Solving Card Jams on ZXPS1 and ZXPS3 Card Printers

Article ID: 87207051

Issue / Question

Cards will not feed through the printer

Loud grinding noises coming from the printer

Printer may display "Mechanical Error" on the LCD

Applicable To

Zebra Value Class Printers Including ZXP Series 1 & 3

Resolution / Answer


A card jam is one or multiple cards that are stuck inside the printer and are unable to exit the printer. Common causes are incorrect cards being used, dirty rollers inside the printer, or two cards trying to feed through.


To solve an actual card jam, we need to first locate and remove the card from the printer:

  1. Turn the printer off
  2. Open the print cover
  3. Remove the ribbon cartridge
  4. Inspect for any visible card (s) in the print area
  5. If there are no visible cards, jump to step 7
  6. If there is a card visible try pulling the card out. If it's too far in, carefully press down on the black roller (shown in picture) and then turn away from you until the card starts feeding forward. Remove card once accessible
  7. On the front left side of the feeder, there is a plastic tab. Pull on the tab and then move feeder up (see picture below). This will expose the flipper area.

Note: These steps do not apply to P100i printers since they do not have a flipper.

  1. Carefully turn the big gear furthest back of the printer towards the right
  2. Inspect for card(s) inside the flipper and remove them. You can try using needle nose pliers (if available) or another card to try and pull the card out


  1. Once the cards have been removed, close the feeder, place the ribbon back in, close the print cover, and turn the printer back on to continue with operation

To prevent further card jams:

  • Verify the cards being used meet the printer's card specifications (i.e. P120i printers can only take 30mil cards). Check with the card manufacturer to get the specifications.
  • Using adhesive-backed cards? Read More>>
  • Make sure cards are loaded properly. Static charge may cause cards to get stuck together and multiple cards may attempt to feed. Read More>>
  • Make sure printer is clean. Dirty rollers will not "grab" the card properly through the feeding process. Run a cleaning cycle if necessary.  See attached .pdf for instructions on procedure.

If you still have card jam issues, please contact Zebra Technical Support.

See the following link for procedure document on cleaning.  Read More>>

Helpful information

Printer user's guides can be found in the Support and Downloads section on Zebra's website. Read More>>

Contact a Zebra Card Reseller to find the appropriate cards and supplies for your printer. Read More>>

+ Applicable Products

  • P100i
  • P110i
  • P110m
  • P120i
  • ZXP Series 1
  • ZXP Series 3