Check the Encoder Strip if Lines or Smears Appear on Prints - PIXMA MX452, MX459

Article ID: ART142915 | Date published: 05/13/2015 | Date last updated: 03/08/2020


If vertical lines appear on your printed pages, if the print shifts from the correct position, or if Error 5100 occurs when you print, the encoder strip may be dirty.



​The encoder (timing) strip in the printer may get dirty and cause Error 5100. Learn how check and clean the strip on a PIXMA MX452 or MX459 printer.

Check the encoder strip

  1. Turn the printer OFF and unplug it from the wall outlet or power strip.

  2. Open the paper output cover.

    Paper output cover shown being opened.

  3.  Check the encoder strip (A) inside the printer to see if it's clear.

    Encoder film (A) shown inside printer

    If the encoder strip is smeared as shown in the image, follow the steps below to clean it.


Clean the encoder strip

It's usually easy to remove the grease from the timing strip using common household items.

Materials needed

  • Clean, unused cotton swab.

  • Two to three drops of neutral detergent in 1/4 cup of tap water. Caution Don't use any other detergents.

  • Flashlight or other light source.

Cleaning process

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

  2. Use the moistened cotton swab to wipe the encoder film (A). Change the swab frequently. Be careful not to touch the rail (B).

    Caution The encoder strip (A) attaches to the printer with springs at the ends. You may dislocate the springs if you push too hard on the film. Gently move the cotton swab over the surface of the film.

  3. Eliminate any stains or smearing from the film until the entire film becomes transparent and clear. If detergent remains on the film, clean it using a swab moistened with water only.

    Two images show film still dirty, and film clean.

  4. Close the paper output cover. Plug the printer back in and turn it ON.

  5. Print the nozzle check pattern to make sure the printer prints correctly.

  6. ​If the problem persists, check and clean the encoder strip again.

If your product issue was not resolved after following the steps above, or if you require additional help, please create or log in to your Canon Account to see your technical support options.

Or if you still need help, visit our Canon Community by clicking the button below to get answers:

Link to Canon Community Forum




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