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Having a printer repaired by a service company can be a pretty expensive proposition so we've compiled a checklist below that may assist you in fixing it yourself.

Paper Jams

Paper jams are common. To clear the jam pull the paper out gently in the same direction it was headed and then check for any obvious obstructions. If the jams persist the usual cause is worn pickup rollers. Over a period of time the rollers wear down and become slick and don't pull the paper in fast enough. If the paper is stopping in the fuser section it might be a bad gear or some debris causing the jam.

Image Problems

Most image problems are caused by a bad toner cartridge. If you have any streaking, light/dark areas or repetitive spots on your print, replace the cartridge and see if it clears up. This is common when using poorly remanufactured cartridges. Some recyclers don't replace the image drum and they should because the original drums are only designed to last for the expected toner life. If problems persist after replacing the cartridge the next area to look at would be the fuser. The heat rollers can become torn or warped after a period of time causing an image defect.

Maintenance Kits

On most of the newer printers, HP has determined the average life span of the consumable parts and has a maintenance message programmed in to appear after a certain amount of pages have been produced. The message will be something like "PERFORM USER MAINTENANCE" depending on what model you have. This is just a rough estimate. Some of the parts may go before this message appears and some will last long after. You can get a maintenance kit which usually contains the fuser, feed rollers and certain other high mortality parts depending on the model. The newer ones are designed to be user replaceable and don't require a skilled service technician to install. It's a good idea to have one since these kits will usually take care of most of the problems you will ever have.

Paper, Envelopes and Labels

The quality of what you feed into your printer can also be a factor. Certain types of paper can cause feed problems. Envelopes and labels put more strain on the machine than plain paper. Be especially careful with labels as these can sometimes slide off inside the fuser or toner cartridge. Humidity and heat can also be a factor. A humid environment can cause your paper to absorb moisture causing feed problems. If you turn off your heat or air conditioning over a weekend, allow the room temperature to return to normal before you begin working.
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