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Printer is Making a Squeaking or a Grinding Noise

Document ID:SO1595
 
  Properties  

Problem

Noisy printer; Printer is too loud; Printer is making a squeaking noise; Printer is making a grinding noise; Gear skipping noise; Squeaking rollers

Environment

The printer has very few parts that would produce a squeaking sound or a grinding noise. A squeaking noise usually indicates a roller problem of some sort.

Solution

Check the printer thoroughly for any small pieces of paper caught on a roller in the printer. If your printer is making a grinding noise, you may have a loose gear or roller in the printer.

  • If the noises started shortly after you installed a toner cartridge, turn off the printer and pull out this toner cartridge. Look up into the printer where this toner went. Make sure that both the charge roller and the transfer roller are still seated in the printer properly.


    • The charge roller is a tan-colored or gray roller attached to the inside of your top lid. Remove the toner cartridge from your printer. Close the top lid halfway with the cartridge still out. You will see the charge roller come down as you lower the top lid. Make sure that the charge roller is installed correctly within the two black arms on each end and that the roller does spin freely.

    • The transfer roller is the black, spongy roller in the bottom of the printer, under the toner cartridge. Push lightly down on it at both ends to make sure it is seated properly in its housing. NOTE: Try not to touch the charge roller with your bare hands. It is susceptible to the oil and may cause a permanent fingerprint to remain on the roller surface.

    • When you have checked the charge roller and the transfer roller, look around inside the printer. See if you can find any rollers that look loose or broken inside. Also look for any loose shreds of paper. If you do find a loose or broken part, you printer will probably require service to fix the problem.
       

  • If the rollers look fine, go ahead and reinstall the toner cartridge. If the squeaking/grinding noise continues and none of the rollers looks out of place, try swapping out the toner cartridge. There is a small chance that the toner cartridge is causing the squeaking/grinding noise. If you have any extra toner cartridges in stock, try another toner cartridge and see if that clears up the noise. If you have another working printer of the same model, try swapping the toner cartridges. See if the problem follows the toner cartridge or stays with the printer.
    If replacing the cartridge does not cause the noises to go away, there are a few other things you can do to help pinpoint the source of the noise.
     

  • If the noise continues on the main printer, try opening the rear exit door while printing. See if you can tell if the grinding noise might be coming from one of those rear exit rollers/gears. If it does sound like it is coming from the rear of the printer, again look for any loose or broken part or any small pieces of paper.
     

  • If you have added any additional feed options (like a tray 2 or 3 option, duplex option, or envelope feeder), please remove these options. Try printing a few prints without these feed options attached. This will eliminate one of the feed options as the cause. If the noise goes away when you remove the options, reattach them one at a time. If the noise returns on one specific option, a roller or gear on that option may be the cause of the noise.
     

  • Is your printer making a rhythmic THUMP - THUMP - THUMP - THUMP noise when printing? This noise is a side-effect of a feature called Envelope Enhance. The Envelope Enhance feature is built into the fuser unit of the printer to help keep envelopes from wrinkling. This sound is perfectly safe and normal if the printer is printing on envelopes. If you are not printing on envelopes when you hear this noise OR if you want more information on this feature, please click here.  NOTE: Not all printers have the Envelope Enhance feature. If you cannot find an Envelope Enhance setting on your printer, please consult the User's Guide of your printer to see if this feature is available.

If none of the above fixes eliminates the noise, the printer will probably need service to return it to working condition. For example, does the printer make a loud whirring/siren type noise when printing? If that is the type of noise you are hearing, turn off the printer while the noise is occurring. Does the noise go away within a second or two? Or does it slowly dissipate away over the course of five to twenty seconds? A slowly dissipating siren/whirring noise indicates a failing mirror motor in the printhead laser unit. The printhead laser unit will have to be replaced.
 


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