I’ve been out on service calls and have seen, or heard, unusual things happening in the exit area of the HP 4200/4300 printers. What I’ve noticed is that sometimes the paper feeds through normally but with a little extra clicking or snapping noise. Other times the noise is accompanied by the paper not feeding through properly.
There are two exit flags that paper has to go through as it exits out of the machine to the face-down delivery area. One right-side flag is for the face-down bin-full sensor and the left side flag is just to provide equal pressure on the paper to the right side flag. On the bottom of the top cover HP has put two dampener pads like what you see on a solenoid. Over time these pads wear out. When they wear out the sticky tape underneath is exposed. When the flags are resting in the home position, part of the flag sticks to the tape under the worn out pads. When the paper hits the exit flags, the flag(s) sticks but then suddenly release creating a louder than usual click or snapping sound. Other times you will notice that one of the flags doesn’t move and the paper feeds out of the exit area improperly. The flags should move up with little effort. Try to lift the flag and feel if it is sticking to the bottom side of the top cover.
There are two ways to fix this problem. One option is to replace the whole top cover. This might be overkill. Another option is to remove the top cover and remove the pads. For the top cover removal procedure click on this link for the service manual.
Once you have the top cover off, flip it over and you will see two small black pads. The pads are only about a quarter inch in length. One of the pads might be hard to see or get to. There are two screws on the bottom side that can be removed and the plastic over the center pad will come off. Once you can get to the two pads you can remove them with a damp cloth and alcohol. Remove the worn out pads and make sure you get all the sticky tape underneath too. Reinstall the top cover and test the machine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.