If you are wondering when you should replace your printer cartridge, you’re in the right place. Aside from the obvious where the ‘out of ink’ warning is blinking at you, what are the other signs your printer shows you that it is time to change the cartridge? Plus, who’s to say that the ‘out of ink’ warning is reliable? Cartridges are expensive, so you certainly do not want to change them sooner than you have to. Well, if you want to be absolutely certain that you should replace your cartridge, here are four signs for you.
Low Ink Levels
Despite the printer sending out an ‘out of ink’ message, it never hurts to double-check. So, head to the menu panel of your printer and manually check the cartridge volume. The ink levels can often be found in the ‘maintenance’ sections. Of course, the printer’s sensors may be faulty, so perform the following checks to make sure that your cartridges are truly empty.
Run a Print Quality Report
Printers are marvelous in that they often come with a self-diagnosing mechanism that tells you whether it is functioning optimally. One such feature is the print quality report. This report tells you the health of each of your cartridges. When you run the test, samples from each cartridge are taken and printed out so you can see how they perform. All you have to do to run such a diagnosis is head to the ‘maintenance’ section and initiate a print quality report. Alternatively, some printers will run an ink diagnosis or test print whenever you restart it!
Run a Printhead Cleaning
Automized printhead cleaning functions are another example of how amazing modern inkjet printers are. You should run a printhead cleaning if you receive a poor print quality report. Sometimes, the report may reflect poor quality if the printhead has clumps of dust interfering with its functions. The cleaning process will use ink and usually take a few minutes, but run another print quality report once it is finished. If you still receive a poor report, let the printer rest for 10 to 15 minutes before running another printhead cleaning. This will give the ink time to soak onto the printhead and may result in a better-quality report. However, do not repeatedly run the cleaning process as it uses ink from the cartridges. If you still do not receive a good quality report after cleaning twice, it may be time to replace your cartridges!
Prime Your Cartridges
If you have a laser printer instead, you would not have the option to run a printhead cleaning. Instead, you will have to manually prime your toner cartridges. Unload the cartridge and give it a few firm shakes. You can even choose to bump it on the palms of your hand. This will shake up the powdered pigment with the cartridges and loosen any clumps that may have formed. After you are done, pop it back into the printer and recheck the cartridge levels. The ‘out of ink’ warning will probably be gone!