HP printers are among the most popular for both home and business use, but they ocassionally break down. There are a number of common points of failure for HP printers, and knowing those trouble spots will make resolving the issue a lot easier.
Determine the point of failure by sending a print job to the printer or printing a test page. Listen as the paper goes through the printer path and note how far it gets before a jam occurs.
Pull out all but one of the paper trays if the printer has multiple trays. If the printer works fine from one tray but not another, you know there is a problem with the tray--most likely worn or defective rollers.
Pull out the defective tray until you hear it click, then gently lift the tray up until it slides free of the printer. Set the tray aside while you find the rollers inside the printer.
Look at the condition of the rollers and feel them with your hand. The rollers should be rough to the touch. If they are smooth, it means they are worn out and will need to be replaced. Replace the worn rollers with new ones, making sure they click into place. The rollers are designed to slip on to a metal prong that extends from the inside of the printer. To remove the old rollers slide them off the prong and set them aside. Then take the new roller, slide it onto the prong and push it all the way in. You should feel the roller click into place. When it clicks into place you know it is seated properly.
Push the tray back in carefully, making sure it slides into the printer smoothly. Send a test page to the printer and watch for jams.
The fuser cartridge is another common point of failure for HP printers. In most models, it will be located on the left hand side of the printer. Open the left-hand door and look for a black rectangular cartridge. Before you pull it out, let the printer cool off; the fuser could be very hot.
Flip the hinges holding the fuser in place to the unlocked position and slide it free of the printer. Examine the rollers on the fuser: they should move easily. If the wheels are seized, the fuser is bad and will have to be replaced. Slide the new fuser cartridge into the printer until it locks into place and then flip the levers to the locked position. Turn the printer on and try your print job again.
A third area to troubleshoot is the power supply. If the printer will not power on--or if it powers itself off unexpectedly--the power supply might be going bad. While most laser printers use a standard power cord, deskjet and photo printers typically use a proprietary power supply. You can start by touching the power brick--it should be warm to the touch, but not hot. If the power brick is hot to the touch, it may be overheating and this is a sign it should be replaced.
Things You'll Need
Spare printer rollers
Clean lint-free cloth