Try to open the shredder with a screw driver, but be very careful not to break or move anything important. Remove any paper that may be in there. If its the gears inside that are not working, you can use some oil as a lubricant to fix it up.
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Pl. do test as per following.
1- empty paper tray.
2- pull the toner cart. and close the door.
3- power ON the printer. Listen the sound of initial motor run,
(If smooth not grinding noise, check the toner cart OPC drum for jam. If yes check the fusser drive gear and fusser gear and assembly)
If all are ok.
4- Check the paper pick up roller shaft, (sometimes it takes a bunch of paper and jammed if you forcible pull the bunch in reverse direction the shaft may gets bend cause the grinding noise during paper pickup. in that case you have to replace the paper pickup shaft.
You may be right about the worn gear as a factor but I used to have a LJ 4 and whenever it indicated a paper jam it was always right. In some cases, the jam was a tiny scrap of paper deep inside. It took a flashlight and examination of every bit of the paper path to find it
I had a 7170 series that gave similar, not quite as bad as yours, problems. Lexmark is a good name quality all in one. But, I believe it's time to upgrade. These rollers and drums are very easily put out of sync. And from there on you'll have nothing but troubles. The scanner situation is probably forming a very light coat of rust on the out rail and causing it to hang up. I honestly wouldn't put much more money or stress(your own) into this machine. Thanks, Dana.
Remove any paper trays. Inspect them for wrinkled or damaged paper.
Also open the back cover of the printer if this model has one.
Open any other doors that give access to the printer's paper path and to the toner or ink cartridge.
If necessary, remove the toner or ink cartridge. Place it away from light/ sun light to avoid damaging it.
If you find a piece of jammed paper, remove it by holding it with both hands and pulling firmly. The goal is to keep the paper from tearing. If several pieces are jammed together, try pulling out the middle piece first to loosen the jam.
If the paper does tear, try rotating the roller gears manually to free the paper. Don't force anything, though. Do this step especially if the jam message comes up repeatedly without any obvious paper jam, there may be a small tear of paper inside.
Ones the printer is free of paper Replace the toner or ink cartridge and paper trays, close any doors you opened and turn the printer back on.
If the printer paper jam message still appears, then there is still some paper in the printer. Reinspect the paper path.
see alternative if the problem is still not solved.
alternative : Load a piece of thick paper, for example photo paper and press the resume button (may be diffrent button on diffrent models) a few times to the printer picks up the paper and puts it through the machine.
Loud clacking sound, jamming in fuser ? sounds like the gear that turns the fuser are bad and not meshing together,
accordion jam is the fingers or claws that ride on the fuser roller are probably worn out ( these can be replaced usually 3-5 ).
You can buy the parts and replace them yourself if a handy person, not that difficult.
Try to pull out paper transport unit (when open paper cassette,there is green or blue andle on the printer) and check what is wrong.Maybe just something is in improper position.
Also check paper settings on printer and driver.
If you use 80-90 gsm paper-Plain, if You using heawyveight paper(more than 105 gsm untill 200gsm) -Thick.
When you set it to reverse, it Should propel the paper back out the top, where it's jammed. If it does not, remove power to the unit, and get ready for the long laborious process of removing the jam with a pair of tweezers. A hazard of paper shredders, maintenance can be a bit on the silly side.