Question about Brother MFC 420CN All-In-One InkJet Printer

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Brother 420 OK I followed the instructions about cleaning print head, put the printer back together trying to do initial setup with cleaning but I get error 51 and now unable to clean routine maintenance.  What can I do?

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Re: brother 420

Error 51 = The purge cam switch does not come ON or OFF even after the purge cam has been driven by the specified number of pulses.
Fix is
Switching arm assembly not engaged correctly If the switching arm does not move smoothly, clean it.

Ink cartridge/purge switch harness not connected correctly
Correct the connection.

Purge cam switch broken Replace the purge cam switch.

Gear(s) on the maintenance unit broken Replace the maintenance unit.

Paper feed motor broken Replace the paper feed motor.

Main PCB defective. Replace the main PCB.

Cleaning of these print heads rarely if ever is successfull, they are electronic devices unlike other brands of printers

Posted on Dec 04, 2007

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Just replaced all of the print cartridges. Now print is blurry looks like double print

First perform ink head cleaning a couple of times as follows. 1)Press Ink, 2)Press arrows to choose cleaning and press OK, 3)Press arrows to choose all and press OK. Do this a couple of times. Then you can perform check print quality as follows. 1)Press ink, 2)Press arrows to choose Test print and press OK, 3)Press arrows and choose print quality and press OK, 4)Press color start. the machine will print a chart. Inspect the short lines on the four color blocks If any are missing follow on screen instructions.

Feb 19, 2014 | Brother MFC 6490CW InkJet Printer

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When I go to print everything looks good. The paper feeds through the printer but nothing prints on it.


Welcome to FixYa.

This problem might be due to blockages in the print head nozzles or if a FINE Cartridge is empty.

Kindly try the print head cleaning function to remove any blockages in the print head nozzles.

The procedure for cleaning the print heads, in the printer driver setup window (The printer driver setup window can be displayed through the application software in use or the Start menu of the Windows), is as follows:


1. Make sure that the printer is on and click Cleaning on the Maintenance tab.

Print head cleaning starts.

2. Click OK when the confirmation message appears.

3. Next, the Nozzle Check dialog box opens.

To check whether the print quality has improved, click Print Check Pattern. To cancel the check process, click Cancel.

If cleaning the head once does not resolve the problem, clean it once more.

Deep Cleaning:

Deep Cleaning is more thorough than Cleaning. Perform deep cleaning when two cleaning attempts do not resolve the print head problem.

1. On the Maintenance tab, click Deep Cleaning.

The Deep Cleaning dialog box opens. Follow the instruction shown in the dialog box.
Click Initial Check Items to display the items you need to check before performing Deep Cleaning.

2. Make sure that the printer is on and then click Execute.

Click OK when the confirmation message appears.
Print head deep cleaning starts.

If there is still no sign of improvement, the ink may have run out and the cartridges need to be replaced.

For more details, please download and install the complete on-screen manual from this link.

Thanks for using FixYa.

Dec 15, 2011 | Canon PIXMA MX310 All-In-One Printer

2 Answers

Unable to print. error 36


The error message is an indication that the machines ink absorbers are almost full. The ink absorbers hold liquid and dried ink after it has been purged from the print head. These absorbers can control enough ink for the expected life of the machine.

Below are the explanations of how ink is processed into the ink absorber box.

The Brother machine will automatically clean the print head when the conditions listed below occur:
  • Initial installation of the ink cartridges: The Brother machine will perform an initial purge to fill up the ink tubes during the initial installation of the ink cartridges.

  • While the machine is not being used, the machine will default to a sleep mode, which consumes very little energy. When the machine is powered off, it cannot keep time of how long the power is off. If you turn the machine off while it's not being used, when the power is turned back on, the machine will complete a cleaning cycle.

  • The first print job after a paper jam has been cleared: The Brother machine will automatically clean the print head to remove paper dust which can damage the print head if not cleaned.

  • If the print head is not capped properly during the stand by mode: The print head will move to the right side and the purge unit will cap the print head to prevent air from drying out the nozzles. If the head is not capped, the Brother machine will automatically clean the print head to clear out any dried ink from inside the print head.

  • If the empty ink cartridge is replaced when the machine is powered off: The Brother machine will automatically clean the print head when the cartridge is installed and the machine is powered back on.

  • If the machine is powered on, with no use for 45 day: The Brother machine will automatically clean the print head if to help prevent ink from drying and damaging the print head.

There is a possibility that this message may have occurred in error. Upgrading the firmware of the Brother machine may resolve the issue. Follow the procedure below to determine if a firmware update is required:
  1. If the display screen is displaying an error message, press the STOP/EXIT key to change the LCD to the main screen.

  2. Press the # XXXXX * key at the same time. The first 2 characters on the top row will determine the ROM version.

A utility is available that will allow you to update your Brother machine with the most recent version firmware, by downloading updates over the Internet.
  1. Go to Downloads section of this website.

  2. Under Notes/Information select the option - Click here to view firmware version history.

  3. Close the window to continue with the firmware update.

  4. To update the firmware please follow the instructions listed below:

OR TRY THIS...............

Solution 1:
  • Lift the lid to where the connections cable is.

Solution 2:
  • Clean the clear strip on the carriage assy.

Solution 3:
  • Check the print catridge inside make sure it`s inserted properly.
Solution 4:
  • Verify that something has not stopped the carriage from moving across the paper correctly.
Verify there is no scraps caught on either side of the carriage assembly.

GOOD LUCK................

Sep 22, 2011 | Brother Printers & Copiers

1 Answer

Error message reads "unable to

It means that the printer is unable to clean the print head number(s) 46. The print head is located under the ink cartridges. Remove the cartridges, and you should see a plastic piece with a hole in it to put your finger under and snap open. This allows you to see the print heads. The print heads look like a sponge type dabber on top of a plastic case. Grab a hold of the print head and pull it out. Look for ink that has spilled behind it or on any of the brass colored computer connections. use warm water and a lint free cloth to scrub it off. Press the print head sponge with your finger and make sure that ink primes and fills the head then put the printer back together and try a test page. If you stll get the error then you need to contact brother for a print head replacement.

Jun 29, 2011 | Brother MFC-465CN InkJet Printer

2 Answers

I have an error "unable to print 36" on my

If caused by a paper jam you had it probably lifted the long, thin, plastic encoder strip in the pathway out of its slot, giving the false indication of a paper jam. In order to put it back in its place, please carry out the following steps:

1) Lift the cover and remove the two plastic panels covering wires. Mark down the position of cables, then remove them, and remove the now-freed top scanner section entirely.

2) Remove the screws from the top plastic shell. There's two in the back and four in the front. There's also two plastic tabs in the front that must be bent aside before you can remove the top shell.

3) Gently put the encoder strip back in its plastic guide, and check if you are able to get your printer to work all right thereafter.

If you are not comfortable carrying out the steps, I would strongly suggest you to have it repaired by your local Brother service center, without causing further complications.

Jun 24, 2011 | Brother MFC 490cw Color Inkjet...

2 Answers

Brother MFC-465CN won't prink cyan

You got to re-check back the Ink Cartridge you've buy recently.. Sometime the ink already freeze inside the cartridge bcoz its been really-really-really long time they keep before the usage.. Ive also have experience about problem like this b4, so better re-check/change back the cartridge.. Or If the
printer head is not at the cartridge, it is seperate from the cartridge, you have to check back the printer head also.. normally all the new printer head comes together with the cartridge.. and prefer to use the Original Cartridge more than Pirated Cartridge ok.. Cheap Cartridge always giv a lot of problem, especially like Your problem.. Thats All, Good Luck and Happy Trying..


May 08, 2009 | Brother MFC-465CN InkJet Printer

1 Answer

Error code

and even if you did get rid of error 51 that you have created, you will find that you still cant print in black, original problem is the print head is stuffed probally from dodgy non gen ink running threw it and the fix is to replace head. I don't know who is telling all you brother mfc owners to clean your print head but your paddling up the wrong creek, these heads are electronic deivices that dont take kindly to cleaning, they are not the same as other brands. Re error 51 goto different machine same engine post

Dec 04, 2007 | Brother MFC-5440CN All-In-One InkJet...

1 Answer

Brother DCP 115C

Yes, another suggestion is to give it back to the dealer or a service partner which can be found on the homepage of brother. If the printer is 3 months old you are in guarantee time. Its a common problem with the printheads that one color (M or Y) is lost somehow sometime...! (Valveproblem within the printhead) You cant fix it yourself (May need a new printhead).

Sep 27, 2007 | Brother DCP-110C All-In-One InkJet Printer

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