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Call to Arms for the dreaded U052 Wrong Printhead Error


This is a "call to arms" for all of you Canon customers who have had this problem and have had their printers disabled because of it.  Please respond with the model of your printer and if you were able to fix it, what you did to fix it. 


We need to put pressure on Canon to respond this product defect.  It appears to be bad firmware that does not allow the user to override the problem and to continue to use the printer even in a degraded mode.  From my investigations the problem is NOT a printhead issue - no way one can be printing fine and then have this error alert without having changed the printhead or ink cartridges!


Canon, PLEASE take this issue seriously and provide a solution across the affected models.  If nothing else there should be a trade-in allowance for those printers that have been affected by this product defect.


I have had many Canon printers because they have superior functional specifications. I want to be able to continue using Canon products but only if I can have confidence that this product defect will not destroy my investment.


If Canon is unresponsive our next step should be to aggressively publisize this product defect on social media and on major product vendor outlet sites as negatives reviews.


Forum Users, please reply with your affected model number(s) and with details of any succdessful fix procedure.

1,478 REPLIES 1,478

I have my Canon brick and am happy to experiment. YouTube available to follow? Not sure what I would be looking for but I can't make the printer any less functional.

Here is the one mentioned earlier in this forum, doesn't have all the steps to take it apart but maybe helpful

All embedded based computer systems consist of some type of CPU (Microprocessor), RAM (Random Access Memory) chips and a permanent memory storage system such as an EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) chip. The system generally boots from the EEPROM, maybe transfers the program to RAM and then runs. To see what's going on with the code, we would have to connect a logic analyzer to the Address, Data, Clock and Chip Select lines. Then with a little effort we could follow the code flow. This may not be a simple task since real-time operating systems could be employed and multi-threaded software may be in place. Reading a previous post, a user had purchased two (2) Canon printers and the one that was hardly used experiences the U052 error. This does not support the theory that it's a ink counter issue since it was still on the original set of cartridges.

Wow, I haven't been here for awhile - there are another 30 plus pages of comments.  The firm handling the CA suit is looking for printers to dismantle in order to determine the real issue of the U052 error.  PM me if you would like to volunteer your printer.  Shipping would be covered.

I'd be glad to volunteer mine. It is just taking up space on my kitchen table. Where do I ship it.

So is there a sensor on the ink pads that senses the amount of ink?, if so we can do something about it and make sure there is less ink there, or to dry the ink there, or replaces the ink pad???...

There is no proof that this ink sucking repository is the cause of the problem nor that it exists. Anyone can make a video these days and post it on Youtube for the masses to see.  Having worked on robotics, which the printer essentially is, there would have to be a sensor to detect that the repository was full.  From the video posted on Youtube, who knows what was done to produce the ink in the pad that was shown. So until we have honest individuals (they seem to be a lack of them these days) verify this claim (remember cold fusion), we can't totally believe it.   And I also would suspect that if there was an ink sucking system it would need a motor which needs power.  So turning off the printer when not in use or if it's a gravitational feed, turning the printer upside down would address this.  But all of this is just a distraction from the real issue. The printers fail to work sometime after the warranty expires and Canon continues to deny the problem exists. The Post that stated that a new contributor had taken apart his Canon Printer experiencing the U052 error and not noticed any substantial excess ink was removed when I came to the forum this morning.

That was my post, which appears to have been deleted by Canon.  Not sure what they didn't like about it.  Since I have a pile of ink tanks, I went ahead and bought another Canon printer but, for the first time ever in my life, opted for an extended warranty for $10.00. 


I went through ALL the steps and none worked BUT I got alcohol and a Qtip and cleaned the PrintHead and VOILA!! IT works again and the dreaded message is gone!!! 🙂

Hi waleshd




1] What part of the Canon printhead did you clean with alchohol? Was it the bottom part where the ink comes out or the back of the printhead that has the electrical circuit board?


I assume that this alchohol is the same stuff that one use to use when one cleaned old tape video recorder heads? I have some of that left. Or I could use metholated sprits I guess also (which is mostly alchohol)?


2] One guy said he just put the bottom part of the print head (note: the very bottom part not any electrical part) in very shallow (very low level) distilled water (not the electrical circuit board part but just the shallow part of the bottom of the print head where the ink comes out) - he left it there overnight and then later later gently dried it with a warm blow drier and then let is sit to dry some more and then put it back in the printer - it also worked - but another two users tried ithis second method and it did not work. with this method the user had to change the distilled water numerous times as a lot of old ink dissolves out of the print head ink outlet.


I guess its trial and error with great care not to damage the head either way


So before trialing either method - is the problem build up of ink deposits at the bottom ink outlet  or poor contact at the rear circuit board ?

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