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I have a MP640, about 7 years old. Worked fine until

I have a MP640...

I have a MP640, about 7 years old. Worked fine until yesterday. Suddenly, with legal size paper, printout was faint and smudged, with letter size paper, printout was ok. Large black tank 220 had been refilled about a week ago.Did nozzle clean several times yesterday, then deep clean, minimal improvement. The issue is black print only, colours are fine. Purchased new large black tank (220) today. Again did nozzle clean several times, then deep clean. Now with legal size printout, I get a blank page, with letter size printout, I get a fainter print but legible. On a Canon test printout, all the colours come out fine, but BK has a lighter streak down the centre.

Technician's Assistant: Have you tried running your printer's self-cleaning cycle? (Sometimes you have to run this several times to see results.)

I presume you mean nozzle cleaning?

Technician's Assistant: The Printer Technician will be able to walk you through that. Have you tried wiping down the metal contacts on your printer and cartridges?

No. I assume the cartridges would be straight forward, but I would need guidance with the printer contacts.

Technician's Assistant: Anything else you want the Printer Expert to know before I connect you?

That's all, thanks,

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Answered in 10 minutes by:
1/18/2018
Harold Hanna
Harold Hanna, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 342
Experience: Sr System Administrator at General Dynamics
Verified

Hello I am sorry for your printer troubles today. Did you try the deep cleaner a couple times? Sometimes they will recommend doing this as many as four times. Usually you will see a small improvement each time you do it, until the print head and nozzles have finally become completely clean.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hi. I've tried the deep clean at least 6 times, no help.
I've done a Print Head Alignment - it does not match the original at time of initial setup several years ago - it is what I would call defragmented - all of the darker gray rectangles have disappeared (only the lighter gray rectangles remain). 40 Gray boxes originally, now only 12 remain.
I've done a Nozzle Pattern Check - at the very top, Line PGBK (the pattern grid) is missing - Lines C, C, C, M, M, M, Y are fine - Line BK shows a slightly lighter shade of gray longitudinally in the centre.

Alright. So when you did the deep cleaning, there was no improvement whatsoever, or did it help somewhat but not enough to consider it acceptable?

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I am going to opt out as I believe you may be on a different schedule than I am, and I want to make sure you receive assistance as quickly as possible.

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Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 31,399
Experience: Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
Verified

I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today.

Sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with this but I’ll do my best to help you out.

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

It is normal to see the black nozzles fail first as they get the most use, especially on a printer this age or if you've been generic inks.

You can try again going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function repeatedly, up to 10 times total, testing after each.

If it still doesn’t print any better, 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 2008 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 $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. At this point it has served its designed maximum lifespan more than 3 times over and has greatly exceeded any value that could be reasonably expected of it.

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,

Nathan

Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 31,399
Experience: Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
Verified
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