Zebra Printer Repair Common Issues

Common Issues That Can Keep Your Zebra Printer from Operating Efficiently
by Timmy Thermal

To continue our coverage of Zebra printer repair and Zebra printer service, I’d like to discuss some of the most common issues users face with Zebra printers. While this isn’t a comprehensive list of every single known problem and how to troubleshoot it, this will provide probable causes and solutions for some of the most debilitating and common issues.
To start, I’d like to highlight one of the more “I can’t believe that was the problem” problems or ICBTWTPP…I’m still working on the acronym…and the name. I’m talking about things that might cause your LCD display on your Zebra printer (should you have one) to not turn on. It could be anything from your printer being unplugged or turned off (sometimes the simplest solution is the right solution) to a blown 15 amp fuse or a defective power supply. Of course, those aren’t the only possible causes. If your LCD display isn’t working it could be a loose display cable or a bad display PCB.
Two of the most common complaints we get here at MIDCOM when it comes to Zebra printers, or thermal printers in general, is that customers are seeing lines in their print. Now, depending on whether these lines are vertical or horizontal determines what the probable cause is. If the lines are vertical, it is likely that the printhead has blown, in which case it needs to be replaced. If the lines are horizontal, it is likely that the ribbon is tracking, in which case you must adjust the ribbon guide bar.Zebra 105SL Plus
Another problem we often hear about are printed labels being faded just on the ends of the labels. This is likely due to the printhead’s balance being misadjusted. All you need to do is adjust the printhead spring tension hold-downs. Now, if the print is faded or very light across the whole label, it is more likely that your printhead is dirty and needs to be cleaned or you need to change the darkness setting in the LCD menu.
The last two Zebra printer problems I want to talk about start with printers not receiving sent print jobs. This can be caused by a few things. It’s possible that the communication cable is disconnected or the wrong cable is being use, the communication parameters are not matched correctly, in which case you must make sure that both the computer and your printer’s communications match, or the printer might simply be in “pause” mode, in which case all you need to do is turn off pause mode.
The last problem I want to speak about is what I like to call the “Your printer hates you so much it’s actually sticking its tongue out at you.” …I’m terrible with names. When your Zebra printer is continuously printing labels without being told to, it could be that your label pitch sensor is miscalibrated or defective, in which case the sensor must be readjusted or replaced. Two other possible causes are that the sensor is dirty, in which case you need to clean it, or the labels are installed incorrectly, in which case you must reinstall them.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our series of blog posts on Zebra printer repair and how you can get the most out of them. Stay tuned for our next series on custom labels. In the meantime, if you’d like to give us a call, you can reach us at (800) MIDCOM-4 Service (643-2664) or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!

Past articles in series:
Warranties and Zebra Printer Repair
Zebra Printer Support End
Zebra Printer Preventative Maintenance