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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-25-2014
Accepted Solution

MG5520 Printing is "Wavy" - Text not printed straight


I have a MG5520 printer, which I got towards the end of Spring semester of 2014 for school.  I kept it stored over the summer in a climate controlled environment. I have a MacBook Pro and a 2004 Microsoft Word Document setup. My ink levels are adequate (1/4 full), and I do intend on changing them.


Current Problem:  It is printing all text that goes horizontal in a sort of wavy formation.  I'm not sure if this has to do with the ink levels, but I am positive that I have an adequate supply of ink.


Current Moves Executed to Resolve Issue:  I have performed Maintenance of the machine by "Print[ing] the nozzle check pattern," "Cleaning," "Deep Cleaning," "Auto head alignment," "Print[ing] the head alignment value," "Roller cleaning," and "Bottom plate cleaning." 


Result: Currently, all of those moves were in vain, and the problem persists.


What I need: Guidance and Assistance with how to resolve this issue.



Product Expert
Posts: 2,644
Registered: ‎07-28-2014

Re: MG5520 Printing is "Wavy" - Text not printed straight

Hi FastTuhNap,


Based on your description of the issue, the Encoder Film inside the printer may be smeared.  Please follow the procedures below to check the film condition, and clean it when necessary:

 1.  Press the power button to turn your PIXMA MG5520 off.

 2.  Unplug the power cord from the printer.  Be sure to turn off the printer power and unplug the power cord first.

 3.  Open the Paper Output Cover.

 4.  Check if the Encoder Film inside the printer is clear.  The Encoder Film is the transparent thin film.  Please view this image:


Encoder strip.jpg

 5.  If the Encoder Film is smeared as shown in the image, it needs to be cleaned.

 6.  Place a few drops of neutral detergent (2 to 3 drops of neutral detergent in 1/4 cup of tap water) on a cotton swab with water. CAUTION: Do not use any other detergents.

 7.  Moisten a cotton swab with the prepared cleaning water. Eliminate extra water so that no water drops.

 8.  Using the moistened cotton swab, wipe the Encoder Film.  CAUTION: Be cautious so that no water drops inside the printer.

CAUTION:  Do not contact the rail. If the rail is contacted, the print quality may be deteriorated. The Encoder Film is fixed to the printer with the springs at the ends. If the film is pushed too strong, it may be dislocated. Do not push the film. Just gently move the cotton swab over the surface of the film.

Also, please keep your hands off the printer and clean the film with the tip of the cotton swab.  Change the cotton swab to new ones frequently.

 9.  Eliminate any stains or smearing from the film until the entire film becomes transparent and clear.

10.  If the trail of detergent is left on the film, clean it using a cotton swab that is moistened with just water.  If moisture is left on the film, eliminate it using a dry cotton swab, and wait until the film dries well.

11.  Close the Paper Output Cover, and plug in the power cord of the printer.

12.  Press the power button to turn your PIXMA MG5520 on.

13.  Please print a test page.

14.  If the problem persists, check and clean the Encoder Film again.

If the print quality is still not improved even after repeated cleaning of the Encoder Film, it is recommended that you contact live technical support . There is NO charge for this call. Real time feedback of a live technical support call would be very beneficial in this case.

Please dial 1-866-261-9362, Monday - Friday 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. ET (excluding holidays). A Canon technical support representative will be able to resolve this issue faster.

Did this answer your question? Please click the Accept as Solution button so that others may find the answer as well.
New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-06-2016

Re: MG5520 Printing is "Wavy" - Text not printed straight

How do you get to the Encoder film? No covers remove and the ribbon is too far inside the machine to accurately reach through the opening that allows access to the ink.

New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-22-2017

Re: MG5520 Printing is "Wavy" - Text not printed straight

THIS WORKED.  I cannot believe it.  We've had this waviness problem with the printer since we *bought* it -- I thought it was just a piece of junk.  Thank you, thank you!!!

New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-14-2017

Re: MG5520 Printing is "Wavy" - Text not printed straight

Brilliant, had this problem for ages and googled it loads but never found a solution until now! Certain forms worked but majority didn't so couldn't understand the reasoning behind it! So grateful for stumbling upon this solution.  THANK YOU!

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