Question about HP LaserJet 4L Printer

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Printer Troubles I took my HP 4L printer apart to fix the drive gear that comes off of the motor because the old one was cracked. However, now that it is back together, it prints a white bar all down the right side about three inches in from the right side. If you can help me with this problem please get back with me asap. Thanks

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Tim Babcock

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One possibility might be the transfer roller. Make sure it is secured. It's probably only getting a charge on one half of the roller.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008


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Hp 4L printer won't pickup paper from tray. Sequence- green led light- motor running but with grinding- no movement from pickup roller or foot- finally a misfeed led light.

That is a very common problem with the Laserjet 4L and 4P printers. The sound you hear is caused by a broken motor drive gear. This is a small plastic gear on the drive motor shaft. They can develop a small crack which prevents the motor from turning the gears for paper pickup and toner movement. When the motor tries to turn the broken gear can not turn the other gears and makes the popping or grinding sound when the gear teeth slip. You will need to replace the motor gear, it is available here:

I hope this helps,

Jul 16, 2012 | HP Office Equipment & Supplies

2 Answers

Hello I have a Laserjet 4L which has worked reliably for years. All of a sudden now it has stopped feeding and is making what sound to me like a loud 'machine gun' type noise over by the printer engine. ...

You have a broken drive motor gear. This small gear fits the main drive motor and when they get brittle they crack. the cracked gear can't turn and mesh with the rest of the gears so they bind and then jump, that's the sound you are hearing. This is what the gear looks like:buddymc_0.jpg
Here is a link to get information on one.

I hope this helps, if so please rate our solution.


Mar 09, 2011 | HP LaserJet 4L Printer

1 Answer

I've got a 4L that has been an absolute workhorse and it makes a grinding noise here recently and will not print. I hate to replace it as the cartridge lasts about 10 years. I know its about 15 years...

The grinding noise is caused by a cracked motor gear. This is a very common issue on the Laserjet 4L and 4P units. It is a fairly easy repair but you will need to disassemble the printer to get to the drive motor. The gear is available here:

Feb 16, 2011 | HP LaserJet 4 plus Printer

1 Answer


Your plastic main drive motor drive gear has cracked. I have seen this many times. There is a small plastic gear that is press fit onto the motors drive shaft. It eventually cracks so that the gear just spins on the shaft. It makes a noise and since no other parts of the machine will turn anymore, you get no paper feed.
Here is a link to a picture of the motor as well as a source for the part.

Good Luck and Thank You for using Fixya.

Nov 21, 2010 | HP LaserJet 4L Printer

1 Answer

My HP LaserJet 4L printer just makes a grinding sound when I attempt to get it to print. It makes the sound for several seconds and then the Paper light starts to flash without printing

Common issue with these older 4L printers. The problem is a small plastic gear on the main drive motor has cracked. This is what causes the noise and since the machine is not "running" there is no paper feed and thus the paper jam light. Basically there is no drive to any of the printers components. May be hard to find a replacement motor these days but that is what you would need to fix the printer.

Aug 18, 2010 | HP LaserJet 4L Printer

2 Answers

My HP LaserJet 4L printer just makes a grinding sound-won't print

That printer has a gear on the motor that cracks. You can fix it with a new or used motor. Or get a different machine on craigslist. Thank you, Steven 805-520-3003

Jul 26, 2010 | HP LaserJet 4L Printer

1 Answer

Have a hp laserjet 4l paper jam problem.No paper is jamed inside.Press the reset button,goes through its cycle process. See the D shape roller sensor working,but no paper is being pick-up.Hear a funny...

I have had a similar problem. The 4L has an inherent fault in the motor drive gear. It is made of nylon and has probably developed a hair line crack. As a result the gear slips when the printer starts up and tries to feed paper. I have replaced this part some years ago by replacing the whole motor and gear. I did find the replacement parts on eBay today. Here's the url:

The manual is also on line at another place. But when you order the parts you get a manual on CD. I am not the guy selling the parts but need them too that's how I found them.

Good luck.

May 04, 2009 | HP LaserJet 4L Printer

2 Answers

HP Laserjet 4L - Grinding or Growling noise when job sent to printer

purchase a maintenance kit.
replace the piper pickup roller.
since the the printer is old and lots things need to be replaced. it is easier to replace all of the necessary parts when you have the printer apart.
the job is not difficult, just time consuming.

Nov 02, 2008 | HP LaserJet 4L Printer

1 Answer

Laserjet 4L

What you actually hav is a cracked gear on the main motor. It shows up when you install the cartridge because it requires more torque to drive the cartridge. Remove the top cover, the side formater board. There is 1 screw on the side and 2 on the top that hold in the motor. The motor with the gear attached is available from Dale at Seattle Platen, 1-800-221-2388. Gear only isn't available. Cost is around $25.00.

Jun 22, 2008 | HP LaserJet 4L Printer

5 Answers

Noisy 4L

Did this occur suddenly or over a period of time it got worse?

Did it happen after a jam or other activity like replacing the drum?

Oct 18, 2007 | HP LaserJet 4L Printer

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