Printers today are awesome because you do not need technical know-how to maintain them.
All it takes is a few mouse clicks and you should be good to go.
But how do you know if a printer needs routine maintenance?
Today, I will show you several tell-tale signs that you need to get on it and do some maintenance.
Do this regularly, and it will help prolong the working life of your printer.
1. Blurry Lines and Blots on the Print
If the colors are bad, or if there are weird lines in the print, then it is time for maintenance. The same goes if the ink is blotting on the paper.
No matter how short these lines are, you must do printer maintenance. If you don’t, these lines will continue to expand, and you will have a problem later on.
If you have blots, it means that the ink rollers are loose. It can also happen to the thermal ribbon. If this is the case, you need the help of a technician.
White lines between the letters also happen if the printer head is already clogged. To fix it, run the cleaning cycle program of your printer.
You may need to do this several times until the lines are gone.
Another method that people use is cartridge checking. You can remove the cartridge and then check if it has damages or cracks.
Unfortunately, you have to replace the cartridge with a new one.
On some occasions, there is dried ink on the cartridge. If you are lucky, you only have to wipe the cartridge clean to fix it.
Get a clean cotton and wipe the dried blot of ink, and you should be fine.
2. The Printer is Making Weird Sounds
Printers are supposed to be quiet. If yours is making noise and weird sounds, it is time to run not just maintenance but repair.
Pretty much, it is a signal that the printer has loose screws and joints inside.
Perhaps the two most common sounds you would hear are grinding and whirling. If you do hear these things, do not procrastinate—take them to a repair show now, as you will only aggravate the damage.
3. Frequent Paper Jams
Frequent paper jams happen because the rollers are loose. It is alright if it happens from time to time, but if it happens daily, there is a problem inside the printer.
Usually, paper jams happen if there is a piece of paper already stuck in the printer. Because of this, the distribution of the paper inside the roller is uneven.
It is also possible that the jam is happening because of too many papers in the tray. The roller feeds on several pieces, and then the jam happens.
If you are sure that the normal causes are not the source of the issue, then you must take the printer to a technician. The professional printer repair service personnel have to dismantle the printer and fix the loose rollers.
4. You Get a Lot of Error Codes
Sometimes you get error codes to show on your PC, and you wonder why there is a problem. It is normal, since the software is telling you what the problem with your printer is.
For example, you may get a warning that the paper is out or that the ink is out.
If you get these warnings frequently, even if the errors are not real, then you have a problem. The one thing you must do for now is to uninstall the driver, then reinstall a new one. You can also update your drivers online.
When reinstalling the printer driver, do not use what is on the CD ROM. That driver is already outdated. What you want to do is visit the manufacturer’s website and download the new driver.
Usually, turning the printer off and restarting it should fix the issue. In the worst-case scenario, there may be a problem with the printer’s internal electronics.
If the brain box of the printer is damaged, it will send signals to your PC when it does not have to.
If you think this is the case, you must rake the printer to qualified service personnel. Do not tinker with the printer yourself, as you can do more damage to it than what it already has.
Common Printer Problems
In this section, I want to talk about some of the most common printer problems that may happen to you.
The printer is unresponsive
If the printer does not seem to respond, it is likely that it is not powered on. Make sure that it is on and that the printer is connected to your PC. Sometimes, it is better to connect the printer via cable than WiFi.
If they are connected, make sure that the PC is recognizing them. Go to your control panel and look for your devices. If the printer is not there, you need to reinstall the driver.
The printer is not printing
The printer will not print if the cartridge is out of ink. It is possible that the cartridge is already damaged, so you must buy a replacement.
It is also likely that the printer is not connected to your PC, or that it is out of paper. Whatever the reason, the PC should show a window explaining why there is a problem with the printer.
Sometimes, it is also likely that you have a pending job in your print queue. If this is the case, cancel the print queue, and then attempt to print the new document again.
The print quality is bad
The most common culprit here is ink. You are out of ink, and it is why the print quality is bad. If the cartridge is damaged, you will also get bad print quality.
Sometimes, you just need to do printer maintenance. If the nozzles are clogged, the printer will not print well. Make sure you follow the instruction manual for your printer when doing maintenance.
If you can buy a printer with a continuous ink system, do it. If you are currently using a printer that still makes use of cartridges, make sure you only buy original cartridges.
The printer will not scan
Usually, this problem only happens if the scanner is not recognized by the printer. It almost usually is a driver problem.
The solution is to get the most recent driver for the printer and install it or update your current one. If this does not work, it is possible that the scanner is damaged. This happens mostly if you keep on moving the printer or if you dropped it. If this is the case, take the printer to a technician.
Summary: how do you know if a printer needs routine maintenance?
Printer maintenance is something you must do at the first signs of problems. Typically, you must do this if you see lines in the print or if the color is not right.
Printers today are easy to maintain. It only takes a few clicks and a few minutes of your time. Do the maintenance work as soon as you spot the issue. If you don’t, you will exacerbate the problem and make it worse.