Greg Ellis

asked Feb 12, 2005 at 11:55am
Hp HP Color Copier 120

Laserjet 4ML - streaks on the page

My wife just received a Laserjet 4ML as a donation - she does non-profit work.

The mechanicals seem solid - the unit powers up, accepts a job, the paper gets lifted from the tray and feeds through ok, and comes out properly printed and unwrinkled.

But there are uneven grey streaks all over the paper when it comes out; a few different bands of varying width - 2", 1", 1/4", 3". These bands are in a consistent location on every page, and seem to get worse as more pages are printed.

I checked the toner cartridge, and found toner stuck to the cylinder in there, in locations corresponding to the streaks on the printed pages.

I wiped the toner off, rotating the cylinder (using my thumb on the gears) to get at the entire surface, but as I continue to rotate, the deposits of toner slowly come back.

Is this a common failure that occurs within the toner cartridge? Is there a wiper or something in there that's supposed to keep this from happening?

It's a genuine HP cartridge, but I cannot locate a date code, and I suspect that this printer (and cartridge) has sat idle in a closet for a number of years. The printer is dated 1993. I'm not sure how long it's been out of commission.

Is there any likelyhood that the problem lies elsewhere?

I ask because it is a considerable expense to replace the cartridge with a new one. A genuine HP cartridge retails for $120-140 up here in Canada.

Is there any way to fix the cartridge? It seems like there's lots of toner left.
There is no way of you repairing the cartridge. There is a wiper blade that has failed internally. Since there are no separate toner and waste bins in that cartridge, opening one will allow all of it to pour out creating quite a mess. You have to seal the toner bin before refilling it with a special seal. You also have to install a new wiper blade and thouroughly clean the unit. It is absolutely not a job for a do-it-yourselfer. There are 74A remanufactured cartridges available on this site for a good price.

by moe on Feb 12, 2005 at 12:12pm Add comment
Thanks Moe!

I just ordered the replacement cartridge.

You're right, the prices here are very reasonable.
by Greg Ellis on Feb 12, 2005 at 1:00pm Add comment