When should you replace my A/C condenser?
Just like any car part, the condenser is subject to wear and tear. Since it is usually located under the vehicle's grille, flying objects, road dirt, excess compressor trash, and oil all affect its cooling performance. Here are some signs that will tell you that it is time to replace you're a/c condenser:
- Your a/c is blowing hot air instead of cold air
- Physical damage like blows, dents, and leaks due to flying objects
- The presence of rust and corrosion on the pipes and body
- The vehicle's age and upgrading the system to R-134a
- Broken expansion valves, a/c hoses, and clogged orifice tubes
- Black Death (black goo contaminating the a/c compressor)
What to look for in an A/C condenser?
Compatibility --- When shopping for a replacement condenser, consult your car's manual. It will give you the exact model and number of its condenser. Aftermarket retailers offer OEM and replacement parts for every vehicle. It's important to double check your vehicle's exact technical specifications to avoid problems when installing it.
Durability --- Since the condenser is responsible for dissipating heat in your vehicle's cab, you should get one that's very durable. Most condenser fins are either made from copper, brass or aluminum. Copper and brass fins are good materials for cooling but aluminum is more corrosion-resistant. The bottom line is: it should last your car's lifetime.
Price --- You will find a lot of shops and online stores offering a wide variety of condensers with prices that range from a hundred dollars to less than a thousand. Choose the best brand with the best price that fits your budget.
A/C condensers are generally mass-produced and it's easy to get a compatible replacement part. If your vehicle's a/c system is providing abnormal temperatures, have it checked immediately. Don't sacrifice your driving and riding comfort.