I have a DELL 1320c color laser printer about 2-3 years old. A month or so ago it started printing black and cyan colors lighter down the left side of the page. A light streak about 2 inches wide. Magenta is also a slightly lighter in the same spot but not as bad as black or cyan, which are very obvious. Yellow seems unaffected.
I read the DELL online help for the printer and it said this issue was most likely due to a worn out Print Head Device and that they need replacing every 20,000 copies. So I ordered in a new PHD and replaced it exactly as per the instructions. But the issue is unchanged! Even with a brand new PHD it prints black and cyan lighter for the left 2 inches from top to bottom on the page, exactly like the old PHD. The PHD cost me only less than the price of a new printer!
I've also tried swapping out the toner cartridges with new ones. Still no change. The toner doesn't rub off, so I can't see this being a fuser issue.
Does anyone have any ideas about what could be causing this issue? The help documentation doesn't give any other possible causes.
This failure mode is unfortunately too common to go without an explanation. The fix is actually quite easy (but elaborate) if that is not an oximoron. The Dell 1320c is the licensed version of the Xerox Phaser 6125/6130 printer (which also suffers from the same malady). It really is a shame, since the printers do such an excellent job of precise color printing. IMO, the Xerox is better than the Dell. This is determined by the machine firmware and drivers, since the printers are mechanically the same.
The cause of the problem is the spring loaded nipples for the K waste and feed toner. On some machines, with some toner cartridges, and with certain K developers, the mating between the nipples on the K developer and K toner cartridge becomes poor. The more often you replace the K toner cartridge, the greater the chance that this condition will occur. When the K toner is latched into place, the foam insulation at the front end is supposed to surround, and seal, the nipples on the K developer. These are the feed/exit path for K toner to/from the developer. When this seal fails, excess K toner can slowly begin to 'dust' the vertical wall that you see when the PHD is removed. The same is true for the other toners, but because they are progressively lower, they have fewer bad effects.
Behind that wall is the laser scan unit (LSU). As the 'dusting' of K toner continues, it can easily drift past the lenses that you see when you remove the PHD. The toner settles onto the reflecting mirrors in the LSU (usually 1 or 2 in particular because of their orientation). As this drifting toner continues to build up on the reflecting mirror(s), it eventually begins to block the laser beam from reaching the PHD OPC drums. The result is a printed page with vertical columns of faded print (as shown in the earlier posted photos). The faded columns can be any width, depending on how much of the reflecting mirror is contaminated. Because of the way the reflecting mirrors are arranged in the LSU, black and cyan images are most commonly affected. The inside surface of the lens may also be dusted with waste toner and is cleaned in the same way. Cleaning the inside surface of the lens is usually optional since toner dust on the mirror(s) is typically the principal cause of the faded print.
The repair requires a dozen or so cotton qtips. For this task, qtips with a paper stem are preferred, because you will want to deform the qtip into an angle for access to the mirror or inner lens surface. Keep solid surface test pages of the defect colors handy. The lenses are the full width of the page. The mirrors are about 3/4 the width of the page. The defect pages can be held against the lens to indicate precisely where the surface(s) have been coated with the toner. Just REMEMBER that the LEFT side of the printed page is on the RIGHT of the LSU.
Use NEW qtips, straight from the package. Do NOT contaminate the qtip cotton with body oil, dust, or any liquid. Make ONLY 1 gentle pass with the qtip over the affected mirror or lens, remove the qtip carefully and rotate the qtip or use a new qtip before making another pass. If you make more than 1 pass with a contaminated qtip, you WILL just SMEAR the reflecting mirror or lens with toner!
This procedure MUST be done with the LSU box in front of you, it CANNOT be done without removing the LSU from the printer. The LSU is a box, approximately 9"x9"x5". It has a guide pin at the bottom which locates it within the printer. Having some 1" thick foam to place the LSU on will help stabilize it as you clean the mirrors. With the LSU removed, you will remove its front cover which surrounds the 4 lenses. This cover simply snaps on or off the LSU by means of 4 latch tabs (2 at the top and 2 at the bottom). With the front cover removed, you have access to all of the reflecting mirrors and the lenses. Just be careful not to impact any portion of the LSU since the mirrors are precision aligned. Just use common sense and caution.
To remove the LSU requires a LOT of disassembly. I will not explain those details. If the corrective procedure hasn't scared you off, you should be mechanically inclined enough to figure out how to remove the LSU. The only thing requiring more disassembly is the replacement of the high-voltage power supply.
You'll want a phillips and blade screwdriver and needle nose pliers. You'll have about three dozen screws to keep track of.
Here are the steps in a general way:
1. Remove the top, side, and rear skins. Remove the fuser and PHD. Wrap the PHD with a blanket or black trash bag to protect the OPCs.
2. Remove the I/O board container (and set aside) after disconnecting all its internal cabling plugs.
3. You'll have to loosen or remove some brackets which support some of the internal cables.
4. Remove all LVPS connectors and then remove the LVPS board and support tray at the top/rear (and set aside). You'll need to undress the fuser power leads between the LVPS and the fuser power connector. You'll probably need to remove the fan assembly to remove the LVPS.
With the LVPS and tray removed, you can look down onto the LSU.
5. The LSU is held in the printer by 2 spring clips at the top (1 on each side, 2 screws each). These clips press down on 1/2" steel pins that precisely locate the LSU. Remove the screws and clips and use the steel pins to carefully lift the LSU up and out of the printer. Pay carefull attention to the cable on the side, which connects the LSU to the controller board.
6. After cleaning, reinstall everything in reverse order. There is no mechanical alignment of the LSU needed.
The bottom portion of the above image accurately reflects the positions of the mirrors and lenses. The center-most mirror (C&K) is the most prone to the dusting because of its position, but your color sample prints will indicate which surfaces need cleaning.
I have the same streak problem - did you ever resolve how to fix it
Anyone have an answer for this yet?!?!?!?
Seems common on the 1320C
Black has a wide white band through prints, cyan is a little narrower, magenta is a little more narower than cyan, and yellow is unaffected.
Bought a new PHD and STILL no change!!!!!!!!!!!
My warranty ran out last week!!!!!!!!
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
Tried all of your suggestions, no real change. Mirrors were all very clean!!
Print (all colors except yellow) are printing light on left side. Black has very wide white space, cyan a little smaller, magenta even smaller, and no effect on yellow.
What next? Should I blow all of the toner out of the machine and the transfer tubes?
This should not be happening on a 53 week old printer with only 5,000 pages printed on it!!
OH no... don't blow anything out. You can cause more problems than you have now!!
Have you ever used the "Toolbox" application installed when you initially install the printer? There should be a diagnostic function that will allow you to printer the "CONTAMINATION CHECK" pages.
Although your descriptions are fairly good, when diagnosing print quality issues, pictures speak a thousand words.If you can, please scan or take some pictures of your defective images, upload them to your computer, and post them with your reply.
Use the "Insert Media" icon (2 left from the smiley-face) to locate the file on your computer and upload with your reply.(btw.... max image width is 550 pixels)
Thanks again The Llynster!!!!!
Nope, couldn't find a contamination check in dignostics or maintenance in the tool box.
Here's a series of test pages from the toolbox to show what is happening......
all colors are affected except yellow!!
Thanks again to all!!!!!!!
This doesn't look good. I recall doing a field job on one of these and the symtoms were almost exactly like this.
Their warranty had expired, and, we also found they were not using genuine Dell toner. They ended up scrapping the machine.
Are you using genuine Dell toner? If not, this is probably only the beginning of more problems. The company that makes these printers for Dell has a trade secret on the toner formulation. Compared with 3rd party toners, it is not the same and the "other stuff" will eventually ruin the inner workings of the printer.
I have exactly the same problem with my Dell 1320C. It has only 2393 copies printed, is less than 2 years old, has all the latest drivers etc. running on XP Prof.
Uses Dell toners. I have read all the suggestions that I can find on this subject. I have tried cleaning the mirrors with compressed air after removing the toners and after taking the machine apart ( big job) . I have tried different new Dell toners . No solution. I have tried Dell's telephone assistance. " Need to buy a new PHD" I can't see why I should do that with so few copies printed, especially as I see from other postings that that has not resolved this particular problem that other users have faced. If it were the wrong toner type use, then you'd expect that all the colours would be affected, and also not just the first inch or two on the left hand side. Why not the right hand side? Or just the middle? Anyway, with my unit is not the toner that can be the problem.
There must be something else causing this problem. I have tried installing the printer on another computer, but all with the same results, so it's not the drivers, or the computer, it's the Dell printer which is the problem.
Any suggestions on trying to get to the bottom of this problem will be greatly appreciated.
Has anyone come up with a diagnosis for this problem?
I have about the same exact experience and my machine has under 3,000 pages - but it's doing the same thing - lighter down the left side for the black and cyan and to a lesser degree, the magenta is lighter, too. And, it doesn't appear the yellow is affected.
Any new ideas?
I look forward to your input and guidance.
To all. I have been looking into the issue a little more deeply. It appears that the 1320c is a stripped down model of a Xerox 6130 printer. I have acquired the service manual for this printer and I am going to begin the task of reverse engineering the issue till i come to the root cause. A bit of warning to those with warranty, do not attempt or you will VOID all warranty. However if you do not have any warranty, feel free to join the adventure. Feel free to contact me and I will get you a copy of the manual.
Hi BCTerry, well done! I have my DELL sitting here waiting for some free time to devote to the same problem, but it seems like you are onto something, AND have a service manual, which should help. Please let us know how you go, and best of luck to you for your efforts!
Hello All. I have you much needed answer to this question. If you encounter this issue with your Dell 1320 it is your imaging unit. You might as well go ahead and get a new 1320c if you want to go back that route because to replace this at a certified center will cost you more than the new unit itself. I have come to this conclusion after following the service guide troubleshooting steps one by one, taking it apart, cleaning, checking, reassembling and printing test pages. So sorry to deliver the bad new but this is what it looks like.
I will be ordering a new printer. I have a good fuser and 2 good print heads if anyone wants to contact me.
Hello All. I have you much needed answer to this question. If you
encounter this issue with your Dell 1320 it is your imaging unit. You
might as well go ahead and get a new 1320c if you want to go back that
route because to replace this at a certified center will cost you more
than the new unit itself. I have come to this conclusion after following
the service guide troubleshooting steps one by one, taking it apart,
cleaning, checking, reassembling and printing test pages. So sorry to
deliver the bad new but this is what it looks like.
I will be ordering a new printer. I have a good fuser and 2 good
print heads if anyone wants to contact me.
Thanks for the info guys. I'm glad I checked here. After reading troublshooting info I was ready to replace the PHD. My printout is getting lighter on the left. Seems to be a similiar issue to what you are experiencing and I only had a little over 6K pages printed.
I am not using Dell toner though and don't know how much of a problem that has been but I can tell you that I've had no problem with the print quality with these toners. And at only $15 / cartridge through amazon I figured if they worked only a time or two they'd pay for a new printer. I can still deal with the faded printouts for my brochures ect, not that noticeable.
Overall I've been very happy with the printer. Beats any ink jet I've used. If I have to buy a new one so be it unless anyone can recommend something better.
Hi Brandon, thnaks for your work on this bad problem. Can you advise where I can buy a copy of the service manual for the Xerox 6130? Also, did you take any pictures of how to take the 1320c apart?