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Vertical Streaks or Lines Appearing on Pages Printed on a Lexmark C530, C532, or C534 Color Printer

Document ID:SO4385

Usergroup :External


Vertical streaks; Color streaks; Vertical lines ; Lines on page; Dirty page; Toner leak; Leaking cartridge; Poor print quality; Print quality issue


What you will see

One or more vertical lines or streaks of toner can be seen on the printed page.  Click here to view an example.  The streaks may be of just one color, as in the example, or consist of a couple of different colors.

Check the supply levels
  1. Print the Menu Settings page. Click here for directions.
  2. Confirm that none of the supply levels are low. Supply items that are at or near the end of their functional lives can cause various print quality issues, independently of the operation of the printer.  If any of your supplies (such as photoconductor units and toner cartridges) are low, replace them to see if this resolves the issue. Instructions for replacing your printer's supplies can be found in the printer's User's GuideNOTE:  It is recommended to replace any supply items that are under 30%, even if they are not yet reading as low. If any toner cartridges are at the Toner Low point, it is important to be aware that this problem will continue to get worse as the toner gets closer to empty.

  3. If replacing a supply item corrects the issue and the defective supply was not reading below 30% or as low or exhausted, contact Lexmark Technical Support. You may be eligible for a replacement. NOTE: This applies only if the installed supply item is an original Lexmark brand item that was not refilled or reworked in any way.

Check the toner cartridges

In most cases, vertical lines and streaks are caused by a leaking or malfunctioning toner cartridge. This is especially true if the streaks are in only one color. If none of the supplies are reading as low or exhausted, perform the steps in the table below.
Enter the printer's Diagnostic Menu. Follow the directions below.

  1. Power off the printer.
  2. Press and hold the  and  buttons on the printer operator panel.
  3. Power the printer back on, still keeping both buttons held down.
  4. Keep both buttons held down until you see Engine Warming appear on the printer screen. At this point, you can let go of the buttons.
  5. When the printer has completed the warm-up sequence, a new menu should appear on the screen. This is the Diagnostic Menu.
Once you are in the Diagnostic Menu, press the  button until the  is next to Print Tests.
  3Press  once.  A new set of menu choices will appear.
  4Press  until the  is next to Print Quality Pages.
  5Press  again. The printer will print out a set of pages. These pages allow each color plane to be viewed independently to determine if the issue is with one color (possibly due to a single supply item), or with all the colors (indicating a more general issue with the printer). 
  6Check to see if any of the quality pages have a vertical streak down the page. If there is a streak on any of the pages, remove the toner cartridge corresponding to the color of the streak.
One you have removed the relevant toner cartridge, print the print quality pages again. If the streak goes away, the cause of the issue is that toner cartridge. You will need to replace it with another toner cartridge of the same color. IMPORTANT!  Please carry out the following checks on the cartridge first:

  • Confirm that you are using an original Lexmark brand toner cartridge. If a third-party cartridge is causing this issue, contact the point of purchase to have the cartridge replaced.

  • Confirm that the toner cartridge has not been refilled or reworked in any way. Refilling the toner cartridge can damage it, leading to print quality issues of this kind. If the cartridge has been refilled or reworked, contact the place where it was refilled to have it replaced.

  • If this is an original Lexmark toner cartridge, inspect it for any damage or defects. If you notice any damage to the cartridge or any loose parts on it, contact Lexmark Technical Support. The cartridge may be eligible for replacement, depending on how old or used it is. IMPORTANT! If the toner cartridge does not appear to be damaged but is relatively new or unused, it may still be eligible for replacement. Please contact the point of purchase first as they may have a replacement policy. If the point of purchase cannot assist you or if you cannot remember or locate the number you used to contact Lexmark when ordering the cartridge, contact Lexmark Technical Support. A representative there may be able to provide assistance. If the cartridge was purchased directly from Lexmark, contact Lexmark using the phone number or address you used to order the cartridge.
If there are multiple streaks of one color on the page and those streaks do not line up as you go down the page, replace the photoconductor unit for that color. 

NOTE:  If the photoconductor unit level is not reading as low (see 'Check the supply levels' above), contact Lexmark Technical Support. You may be eligible for a replacement photoconductor. This applies only if the installed photoconductor unit is an original Lexmark brand item.
To exit the printer's Diagnostic Menu, power off the printer. Let the printer sit, powered off, for 10 seconds. Then power it back on as you normally would, i.e. without holding down any buttons.

Checking the printer

If the supply items appear to be fine, there may be an issue with the printer. Perform the following checks:
  • If you are not currently doing so, please try printing on plain copy paper to see if that corrects the issue. If it does, make sure you are using media within specification for your printer. Using media outside of the recommended guidelines may result in unsatisfactory print quality. Click here for information on recommended print media. 
  • If the streaks/lines seem to repeat at a specific distance, print out the Repeating Defect Guide. This self-help page can be found under the Help Menu in the menus accessed through the printer's operator panel. This page lists the circumferences of various rollers inside the printer. Click here to view an example of the guide page. Use this information to help determine which part is failing on the printer.
  • Confirm that your printing environment is within the recommended guidelines for this printer.  Extremes in temperature, humidity, or airborne contaminants (such as dust) may adversely affect print quality. Click here for information on the recommended environment settings.
  • If none of the above suggestions resolves the issue or if you have found the source of the problem and need help arranging service, please contact Lexmark Technical Support or a local authorized service provider for additional assistance. For information on contacting Lexmark, see 'Contacting Lexmark Technical Support' below.

Contacting Lexmark Technical Support

If you require additional assistance with any of the steps above or if you continue to experience this issue after trying all of the suggestions above, please contact Lexmark Technical Support.

If you call Lexmark Technical Support for assistance with your printer, be prepared to describe the problem you are experiencing and any troubleshooting steps you have already taken to find a solution. You will also need the printer's model type and serial number. For help locating this information, click here.  
If possible, call from near the printer in case the technician on the phone asks you to perform a troubleshooting task on the printer.   

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