Color Laser Printer Paper Wrinkle / Ink Smear - Canon imageCLASS MF726CDW

I have a Canon imageCLASS MF726CDW color laser printer. It recently began wrinkling the paper and smearing the ink in a certain spot on every page. See the attached image. The smear extends the full length of the page where there is nearby ink. The document is also wrinkled slightly along the smear, though that is hard to see from the attached image.

This issue happens on every page regardless of whether it is color or just black & white. I've also tried swapping out the toner cartridges for new ones and they issue persists.

I am, admittedly, not using genuine Canon ink cartridges, though I have been using the same brand of generics for several toner cartridges and have not had this issue before.

I've confirmed the paper tray guides are in the appropriate position and not pushing the paper in too tight.

The printer is approximately 1 year old and the page count is at 15,400 (50% of which is color and 50% is B&W). I have not done any maintenance on it other than replacing toner cartridges.

ChrisIT ManagerAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The drum or internal rollers may be dirty from non-genuine cartridges. The dirt will push the paper out of alignment.

I would get a local Printer Service technician to clean the printer thoroughly inside, replace the cartridges with genuine Canon and do any other maintenance.
Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
This is CMYK technique printing printer and your test is showing that there is no transfer on the left of the page.
I'm not sure but it looks like 2nd transfer roller is not transferring toner.
You can try replace this roller. It's not expensive and it can help
The fact that there is a remnant of the image on the next page implies there is a problem with the fuser (the heated rollers that melt the toner onto the paper). If you look at it, you will probably see some kind of mark at the location of the smear.

The fuser will be located at the rear of the printer, near the exit slot. It should be easily accessible because the fuser is a (long-lived) consumable.

In addition, as the rest of the page also repeats on the next page, check the paper type used, and the printer/driver settings. If you are using special paper (e.g. card), the settings must reflect that as the fuser has to supply extra heat.
Determine the Perfect Price for Your IT Services

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden with our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Download your free eBook now!

ChrisIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
The fact that there is a remnant of the image on the next page

I just realized that the second page is actually from my scanner scanning both sides of the page -- so the second page on the image that was attached is not actually a second page, but the back side of the first page. My apologies for the confusion.
ChrisIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
We printed a few more pages and suddenly had a massive paper jam. It picked up a stack of 10 pages and was trying to send them through the printer. When I opened it up, out fell a few shards of this pink stuff. It's not paper -- it's thin like paper but is actually metalic. Some pieces are a little shredded. There's a few pieces that I can see but can't reach. I don't know what it is. A roller? Fuser? I'm going to have to figure how to take the whole back apart to try to remove it all.

Any guesses what this is?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Part of the toner packaging?  The toner was removed from its packing and something stuck to it getting into the printer.

I really would get a service person to clean this printer.
Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
It looks like security foil/paper that is coming with new toner.
You can remove it for yourself.
Remove all toner cartridges and exam id drum was not destroyed.
If all will looks OK then make another test print.
If you'll get not clear print then replace roll or replace toner cartridges.
It looks as if the pieces come from the fuser. Your second photo seems to be from the back of the printer, where the fuser is. The photo also shows part of a label that seems to warn of heat from the fuser. The heated rollers are usually that orange/pink colour.

This confirms my suspicion: your fuser has had it.

BTW, if those smudges are on the back of the page, that still confirms the fuser is the culprit - your printer is just set to auto-duplex. And, wrinkling is also most likely caused by the fuser.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
ChrisIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
I've been trying to get the printer torn apart to confirm, but I agree with hdhondt that this really looks like the fuser. I've never seen a fuser totally disintegrate like this, sending shards of thin metal throughout the printer. It also seems strange to have failed after only 15,000 pages (though it doesn't seem strange to have failed two months AFTER the expiration of the 1-year warranty... Just my luck!) I paid $275 for this printer, and a new fuser is at least $200. Since it would probably need a full cleaning and rebuild to confirm there's no fuser pieces stuck elsewhere in the printer, it seems like it's time to just throw this printer away (sad, after only 1 year). Thank you to all for the help!
At only 15,000 pages, there is a possibility that Canon will replace it under warranty. Fusers normally have a life of 100,000 pages or more. I know that Xerox here in Australia would replace it. Otherwise, yes the cost is prohibitive. I would talk to them, in strong terms if necessary.

I've been trying to get the printer torn apart to confirm
The fuser is normally easy to remove - after all, it is a consumable. Although, with low-cost printers it usually lasts as long as the printer.

As the fuser is right at the paper exit, it's likely there are no pieces of it further upstream in the printer.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Printers and Scanners

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.