Question about Canon Pixma iP4500 InkJet Printer

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Ink cartidge problem

My printer is only 5 months old. Have used it, maybe 4 times, without any difficulty. Now, when I try to print, the message that one of my ink tanks is empty comes up and cancels the job. When I check inside the printer, the light on the cyan ink tank is out. When I remove the tank, it is obviously FULL, so I place it back and try the job again. The same error message continues. I've tried unplugging the printer and resume...same results. It is hard to believe that the ink tank is empty, and it LOOKS full.
Any ideas?

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  • lildinger2 Sep 15, 2008

    I tried your suggestions without a solution. I DID pay closer attention to the alarm lamp this time. It flashes a consistent 15 flashes, stops for a split second, then 15 flashes.........

    And other ideas?


  • carmat694 Oct 26, 2008

    Hey! I too have the same problem - printer only a few months old and all of a sudden I cannot print and the light on the cyan ink is out, but the cartridge is full. I hear the click when I replaced it back in and will trbuy another one tomorrow when the shops open.

  • kavlinna Mar 03, 2009

    I'm facing the exact same problem with the ink cartridge too! The alarm light keeps flashing and the message keeps telling me to "Check Ink", saying that the Cyan cartridge seems to be out of ink. But when I checked the Cyan cartridge, the ink is still full, cos I just replaced the cartridge a week ago ....
    I'm finding this Canon printer such a disappointment, cos it can't print and can't even scan a document for me cos of the problematic Cyan ink cartridge.



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This proposed "beginning" solution assumes that you have already done one important thing. The printer will dislay the exact characteristics you have described if the ink tanks are not placed properly or are not in the correct order. I recognize this is a very elemental step, and no offense is intended, it is just that these basics should all be verified as it is easy for us to overlook the obvious!

Now, in accordance with your manual, a quickly repeating circular light (1-second intervals) is the indicator of the tank being either in the wrong position, or it being empty. The state of the ink lamp being off entirely - which is what you have stated - is intended to indicate that the tank is not set properly. Press the PUSH "icon" on the tank until you hear it click into place. I would suggest that if it does not click on the first or second try, you remove the tank and entirely reseat the tank, verifying again that all packing materials have been removed. (Always be careful not to touch any of the electrical contacts, as this may render the tank unusable.)

Perform print head cleaning. This is a three-step progressive process - in other words, if step one works, you can stop there. If your manual does not provide adequate instruction on this approach, go to, which is the Canon USA site. Canon typically does not allow going straight to the page at hand, so you will likely have to type in what you are looking for under the "Support & Service" tab. The name of the particular article focused on this process is "Performing Nozzle Test and Head Cleanings - Windows".

Canon further indicates that the print head may need to be replaced, or that the system may need to be repaired (by an authorized tech, of course...). If this is the case, given the length of ownership and extent of usage, you should be able to get service under warranty. One final question, in case we have not yet found resolution for you. When there is an issue with a printer component, e.g., an ink tank, the alarm lamp, which is directly below the power button on the right front corner of the unit, should be flashing orange. The number of these repeated flashes (for instance, three consistent flashes, pause, three more, pause, etc., all the way up to 16..) gives us guidance as to the actual problem. Additionally, do you use the printer status monitor, which gives you details regarding the printer's status and information regarding other items? If so, would you relay what is shown in the monitor, in addition to what is occurring with the Alarm Light.

If this information assists you in resolving the problem, please take a moment to rate the solution at a "FixYa" level. If you do not feel that you can rate at a "FixYa", please post back with more information regarding what has occurred subsequently and/or more details regarding the situation, and I will gladly help you until we have reached a definitive solution. Thank you for using and rating FixYa!

Posted on Sep 15, 2008

  • Cheryl Whalen Sep 15, 2008

    Given that I wrote the original response for you in the middle of the night (our night at least), I hope that most of it was intelligible! I wanted to make sure of a few things. You previously stated that the ink lamp associated with the cyan tank is out completely - right? If so, per the manual for this product, this indicates that the cartridge is not seated properly. It does not mean that the cartridge is low or out of ink. Did you reseat it and if so, did it actually click into place when pushing on the "push" icon? Also, these are new, factory ink tanks, right (not refilled or refurbished)?

    Given the emphasis Canon places on all ink tanks being placed in the proper order, perhaps it would be worthwhile to remove all of them (one at a time, noting that they are kept in the correct order), and then reseat one at a time. In other words, do not remove more than one from the machine at any given point in time. However, this should also allow you to confirm that placement is appropriate, as each tank should light as it is reseated. (However, there is a risk to this, as noted below, due to the Canon notation that placement of partially filled ink tanks result in the inability of the printer to monitor the ink levels.) If this does not work, I would suggest that you might have a defective cyan ink tank. Replace it with a new one - if it doesn't work to rectify this problem, you could either hold it in reserve or return it.

    Canon also indicates that if pushing it in until it clicks doesn't work, "there has been an error and the printer can not print." (There's a news bulletin - huh?!:-) Presuming that there has been no change in the ink tanks since you previously utilized the printer successfully, it is not likely that there is packing material (tapes, etc.) inadvertently remaining on the tanks.

    Do you use the printer status monitor, which is the software that communicates with the printer? I ask this because that software could give us further information regarding the specific problem at hand. Additionally, and this is common, ink tanks are known to dry out (and/or malfunction because of this) when the tank is used for more than about 6 months. Canon also indicates that a partially full ink tank should not be placed in the machine once it has been removed, as the system is unable to determine the status of ink within that tank. If we can get the system to a printing state, it will automatically perform the printhead cleaning upon the first printing following replacement of the tank.

    Following is the information from the Canon manual for this printer in regard to 15 and 16 flashes of the alarm lamp:

    Fifteen flashes: Ink tank cannot be recognized.

    An Ink tank error has occurred. (The lamp on the ink tank is off.)

    Replace the ink tank.

    See Replacing an Ink Tank.

    Sixteen flashes: Ink has run out.

    Ink has run out. (The lamp on the ink tank flashes.)

    Replace the ink tank and close the Top Cover.

    Printing under the current condition may damage the printer.

    If you want to continue printing in this condition, you need to release the function for detecting the remaining ink level. Press and hold the RESUME/CANCEL button for at least 5 seconds, and then release it.

    * With this operation, releasing the function for detecting the remaining ink level is memorized. Please be advised that Canon shall not be liable for any malfunction or trouble which may be caused by continuation of printing under the ink out condition.
    See Replacing an Ink Tank.


    If the function for detecting the remaining ink level is disabled, the ink tank is displayed in gray on the printer status monitor (Windows) and Canon IJ Printer Utility (Macintosh). See Getting the Ink Status Information.

    As you can see, 15 means there is an issue with an ink tank. I really think the best bet is to get a new tank for that one, and see if it doesn't solve the problem. This assumes, of course, that you have heard an audible click or snap when pushing in on the existing tank. Please let me know how this turns out. Based on your feedback regarding the individual steps, we are trying everything possible from the user's end. You can not really go further into the machine without voiding your warranty. I look forward to hearing back from you - and hearing that it is printing up a storm!!

    If this information assists you in resolving the problem, please take a moment to rate the solution at a "FixYa" level. If you do not feel that you can rate at a "FixYa", please post back with more information regarding what has occurred subsequently and/or more details regarding the situation, and I will gladly help you until we have reached a definitive solution. Thank you for using and rating FixYa!



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