Canon i550 printer, strange problem

By jungleexplorer
Jul 10, 2008
  1. #1 Today, 12:17 PM
    Victor B
    New Member Join Date: Mar 2007
    Posts: 5

    Weird problem with Canon i550 Printer


    I have a Canon i550 Printer. It has been a great printer for a long time, but it has begun to act strange. It is a four-color cartridge system, Black, Magenta, Yellow, and Cyan. The Cyan ran out so I changed it out. Later it reported that the Magenta was low, but when I printed in color, the print out showed no trace of Cyan (Blue), even though the printer status shows the Cyan to be full and the Magenta to be low. Thinking the Cyan was clogged it did multiple cleaning and deep cleaning routines and nozzle checks to see if that would fix the problem. Initially the nozzle checks showed traces of Cyan, but after multiple cleanings there was no Cyan at all, but the Magenta (even though reported to be low) was perfect on every nozzle check. So, I pulled the Magenta cartridge completely out and created 2 inch blue square in Paint and began printing it over and over again to see if I could get any cyan to come out at all. After two or three pages, the cyan was printer fine, so I did another nozzle check and the cyan printed perfectly. Then, I popped the magenta cartridge back in and tried another nozzle check. No magenta. I created a 2 inch magenta square in Paint and tried to print it out, but it kept coming out cyan colored. I pulled the cyan cartridge out and after a couple of prints the square was magenta. I popped the cyan back in and printed out the blue square and it came out magenta.

    So the bottom line is this. The nozzles are not clogged, but the printer seems to be unable to print in cyan and magenta at the same time. If I pull the magenta out and get it to print cyan, it will continue to print exclusively with cyan (even after I put the magenta back in), until I pull the cyan out and visa versa.

    I have uninstalled and reinstalled the print driver many times so that is no the problem either. Does anyone have any ideas what the problem could be? Thanks for the help.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    All color printers wear out. Cheap to replace. Cheaper than Ink. the IP4300 is great and can be found for $9 to $99.
    You can replace the print heads and get more mileage out of that one, but the cost will be greater than a new printer.
  3. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I know that printers wear out. But when the print heads wear out, they just start printed crappy pictures and text. This is not the case. I am think that it might be a firmware problem. If it is, then there might be someone who knows how to flash it. I always have the option to buy a new printer, but only have one chance to fix this one. If the cost of fixing this printer ($300 new), is more then the cost of buying an equivalent one, then that's when it is time to replace it. But I don't even know what is wrong with it yet, so I can't make that decision, if you know what I mean. Thanks for the advice.
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    Your print head is clogged. I also own this printer. You can attempt to soak the print head in isopropal alcohol overnight. Try to get the highest % solution of alcohol you can get. Then take HOT water and clean the heads with a q-tip in the morning. There are also head cleaning chemicals you can purchase, but I have never tried them. Worse case, you will have to replace the head. It will cost about $60 or less on ebay.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Unless you really love this printer, a new one is better than all this work, which is a fix that doesn't work well for everybody. Some clogs never come undone. Some are really print head failures from wearing out.
    The i550 is a discontinued Canon, replaced by the i560... which sells for $149 many places. You may still find the i550 with Ink for $99. But the ip4300 is a better printer for $49 some days to never more than $99 out west.
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