Xerox Phaser 6500 / WorkCentre 6505 Light Print Issues


Troubleshooting Light Print Issues on the Xerox Phaser 6500 / WorkCentre 6505

I haven’t worked on a whole lot of these machines but one problem that I’ve ran into on more than one occasion is light print issues. Before I get started I want to explain that this article is for light print issues associated with a single color. If you have light print issues with the whole page you might want to move on because this article might not contain the answers your looking for.

First, I get a call to check a machine out that has light print. Upon arrival the customer informs me that over the last few days the print kept getting lighter and lighter. Finally, they replaced the cartridge but unfortunately that didn’t solve the problem. Most times I see this in black as that is the most used cartridge but it could happen in any color. Obviously lots of things can cause this problem but more often than not I’ve been finding it to be an issue with third party cartridges. I’m unsure exactly what happens but it would seem the cartridge runs out of toner before the chip tells the machine it is. Therefore the auger system empties out and the developer unit inside the Drum unit does the same thing. The only way to fix the problem is to put the machine into Diagnostic Mode and pump more toner into the auger and developer.

Troubleshooting Tips

1. Probably the easiest way to see if you have a toner issue is to remove the effected toner and one of the other colors.

2. Remove the Drum Unit – You must remove the cassette tray to open the front cover enough to remove. Careful not to damage or scratch the black transfer belt assembly as this will effect image quality.

3. On the right side, inside the print mech, is the end of the four augers that feed toner into the developer. Typically this area is usually dirty.

4. In the picture below you will see the toner motor gear, move the gear in the direction shown a few times. If there is no toner is the auger system the very little or no toner will come out the end in the front of the machine. Now do the same test from the good color cart that you previously removed. you should notice the difference in the amount of spillage between the two.

Note : For step 5 make sure the toner cartridge you are using is new. Recommend Xerox OEM.

5. If you do find that the auger is empty you will need to put the machine into diagnostic mode and run the toner motor for that selected cartridge. The service manual says to run the test with the cartridge out but in this case we will want to leave the cartridge in. Turn on the motor test for about 30 seconds. Then print off 10 to 20 pages. It might take a few pages to get the color fully restored. Now if that doesn’t work then you could try another 30 seconds. If that still doesn’t work then I would start looking some where else or take the cartridge out, cheat the side interlock switch and verify the motor gear is rotating.

Phaser 6500 - 6505 light print issues

Entering Service Diagnostics
1. Turn the printer Off.
2. Press and hold the Up and Down arrows simultaneously and turn the printer On.
3. Release the buttons when Service Mode and ESS Diag appear on the SFP display, or Service Mode, Printer, and Fax/Scanner appear on the MFP display.
4. Run the Toner Motor test: Engine Diag > Motor Test > (C)(M)(Y)(K) Toner Motor.

Exiting Service Diagnostics
Scroll to Exit Mode, select Complete, then press OK.

Conclusion on the Light Print Issues

Obviously, this article only touches on specific problem with the light print issues. However, I’ve seen this enough to know it’s a real problem with these Xerox and Dell models. I hope this will help others find solutions to there problems. Not every problem is the same and this might not be the fix for your particular issue. If anything it might help you rule out several parts of the machine.

HP Laserjet Enterprise 500 Color M551dn, (CF082A)

Price: $1,730.20

9 used & new available from $549.99

  1. This solved my problem. I retired a printer this spring that developed this issue at 20,000 impressions. Bought an identical printer and developed this issue at 3800 impressions. Called Xerox for support, they are sending me a new imaging unit. I did not think that was the issue as a new imaging unit did not fix the old printer.

    I ran the black toner motor on the printer, problem solved. Then I hooked up the old 6505 which had the same issue, and ran all the toner motors, problem solved. I now have a spare printer.

  2. Thank you so much! This fixed our problem!

  3. Thank you, thank you, 1000 times thank you!!! I thought it was the cheap after market toner that I replaced it with. So, I bought another brand and it did the same thing! I print a lot for my schooling and was devastated that my printer might be dead. I did this fix and it worked!!! The toner motor check was REALLY loud and took a long time. I finally just turned the printer off and back on. I hope I didn’t wreck anything. The new print is vibrant and dark! Some of the italic words came out looking a little weird, so I hope that isn’t something I screwed up.

  4. I have same issue printing light with all colors on the left side of the page only. i am going to be replacing the transfer belt but am thinking this is the solution i will update.

  5. Fixed my issue with a ROS (laser) assembly. The windows were clear by the way.

  6. I can also say that this worked. I was seeing very light black after I installed some aftermarket toner.

    I did the Service Diagnostics method, not the manual method, and ran the toner motor test. After about 20 seconds the printer made a grinding noise. I got scared and turned it off, haha, but there were no problems.

    After printing about 50 pages, the black was much darker.

  7. Worked. Thanks a lot. Was about to lose all hope regarding this printer and you just saved me $$ in these tough days. Thanks for this sir

  8. This worked for me. Thank you for your efforts.

  9. Great article!

    I was facing the same problem: black printed as light gray. I blamed the non-branded replacement toner cartridge, but after I got that one replaced under warranty, the prints remained bleak. Then, after a bit of google-ing I stumbled upon your article.

    I didn’t check the auger, but went straight to step 5. I think I let the motor run a bit too short for the first time (afraid I might break something), because I saw little or no improvement. However, after I let it run for a second time for the full 30 seconds, black printing was restored after just a few prints.

    Thanks so much!

  10. I used the steps to go into diagnostic mode and run the toner motor for the affected color. This worked perfectly and resolved the issue within printing two pages afterwards. Thank you so much for this information!

    My machine is a XEROX Phaser 6125N.

  11. THANK YOU this solved the problem easy peasy 123. i was ready to throw the printer out the window, i thought it was that unfixable.

  12. My goodness!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks so much for this post. I spent about 2 hours this morning trying everything from cleaning the lens, cleaning the developer, toner refresh, factory reset and whatever it was that would make the printer to reset some kind of ways. Nothing worked!

    Then I called Xerox. Of course, the representative didn’t help either. Her suggestion was to send a technician over which isn’t covered by my warranty.

    Something tell me that a service call to my office wouldn’t have fixed my problem. This is a relatively new printer. It just makes very little sense to me how putting a new toner would cause this problem. Also, it gave me pause also when the prints were so evenly faded.

    Then I came a cross this post. It worked almost immediately. The first two pages were still grey after exiting the motor test mode. But it worked immediately after I restarted the printer.

    Thanks again for your solution! I was going to buy a new printer as a result and never use Xerox ever again. 🙂

  13. I had been hopeful this would be my solution, as it had been for others but I may have found that my issue is worse.

    About 15 seconds into the toner motor test, the printer began making a loud rattling from the motor. I can only assume this means that it had failed the test.

    I can’t find a source for a replacement anywhere online, I’m guessing a new printer is in my future. Could there be a source I have not found?

    Thanks for the great you’ve provided so far!

  14. Ran this for my blue ink cartridge – that I was sure was faulty – but this did the trick. I also got the weird rattle noise after about 30 seconds. But I turned the machine off and back on and it was instant success. Thank you so much!

  15. Thank you, that also solved my issue

  16. thanks alot for this usefull tip, this save my live…

  17. Totally helped! My blue was printing pink. There are still a few print quality issues (blotchy pink hues in the blue) but at least I have blue back. Thank you!

  18. I’m shocked, but it worked for me as well. I could see the black ink getting better as each sheet printed. Thanks for helping your fellow community!

  19. This solved my problem as well. I had already swapped toner cartridges and reset the levels to no avail.

  20. Had faded black. Did step 5 and worked perfectly. Only issue is I couldn’t find the “Exit” in the menu choices so I just turned off the printer (after cancelling the motor test). Black quality returned on the 3rd page. Xerox 6500. Thank you!!

  21. Well, guess what, it also solved my problem. Before doing step 5, I took a small hose connected to a vacuum cleaner, and remove ink powder stuck behind little trap door right beside the gear.Didn’t help. So step 5 was the magic trick.
    Hope it will last for a while.
    Thank you.

  22. Thanks worked for me Workcentre 6505 Duplex. Below adapted version for 6505
    1. Turn the printer Off.
    2. Press and hold the Up and Down arrows simultaneously and turn the printer On.
    3. Release the buttons when Service Mode (printer Diag, Fax/scanner Diag) is on the display.
    4. Printer Diag > OK
    5. Arrow down → Engine diag > Ok > Arrow Down → Motor Test > OK
    6. 23x Arrow Down (Yes 23 ) > yellow (24x = Magenta, 25x=Cyan, 26x=Black) > Ok > give it a 30 second run > Noice: toner is pumpt internal > push red button to stop.
    8. Do a printtest with the problemcolor. Resolved? No? → Try another 30 seconds enz
    My problem was solved after about 4 or 5 runs

  23. Thank you!!! Thank you!!! I can’t believe that it actually worked–and on the first try. I was a little nervous to do it, but it saved me $200. Did I say “Thank you”? I printed one copy after going through your instructions and it looked the same. The second sheet came out beautiful-really beautiful!!! The repair people at Xerox had told me the only answer was to replace the drum. I appreciate so much you sharing this online…

  24. You’re a god! I’ve tried this on my Xerox Phaser 6125 and it works!
    I noticed that all of the colours were printing faint down the right hand side and after months of messing around and even replacing the imaging unit it was still happening. I ran the motors on all 4 colours and problem solved! Thank you so much for your help.

  25. I am having the same issue with a Fuji Xerox DocuPrint C1190 FS. Do you know if these steps can be used on this model?

  26. Thank you for this. I was on the verge of buying a new imaging unit when my Xerox Phaser 6130 started printing everything really light after I changed a toner cartridge. (And with an imaging unit costing $200, I was even contemplating buying a new printer altogether).

    I did the instructions on the magenta — didnt read the instructions correctly and I let it run for like 5 minutes with all the noise. I then read the instructions again and did it for 30 seconds on the other toners.

    I have my full color back.

  27. This is a fine and immediate solution for the known problem!

  28. I have xerox workcentre 6505 printer..the problem is it jam the paper and start noise ..when clean out the jam paper out it again start big nouse ..need solution plz

  29. Remove all the paper and put new paper in. Look for pieces of paper inside, if theres a scrap itll jam. Especially if you used labels. If its getting stuck and crinkling you probably have a piece of paper left inside before the registration. If it doesn’t pick at all you may have a worn roller, make sure the roller doesn’t have a bald spot. Your description is vague and without more info it would be hard to pinpoint your issue.

  30. HI,

    I have 2 Phaser 6250’s and they both every now and then give black as light gray.

    Also get the message like, ‘Wrong Paper size’ yet I have the correct size in. Checked software too but it is the printer for sure.

    Every now and then also hear a whir sound on the right side of the printer and get a paper jam staright after. No whir sound and no jam.

    Any ideas please how to correct.

    I really like the printers when they work and have so many spare consumables, imagers, fusers etc., I want to be able to use them.

  31. Check the paper guides in the tray and check the setting in the menus. Fan the paper before loading into tray. And remove all the paper and reinstall and only install straight from a new ream of paper. Make sure your paper is in a cool dry place. Humidity, damaged paper, tray guides, worn rollers are all good places to start.

  32. It fixed my Phaser 6500 and now works like a charm. Thank you very much for a well written and informative article that actually worked!

  33. Thank you so much. This plus cleaning the transfer roller with a chempad wipe worked for me. Thought I was out $500 for a new printer.

  34. You are a God…..I don’t know why or how this works, but three weeks of going through suggestions on tech pages….one of the few I understood, and the only one that actually worked.

  35. How is the above “toner motor test” performed on a fujixerox cm215fw laser printer.
    Have cleaned everything, corrected all settings, tired
    Can one perform this procedure on a cm215fw. Thankyou : )

  36. Thank you so much for the info! I tried the options mentioned in the maintenance section of the printer before finding your solution. Like another commenter, I directly went to step 5 and followed the instructions there. For the Xerox 6505, the way to get the black toner rotor was a bit different but worked perfect in the end.

    Thanks again!

  37. Worked great, thanks for the tip. My printer is now back to excellent black printing.

  38. Thank you for posting this. Our office recently moved and we thought the issue was caused by the move for our 6505. Followed the steps above and the printer is working great! Thanks a million!

  39. Like many above, my Phaser 6130 had been printing black as gray and cyan as light cyan. I tried making adjustments to the printing preferences to “brighten” the colors to no avail. I tried several replacement toner cartridges and that did not help. I finally ordered the OEM Xerox Black toner cartridge. Of course 30 minutes later, I saw this article and recommendation. I let it run 10 minutes on the black toner motor, with all the noise, and stopped after reading additional comments. I ran the cyan toner motor for 30 seconds and my Phaser 6310 prints as good as new. I have now changed all my Xerox printer presets back to their default settings. Every prints looks great. With my OEM black cartridge in the mail, I’m set. You saved my life, or at least my life savings. Thank you.

  40. Hi, do you know how to do this on a Phaser 6600, please? My black is faded, too.