Issues Related to the HP P3015 LaserJet Printer

Today, let’s discuss three common problems with the HP P3015 model printer.

But first, let me say that for whatever reason, I haven’t gotten many service calls on these machines. And, from seeing what other technicians say on the online forums, they haven’t encountered a lot either. I don’t know if companies just weren’t buying them because the P3005 printer had so many problems and they thought the P3015 model, being the newer version, was going to have the same amount of trouble, or if it was the price tag.  Companies could buy the P4014 or P4015 for not too much more. And ven the reputation of other HP 4000 series models, they might have gone that way being pretty confident the P4014 or P4015 was a safer bet.

One other caveat: every one of the HP P3015 printers I’ve serviced has had over 100,000 prints and had never been previously serviced. I’ve seen one that had over 200,000 prints and the fuser still looked great. So it would appear HP realized they had a huge problem with the previous model and has taken great strides to return the 3000 series to what it was intended to be.

OK – that’s the background from my perspective, now onto some troubleshooting…

51.10 Printer Error related to the Laser Scanner Assembly Malfunction
I’ve seen this error a few times and wrote another post in regards to this recurring issue (see it here) and since that post gets lots of views I thought I would throw it in here given that Market Point sells laser scanner assemblies, realizing this information would be beneficial for both the end user and Market Point.

The Problem
The machine turns on and goes to a ready state. Once you send a print job to it, it starts to go through its normal warm-up procedure then comes up with the 51.10 printer error, meaning that the laser scanner unit didn’t come up to operating speed in time.

You’ll Need to do a Laser Scanner Test
1. Restart the machine and let it go to a ready state.
2. Scroll to the Diagnostic Menu and press enter.
3. Scroll to the Component Test menu and press enter.
4. Scroll to Laser Scanner Motor Test and press enter.
5. Listen to hear if the laser scanner motor turns on.
6. If that fails HP suggests to verify that everything is connected properly but, most likely at this point, you will have all the evidence you need to know the laser scanner assembly needs to be replaced.

I’m not going to go through how to replace the laser scanner unit in this article because it’s a little more complicated in the P3015 than some other models. However, if you read further down to the section about checking the solenoid, that will get you started with the removal procedure. The best information I can give someone who doesn’t work on these printers a lot is to find a service manual to help walk you through the process. Or, if you feel up to trying to figure it out by yourself, the laser scanner assembly sits on top of the machine right under the top cover where the paper exits the machine.

HP P3015 Laser Scan Assembly removal

Thumping Noise Coming from By-pass Tray
I can’t believe the number of times I’ve seen this error and it’s very surprising. I’ve had very few problems with by-pass trays on HP machines. However, on this model, I’ve seen quite a few and, from the number of post views on this topic, it looks like I’m not the only one.

The Problem
Most times I get a call from my customer saying the printer doesn’t feed from the by-pass tray. Other times I’ve been called out for service for other reasons and I hear a thumping noise when the machine operates but the customer isn’t even aware there is a problem. By opening up the by-pass tray door you can see if this problem is related to the by-pass tray by sending a print job to the machine and watching to see if the by-pass tray raises and lowers when no paper is installed in the tray. If the tray lifts and lowers as it prints, then stops when the job is done, we know we probably have a problem with the spring on the by-pass pick roller solenoid. I’ve seen the spring bend on the top loop that holds the solenoid arm in place and I’ve seen it fall off and drop down to the bottom of the machine. At this point the side covers need to be removed to see what’s going on.

DIMM Cover Removal
1. Slide the DIMM cover toward the back of the product to release it.
2. Lift the cover away from the product.

Formatter cover
1. Remove one screw, and then slide the formatter cover toward the back of the product to release it.
2. Lift the cover away from the product.

Top-right cover
1. Remove 3 screws.
2. Lift the cover off of the product to remove it.

Control panel
1. Press the cartridge-door release button, and then open the cartridge door. Make sure that the door is completely open.
2. Disconnect one connector, and then remove one screw.
3. Slide the control panel toward the front of the product to release it.
4. Lift the control panel off of the product.

See picture below for location of spring on solenoid.


Re-install the spring and you should be good to go. A pair of needle noise pliers and patience comes in handy here. If the top of the spring is stretched out you probably will have to reform the spring or cut out the top hook and bend the next loop down on the spring up vertical to create a new hook.

Marks on Back Side of Print or on Duplex Jobs
This one I’ll kind of leave up to debate. I’ve seen this several times and I’ve talked to other technicians about the problem because a few have also witnessed it but haven’t come up with a solid solution.

On the back side of prints are two black smudge marks.  This isn’t generally a big deal unless you’re duplex printing so the smudges show up on the second side of the printed document. I have noticed this problem when on service calls for an unrelated problem but the customer didn’t even notice it was happening.

What happens is the pick up roller feeds the paper up to the second feed section in the printer. Every once in a while the paper will stop moving and the two feed rollers slip on the back side of the paper leaving two marks. Because the paper doesn’t feed up into the registration assembly the pick up roller engages again, the paper is finally pushed up into the registration section and the machine completes the print job. I’ve never seen this cause a jam. It just periodically leaves the two black marks and takes a little longer to feed through.

The three machines I’ve seen this problem on have always had more than 150,000 prints on them. Also, two of them have had the optional tray 3 installed and only exhibited the problem with tray 2.  For one of the printers I just cleaned the secondary feed rollers, replaced the pick up roller and sep pad and thought nothing else of it.  For the second printer I replaced the pick up roller and sep pad and then noticed the problem. I cleaned out the secondary feed section, re-seated the sep pad and rebuilt the old pick up roller assembly with some parts from the new roller assembly and called it a day. The third time I saw this problem was after chatting with some other technicians about the problem and they were confused also, so I thought I would look more closely at what was happening. That’s when I discovered that it seems to have something to do with the idler rollers on either side of the pick up assembly and the sep pad. I found that if I cleaned the sep pad with some cleaner the problem went away only to come back after 20 to 30 prints later. So something in that section is creating enough drag to prevent the secondary feed roller from pulling the paper all the way through.

Obviously, that is my own opinion. I guess it could be something else but every time I cleaned the sep pad the problem went away for a while but then came back. Also, I did notice on these machines with the high print volumes, like a lot of machines with serious usage, it has started to wear down the softer plastic in the feed section; which could be changing the angle at which the paper enters the section and creating more resistance.

Anyway, that’s my input on the matter. I’ve managed to narrow it down to a certain section but somewhat unsure what the absolute solution is. So, on this last problem with marks on the back side of the print, I would love to hear if anybody else out there has run into this issue and if you’ve come up with a resolution to the problem.

I haven’t looked recently for solutions online, but I have looked in the past and unlike with other problems, I haven’t found any solutions for this on the internet. It wasn’t until I heard others talking about it that I realized I was dealing with a recurring problem with this model machine. So by the third time I saw this problem I had already spent some time on that machine fixing several other things and my time was running long so, with it not being a concern to the customer, I had to get out of there before I could come up with a complete fix.

That’s it for now. I’ll keep you posted if I have any more input on the third problem. The other two I’ve seen quite a bit so I’m sure others will find this information useful.

Remember if you have any other questions related to this model or any other machine leave a comment below or move over to the forum section of this blog and ask your question there.

Kevin Gumpp is a certified printer technician and freelance writer for Market Point. Market Point is a HP PartsOne Partner selling HP printer parts. If you have a question regarding this topic or have any other printer repair related questions or topics for which you would like more information, please send an email to

12 thoughts on “Issues Related to the HP P3015 LaserJet Printer

  1. As to the black marks … my P3015dn never had these until I installed a generic cartridge. I am now back to the HP originals and a third into a 55X after the generic the marks are slowly starting to fade. I noticed that the generic toner was very sticky, whereas the HP toner is more oily. Apparently these printer use some of the toner as a lubricant, not so?


  2. There is evidence that the cause of the black marks is a worn section of the registration assembly. I haven’t confirmed this myself, but I am working on it this week. I have found a few sources for this fix recently, and confirmed with HP that the registration assembly has been updated.


  3. Kevin,

    I now have 2 HP P3015dn’s that say there is a jam as the paper is to get first pulled out of the tray, it never lifts from the tray, so I thought it was the pick up roller assembly and I replaced it, but it still says it is jammed, no paper that I can see. Any ideas? Thank you


  4. curious if poeple have solvd the issue with the black marks.
    for us it cuases paper jams every so often . the paper stops somehwere in the 2nd feed section just before it reaches the cartridge and we must pull the paper backwards from the top ot the paper tray area.
    repalced the paper pickup roller and sep pad and the problem only subsided for a few prints.


  5. Pingback: HP LaserJet P3015 Intermittent Jamming or Black Marks on the Back | Market Point's Tech Support Blog

  6. I too have seen this problem and fixed it with the replacement of the tray 2 pickup roller assembly. This part has 2 black rubber rollers which line up perfectly with the smudge. It appears this assembly binds intermittently causing it to drag on these 2 rollers. You can usually hear the bind as a noise when the paper drags through. It is a bit of a bear to replace but has solved the problem for us in the 2 cases we have seen. There are 2 different part numbers for this item 1 w and 1 w/o duplex the duplex P/N is RM1-6268-000.


  7. hi im a printer engineer and have also been racking my brain as to the cause of the problem, i have many of these items on a site that i visit, and have countless machines displaying the marks on back of paper senario, i have just replaced the reg assy and sep pads pick rollers, it is better but i have noticed the marks all be it lesser now but are still there, the problem in my opinion is down to the paper input unit or even the tray two solenoid, i will keep you posted on the fix if any,as the marks relate to the paper input unit i will replace that and see where we go


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