What on earth could be causing my MFC-L5800DW to print like this?

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Mar 18, 2021
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I acquired this year-old printer from my neighbor for $50. She told me it started printing like this after she replaced the original toner cartridge with some sort of aftermarket model. She said she didn't want to keep the printer if she had to spend $80 on toner cartridges. I figured all it needed was new toner and, worst case scenario, a new drum.

I was wrong. New OEM toner did nothing. New aftermarket drum did nothing, and the original drum looks clean and only has 3000 pages on it. I haven't disassembled the fuser but it looks clean. I don't see any obvious obstructions inside the machine, although I have no actually disassembled anything yet.

The problem is uniform in some ways, random it others. The amount of text printed on the page varies from page to page, with no rhyme or reason (e.g. shaking the toner has no effect). However, the print is darkest and lightest at the same position on each page. I'm wondering whether this is something to do with the bulb (or whatever has equivalent function in the fuser), or the high voltage power supply. I'm sure I can replace the fuser, but I won't do any repairs that involve soldering.
 

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