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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 25874
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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C88 printer:Nozzles cleaned 3 times, still get fuzzy test

Customer Question

C88 printer:Nozzles cleaned 3 times, still get fuzzy test results.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 2 years 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.

Does this happen on black only as well as color prints?
If you run the nozzle check test page, how does that come out?

Are you using genuine epson ink, or generic/refilled ink?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The nozzle test page shows blurrs in the lines.
I have only tried black ink
I am using generic/refilled ink--that should not be the problem, it never has been.
Expert:  Nathan replied 2 years ago.

Generic inks are notoriously inconsistent in quality. They can work well sometimes and cause problems in others.

Those inks are specifically not recommended by Epson (and every other manufacturer) because the pigment are not as fine and easily clog the nozzles, leading to fuzzy or no printing at all. This can lead to the head being permanently damaged as well.

Run the head clean again, up to 5 times total. If it still doesn’t print well, 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 2007 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, which costs about $125; 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.

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


If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please do remember to rate my service prior to logging off, hopefully I have earned an “excellent”, even if the news was not. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at

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