Squeaky scanner

Posted on 2005-04-20
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
A coworker has a Bell Howell 500FB scanner.  She scans tons of documents with it on a regular basis.  Apparently, this scanner has been used for a number of years.  She has no problems with misfeeds or anything, but the scanner now makes a lot of squeaking/squealing noises as it scans -- much like a car with a squeaky serpentine belt.

Are there belts inside that may need cleaning, replacing, or tightening? Or is there some other solution for a squeaky scanner, such as cleaning or oiling some gears or something?  Basically, my question is: what is this problem and how can we fix it?

-Scanner newb, Galisteo8
Question by:Galisteo8
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution


    Yes, in general scanners have both belts and rollers. If you look at this "Universal Bell & Howell Scanner Cleaner Kit" (, you'll find they include a can of rubber tire cleaner. You can use that (from any autoparts store, probably about $4), to clean and dress the belts and rollers. Be sure to get the kind that cleans and preserves rubber, and not the kind that just makes it blacker. Use it lightly (don't get it on the optics!), and wipe away any excess with something that won't leave lint behind. While you're at it, if you can get to the inside surface of the glass platen, clean that with Windex or similar, again very lightly, don't get it on any other parts.

    Here's the manual, complete with cleaning directions:

    LVL 8

    Author Comment

    Tire cleaner?  Cool!

    So, in addition to being good practice in order to avoid performance degredation and misfeeds, cleaning the rubber parts should also take care of the squealing issue?
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Yes, if they aren't in too bad shape. Some rubber parts in the paper path are supposed to be slightly tacky to aid in picking up the paper. But most other parts are harder rubber, and over time they get sticky as well. This cause little squeeks, etc.
    LVL 8

    Author Comment

    Hope it takes care of big squeaks, too.  :)


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