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Dustin, Printer Repair Specialist
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 13321
Experience:  A deep understanding and technical prowess in the finer points of printing and printer repair. Also worked in The US Army as A Network Switching Systems Operator/Controller
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The quality of our printing is not to the level we have seen

Customer Question

Hello, the quality of our printing is not to the level we have seen in the past. Some of the printing is lighter than the rest. How can this be fixed on an HL-3170CDW.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to assist you.

I know you had mentioned you tried some of these steps already. I want to make sure we are trying them from the machines control panel, and not from the computer.

Lets start first with some routine maintenance. Lets try a color calibration from the printers control panel first.

  1. Press + or - to choose Color Correction. Press OK.
  2. Press + or - to choose ColorCalibration. Press OK.
  3. Press OK to choose Calibrate.
  4. Press + to choose Yes.

Once thats complete.. Try a test print again. If the results are the same, continue below~

Lets turn off toner save mode next.

  1. Press the + or - to choose General Setup. Press OK.
  2. Press the + or - to choose Ecology. Press OK.
  3. Press the + or - to choose Toner Save. Press OK.
  4. Choose "Off" or "On". Press OK.

Now if you try both of the above steps and the behavior persists, then please send a reply so you can I can continue this discussion.

Thank you.

I strive to provide great service, and greatly appreciate a rating of excellent ( 5 stars ) selected and submitted below this answer or at the top right of the screen. I always answer follow up questions.

Dustin S.

Senior Technician and Network Switching Systems Operator / Maintainer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have tried that and it does not help.

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

To be clear.. you initiated both commands from the printers physical control panel.

And not from your PC or mac software?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Ok.. So if you have carried out all the normal software maintenance. Including a drum cleaning. Then have you tried replacing the drum, or cartridges as of yet?

Probably the drum first...

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We replaced the black cartridge but have not replaced the drum. It is a newer printer. Is replacing the drum the next step?

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.


How new is it? Best estimate.

And how many pages have you printed with it. Best estimate?

And have you had any electrical storms, power failures, brownouts, etc..

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We have had it about 60 days. Probably printed(###) ###-####pages. There has been no power outages that I know of.

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

That seems a bit new to need to replace the drum.

Question. What type of computer are you printing from. Windows xp, vista, windows 7, 8, 10 ? mac?

What software are you printing from. Word, Elements premiere, etc

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I found out we have had it since the end of June. But the printing estimate is correct. I use a Mac, and we have a PC that is used sometimes. The quality has always been better from the Mac. We print from word and acrobat.

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

So youre saying.. If you print the same exact document, from the mac or pc right now .. The mac quality will be better..

Same paper, same document, same printer, only difference being mac vs pc..


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, but all printing has the same problem now. The quality was different before the print became faded in areas.

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Ahh.. ok.. so the issue is now persistent across all machines.. So the eliminates software again.

One more question.. Did you buy the printer new or used?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We bought it new.

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Understood. Im due for my dinner break. When I return Ill do a bit of research to try and avoid returning this and getting a warranty repair.

Which may be the outcome.

Will let you know what seems to be the best option in my next message.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK, sounds good. Thank you.

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

This may not fix the issue.. but its a quick step and worth the shot.. It may improve the color density by helping the ink fuse / fix to the paper better.

Also, could you print this page..

If only one color has the issue. Then we just need to replace that color.. Hopefully, thats all we need to do.

because if those steps dont work. Replacing the drum is in order. And I wouldnt expect you to have to pay for that expensive part yourself since the printer is barely 60 days old.

Below is the customer service contact number and hours for brother. If it comes down to this being an issue where the drum needs to be replaced, or the fixing unit. And its looking like one or the other at this point. Then the number below is where you want to start to find out how to submit the printer for a free warranty repair.

1-877-BROTHER(###) ###-####

M-F, 9:00am to 9:00pm Eastern Time

Again though.. Id still like to try the setting change, and print that test page. It could just be a bad cartridge or cartridge fault. If we can repair this together that will save you from going without the printer during the shipping and repair process.

Dustin S.

Senior Technician and Network Switching Systems Operator / Maintainer.