off andf on so that it performs diagnostic routine. The cogs perform a number of revolutions, so the lubricant should transfer to all parts of the gears.. Still same problem. I cannot turn the paper feed cogs by hand
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately that normally means the print head has gotten damaged and needs to be replaced.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is that something a Computer store can do, or does it have to go back to HP?
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
Any local computer shop could do it however I would call around first as it can sometimes be more expensive to replace than the machine itself. The part costs about $60 and about an hour later which is $60 normally as well. If the machine is less than a year old is should be covered by HP's warranty. They would just have you try some of the things I already had you do over the phone first.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Looks like we've hit the buffers on this one.#

Thanks for your attempts to solve the problem, but disappointed that it was not successful.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 5 years ago.
I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX could have solved it without a part as well but that is not always possible. I did my best to help you solve it without that.
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