3 Laser Printer Common Issues and Solutions

Printers are a great thing and an irreplaceable office asset. They are also the perfect finish for a home office, allowing users the convenience and ease of use until they start presenting a maddening range of problems for their users. A few simple mistakes can spark several problems with both your machine and its capability to print high quality documents. By making a few alterations to your machine and computer, such issues can be resolved to increase productivity and boost the output of your business.

Paper jam

For example, a paper jam is a common problem that occurs with all printers. You can first try checking that the printer is actually jammed, checking the printer readout, or locating the source of the jam. Some of the best places to check for printer jams include:

  • The paper tray
  • The paper feeder
  • Inside of the printer

Gently removing any paper you’ve found that is wrinkled or misaligned is usually the solution to some of the most common printer problems, and it should solve your issue. By far the most common cause of paper jams is paper misalignment, causing small shreds of paper to get stuck somewhere in the paper feed mechanism. Be sure to square off the stack of paper before inserting it into the tray, be sure the guides are even with the paper and avoid over-filling the tray. Just like a ceiling fan collects dust, printers do as well. Dust collecting also clogs machines and can lead to paper jams. Just a simple cleanup of removing dust off of printer rollers and feed trays can resolve the problem. Use a lint-free microfiber cloth or alcohol-based cleaner to clean print rollers. Try to keep your printer clean, dry and dust-free from the inside.

Time to replace toner cartridges

Printers warn that the toner is running out before it actually does. If you print only occasionally the remaining toner might last another couple of weeks, if not months.

Order new cartridges as soon as the message appears, but don’t install them until it either stops printing or the colors fade. A trick with laser printers is to remove the cartridge that's running low and shake it gently from side to side. This sometimes allows the rest of the toner to be used. In other cases a counter is used and once a certain number of pages have been printed, the cartridge will be deemed as empty.

Printed Text looks lousy

As you now know, printers vary widely in text quality. Make sure your print settings are correct by switching from draft-mode to high quality mode. With laser printers, it may mean that the toner has settled. Remove the cartridges and shake them gently side to side. Often times a cartridge will respond to this, though sooner or later you will need to replace the cartridges.

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