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HP Color LaserJet CP3505 Series Printer - How to troubleshoot print-quality issues

This document is intended to help troubleshoot print-quality issues for HP Color LaserJet models CP3505, CP3505n, CP3505dn, and CP3505x.

Diagnose the print-quality issue

The following sections list common causes affecting print quality. Use the following information to first determine the cause of the print-quality issue.

Media type

Some print-quality issues arise from the use of inappropriate media. Using media that meets HP paper specifications can help. Print quality issues can be caused by the following conditions:

  • The surface of the media is too smooth.

  • The moisture content is uneven, too high, or too low. Use media from a different source or from an unopened ream.

  • Some areas of the media reject toner. Use media from a different source or from an unopened ream.

  • Letterhead printed on rough paper. Use a smoother, xerographic paper. If this resolves your issue, ask the supplier of your letterhead to use paper that meets the specifications for this printer.

  • The paper is excessively rough. Use a smoother, xerographic paper.

  • The driver setting is incorrect. Make sure the latest drivers are installed. Visit Support and Drivers to download the latest drivers and ensure the correct settings for your product.

  • The media that you are using is too heavy for the media type setting that you selected, and the toner is not fusing to the media.

Overhead transparency defects

Overhead transparencies can display some of the same image-quality issues as other types of media. There are also defects that are specific to printing on transparencies because transparencies are pliable in the print path and the paper-handling components can mark their surface. Most print-quality issues involving transparencies can be resolved by ensuring that the transparencies meet the specifications for this printer. Print quality issues can be caused by the following transparency conditions:

Allow transparencies to cool for at least 30 seconds before handling them.
  • The driver setting is incorrect. In the printer driver Paper tab, select Transparency as the paper type. If printed colors look wrong when printed, select different color settings in the software program or printer driver.

  • The tray is not correctly configured for transparencies.

  • The transparencies are not designed for correct toner adhesion. Use only transparencies that are designed for HP Color LaserJet printers.

  • The transparenices were handled incorrectly. Oil from fingers can cause spots and smudges. Handle transparencies by the edges.

  • The transparencies were stuck together in the output bin. This might result in small, random, dark areas on the trailing edge of solid-fill pages. Try printing the job in smaller batches.

  • The overhead projector type. If you are using a reflective overhead projector with printed transparencies, use a standard overhead projector instead.


If the printer is operating in excessively humid or dry conditions, print-quality issues can result. See the product's getting started guide for operating-environment specifications and verify that your printing environment meets those conditions.


Print-quality issues can result from paper or media jams if the sheets do not pass through the fuser, which might causes image defects on subsequent documents. Most print-quality issues can be resolved by clearing the jam, and then printing two to three pages to clean the printer.

Toner buildup inside the printer

Over time, toner and other particles can collect inside the printer. This buildup can cause the following print-quality issues:

To help reduce toner buildup, always configure the media type in the tray to match the media type that you are using. Printing on media that is a different type than the configuration setting can cause excess toner buildup.
  • Marks at even intervals on the printed side of the page

  • Toner that smears easily

  • Toner specs on the page

  • Vertical streaks or bands on the page

To resolve these types of issues, clean the printer.

Solve the print-quality issue

Try the following solutions to help resolve print-quality issues:

Clean the product

Cleaning the product can help resolve most print-quality issues. See the product's user guide for help in cleaning the product.

Use the control panel to troubleshoot

Use the product control panel to diagnose and help resolve some print-quality issues with the built-in troubleshooting feature.

  1. Press Menu.

  2. Press down buttondown button to highlight DIAGNOSTICS, and then press checkmarkcheckmark.

  3. Press down buttondown button to highlight PQ TROUBLESHOOTING, and then press checkmarkcheckmark to print the pages.

The printer returns to the Ready state after printing the troubleshooting pages. If print-quality defects exist on the print-quality-troubleshooting pages, calibrate the printer.

Calibrate the printer

Calibration is a printer function that optimizes print quality and can help resolve some print quality issues.

  1. Press Menu.

  2. Press down buttondown button to highlight CONFIGURE DEVICE, and then press checkmarkcheckmark.

  3. Press down buttondown button to highlight PRINT QUALITY, and then press checkmarkcheckmark.

  4. Press down buttondown button to highlight FULL CALIBRATE NOW, and then press checkmarkcheckmark.

  5. If the print-quality issue is still present after calibrating the printer, continue to the next solution.

Use the Print Quality Troubleshooting Tool

The print quality troubleshooting tool helps you identify and troubleshoot print quality issues for the HP Color LaserJet CP3505 Series Printer. The tool includes solutions for many print quality issues, using standard images to provide a common diagnostic environment. It is designed to provide intuitive, step-by-step directions for printing troubleshooting pages that are used to isolate print quality problems and provide possible solutions.

To find the print quality troubleshooting tool, go to the following URL:

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