The AC condenser in your vehicle is a radiator at the front of the car that removes heat from the gaseous refrigerant. It is made up of a series of tubes and sits behind your car’s grille. As you travel down the road, air is blown into the grille which cools the refrigerant inside of the AC condenser. Once the gas gets cooled enough, it will return to a liquid state.
Refrigerant starts off as a liquid when it gets boiled by the AC evaporator. As it starts to expand, the refrigerant will pull heat from the surrounding air. The blower motor pushes the warm air and the refrigerant will absorb its heat, turning it into a gas. The gaseous refrigerant then makes its way to the AC compressor, which pressurizes the refrigerant and increases its temperature further, before sending it to the AC condenser.
Once the refrigerant gas arrives at the condenser, it is cooled by the surrounding air from the road and returns to liquid form. Now that the refrigerant is a liquid again, it is then sent to either the AC accumulator or the receiver-drier, then the process repeats all over again.
Signs of a bad AC Condenser
An AC condenser will usually start to fail due to a leak or clog within the system. Here are the following signs to look out for:
- AC does poor job of cooling
- Icy spots on the condenser
- Refrigerant leaks
- Warning light on dashboard flashing (applicable to some vehicles)
- Poor AC system pressure
AC Condenser maintenance
When your AC condenser starts to go bad, the best course of action is always to get it replaced with a new one. This will require special tools that your car care professional will have and be able to use. The best way to get your AC condenser replaced is by booking your appointment through CarAdvise. CarAdvise makes car care simple and guarantees that you will pay less than the shop price on all car maintenance services.