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HP LaserJet 8100 and 8150 Printers - Troubleshooting Wrinkling Media

Document number bpl12375

ISSUE: The output from the printer is wrinkled. There are no error messages on the printer control panel and no paper jams. The wrinkling can include horizontal or vertical lines through the page, or folded edges (dog ears).

CAUSE: There are several areas in the printer where wrinkling can occur. The four most common areas are:

  • Pre-transfer

  • Transfer

  • Post-transfer

  • Destination

A half self-test can help determine at which area the wrinkling is occurring. The most common causes for wrinkling are:

  • Media out of specifications

  • Tray guides not set correctly

  • Worn or damaged feed/pick rollers

  • Torn paper pieces in the paper path

  • Third party print cartridges

  • Damaged print cartridge flap

  • Damaged transfer roller

  • Fuser rollers set for envelope

    NOTE: Always verify the media in use meets the specifications outlined in the HP LaserJet Printer Family Print Media Guide .

Perform a half self-test to determine where the wrinkling is occurring. Follow the steps outlined in each section below to troubleshoot that specific area.

Perform a half self-test

The purpose of the Half Self Test Check is to determine which process is malfunctioning. Perform the test as follows:

  1. Print a PCL Configuration Page from the Control Panel Test Menu.

  2. Open the top cover after the paper advances halfway through the printer (about five seconds after the Main Motor begins rotation). The leading edge of the paper should have advanced past the print cartridge.

  3. After stopping the page, remove the print cartridge and the paper. If the paper is not wrinkled at this point, the issue is not with the trays or paper input devices.

  4. Perform the half self-test again, letting it go a second longer so the paper reaches the transfer roller assembly. If the paper is not wrinkled at this point, the issue is most likely with the fuser assembly or output area.

NOTE: It may be necessary to perform the half self test multiple times to confirm which area has the issue.

Perform a paper path test

  1. Press the MENU key until Information Menu is displayed.

  2. Press the ITEM key until Paper Path Test is displayed.

  3. Press SELECT.

  4. When INPUT = TRAY 1 is displayed, press the + key until INPUT = TRAY 2 is displayed.

  5. Press SELECT.

  6. When DESTINATION = LEFT BIN is displayed, press the + key until TOP OUTPUT is displayed.

  7. Press SELECT.

  8. When COPIES = 1 is displayed, press SELECT or press the + key to print 10 pages.

  9. Press SELECT.

  10. The paper path test will initialize.

    NOTE: If a duplex unit is installed, the display will show 2-SIDED = ON. Press the + key to turn 2-sided printing off to eliminate the duplex unit as part of the issue.

Pre-transfer wrinkling

Pre-transfer wrinkling indicates the issue is between the paper tray and the transfer roller. The cause may be the tray guides, vertical transfer unit on Tray 4, the PIU access door on the right side of the printer, or the registration assembly.

  1. Ensure all paper guides are in the proper position in each tray.

  2. Remove the duplex unit, if one is present, and run a paper path test to verify duplex unit is not the cause. If paper path test shows no wrinkling with duplex unit removed, replace the unit.

  3. Perform a paper path test from each tray to isolate a particular tray.

  4. Inspect the Vertical Transfer Unit on the right side of the printer, which transports paper from Tray 4 into the printer, for damage or stray media.

  5. Inspect the registration assembly under the print cartridge for damage or stray media.

  6. Lift the green handle of the registration assembly and inspect the pivot tab at the lower left of the bottom plate for damage.

  7. Ensure the Mylar strip on the top plate is not damaged or tucked under the chrome bar.

  8. Click here to go to the paper path test instructions.

Transfer wrinkling

Transfer wrinkling indicates the issue is between the registration assembly and the fuser assembly. The cause may be the print cartridge or the transfer roller assembly.

  1. Ensure the print cartridge is not third party or re-manufactured. This includes refilled cartridges.

  2. Remove the print cartridge and inspect for damage. A damaged drum or flap can cause wrinkled output or jams.

  3. If a HP print cartridge is used, check page count and ensure print cartridge is not being used beyond its normal life cycle. If there is high page count with low toner coverage, the print cartridge may still have toner left but too many revolutions of the drum, which causes seal problems.

  4. Ensure the transfer roller is not damaged or unseated. Remove, inspect, and reseat.

    1. Lift the blue gear on the left side just enough to unseat the roller.

    2. Slide the roller to the left to remove it.

      CAUTION: Pulling up on the right side will damage the seat for the transfer roller.
    3. Inspect the retaining clip for the roller on the left side. It should be firmly attached and spring back when pressure is applied and released. If it has popped loose and the spring underneath is no longer permanently attached, the Feeder Assembly will need to be replaced by an authorized technician. (Click here for more support options.)

    4. Inspect the right retaining clip the same as the left.

    5. Inspect the copper contact and two remaining springs for damage. If the copper contact is bent or missing, or if either or both of the springs are missing the feeder assembly will need to be replaced by an authorized technician. (Click here for more support options.)

  5. Reseat the transfer roller.

    1. Slide the right end into the retaining clip.

    2. Reseat the left end on the retaining clip.

    3. Push down to seat it into place.

    4. Push the right and left sides of the transfer guide down and ensure the entire roller snaps into place. There are three places where the transfer guide should snap into place: one on each end, and one in the center.

  6. Replace the print cartridge and run a paper path test.

  7. Click here to go to the paper path test instructions.

Post transfer wrinkling

Post transfer wrinkling indicates the issue is between the transfer roller and the fusing assembly. There could be debris in the path between the transfer roller and fuser, or the fuser may be causing the wrinkling.

NOTE: Remove any paper output accessories on the left side of the printer. Perform a paper path test with the left output as the destination and determine if the paper is wrinkled during the fusing process. If there are no wrinkles during the fusing stage, continue to the Destination section.
  1. Ensure envelope levers (gray levers) on the fuser assembly are in the down position for plain media and up for envelopes.

  2. Remove the print cartridge and check the path from the transfer roller to the fuser inlet for excess toner accumulation.

  3. Remove the fuser and inspect the inlet for damage or toner build up (Figure 1). Third-party print cartridges or HP print cartridges that are being used beyond their life cycle can cause toner dumping which collects at the inlet of the fuser. As the toner builds up and hardens, it will catch the leading edge of the paper, causing folded corners called "dog-earing" (Figure 2, call-out 1), wrinkling (Figure 2, call-out 2).

  4. Inspect the bottom rollers of the fuser for calcium carbonate build up, usually black plastic flakes that are visible. If present, and the buildup cannot be cleaned, it may require replacement of the fuser.

  5. Click here to go to the paper path test instructions.

Figure 1: Fuser inlet with toner build up

Figure 2: Dog-ear folds and wrinkles from fuser

1 - Dog-ear folds
2 - Wrinkles from toner build up


Destination wrinkling indicates the issue is between the fuser and the output destination. Remove any output devices and run the paper path test with the left output bin as the destination. If it is already wrinkled, the fuser is suspect. If the top output bin is the destination used, there may be paper accordion jammed in the path or the rollers may be worn.

  1. Remove accessories and perform a paper path test to the left output.

  2. If no wrinkling occurs, replace the accessory and test again.

  3. If wrinkling occurs, troubleshoot the output device.

  4. Perform a paper path test to the top output bin.

  5. If wrinkling occurs in the top output path, manually roll a piece of paper through to the Face Down Delivery bin to determine if the sensor is stuck or if media is catching in the output area. (Figure 3)

  6. Click here to go to the paper path test instructions.

Figure 3: Path to face down delivery bin

Contact HP?

If the issue is unresolved, contact HP support and provide them with the following information:

Document number BPL12375 used for troubleshooting and a brief problem description to assist HP support in resolving the issue.

  • Is the media used within HP specifications?

  • Which printer model is having the issue? (8100 or 8150)

  • Did the wrinkled output have toner inside the creases or on the top?

  • Is the print cartridge being used a genuine HP part?

  • Are any rollers worn or damaged?

  • Are the retaining rings or the copper spring under the transfer roller damaged?

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