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Lexmark MS71x, MS81x, MX71x, & MX81x – Printing Noise, Error codes: 31.46 or 31.66 and 201.22, and/or Print Quality Issue (Fine Horizontal Bands)

Document ID:TE513

Usergroup :External
03/07/14 Properties  


31.xx; 201.xx


This document is applicable to the following Lexmark printer models

  • Single function: Lexmark MS710, MS711, MS810de, MS811, MS812, M5155, M5163, M5163dn, & M5170
  • Multi function: Lexmark MX710, MX711, MX810, MX812, XM5163, XM5170, XM7163, & XM7170



Error Codes 31.46 and 31.66 result when the Imaging Unit (IU) does not receive the expected amount of toner from the cartridge, whereas error code 201.22 results when the motor that drives the cartridge turns more slowly than expected. The most common cause of these errors is a defective toner cartridge.

These errors can also occur if the cartridge shutter is not open. In the image below, the cartridge plunger (A) is used to depress the button (B) on the cartridge. This opens the cartridge shutter, thus allowing toner to flow from the cartridge to the imaging unit when the auger motor turns.

On the other hand, many gears throughout the printer can cause grinding/thumping sounds when they are damaged. The gears found within the toner cartridge will also make these noises when damaged or broken, and which can result in 31.46 and 31.66 messages.

Click Image to Enlarge

The following symptoms and errors could occur during printer operation:

  • Noise from the printer's upper-left side that starts out sounding like a thumping sound and later can lead to very loud grinding noise; see the Sample Noise in the Troubleshooting section below to compare these noises to the sound produced by your printer. 
  • Prior to hearing any grinding noise, you may notice some horizontal banding on every printout. Click here to see a sample print.
  • If the printer renders a cartridge defective, the following errors message may appear: "Re-install missing or unresponsive cartridge [31.46]", "Re-install missing or unresponsive imaging unit [31.66]", and 201.22 Paper Jam.
  • Typically, you can print several pages before seeing an error message. You may see a 201.22 paper jam, yet no paper is stuck inside the printer. This means that the cartridge auger motor has detected an “underspeed” condition. This may occur if the cartridge is rendered defective or the plunger is broken or missing on the right-side control panel hinge. Should the printer render the cartridge as defective, this error may reappear after cartridge reinstallation and subsequent to several prints. 




Step Action Click Image to Enlarge
1 Check for a broken or missing plunger in the right-hand control panel hinge. If the plunger is broken and/or missing, contact Lexmark Technical Support to request service for the printer. Otherwise, proceed with the next step.

If an irregular sound emanates from the device, compare it to the Thumping and Grinding sound examples to the right. Contact Lexmark Technical Support Center for service should any of these sounds be present.

Type of noise
Thumping sound Grinding sound  
Click the links to play the audio files


Replace the toner cartridge with a new one. It is also recommended to update the Firmware to EC3.0 or above, which is found at To acquire a replacement, return the defective cartridge to the point of purchase, or contact Lexmark Technical Support Center.


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Still need help?

If you require additional assistance, please close this window and locate  Get In Touch with Lexmark! for contact information. NOTE: When calling for support, you will need your printer model/machine type and serial number (SN). If you need help locating these, click here.

Please be near the products described in this article to expedite the support process and reduce callbacks.


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