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The Print is Coming out Light or Faded, or Part of the Print is Missing, on a Lexmark E350d, E352dn, E450dn Printer

Document ID:SO3623

Usergroup :External


Print quality issue; Light print; Missing print; Faded print; Blank pages; Voids; Error: "Toner Low"


What You Will See

The print will appear light or faded on the page. There are several possible causes of this issue. In most cases, the toner cartridge is simply low on toner.  If there is a Toner Low message on the printer screen, this is the most likely cause of the light print.

Remove and Shake the Toner Cartridge

  1. As a test, remove the toner cartridge.

  2. Firmly shake the cartridge from side to side and from front to back several times to redistribute any remaining toner. 

  3. Insert the cartridge back into the printer and try printing again.

    • If this clears up the issue, the toner cartridge is low, or getting low, on toner. NOTE: You can repeat this procedure several times. However, once the print remains faded, the cartridge will need to be replaced. It is advisable to obtain a replacement toner cartridge when the current cartridge begins to run low on toner.

    • If lightly shaking the toner cartridge does not fix the issue, there are other tests you can perform to diagnose and resolve the problem. See below.

Check/Change the Toner Darkness/Density Setting

The Toner Darkness setting may too light. Select a higher toner darkness setting in the printer driver and try sending the job to the printer again. NOTE: The default toner darkness setting is 8.
You can access the Toner Darkness setting through the menus on the printer operator panel.

  • On the E350d and E352dn models, enter the printer menus, select QUALITY MENU, and then select Toner Darkness.

  • On the E450dn, enter the printer menus, select Settings, select Quality Menu, then select Toner Darkness.

Print on Plain Copy Paper

Certain specialty papers, letterhead stock, label stock, and light card stock do not allow toner to adhere as well as plain paper. This is especially true of media that is textured or has a rough surface.
Try printing with plain 20 - 24 lb copy paper, if you are not already doing so. You should try this even if the paper you are currently using has worked in the past. This will eliminate special print media as part of the cause of the problem.

Light Print with No Toner Low Message (350d/352dn models ONLY)

On the Lexmark E350d and E352dn models, you may see light print before any Toner Low alert is indicated. This can occur when very small jobs (1-2 pages) are printed through the life of the cartridge.
  1. To determine if low toner is the likely cause of the issue, print out the Device Statistics page from the printer menus. To do this, enter the printer menus, select UTILITIES MENU, and then select Print Stats. If the vast majority of the print jobs are 1-2 pages in length, the toner cartridge is likely low on toner.
  2. Try shaking the toner cartridge to see if that has an effect. If it does, the toner cartridge is low on toner.
  3. If shaking the toner cartridge has no effect, try replacing the toner cartridge before seeking service on the printer.

Page is Coming Out Completely Blank

Make sure the toner cartridge is installed correctly. If the toner cartridge is installed incorrectly, blank pages may be printed. NOTE: The issue may also show up as only a two inch area printed down one side of the page. For instructions on installing the cartridge, click here.

Try Opening and Using a New Ream of Paper

The paper currently in the tray or from an already opened ream may have absorbed moisture from the air. NOTE: Printers being used in climates where the moisture level is high, or during hot weather, are especially susceptible to this issue. This is true even if the printer is indoors.
Try opening and using a new ream of paper to see if that resolves the light print issue. 

Light/Faded Print with Double-sided Printing

Graphics on one side of the page can appear lighter and/or grainier than the other. This issue is made worse when heavy graphics are printed on both sides. It is also worse at extreme temperatures (very humid or very dry). 
  1. If the quality on one side of the page is fine, try printing the entire document in single-sided (simplex) mode.
  2. If this is not possible, try moving the side with the heaviest graphics and/or text to the rear side of the page, which is the first side printed.
    Avoiding extreme temperatures and humidity levels can also help. NOTE: The ideal environment for printing is 72 degrees F/45 % relative humidity. 

Swap Out the Cartridge and/or Photoconductor Unit Before Seeking Service

Finally, a part on the toner cartridge or the photoconductor unit may be defective.

    1. If you have another toner cartridge available, please try that toner cartridge in the printer before having the printer serviced. NOTE: It is also acceptable to use a known working toner cartridge from another printer of the same model as a test to see if the cartridge is the cause of the issue.

    2. If replacing the toner cartridge does not correct the issue, the photoconductor unit may not be working correctly. If you have another photoconductor unit available, please try that photoconductor unit in the printer before having the printer serviced. NOTE: As with the toner cartridge, it is also acceptable to use a known working photoconductor unit from another printer of the same model as a test to see if the photoconductor unit is the cause of the issue.

Contact Lexmark

If none of the above suggestions resolves the issue, the printer may require service. Please contact Lexmark Technical Support or a local authorized service center for additional assistance.
When calling Lexmark Technical Support for service, please be prepared to describe the problem you are experiencing or the error message on the display. You will also need to provide your printer's model type and serial number. This information can be found on a label on the inside of the front cover of the printer. 
Please call from near the printer in case the technician asks you to perform a task involving the printer.

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