I am using an HP LaserJet 4 and there is a little brush attached to the left side of the printer. I used that to clean the little "teeth" mechanism behind the sponge roller. I also cleaned the sponge roller and got rid of the gray lines for now.
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Grey shading likely due to either bad black cartridge. Try a different cartridge first thing. After that, print a PQ quality test page from the control panel to see if they defect shows on all pages. If it does then you may have a bad transfer belt.
the two places to look is transfer roller and the fuser unnit.
i think there is a problem with the transfer roller it is under the toner and it needs to be spring loaded. The paper passes between the toner an the transfer roller to charge the paper en let the toner stick to the paper and if it doesn't make correct contact then it wont work
1. If you are printing using postscript driver, try using PCL6 - printout would be darker for grey scaled items.
2. Print in lower resolution 600dpi or 300dpi, printouts would be darker.
3. Try printing all characters as black
You can adjust darkness at the printer using the console menu.
In the Configuration Menu ' Print Quality sub Menu , there is a parameter called Tonor Density. Factory Default is 3. Set to 4 or 5 to increase darkness..
The most common reason that laserjet's get grey background print-outs is that the toner cartridge's drum has gone bad. I have seen it many, many times on new and old cartridges and the only way to fix it is to buy a new toner cartridge. Sorry for the bad news.
If you are getting a "shadow" behind the text or image it is probably your fuser that is causing the problem. Anytime you see a double image or the print is smearing the fuser (aka fixing assembly) is to blame. You can troubleshoot the problem to see for sure before calling out a technician. Send a one page test print job to the printer. Open the rear "output" tray so that the print job exits the rear of the printer. Watch the paper as it is pulled into the machine. When you see the leading edge of the print exiting the printer open up the front door of the printer. This will of course cause the machine to jam up but its worth it. Carefully remove the toner cartridge. Look at the print on the page still inside the machine. Do you see the same grey image? If not then the problem is the fuser. If you do see the grey image then the problem is the toner cartridge. Stopping the print job in the middle of the printer like that allows you to see what the image looks like before it goes into the fuser. If the fuser is the problem call a tech. It is about a $100 - 150 repair for the fuser depending on the labor rates where you live.
Most Original cartridges are starter cartridges that hold only 1/3-3/4 ink. Drum maybe defective, and this usually causes the grey or black in your printing. Cartridges may need replacement along with the drum. Hopefully this helps