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Repair and disassembly guides for Brother printers.

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printer not reading ink levels

I put in a new cartridge, but printer can’t detect it

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Is it an original or third party cartidge? Cause some printers simply won’t work with third party cartidges since they don’t recognize the chips on the cartridge.

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Brother isn’t overprotective of their ink sales like the main players (HP and Epson for the consumer space) are so you can use them in their printers much more easily. Epson uses firmware updates that straight lie about being “security updates” and HP uses HP Cartridge Protection and JetIntelligence and shady “security updates” like Epson. This is why anyone who knows better tells people with Epson and HP printers to not fall for their updates.

The steps needed will depend on how new your printer is and if it’s chipped or uses an optical sensor/level gear, or if a bypass exists on color lasers. On the inkjets without a color LCD, these use a optical sensor that assumes full if no reflection at all or used if part of the light reflects, but not the entire stream - these can be bypassed with electrical tape like it’s nothing. Color LCD inkjets (2.5”+) use both so my theory is you can still bypass it with the tape but it’ll always tell you it’s empty based on their mentality toward 3rd party ink.

The mono and color laser printers rely on a level gear on the retail carts and the optical sensor on the starter cart the printer came with. On the starter, tape over the sensor and be done with it. You will need to reset the gear on the retail carts, but you can’t get it wrong unless you make an effort to - back it off to where it was to the opposite direction and it’s “full” again.

On the mono lasers, you can also set the printer to override out mode and disregard doing any hacks to your cartridge and enable it to print with any cart - full or empty :-). This isn’t present on the color models, but 99% of the time if you have the service code to do a toner level override you can bypass the color stop print mode BUT I believe they allow for B/W printing when one of the color carts are at empty status. It usually doesn’t take long to get it from a leaked service manual or the internet. The reason they do this is not laying toner on the ITB can damage it ($$$ to replace), so it’s a safety but Brother tends to leave a few hundred extra pages worth of toner as a damage buffer.

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