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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

Did you do this with full ink cartridges? Will it or can it work without the cartridges in place? Thanks!


I have two Canon MG5220. One of them suddenly showed the U052 Printhead error msg. I swapped the printhead into my other MG5220 printer and the error moved with the printhead. I swapped the printhead back and the error stayed with the printhead. Next I will try a long soak in water to see if it makes a difference.

An overnight soak of the printhead and a thorough cleaning of the printhead docking station did not fix the problem. I now have only 1 MG5220 printhead but two otherwise fine working printers.

I'm convinced that the printhead is NOT the problem. The problem is CANON printersl and the Canon company.  I, for one, will never buy another Canon product.  They apparently settled a class action lawsuit, but continued to sell their defective product. I know because I had one, but never more.


I had a long chat with a Canon Canada service tech today about the U052 error msg. He advised that it is a poorly worded general error msg that has been refined in later printers to be more specific about the error. It can be caused by a verity of issues within the head or outside such as cartridges or wiring behind the contacts. He suggested the overnight soaking which I have already done and swapping the printhead with another similar printer, again which I have already done. He could not come up with any other suggestions for me to try other than buying a new printer.


I am now just another one in the long list of unhappy Canon customers. Today I was hit with the U502 error message on my PIXMA 892 after it had powered off on its own. The power button was unresponsive and I needed to unplug the printer before it would power back on, at which time I got the error message. Tried removing, reseating and cleaning the print head without any success. I have contacted Canon, but do not expect a satisfactory response.


This was my second PIXMA - previous one, the scanner died on me aftre about a year. Now with this one dying after less than 2 years, I do not expect to be buying another Canon printer - unless they are able to satisify me and resolve the problem quickly.


I would be glad to join any class action lawsuit, if it were to come to that.

I also received the error today on my MX892.  Same issue with power died on printer and had to pull plug from socket and reseat multiple times before power was finally restored to printer.  Once power was restored, I got the error message.  Have reseated print head multiple times.  Spoke with technical support and they are telling me I need new print head.


One step they had me do during reseat process was, after putting ink cartridges back into the head, close cover, then pull the power plug.  Hold the on button for 10 second.  Release on button.  Then plug machine back in.


The extra steps did not help at all.  I still have the error and can only hope that a replacement head will fix the issue.


The bummer is I just purchased 2 more Canon printers for family members.

TAKE THEM BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

I am in the same boat, about a year old or so MX870 worked perfect till this week, then U052, cleaned, then replaced the printhead, guess what no go.  


I got a copy of the service manual for the printer, only options are clean, reseat, replace printhead, or replace the logic board. (motherboard)


There are no other fixes.


Utter garbage.  Wasted money following instructions just to have a new printhead but not be able to use it.  There has to be a way to get them to come up with a system to self test the internal logic boards without having to tell us its the printhead.  Come on...

After I posted last, I had a thought. I checked with my credit card, Discover, and confirmed that they extend the manufacturer's warranty up to a year. That brings my printer warranty to 2 years. All I had to do was get a repair estimate (of course no one would do that for free, so it cost $25), copy of original receipt, copy of Discover statement showing purchase, copy of manufacturers warranty and fill out Discover's warranty form.


Repair estimate came back over $200, original purchase price $149.99 + tax. Discover is sending me a check for $149.99 (not refunding tax), so I net $125. Went a long way to paying for a new printer - not Canon, but new Epson. Worth the effort.