Question about HP LaserJet 4L Printer

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Grinding Sound - Orange Paper Jam Light

I like my 4L, it has worked beautifully for a number of years. When it starts printing, the green lights go on (it looks like it is about to print), then a terrible grinding sound is audible. It ends up with the orange light blinking for "Paper Jam". It tries to pick up the paper, crumples it, and then stops.

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  • wkriebel Jan 07, 2009

    I, too, have this problem with my HPLaserjet 4L. The printer begins just fine, then a grinding noise, then finally the blinking printer jam light goes on. I need help to fix. Thanx. Wes

  • moir2004 Feb 07, 2009

    I have the same problem. Everything mosesclive wrote is good boilerplate for solving a paper jam, but those of us with the problem have already done all that.

    Can someone help me cure that hideous noise? My printer is 14 years old - I like it to make 20...

  • Anonymous Feb 26, 2009

    The most common problem (beyond actual paper jam) that I've seen as a repair-man, is the paper-feed foot getting flipped over when someone inserts/re-loads the paper-tray. Unfortunately, it's been so long since I've fixed that issue I don't remember how to safely revert that very fragile foot to its proper orientation. Currently over at an elderly friend's house, trying to fix the very issue.



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You have a broken gear main motor. I had the same problem, bought $5 part and after the replacement of the gear,it runs like new

Posted on Feb 23, 2009

  • Jeff4245 Nov 08, 2010

    You may want to have a look at the illustrated instructions posted here

    Doesn't look complicated at all.


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The following are possible causes for paper jams in the HP LaserJet printers:

  • Leaving the rear access door open.
  • Removing the paper cassette while printing.
  • Overfilling the paper cassette.
  • Not having the corners of the paper stack under the metal clips in the paper cassette.
  • Printing a letter-sized document on legal-sized paper.
  • Using paper that does not meet the printer's specifications.
  • Using damaged paper.
  • Storing paper incorrectly, so that it curls or is exposed to moisture.
  • Printing on paper that has already been through the printing process once (LaserJet 4L/4ML only).
  1. Open the top door, take out the print cartridge (do not expose to light for more than a few minutes).
  2. Pull out the paper cassette.
  3. If the paper is here, pull to the right to release it from the feed roller. Then pull it straight out. If the paper is removed from this location, replace the paper cassette and print cartridge and shut the top door. The printer should return to a READY state. If not, proceed to Step 3.
  4. If the paper has gone completely into the printer, carefully pull the jammed paper toward you to remove it. Do not pull the paper straight up when removing it. (The toner on the page can stain the printer and affect the print quality. If this happens, take the printer to an authorized service center.)
  5. If the trailing edge of the paper is under the transparent cover, pull the paper toward you to remove it. If the paper is difficult to remove, open the printer's rear access door. While pushing the green paper release lever up, pull the paper straight toward you. Replace the paper cassette and print cartridge and close the top door. The printer should return to a READY state. If not, proceed to Step 4.
  6. If the paper is jammed at the back of the printer, open the rear access door. While pushing the green paper release lever up, pull out the paper. The important thing to remember is to try not to tear the paper; hold your hands as close to the printer as possible while pulling the paper out. Close the rear access door, replace the paper cassette and print cartridge and close the top door. The printer should return to a READY state.
  7. If the Paper light continues to blink (HP LaserJet 4L/4ML printer) or a 13 Paper Jam message flashes (HP LaserJet 4P/4MP printer), open and close the top door of the printer. This should clear the error.

Posted on Dec 04, 2008


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