I recently pulled out an older Samsung laser printer from storage, model CLP-315. It seems to work fine for the most part, except on every single page, it leaves a horizontal toner smudge. It even happens on the printer test page, or if I print blank sheets of paper from the computer.

If I print black and white, I get a black smudge. If I print in color, I get four matching smudges next to one another, in each toner color.

I've tried printing lots of blank pages to see if the smudge will decrease over time, but it does not seem to be fading at all. It does sometimes show up at a different vertical position on the page. I tried replacing the color toners and this did not change anything. I also wiped out the inside of the printer after taking out the toner cartidges, imager and waste container, but no improvement.

Here's what it looks like: up close full page pic

  • 2
    this is usually caused by a roller (which is why its all the way across), though the real issue may be a bad toner cartridge. Lexmark has a pretty good troubleshooting guide here: support.lexmark.com/… if the mark appears at about the same spot on every page, or at regular intervals down the page, its almost certainly a roller. Feb 8 '15 at 5:36
  • Your assessment seems right; it is likely to be the roller. Is it fixable? Feb 8 '15 at 5:47
  • From the video, it looks like that is a user-replaceable part and that the entire transfer belt module must be replaced (not repairable).
    – fixer1234
    Feb 8 '15 at 6:35

Yup, my transfer belt has some visible scratches on it. I found this video which explains how to reach the belt.


Unfortunately, this basically means the printer is totaled. It's much cheaper to replace the printer than buy a new belt.

  • If it is a roller, then you would see the same line repeated down the page, the spacing being the circumference (about 3 times the diameter) of the roller. In your case, the culprit is probably the transfer unit (a black belt) - which still means a new printer...
    – hdhondt
    Feb 9 '15 at 0:27
  • Yeah, I used the wrong word. Transfer belt it is. Feb 9 '15 at 3:22

Clean the belt and the drum with alcohol. Most likely the problem is with the drum unit. You should also clean the glass that covers the laser. You need to remove the top cover, color cartridges , drum and belt. Start by removing the toner cartridges and drum. Then remove the top cover by removing the 2 screws inside the access door and on the inside top of the unit. Then unplug the transfer belt connector on the top. And then remove the belt. Remember how h transfer belt goes out because getting it back can be a little tricky.

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