What Does The Condenser Do For My Car?
The condenser is one of the five key components in a mobile A/C system. The other four being the compressor, the evaporator, the accumulator or drier, and the thermal expansion valve. Let’s find out what exactly the condenser does in an A/C system and how to take care of this part of the system.
Once you know the mechanism you will be able to figure out what has happened when your car A/C acts erratically. You will know whether you can solve the issue on your own or whether the car needs to be taken to a professional mechanic. It is always good to learn about some technicalities of a gadget or automobile you own. So, read everything.
How Do Condensers Work?
If you know how the evaporator works, you will find it easy to grasp the concept of the function of the condenser. Likewise, if you know how a condenser works you will quickly be able to learn what an evaporator does. The condenser releases the heat from the highly compressed gaseous refrigerant and cools it down into a high pressure liquid. The evaporator absorbs heat to expand the liquid into its gaseous state and let it get sucked into a vacuum to cool down.
It is simpler to understand in terms of the engine coolant. The condenser is to the refrigerant as the radiator is to the coolant. They both draw the heat from the respective liquid and release it outside of the car.
The condenser basically cools down the gaseous refrigerant and turns it into its liquid state. The pressure is still high in a condenser but the liquid has lost its heat. The evaporator heats up the liquid enough to turn it into its gaseous form again, but keeping it cold at the same time. The compressor is the part that heats the refrigerant up.
Present Day Condensers
Condensers these days are mostly made of aluminium, the same material the evaporators are made of. Copper and brass are not the materials of choice any longer. Condensers, radiators, and evaporators look kind of similar. The evaporator is thicker than the radiator while the condenser is slicker.
Condensers have tubes to let the refrigerant pass. It also has fins for support. The condenser is placed in front of the radiator for convenient air flow.
Hazards To Look Out For
The primary threat to any component of a car A/C system is blockage. Leaks, malfunctioning, erratic behaviour, everything is a result of debris accumulation. The vents of the car can let a lot of unwanted things pass and accumulate in the front part of the bonnet. Since the condenser is towards the front, it accumulates dust and even small insects and leaves easily. The air sucked in brings along all these particles. Internal debris like corroding metal parts also block the condenser as they enter with the refrigerant.
If you allow the debris to remain there too long, leaks and corrosion is inevitable. Hence, regular cleaning or flushing is necessary. If the condition of the condenser is starting to get brittle, replace it.