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The Carriage is Stuck for HP Deskjet 6940, 6980, and 6988 Printer Series

Issue

The print carriage does not move.

Solution

Step one: Turn the printer off and on again

  1. Turn off the printer by pressing and releasing the Power button. If the printer does not turn off, proceed to Step two: Clear any paper jam.

  2. After the printer turns off, press the Power button to turn the printer on again.

    NOTE: The printer might go through a warm-up period of up to 2 minutes. Lights might flash and the print carriage might move. Wait until this warm-up period is complete before proceeding to the next step.
  3. If the Power light is on and steady, print a self-test page using the instructions in Step eight: Print a self-test page.

If the Power light is blinking and the print carriage is remains stalled, proceed to the next step.

Step two: Clear any paper jam

Clear the printer of any jammed paper.

  1. Press the Resume button on the printer front panel. If the paper jam does not clear, continue with this procedure.

    Figure 1: Front panel

    1 - Power button and light
    2 - Print Cancel button
    3 - Resume button and light
    4 - Network light
    5 - Report Page button
    6 - Ink cartridge status lights
  2. Leave the printer turned on, disconnect the power cable from the printer, and then disconnect the USB cable from the back of the printer. Do not reconnect them until instructed to do so.

  3. Push the two latch handles on the rear access door of the printer toward each other, and then remove the door.

    Figure 2: Removing the rear access door

  4. Remove any paper that is inside the printer by pulling the paper out from the back of the printer.

    NOTE: When printing labels, make sure that a label did not become detached from the label sheet while passing through the printer.
  5. Replace the rear access door securely.

    Figure 3: Replacing the rear access door

  6. If the paper jam cannot be removed from the back of the printer, raise the printer cover, remove the paper jam from the front of the printer, and then lower the cover.

    CAUTION: Remove the paper carefully. It is possible to damage the printer when removing paper from the front of the printer.
  7. Reconnect only the power cable. If the printer does not automatically turn on, turn it on by pressing the Power button.

    NOTE: The printer might go through a warm-up period of up to 2 minutes. Lights might flash and the print carriage might move. Wait until this warm-up period is complete before continuing with the next step.
  8. Plug the USB cable into the back of the printer.

  9. If the Power light is on and steady, print a self-test page using the instructions in Step eight: Print a self-test page. If the page prints, the issue is resolved. Print the document again.

    If the self-text page does not print, proceed to the next step.

If the Power light is blinking and the print carriage is still in a stalled position, proceed to the next step.

Step three: Make sure that the carriage moves freely

Use these steps to make sure the print carriage can move freely.

  1. With the printer turned on, open the printer cover. The print carriage might move into the access area automatically. Allow it to move to that position.
    NOTE: If the print carriage does not move automatically into the access area, turn off the printer by pressing the Power button.

    Figure 4: Lifting the printer cover

  2. Disconnect the power cord from the back of the printer.

  3. Looking in through either the ink cartridge access door or the output paper tray, make sure that no obstructions under or around the print carriage are blocking it from moving.

  4. Make sure that the print carriage can move freely across the width of the printer by gently pushing the print carriage to the left and then to the right. Clear any obstructions.

  5. Look for a small plastic tab or the x-bias spring in the print carriage area. The x-bias spring might be dislodged or missing if the small plastic tab in the print carriage chute is broken. The broken tab might be in either one of the print carriage chutes.

    Figure 5: Print carriage chute and x-bias spring

    1 - Print carriage chute
    2 - X-bias spring

    Figure 6: Broken tab and dislodged X-bias spring

    1 - Broken tab
    2 - Dislodged X-bias spring

    If the print carriage chute, tab, or x-bias spring is broken, continue with Step nine: Service the printer.

    If the print carriage chute, tab, and x-bias spring are not broken, continue with this procedure.

  6. Close the ink cartridge access door, and then reconnect the power cord to the back of the printer.

  7. Press the On button to turn on the printer.

  8. Try to print again to see if this resolves the issue. If this does not resolve the issue, proceed to the next step.

Step four: Remove the ink cartridges

Follow these instructions to remove the ink cartridges.

  1. Make sure the printer is turned on.

  2. Open the printer cover, and then wait until the print carriage is idle and silent.

    Figure 7: Lifting the printer cover

  3. Press down lightly on top of the ink cartridge latch.

  4. Lift the bottom of the latch to unhook it.

    Figure 8: Lifting the ink cartridge latch

  5. Slide the ink cartridge out.

    Figure 9: Sliding the ink cartridge out

    NOTE: When temporarily removing a working ink cartridge (for instance, removing a black ink cartridge in order to install a photo cartridge), put it in a cartridge protector. Cartridge protectors come with photo cartridges.

Step five: Reinstall the ink cartridges

Follow these steps to reinstall the ink cartridges.

  1. Hold the ink cartridge so the nozzles are down and the contacts face the printer, and then slide the ink cartridge into the print carriage slot.

    • Cartridges marked with a triangle go into the left print carriage slot.

    • Cartridges marked with a square or pentagon go into the right print carriage slot.

    Figure 10: Inserting the ink cartridges into the correct slot

  2. Push down on the ink cartridge latch until it snaps closed.

    Figure 11: Snapping the print carriage latch closed

  3. Close the printer cover.

  4. Try to print again to see if this step resolves the issue. If it does not, proceed to the next step.

Step six: Plug the printer directly into a wall outlet

Make sure that the printer iscorrectly connected to a suitable power source.

  1. Make sure that both the computer and the printer have a three-prong power plug.

  2. Remove the printer cable from any power strips or surge suppressors, and then plug it directly into a grounded (three-prong) wall outlet.

  3. Try to print again to see if this step resolves the issue. If it does not, continue with the next step.

    NOTE: If the printer prints when plugged directly into a wall outlet, the power strip or surge suppressor might not be allowing sufficient voltage to reach the product.

Step seven: Perform a partial reset

A partial reset returns user settings to factory defaults. On some models, language and country/region settings are also reset. Use these steps to perform a partial reset of the product.

  1. Press and hold the Report Page button on the front panel of the printer.

  2. While holding down the Report Page button, press the Cancel button three times.

Try the print job again to see if this step resolved the issue. If the job prints, the issue is resolved. If the issue is not resolved, continue to the next step.

Step eight: Print a self-test page

  1. Make sure the printer is turned on.

  2. Press and hold the Print Cancel button.

Figure 12: Self-test page

The self-test page should print. If the printer does not print the self-test page, proceed to the next step.

Step nine: Service the printer

Contacting HP for service in Asia Pacific.

If you completed all the preceding steps and your product still has an issue, you might need further assistance from HP.

Go to Contact HP to review available service options.

Contacting HP for service in all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.

If you completed all the preceding steps and your product still has an issue, service the product.

First, go to HP Printer Warranty Check to check your warranty status, and then go to Contact HP to find an authorized service dealer or to schedule a repair. Repair fees might apply for out of warranty printers.

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