Troubleshooting tips: What to do if your laser printer is printing too light (Lexmark, Dell, InfoPrint laser printers)

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You just installed a brand new toner cartridge and after a few print jobs, you notice the letters and pictures on the page looked washed out, too light. Now what? That’s the only printer you have, and if you can’t print critical documents for your business, you could be in big trouble.

Despite the digital revolution of electronic documentation, printing is still a vital aspect of running a business. Customers still need prescriptions. Shippers still need packing slips. Employees still need paychecks. So what do you do if your printer is printing too light?

Your printer not printing dark enough can be a symptom of incorrect printer settings, a defective printer component, or a defective toner cartridge. Here are some troubleshooting tips you can use to diagnose the problem:

1. Check the toner darkness settings. Sometimes light print can be remedied by simply changing the toner darkness setting in the printer. To change the setting, go to MENU>>SETTINGS>>QUALITY MENU>>TONER DARKNESS. Increase the darkness and send a test print to see if that fixes the issue.

2. Check the media settings. Are you printing on anything besides plain white paper? Sometimes you will see light print if you’re printing on other media like labels or cardstock and your printer still thinks it’s printing on plain paper. To correct this setting, go to MENU>>PAPER MENU>>PAPER SIZE/TYPE>>TRAY #. Select the tray your media is in and change the setting to labels or cardstock or whatever else you’re using. Send a test print and see if that fixes the issue. (see video instructions for changing media settings)

3. Check the toner cartridge. If the above steps didn’t work, now it’s time to examine the toner cartridge. First, print a device statistics report. This will give you more information about the printer and the installed toner cartridge. Go to MENU>>REPORTS>>DEVICE STATISTICS. Look for the heading that says “Supply Information” and the subheading “Sides on Cart”. This will tell you exactly how many pages have been printed on the toner cartridge. If it’s getting to the end of it’s life, the printer may have used up the toner and it’s simply time to replace the cartridge. If it is a new cartridge, then replace it with another cartridge and see if you’re still getting light print with the new cartridge.

4. Check the components of the printer. If you were able to replicate the light print with two different toner cartridges, there’s a good chance one of the components in the printer is worn and needs to be replaced. The simplest components to replace are the transfer roller or the primary charge roller (PCR). Each of these will run you about $40 but they are easy to replace. Don’t skimp on the these components. If you get after market rollers you will only save about $5 and lose quality. If you need help replacing these parts, give us a call and we will walk you through it 800-587-1173. After swapping out these parts, send a test print again and see if that fixes the light print.

If you followed all these steps and are still getting light print, you may need to hire a professional to service the printer. You can always contact and get free tech support over the phone and we will be happy to troubleshoot with you. Contact 800-587-1173 and you will talk to a real human. Happy printing!

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