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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 25467
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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Epson Stylus C88+

Customer Question

Epson Stylus C88+
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year 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, Donald.

Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Are the paper and ink lights flashing fast at the same time, or alternating?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Same time. I have already explained that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you have a way to fix this? Some kind of answer?
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

You indicated both flashing, it is an important distinction, because they are 2 different things.

This indicates a "fatal error", which is unlikely to be resolvable in a printer of this age.

Specifically. This message indicates a carriage fault. That can be caused by anything from debris/obstruction (paper jam, bent/damaged rails, out of place purge assembly/wiper, or dirty/dislocated encoder strip) to an actual hardware defect (bad sensor or control board, faulty carriage drive motor/gear/belt, bad printhead/carriage pcb).

What we can try here are some cleaning and reset steps.
First, open up the printer, and check for any internal debris such as scraps of paper, paperclip or staple, etc. Check if you’re able to move the carriage manually, or if it moves on its own when lifting the lid. If it does move, you can proceed with cleaning by blowing out the inside compartment with compressed air and checking carefully on both sides for any obstructions. Then wipe down the encoder strip, which is a clear plastic strip running the width of the printer, that sits just slightly above and behind the carriage.

Then reset the machine:
unplug power at the wall outlet
wait 5 minutes
press and hold the power/on button for 60+ seconds
keep holding while plugging back in, and for another 60 seconds after, then release

Let me know the results, and I’ll advise further if needed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That did not fix it. Lights still flashing the same. I will just order a new C88+. I keep a new one on hand all the time. It works exceedingly well and is not read expensive, considering that you get four new ink cartridges with it. I DO NOT want to pay a monthly fee for this service. And your answer did not fix my printer.
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for trying,

that confirms a carriage drive fault, and replacement is the best recourse:

I agree, they are good little printers, and if you have a stock of ink for it, replacement is the best recourse here. They are simply not worth fixing.

You are not obligated to any long term service or subscription, and this would be a one time use otherwise.

I recognize that I could not "fix" the printer in this situation - in cases like this I'm limited to diagnosing the problem and explaining to you the cause and following options (ie replacement is less costly than repairs). These machines are built for a maximum 3 year service life, about half that if using generic inks.

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”. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at

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



Please note:

I am an independent technician and I've spent my personal time, unpaid, in a good faith effort to assist with the question for which you solicited my services. I am only paid for my efforts when customers such as yourself leave positive feedback for my work. Again I apologize there is not a better outcome here, though this is really beyond either of our control. I do hope you’ll consider leaving a positive rating for me, rather than “shoot the messenger”, so that I may get credit for my time spent in good faith to answer your question accurately.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Got an answer pretty quick, but was turned off when asked to choose from several plans of monthly fees. When I got through all that, Nathan got back to me with a procedure to follow that might fix it. Procedure did not work. I will replace with another C88+ like I usually do. This is a real good little printer, especially for color prints.
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the feedback.

The stars at the top of the page will complete the rating step (evaluating me personally). You've paid your fee to the site already, the rating does not cost you more, but it is the only way they credit me a small portion of that for my time spent working with you.

As a side note, if you are a fan of the printer, you may want to buy another or 2 as a spare. It is an old (2007) model, and is officially discontinued now. The c88s won't be available much longer once the current stock is sold out.