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Ink Cartridge Troubleshooting Tips

note: we have troubleshooting tips under ourFAQ's section.


Problem: The cartridge doesn’t print.

Possible cause / fix:
The tape or plastic shipping clip that covers the print nozzle might be still there. Remove this and try again. If the problem still persists, blot the cartridge on a damp paper towel until you see the ink.

Problem:  "e;Low Ink"e; Warnings on Lexmark Printers

Possible cause / fix:

Click here for solutions to "e;low ink"e; warnings

Problem: I see smeared print or the print lines are broken or the cartridge prints very light (for a cartridge with print-head).

Possible cause & fix:
The ink may not be coming out of some nozzles properly. Blot the cartridge on a damp paper towel until you see some ink and then try printing again. If the cartridge still doesn’t print well, go to the properties of your printer. Click on Maintenance or Services tab, if available and go through the "e;Clean Print Cartridges"e; procedure. As a next step, print either the black cartridge test page or the color cartridge test page using 'high print quality' setting. Change to standard or normal print quality and print another page. If this doesn't fix the problem, return the cartridge for replacement.

Problem: My printer says the cartridge is empty though I just installed it.

Possible cause & fix:
Most of the time, if you ignore the warning and proceed with printing, the settings get corrected on their own.

Problem: My printer doesn’t recognize the cartridge.

Possible cause & fix:
Check the printer manual to see whether you installed the correct cartridge or not. If it is the correct one, try to print ignoring the warning messages. It should work.

Problem: I installed both the color and black new cartridges. What I see on my print is ugly, messy dark pictures. It looks like the print lines overlapped and the colors are confusing.

Possible cause & fix:
Check whether you installed the cartridges in the right spots. We have seen this problem when the customers accidentally switch the cartridges while installing. Re-install the cartridges in the correct spots and you should get the perfect prints. This check is necessary with some printers that have color coding only for cartridges since the remanufactured cartridges may have different color tops.

Problem: I see leaked ink in the package.

Possible cause & fix:
Very rarely, a little ink might leak out for different reasons. Wipe the cartridge surface and blot the nozzle on a damp cloth. The cartridge is ready for use.

Problem: My color cartridge does not print one of the colors, is missing a color, or prints very faint. How do I get it to work properly?

Possible cause & fix:
Sometimes, during transportation, the cartridge may have been laying on one side, causing the colors to mix, or the print head to dry out. This does happen with both brand new AND remanufactured inks quite often. Try to print few pages using all the colors. This may allow for the missing colors to "e;kick in"e;.

Problem: My ink tank printed one or two pages and then stopped printing.

Possible cause & fix:
The tape that covers the upper hole was not removed. Be sure the sticker on the top of the cartridge has been removed so that the cartridge has air supply then it can print.

Problem: My Compatible or Remanufactured Toner Cartridge is in the printer but won't print or prints light?

Possible cause & fix:
Most toners are provided with a removable strip (sealing tape) to protect the drum during shipping, be sure that this strip has been fully removed by pulling out the tab on one end (usually the right side) of the cartridge then insert the cartridge into the printer.

Problem: Sometimes an ink cartridge can have problems due to dirty printer. Dirty printers can create problems for both OEM and remanufactured cartridges.

The answer is a clean printer. You will need cotton swabs, warm water, paper towels and a flash light. You need to get the cartridge carriage to move off the docking station and to the middle of the printer. Usually you need to turn the printer on and open the cover. Sometimes there is a cartridge button to push. With the carriage in the middle, unplug the printer - this keeps the carriage moving unexpectedly. Use a flashlight to see the docking station if needed.

Clean the rubber seats in the docking station with cotton swabs and warm water. The seats are usually square and match the size of the nozzle plate. If there is a wiper blade, it will be about a quarter inch long and just to the left of the docking station - clean it as well. Now remove the cartridge from the carriage. Soak a paper towel and then squeeze out the excess water. Fold it long ways several times until it is about 12 inches by 1 inch, several layers thick. With a handhold on each end of the towel, slide the towel back and forth as it goes under the carriage - some carriages can be lifted up slightly to make this process easier.

While the above tips give general guidelines, we suggest you to refer to your printer manual for specific maintenance instructions.



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