Laser Printer Trouble

Useless troubleshooting suggestions

If you ever have a problem with paper getting crinkled by a laser printer, you can always refer to the troubleshooting section of the user manual. However, whatever make of printer you have, all the manual ever suggests is trying a new stack of dry or different paper, or shuffling the stack, or making sure that the paper guides are set for the right size. All obvious, and nearly always useless, suggestions.

Print fading as well as paper crinkling

I recently visited someone who was having two problems at the same time. One was that every page had faded text on the right-hand side (affecting all colours). The other was that pages kept coming out crinkled up. While looking at various parts of the printer I noticed that the transfer roller had a lot of different coloured toner on its surface, so decided to clean it. I wasn’t expecting this to solve both problems, but thought that it might help to solve the fading trouble.

Cleaning the printer’s transfer roller

A slightly damp microfibre cloth was used to wipe the surface of the transfer roller, and I kept going until hardly any toner was coming off any more, all the time making sure not to touch the surface with my fingers (transfer rollers can be ruined by even a tiny amount of natural oil from the skin). Not only did this solve the fading problem, but it also solved the paper crinkling problem, which can often be caused by the various rollers inside the printer not applying consistent tension as the paper goes through them all. All things considered, quite a quick and easy fix that you’ll probably never find in any official user manual.