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Unwanted Streaks or Spots of Toner Are Appearing on Pages Printed on a Lexmark E120 Series Printer

Document ID:SO4523

Usergroup :External


Mark on printed page; Black spots ; Spots on page; Black streaks; Lines on page; Page is dirty ; Toner specks; Smudges; Toner peppering ; Toner dots; Toner streaks ; Toner marks; Leaking toner cartridge ; Poor print quality


What you will see

Unwanted spots or streaks of toner are appearing on the front or back sides of the printed page.

Possible causes

In most cases, the cause of this issue will be either the toner cartridge or the photoconductor unit. Follow the instructions below.

Check/replace the supply items

Before you check the printer supplies, try printing on plain 20 - 24 lb copy paper if you are not already doing so. This will eliminate any special print media as part of the cause of the problem.

Please try this even if the print media you are currently using has worked in the past. Certain specialty papers, such as 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.
Once you have eliminated the paper/print media as part of the cause, power off the printer and remove the toner cartridge. The toner cartridge is accessed by opening the upper front cover of the printer.

Install another toner cartridge into the printer. Use one of the methods listed below.

  • Replace the existing toner cartridge with a brand-new toner cartridge, if you have one available. NOTE: This is the recommended action to take whenever possible.

  • If this is a newly installed toner cartridge, reinstall the cartridge you removed when you installed the new one.

  • Install a toner cartridge from another Lexmark E120 series printer which is printing correctly.
  4Power the printer back on.
Try printing again. Print 20 to 30 pages with a small amount of print on each of them. This will give the spots/streaks a chance to clear up.
If a different toner cartridge corrects the issue, the printer is fine and the problem is with the first toner cartridge. Please carry out the following checks on the cartridge:
  • Confirm that you are using an original Lexmark brand toner cartridge. If a third-party cartridge is causing this issue, please 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, which can cause 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, please contact Lexmark Technical Support. Your toner 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 cartridge was purchased directly from Lexmark, contact Lexmark using the phone number or address you used to order the cartridge.
If the point of purchase cannot assist you or if you cannot locate the number you used to contact Lexmark to order the cartridge, contact Lexmark Technical Support. A representative there may be able to provide more assistance.
If the issue occurs on more than one toner cartridge, power off the printer and remove the photoconductor assembly. The photoconductor assembly is accessed by opening the rear cover of the printer.

There will be a blue or green color roller on the photoconductor assembly. Check the condition of the surface of this roller.

  • If any part of this roller's surface is scratched or otherwise damaged, replace the photoconductor assembly and try printing again.

  • If the roller appears dirty, take a dry, lint-free cloth and carefully clean off the surface of the roller. Take care not to touch the surface of the roller with your bare fingers as that may leave a permanent mark on the roller. Once the roller is clean, reinstall the photoconductor assembly, power on the printer, and try printing again.
If the issue continues after you have carried out all of the above checks, the printer may require a service action. Please contact Lexmark Technical Support or a local authorized service provider for additional assistance. See 'Contacting Lexmark Technical Support' at the end of this document for details.

Contacting Lexmark Technical Support

If none of the above suggestions corrects the issue, please contact Lexmark Technical Support.
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 (SN). This information can be found on a sticker located under the upper front cover. Click here for further details.
Please 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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