Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life

Today I had the joy of fixing an Epson Stylus C46 UX printer.

It had the following error: “Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life. See your printer documentation.”

After a little searching I discovered that most people were saying that “It is simply not worth repairing”, however, I took that as a challange, and decided that if I was going to throw it away anyway I might as well try to fix it first.

Before long I located a page on fixyourownprinter.com‘s forum, which had plenty of details about similar issues.

This is the process I used after reading details on that page:

  1. Unplug the power and USB cables from the printer.
  2. Prepare your work area by putting scrap paper down. Have some spare, just incase. You may also require tissue paper. It is also recommended you use protective gloves as the ink will stain your skin for quite some time.
  3. Unscrew the screw at the back of the printer.
  4. There are two or three tabs at the back and two at the front. Gently push them in, and then using a bit of force pry apart the cover.
  5. At the back of the unit you need to locate some white pads, or sponge type things, initially they will seem fine, but they will infact be full of ink. You need to grab a pair of pliers and pull them out one by one, there should be four, put them on your scrap paper.
  6. Take the scrap paper with the pads on to your sink, turn on the hot tap and hold each one under the tap using the pliers until the water runs clear. If you have protective gloves on it may be worth squeezing the water out also.
  7. It is recommended that once you have done this, you let them dry.
  8. Now return the pads back into the printer.
  9. Put the printer back together, (mind out for the paper alignment, and give it some force), not forgetting the screw at the back.
  10. Plug in the USB and power cable and turned it ON. (Yes the lights will still flash)
  11. Download and install the SSC Service Utility for Epson Stylus Printers.
  12. Select your printer and model number (There is no Stylus C42 UX, so select Stylus C4x), then close the window.
  13. If it asks if you replaced with the pads; say “YES”. Then close the window.
  14. You will see a SSC Service Utilitiy icon (it looks like a printer) in the system tray (next to your click), and LEFT click.
  15. A menu will appear, from here you can click on “Protection counter” (its a red cross), then “reset protection counter”.
  16. Turn the printer power OFF, wait 10 seconds and then turn it back ON.

Done!

Additional troubleshooting…

If you have problems with paper feed, take it apart again, check everything is in place correctly, push things together tightly, and put it together again.

If you have trouble with print quality, open the lid, clean any ink residue, use the SSC Service Utilitiy to clean the heads.

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113 Responses to Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life

  1. Robert says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the info, Did what you said and got my C46 working again. Only one issue though as I had just bought two new cartridges and after a few head cleans said that my black was down to 12%. as I had just spent £20 on the cartridge I was a bit miffed. Any one know why??

  2. N Henderson says:

    I also received the perplexing message that service was required, see your manual or contact Epson for service. The RX 500 printer suddenly wouldn’t print. The manual has no information relating to this issue. I contacted Epson, who sent me the addresses of several authorized Epson repair places. The dignostic cost was to be $75, and the minimal repair cost was going to be $150. I decided to see what I could do by consulting the internet.

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, you good intelligent people who write programs to get us out of fixes and generously make it available to others! I downloaded the SSC Service Utility program, followed the directions, and it totally solved the problem. I was able to remove a visible ink pad which was to the far right of where the ink cartridges slide. I cleaned it out and put it back in place. It would seem that with the right foam material, I could make my own replacement pad if needed, but the old one seemed to do fine once it was clean. I suspect there are other ink pads that I just wasn’t able to get to, so may pay the $10 to obtain online the service manual , available at http://www.2manuals.com/product_info.php?products_id=638.

  3. lily says:

    because of this easy to understand printer repair instruction i saved 4000 php to 5000 php for a new home printer. i am about to throw my epson stylus c45 when i came across this friendly tutorial. now my printer is up and running again! thank you.

  4. Nubietech says:

    I Have done this already twice and i have this site for reference once again ! thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!

  5. Bryan says:

    Just found your site and instructions for cleaning pads and running utility for resetting print counter. Looked for info specific to setup like ours, but cannot find. Can you tell me if this works for Stylus 1400 that is also fitted with QuickConnectII bulk ink bags? Thanks – Bryan

  6. Bryan says:

    Forgot to mention, lights on my Stylus 1400 are both flashing, but not simultaneously. They flash alternately, which I have not found anything about. I’m only assuming the sponges are full or print counter needs reset. Can anyone confirm what alternate lights flashing means for sure?
    Thanks – Bryan

  7. Mario says:

    Thanks to this site, I was able to fix Epson Stylus C48 printer which was showing the error: “Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life. See your printer documentation.”
    I opened the printer and changed the pads. My wife had some similar material so I cut 4 pads to size and fit them in.
    I also downloaded the “SSC Service Utility for Epson Stylus Printers.” utility and followed instructions given and presto!
    Now I have a squeaky clean printer, with new pads, which is producing better printouts than ever before.
    Many thanks for the time of putting this on-line…It has saved me a lot of money and the printer now has many more years of life ahead of it.

    many thanks,

    Mario

  8. Clifford P. says:

    Why hasn’t a single user on this site spoken to Epson about the problem at hand? I spoke with a tech and said it would be a shame to add the printer to a landfill simply due to the ink pads needing replacement. He sent me to a link on the Epson website which provided a utility to reset the counter with which worked like a charm. The file is named EpsonIPRUtility_A10.exe and may be downloaded from their website from this link:

    http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/support/InkPadsForm.jsp?cookies=no&com.broadvision.session.new=Yes

    I have not performed any maintenance on the ink pads and the printer is working just fine. i have been using a CISS ink system for a few years with this printer and it has been a huge money saver. The CISS ink system and replacement bottles of 400 ml ink of each color X 6 cost me $125.00 and will last several years saving the equivalent of about 20 sets of ink cartridges which would cost about $1,500.00! The ink is every bit the equivalent to the Epson in color and all other aspects. I actually feel that the Red reproduction is better then the Espon ink without even profiling the new ink to the paper being used.

  9. hm2k says:

    @Clifford

    Thanks for the information.

    When I contact Epson in the past, they weren’t very helpful.

    The page you mention has only existed since 2008, this article was written in 2007.

    You really should maintain your ink pads otherwise ink will overflow all over your desk.

  10. ANDY says:

    excellent help cheers
    FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WITH “ERROR OCCURED ”
    i did this for 2 hours with no joy

    then decided to re download sscserve again and try again and it worked if yours does not work download latest version

  11. marius says:

    Hello i work with Epson r1400 (Davinci pro 6-6 cd printer) and message ”Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life. See your printer documentation.” apper and ink led and cancel led blinkin intermitent.
    I install SSC Service Utility i following al steps ,but when i entire in ” protection counter” in ”show counter value” massage error operation ocured.
    Can help me with any sugestion ?

  12. Marcel says:

    Thanks so much for this Epson stylus C46. Great Christmas gift :-)

    Only one enhancement in the how-to; the following statements are (for C46) in the wrong order:

    (The question whether the pads have been replaced pops up after protection resetting)

    •If it asks if you replaced with the pads; say “YES”. Then close the window.
    •You will see a SSC Service Utilitiy icon (it looks like a printer) in the system tray (next to your click), and LEFT click.
    •A menu will appear, from here you can click on “Protection counter” (its a red cross), then “reset protection counter”.

  13. James Wade says:

    @Marcel

    Be warned. If you don’t replace your pads you may end up with a mess on your desk.

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