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Lexmark X736

Lexmark X736

31.41 Missing or Defective Cartridge error

Issue description

This article outlines the steps that you can perform to troubleshoot a 31.41 Missing or Defective Cartridge error. In most cases, this error appears only when the bronze contacts of cartridge and printer do not touch.




Check if the error "31.41 missing or defective <color> cartridge error" appears only when you install a new toner cartridge in the printer.

  • If it happens when installing a new cartridge, re-install the old cartridge that you were using. If the printer reports only a “low <color> cartridge” error, it is working fine. Proceed to Step 2.
  • • If the same error appears even with the old toner cartridge, contact Lexmark Technical Support to set up service for the printer.


Re-install the new toner cartridge and ensure that it is seated properly inside the printer. Did the error return?

  • No: Issue resolved. It may have been an isolated issue with the toner cartridge not seated properly.
  • Yes: Proceed to Step 3.


Power off the printer, wait for 30 seconds and power it on again. Did the error return?

  • No: Issue resolved.
  • Yes: Proceed to Step 4.


Remove the cartridge and check the bronze smart chip contacts, (See images below; click on them to enlarge). Inspect the contacts' surface for signs tarnishing, discoloration, toner, or other contamination.

To clean: Wipe with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol or water. This may clean off some contaminants. A more effective cleaning method is to use 400-grit sandpaper or a pencil eraser on the cartridge contacts.

Note:  When cleaning the contacts or handling the cartridge, be careful not to deform the thin, bronze parts.

Smart chip contact location

Smart chip area to clean

If the error persists, contact Lexmark Technical Support for toner cartridge replacement.

Service action

If the error is Intermittent:



Power off the printer. Remove and re-install the cartridge and power on the printer again.


If the customer has already tried cleaning the bronze contacts of the cartridge, guide them in cleaning the bronze contacts inside the printer, (see right-hand images). Use 400-grit sandpaper or a pencil eraser.

Suggestion: Clean the two bronze contacts on each of the four cartridges (8 total).

Note:  A: Make sure no sandpaper dust remains on the contacts. B: Be cautious not to deform the thin, bronze contacts.


If issue persists, replace the toner cartridge.

If the error is Continuous:




Power off the printer. Remove and re-install the cartridge and power on the printer.


Find out if the customer still has the old cartridge. If so, re-install the old cartridge. Did the printer report a “low <color> cartridge” error?

  • Yes: Replace the toner cartridge.
  • No: Set up service and recommend the following parts:
    • System card
    • Cable Parts Packet/Cable assembly

    Note:  Please check the part number appropriate for the printer model.


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