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3 Top Printer Problems and How to Solve Them

Expert Tips from Aztec to Keep Your Printer Running as It Should


1. Paper Jams

Perhaps the most common and troublesome of all! While paper jams can be frustrating, the fix could be as simple as re-aligning the paper in the paper tray. Make sure to properly insert the paper in the tray, and do not put too much in. If it is not a tray issue, check the rollers for signs of wear. Rollers feed the paper through the machine, and while they degrade with age, they are inexpensive and easy to replace. Be patient: jerking or tearing the paper out of the printer can make things worse.


2. Prints Are Very Light or Faded in Color

If you have an inkjet printer, check to see if the print head is clogged. This can be common on inkjet printers that are used infrequently. Inkjet printers use liquid ink, which can harden on the print head if the cartridge is not regularly used. Check the cartridge’s expiration date as well; ink can dry in old cartridges, which will impact print quality. If you have a laser printer, the toner cartridge could be the problem. Try removing the toner – but, avoid touching the toner roll as it can leave fingerprints. Shake the cartridge back and forth a couple of times to ensure the toner is evenly distributed before placing it back in the printer. Like inkjet cartridges, toner expires: if you do not use the printer often or if the cartridge is too old, the toner can lose its effectiveness.

Sometimes, the type of paper you use can also affect print quality. Not all papers are the same, so you should select an appropriate finish, color, and weight for your specific print job. For example, full color graphics benefit from a heavier paper with a glossy finish to hold the extra pigment, while inexpensive general copy paper is fine for most text documents.


3. Ink or Toner Does Not Stick to Paper or Smears Easily

If your text and images come off the paper when you run your hand across it, there could be a few possible issues at work.


With an inkjet printer, make sure to leave ample time for the print job to dry before touching it, especially if you are creating rich graphics with lots of ink. You might also need a heavier paper that can better absorb and hold the pigment.


With a laser printer, there are a few things to check. First, consider replacing the fuser assembly if it is damaged or old. The fuser is the mechanism that adheres the toner to the page and is a consumable part that degrades with age and eventually requires replacement. Second, try a new toner cartridge. It is possible your cartridge is leaking toner. Third, check to see if toner has spilled into the printer. This can occasionally happen in heavily used devices over time. Your technician can clean the printer for you.


How Aztec Helps

When you work with Aztec, you do not need to solve these issues alone. Our print hardware and both OEM and compatible supplies are engineered to high standards and covered by warranties to protect against rare defects. Even better, with a printer or copier service plan, our team of dedicated field technicians and telephone support agents can help resolve issues fast. You could even be eligible for a free service plan if you buy toner from us. While it is impossible to guarantee a problem-free print environment, you can rest assured Aztec is here to help when you can encounter an issue.

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