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Fixing Print Quality Problems for the HP Photosmart eStation All-in-One Printer Series (C510)

Issue

The quality of the printed text or printed image is not as you expected.
Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.

Solution one: Use genuine HP cartridges

HP recommends that you use genuine HP ink or toner supplies. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP or refilled cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the steps in this document might not resolve the issue. To check the authenticity of your cartridges, go to the HP anti-counterfeit webpage (in English).
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.

Solution two: Allow automatic servicing to complete

Many print quality problems with black ink, such as poor black text or issues that occur with a newly installed black cartridge, clear up when the automatic servicing routine built into the printer runs. There is nothing you need to do. The print quality should start improving in a few hours.
If you cannot wait, continue with these troubleshooting steps.

Solution three: Check the paper

Use the following guidelines to make sure that the paper you use is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the printer with an appropriate paper type.
note:
To purchase paper in the United States and Canada, go to HP Home & Home Office.
  • Load the paper print side down in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides, such as photo paper and envelopes. Usually, the smoother side is the "print side," and sometimes the non-print side has a logo of the paper manufacturer on it.
  • Do not use wrinkled or curled paper. Use only clean, wrinkle-free paper.
    Do not use wrinkled paper
  • Use the correct paper type for your project.
    • For everyday text documents, plain paper with ColorLok technology works well. Paper with ColorLok technology is industry-standard paper that works well with HP ink.
      ColorLok logo
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photos, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for best results.
    • Some paper might not absorb ink as well as others. If your prints smear easily, make sure you are using a recommended paper.
  • Store photo paper in its original packaging inside a resealable plastic bag. Store the paper on a flat surface in a cool, dry place. Load 10-20 sheets of photo paper only when you are ready to print, and then put the unused paper back in the packaging.
  • Try using a different paper. This determines if the problem is related to the paper.
note:
Inappropriate paper usually causes vertical streaks in printouts. Do not replace cartridges to fix vertical streaks.
Examples of horizontal streaks and vertical streaks in printout
Illustration: Horizontal streaks through the printout
Illustration: Vertical streaks in the printout
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks, or other print quality issues besides vertical streaks.
Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document, or search for a document that covers this issue.
Try printing again after trying the preceding guidelines.

Solution four: Check the print settings

Follow these steps to check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for your print job.
  1. Return to the document you were trying to print when the issue occurred.
  2. Click File, and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
  3. Select your printer, and then click Properties. The Properties dialog box opens.
  4. Click the Features tab.
  5. From the Paper type drop-down menu, select More. The Type is dialog box opens.
  6. From the Type is dialog box, select the paper type that matches the paper you have loaded in the printer, and then click OK to save your selection.
  7. From the Size drop-down menu, make sure that the selected option matches your paper size. For example, if you have legal paper loaded in your printer, select Legal 8.5x14in.
  8. Click OK, to save the settings.
  9. Click OK from the Print dialog box to start the print job.

Solution five: Check the ink levels, and then replace low or empty cartridges

Follow these steps to check the estimated ink levels in the cartridges, and then replace low or empty cartridges according to the resutls.
note:
If you installed a refilled or remanufactured cartridge, or a cartridge that was used in another printer, the ink level indicator might be inaccurate or unavailable.
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.

Step one: Check the ink levels

  1. Touch Menu () on the top left side of the printer control panel. A list of menu options displays.
  2. Touch Settings, and then touch Tools. The Tools menu displays.
  3. On the Tools menu, touch Printer Maintenance, and then touch Estimated Ink Levels. The estimated ink levels display on the control panel.
    Figure : Estimated ink levels on the control panel
    Illustration: Estimated ink levels displayed on control panel
  4. Touch OK to return to the previous menu.

Step two: Replace any depleted cartridges

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already turned on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before continuing.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Illustration of opening the cartridge access door
  3. To release the old cartridge, press the tab on the front of the cartridge, and then pull the cartridge up to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge from its slot
    Illustration of removing the cartridge from the slot
      caution:
    Do not lift the latch on the carriage to install the cartridges. Doing so can result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing problems. The latch must remain down to install the cartridges correctly.
  4. On the new cartridge, pull the orange pull-tab straight back to remove the plastic wrap.
    Figure : Remove the plastic wrap on the new cartridge
    Illustration of removing plastic wrap
  5. Twist the orange cap counter clockwise to snap it off.
    Figure : Remove the orange cap
    Illustration of removing the orange cap
  6. With the cartridge contacts facing the printhead, slide the cartridge into the empty slot, and then press down on the cartridge until it clicks firmly into place.
    note:
    Make sure that the color-coded icon on the cartridge matches the color-coded icon on the carriage slot.
    Figure : Install the cartridge
    Illustration of installing the cartridge
  7. Repeat these steps to replace other cartridges, if necessary.
  8. Close the cartridge access door. The carriage returns to the right side of the printer.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Illustration of closing the cartridge access door

Step three: Align the printer

After you load plain white paper, touch OK on the printer control panel. The printer automatically aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.
If the printer fails to align automatically, follow these steps to align the printer manually.
  1. Touch Menu () on the top left side of the printer control panel. A list of menu options displays.
  2. Touch Settings, and then touch Tools. The Tools menu displays.
  3. On the Tools menu, touch Printer Maintenance, and then touch Align Printer. The printer aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.

Solution six: Print and evaluate a Print Quality Report

Follow these steps to print, and then evaluate a Print Quality Report.

Step one: Print a Print Quality Report

Follow these steps to print a Print Quality Report from the printer control panel.
  1. Touch Menu () on the top left side of the printer control panel. A list of menu options displays.
  2. Touch Settings, and then touch Tools. The Tools menu displays.
  3. On the Tools menu, touch Printer Maintenance, and then touch Print Quality Report. The printer prints the report.
    Figure : Print Quality Report
    Illustration: Print Quality Report

Step two: Check the Print Quality Report for defects

In general, if the printer and its cartridges work correctly, all the color bars should be present, unstreaked, and uniform in color across the width of the page. The black text on the page should not show ink streaks.
Use the following table for examples of defects that can exist on the Print Quality Report. The following examples are not inclusive, but they tend to represent the most common issues.
Examples of defects on the print quality report
Defect
Example
Large font text is ragged on one end
Illustration: Ragged text
Irregularly streaked or faded color bars
Illustration: Streaked or faded color bars
Ragged color bars
Illustration: Ragged color bar
The color bars are streaked with another color
Illustration: Color bars streaked with another color
The color blocks have regular white streaks
Illustration: White streaks in color bars
Jagged alignment patterns
Illustration: Jagged alignment patterns
  • If you see no defects on the print quality report, the print mechanism and ink supplies work correctly. If printouts are still unsatisfactory, try these general print quality guidelines, and then do not continue the troubleshooting steps in the remainder of this document:
    • Make sure that the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Images that have been enlarged too much might appear fuzzy or blurry.
    • If the problem is confined to a band near the edge of a printout, use the software you installed with the printer or another software program to rotate the image 180°. The problem might not appear on the other end of the printout.
  • If you see one or more of these defects on the print quality report, continue to the next steps.

Step three: Make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and seated correctly

If the vent on the top of the cartridge is clogged or obstructed, the cartridge might not work properly. Follow these steps to make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and seated correctly.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already turned on. Wait until the printer is idle and silent before continuing.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. To release the old cartridge, press the tab on the front of the cartridge, and then pull the cartridge up to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge from its slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from the slot
      caution:
    Do not lift the latch on the carriage to install the cartridges. Doing so can result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing problems. The latch must remain down to install the cartridges correctly.
  4. Examine the vent area on each cartridge, above the HP logo on the top of the cartridge.
    Figure : Vent area on the top of the cartridge
    Image: Vent area on the top of the cartridge
  5. If the cartridge still has the orange pull-tab attached, pull to remove it.
    Figure : Orange pull tab
    Image: Orange pull tab.
  6. If the vent is clogged, use a straight pin to gently remove excess adhesive from the vent.
      Figure : Clean the clogged vent with a pin
      Image: Clean the clogged vent with a pin.
    1. Clogged vent
    2. With a straight pin, gently remove excess adhesive from the vent
    3. Unclogged vent
  7. With the cartridge contacts facing the printhead, slide the cartridge into the empty slot, and then press down on the cartridge until it clicks firmly into place.
    note:
    Make sure that each cartridge is installed in the correct slot. Match the shape of the icon and the color of the cartridge with the slot that has the same shaped icon and color.
    Figure : Reinsert the cartridge
    Image: Reinsert the cartridge
  8. Repeat these steps to inspect the vents on each of the cartridges.
  9. Make sure that each cartridge is firmly in place in its slot. Run your finger along the top of the cartridges to feel for any that are protruding, and if any are, press down firmly until each cartridge snaps into place.
  10. Close the cartridge access door.
  11. Try the print job again.

Step four: Clean the printhead

Follow these steps to run a utility to clean the printhead.
  1. Touch Menu () on the top left side of the printer control panel. A list of menu options displays.
  2. Touch Settings, and then touch Tools. The Tools menu displays.
  3. On the Tools menu, touch Printer Maintenance, and then touch Clean Printhead. The printer cleans the printhead automatically.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting. The following precautions might help avoid the issue in the future.
    • Avoid leaving unprotected cartridges out of the printer for an extended period of time.
    • Always use the Power button to turn the printer off. This protects the cartridges from exposure to air.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step five: Align the printer

Follow these steps to align the printer if you found defects on the Print Quality Report.
  1. Touch Menu () on the top left side of the printer control panel. A list of menu options displays.
  2. Touch Settings, and then touch Tools. The Tools menu displays.
  3. On the Tools menu, touch Printer Maintenance, and then touch Align Printer. The printer aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.

Solution seven: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all of the troubleshooting steps and are still experiencing a problem, contact HP to replace the printhead.

Solution eight: Service the printer

note:
Keep a print sample that shows the problem. If the ink cartridges, printhead, or printer is replaced under warranty, the support agent will request the print sample. If the printer is returned to HP, the print sample must be returned with the printer. Place the sample in the output tray when you package your printer for shipping.
Service or replace your HP product if the issue persists after completing all the preceding steps.
Go to Contact HP Customer Support to schedule a product repair or replacement. If you are in Asia Pacific, you will be directed to a local service center in your area.
To confirm your warranty status, go to HP Product Warranty Check. Repair fees might apply for out-of-warranty products.

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