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Symptoms of Bad Air Conditioning Condenser

The weather can be very unpredictable. One moment it is blazing hot and the next moment, a heavy downpour can occur. Due to these changes, it is important that the air conditioning condenser of your car is up for the job.

How Does Your Car’s AC System Works?

Air conditioning in cars became popular during the 1970s, quickly becoming a standard in car production. 

Modern AC systems in cars today work the same to how these were first produced during the 1930s. Air conditioners are made up of three primary parts, namely the evaporator, the condenser, and the compressor. 

Air conditioning condenser for Daewoo Matiz Seat Alhambra / VW Sharan
Air conditioning condenser for Daewoo Matiz Seat Alhambra / VW Sharan

These three work together in order to push the refrigerant through a low pressure or high pressure closed loop system. When the refrigerant goes through the loop, it changes to liquid from gas then back again. 

The compressor will take in the low pressure refrigerant gas then compresses this to high temperature and high pressure gas. It will then pump the gas to the condenser. 

The heat will be dissipated outward by the condenser and turn the high pressure gas to high pressure liquid. This will get rid of the water formed during the process while this moves through the dryer system before the thermal expansion valve pumps it out. 

This is where the high pressure liquid expands and becomes a low pressure liquid entering the loop system and to the evaporator found in the exterior of your car. The refrigerant will change from liquid into gas form again while the evaporator takes in heat from inside the car. 

While this happens, a fan is blowing over the compressor to form the cool air that you can feel through the vents. Once the gas gets into the compressor, this will continue through a closed-loop system, marking the start of the process once again. 

Signs of a Failing Air Conditioning Condenser 

Here are the telltale signs of a failing AC condenser:

Burning smell

If the car cannot release the heat built up in the AC system, the temperature of all parts will eventually increase to the extent that the components will start to burn and emit a smell when the AC is in use.

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3 Signs of a Bad AC Condenser failing Symptoms blowing hot air leaks

It is a serious problem and you need to replace several parts of the system since these can melt to the point that they won’t function anymore. 

Lukewarm air coming from the vents

It is probably one of the first signs that your air conditioning condenser is starting to fail. If you expect to get hit by cool air only to feel a lukewarm gust, you need to inspect the condenser for defects or blockages that may restrict the flow of air. If it interrupts the liquid and gas, the whole system won’t be able to run at maximum efficiency. 

Obvious leaks of the coolant 

When the refrigerant in the AC condenser is under high pressure, this will be more prone to leaks when the part has any vulnerability. Leaks because of failing seals are the normal aspect of aging of a condenser. However, you need to replace the whole part before all the refrigerant has leaked out the system.

Other common signs of a failing air conditioning condenser include overheating when idling and warning lights on the dashboard.

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