Symptoms Of A Bad Car A/C Condenser

Automobile condensers are a key component because they transform refrigerant from gas into liquid which can then traverse the A/C system. However, a bad car A/C condenser will lose this ability, and below are some signs you’ve got a problem with it.

The Vehicle Overheats While On Idle

Condensers are sometimes referred to as being heat exchanges since they are tasked with expelling heat from the system. But a deteriorating condenser that has developed internal clogging won’t be able to force the heat out, and the condenser fan won’t be able to cool things down when the engine is started.

Your Engine Light Displays A Warning

Many newer automobiles now come with built-in warning systems that can detect issues with air conditioning systems and then activate a dashboard warning light. Read the manual that came with your car to determine whether it has this feature.

You Notice Leakage

Any types of leakage which are noticeable, especially those that appear in the form of oil residue, are most likely the result of a faulty condenser. Such leaks result from things like tubes that are bent, age, or incorrect installation. A condenser that has critical leakage will cause most of the refrigerant within the higher pressure line to completely leak out and deplete the vehicle’s Freon levels, which could totally disable your A/C system.

The Air Emitted from The Vents Is Warm

This is one of the most commonly reported symptoms of an A/C problem. If you notice that the air coming out of your dashboard vent is warm rather than cold, you might have a condenser that is blocked, leaking, or missing its fins, which will adversely impact system operation. Trouble will also ensue if refrigerant flow or the conversion process becomes disrupted.

You Detect A Burning Scent

If you detect a burning scent, and the car isn’t on fire, this often means that your vehicle is unable to release the heat buildup within its air conditioning unit, which results in engine component pressure that will rise and produce a burning smell whenever the A/C is turned on.

How to Properly Diagnose Your Condenser

The good news is that condensers are simple to check when compared to other parts. It has considerable exposure to wear and is usually comprised of aluminum fin which allows it to function with refrigerant that is highly pressurized. Because it tends to be fragile, it doesn’t take a lot to damage it. Use your manual and online guides to locate the condenser for your specific model.

If you notice things on the surface such as corrosion, especially near the tubes and fins this is a bad sign. Additionally, all the fins should be present; if some are missing, this will lower your condenser capacity while increasing the workload for other system parts like the compressor. If overheating occurs the entire system might seize up. Getting your condenser replaced as soon as possible will prevent catastrophic damage that can cost a large sum to fix, so it should be inspected annually.