Groaning-type Noise: HP M551, M575, CP4000, and CM4000 Series

I’ve received several calls in the last few months where these machines are experiencing groaning noises. This problem tends to happen only during color prints, during large print jobs, and right after the machine has printed its last page and is preparing to sit idle.

On three of these service calls recently, the problem I found has been with the cartridges. In every case, several of the color toners have been empty and needing to be replaced. Once the empty toners had been replaced the groaning noise went away.  So, if you find yourself or your customers with this issue, check the toner levels and replace the ones that are near empty or empty.

It’s been my experience that people tend not to use the color toners in these machines very often so the cartridges tend to be in the machine for a longer period of time and, unlike most machines, these printers will run even when a toner cartridge is completely out.

On one machine that I worked on the OEM yellow cartridge was completely empty and no yellow toner was on the developer mag. roller or on the demo page but the machine continued to print even though in the usage page the machine said it had no life left.

I’m not saying replacing these empty/near empty toner cartridges will definitely fix all the groaning-type noises but it is something to consider when you get called out to service one of these model printers with this particular print engine.

Kevin Gumpp is a certified printer technician and freelance writer for Market Point. 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

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