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whenever you print greyscale what actually happen is that the printer mixes the red, blue and yellow to give the output in gray scale. See if you mix red, blue and yellow ink in the right proportion it gives you very close to black. just try to print your greyscale with your black ink finished you will still get the same print quality as when the black has ink in it. Or find a way seal the nuzzle of the black in and print your greyscale. check what results.
You cannot switch to the larger black cartridge. You are using a CMYK (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Black) format for printing color images.
The larger cartridge is used for text only. The smaller black cartridge is used for color or graphic images.
If the black cartridge was not present, every time you needed black in an image, it would have to come from the composition of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. This would greatly reduce the life of the color cartridges.
There are two black inks in the printer so that when you are printing only black and white such as printing a fax or when you set print in B/W for printed matter, the printer will use the larger ink cartridge. When you are printing in the multicolor mode (most people don't know the difference) the printer will use the finer black ink in the smaller cartridge. This smaller cartridge is used for photo printing and multi-color page printing. You cannot mix the two blacks since the larger cartridge is a coarser ink.
It won't default to the small one...I emailed Canon support; this is the response I got.
The reason for the two different black ink tanks is for the different types of printing your unit is capable of.They are not intended as backups to each other.The larger black tank is pigment based, and is primarily used for standard black text printing or output.The smaller black ink tank is dye based like the color inks, and is used for photo and graphics output.They are designed to complement each other, allowing the printer to produce the best possible black text output or photo quality as appropriate.
The PGBK cartridge is a pigment black ink, while the others use a dye for coloration. The pigment black is used when printing text and other documents. The dye ink is used when printing photos and other colored documents. The dye black is used in conjunction with the color (dye) inks to provide tinting and color gradation, and therefore is not used nearly as much as the pigment black unless you use your printer only for printing photos.
If you're printing text and documents, you will need to buy another pigment black (PGBK) cartridge.
Basically, you placed a black ink cartridge  into the compartment for the color one ?
Make sure you have a black ink cartridge in the left compartment, and a color one in the right one. I don't even think it would properly fit if they were in the wrong slots. They should "click" into place, confirming that they're installed properly.