Category: ac condenser installation

How do you test a car condenser

How do you test a car condenser ?

The best way to test a car condenser is by knowing how it should be operating correctly. You can compare the operation and determine if there are any issues with the condenser. A quick and easy test could be performed without using any special tools.

  1. Start the engine
  2. Turn the A/C on
  3. A/C set to Max Cold and Max blower operation
  4. Run the A/C for a few minutes to let the system stabilize
  5. On the engine compartment locate the condenser(It is in front of the car and looks like the radiator)
  6. Feel the temperature of the condenser coil beginning from the top of the condenser to the bottom of the condenser.
  7. A good operating condenser should be hot at the top warm on the middle of the condenser coil and cool on the bottom part of the coil surface.


Results of the condenser Test


  1. Cold spot on the condenser coil surface indicates a problem and must be corrected
  2. Hot from top to bottom condenser coil indicates a problem and must be corrected


Normal operation of an a/c condenser


  • The Hot superheated gas from the compressor enters the top of the condenser at 200 F. The condensing temperature is going to be about 30 F warmer than the outside(ambient) air.
  • The outside air temperature is 95 F. The condensing temperature is 95 F + 30 F = 125 F. The refrigerant must be cooled to 125 F (200 F – 125 F) in the first part of the condenser coil. This is call desuperheating. It is the first job of the condenser.
  • Partway through the condenser coil the superheat is removed and the refrigerant reaches the actual condensing temperature of 125 F ; liquid begins to form in the coil. Liquid will continue to form at the condensing temperature of 125 F until all the vapor has turned to 100 % liquid. This is called the Latent Heat of Condensation.
  • The liquid can now reject sensible heat and subcool to below the 125 F condensing temperature. Any liquid below 125 F condensing temperature is referred to as a subcooled liquid.
  • The liquid in the bottom of the condenser draining into the receiver or expansion device depending on the type of system may cool to 110 F. This would give the liquid 15 F(125 F – 110 F) of subcooling.


Impact of debris and damage of the car condenser and temperature differential.


All air-cooled condensers do not have the same exact 30 F relationship with the ambient air. It is good practice to determine and record the temperature relationship between the air and refrigerant at start-up time. Then if the relationship were to change, you would suspect trouble, such as a dirty condenser, system contaminated or an overcharge of refrigerant.

A well-maintained clean condenser will have a close 30 F or even lower temperature relationship with the ambient air, compared with a road debris restricted ac condenser. The efficiency of the condenser will vary according to the condenser design, size and quality of the materials used for its construction. The operation of the a/c condenser depends greatly on the flow speed and volume of air going through its fins to accelerate the heat exchange between the refrigerant and the ambient air.


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How much does car a/c condenser replacement cost ?

Car a/c condenser replacement cost

How much does a car a/c condenser replacement cost will depend on the labor time and the price of the a/c condenser. The easiest to access auto a/c condensers will be on the lower end of the price range.

The price of the car a/c condenser replacement will depend on the condenser design and the manufacturer. Original Equipment Manufacturer a/c condenser will be on the higher end of the price range while Aftermarket condensers will be on the lower end of the price range.

Car A/C condenser price range.

Parts price difference will be mostly determined by the origin of the component. OEM are usually more expensive than aftermarket components. Different a/c condenser technology will impact the price. Newer designs tend to be more expensive than older designs.

A/C Condenser Cost : the price range is between $100 and $600 and will depend on the manufacturer ,make and model of the vehicle as well as the system type. Light and medium duty components are usually cheaper than heavy duty and off-road construction equipment a/c systems.

Car A/C condenser replacement labor estimates

Labor Price:  Labor costs are estimated between $190 and $570

Vehicle Make and Model Condenser replacement

2017 Chevy Truck Suburban 5.3L

Remove and Replace labor time

*Does Not Include: Refrigerant Recovery or Evacuate & Recharge AC System.

2.2 Hours (according to Alldata Repair)

Can I Drive with an A/C condenser problem

Driving with a damaged condenser usually will not affect the vehicle’s engine operation. However, a severed restricted condenser coil may affect the flow of air used to cool down the engine and may cause an engine overheating condition. Leaking condenser will cause a low refrigerant low a/c oil condition and will allow the intrusion of air ,moisture and dirt into the a/c system. This condition will increase the complexity of the repair and the price.

Auto A/C Repair Near me in Miami.

Call Today if you need assistance repairing, replacing or doing maintenance to the a/c condenser in your vehicle. We have a mobile repair shop with ASE certified A/C mechanics near you in Hialeah, Miami Lakes, Hialeah Gardens, Doral and other areas in Miami-Dade County.

Car A/C condenser test near me

Car A/C Condenser test near me.

To know if a car a/c condenser is working properly the a/c condenser test can’t just be reduced to a leak test. The automotive air conditioner condenser must be tested for their heat exchange capacity. A comprehensive condenser coil test must include a detailed visual inspection to discover any defect or damages that could negatively affect the rate of heat rejection between the superheated refrigerant from inside the vehicle and the outside ambient air going through the condenser coil.

How to get colder air at the ac vents by improving the condenser heat rejection capacity.

A clean, well maintained car a/c condenser parallel-flow design will give the coldest air possible at the inside cabin vents if it is functioning according to manufacturer specifications. For the condenser to work  at 100% efficiency it must be able to have all the built-in manufacturer improvements working as efficiently as possible.

A/C condenser corrosion will reduce the performance of the condenser. Corrosion, road debris or surface restriction on the condenser surface only means less working surface area for the heat exchange and condensation to happen. Any bent or missing fins will decrease the rate of heat exchange between the refrigerant and the outside ambient air ,creating an increase overload on the a/c compressor and increasing the overall head pressure of the air conditioning system. The automotive condenser is in most cases integrated on the front of the vehicle and uses outside ambient air as the medium into which heat is rejected .Any decrease in the volume of air flow through the coil will impact the condensation and subcooling process. Proper condenser fan assembly operation, condenser perimeter seal installation, and fan shroud is vital to the auto air conditioning system.

 To improve the efficiency of the condenser and to make it smaller and less heavy ,the surface area of the auto a/c condenser has been extended with fins. Manufacturers have improved the designs of old inefficient condenser with new technologies that increase considerably the heat rejection rate of the automotive condenser. By improving the quality of the aluminum, the number of fins and internal refrigerant passages design the condensation happens closer to the outside ambient temperature. The new a/c condenser parallel-flow design plates and fins are bonded or soldered to increase heat transfer and to eliminate any contact resistance ( air gaps) that will reduce heat transfer. Headers at the inlet and outlet of the heat exchanger are also bonded to the plates through soldering.

The perfect automotive a/c condenser

A perfect condenser would condense the refrigerant at the same temperature as the ambient. The perfect condenser is not practical to be installed on the front of a vehicle inside the engine compartment, because it would be too large to reach this kind of efficiency. Our ASE certified mechanics can get you as close as possible to a perfect condenser operation by doing a condenser test ,maintenance or condenser replacement. Call Us today ! We have a mobile auto a/c shop operating in Hialeah, Miami Lakes, and Doral.

auto air conditioning repair

Auto Air Conditioning Repair

Major Auto air conditioning repairs could be avoided or delayed if some components of the air conditioning system are well maintained and operating at 100 % efficiency.

Car Air Conditioning condenser location

The air conditioning condenser is a heat exchanger like a radiator. It is usually located in front of the vehicle. Other automotive air conditioning designs could have the a/c condenser positioned below the radiator ,on the side of the vehicle or on the roof of the cab.

Automotive air conditioning Repair

The modern design air conditioning condenser cannot be flushed or repaired for leaks. If the condenser is internally contaminated with debris from a compressor failure, stop leak sealer or desiccant bag ruptures, the condenser must be replaced with a new efficient design condenser to ensure a longer life of the air conditioning compressor, and the best performance out of the a/c system.

Auto Air conditioning Condenser Installation

The auto air conditioning operation will be impacted by the condenser design type installed. When replacing the ac condenser, it is vital for the auto air conditioning peak performance to have the fan assembly installed according to manufacturer specifications. Condenser fan assembly ,fan clutch and fan shroud must be replaced if they are suspected of being underperforming or damaged.

The auto air conditioning longevity depends on the proper operation of the ac condenser. The A/C system must be refrigerant charged (Freon) according to specification and the refrigerant must comply at least with the current purity standards. After the condenser is replaced the system must be oil balanced to compensate for the oil loss that goes inside the old condenser coil. The type of oil used, and the exact amount of oil is critical to ensure the best auto air conditioning system performance.

Forced Air and Ram Air automotive system.

The Parallel Flow air conditioning Condenser is the most efficient automotive design currently available and it has considerably improved the automotive cabin interior comfort, but It cannot rely only on the outside ambient natural air flow and temperature to achieve the task of desuperheating, condensing and  subcooling that happens along its coil passages and fins. It is  imperative that a condenser fan assembly forces the right amount of air through the condenser and at the right speed to help with these heat exchange process between the superheated refrigerant from the vehicle cabin and the outside ambient air.

Auto Air conditioning system and Engine Overheating

Just because the engine temperature isn’t elevated, doesn’t mean that the fan is working properly. The fan operation should be double checked with the impact of the fan assembly on the ac system in mind and not only the engine cooling system operation. Just because the fan is turning, and the engine is not showing signs of overheating condition it doesn’t necessarily mean that is turning fast enough for the proper operation of the air conditioning system. Poor fan clutch performance would increase the overall head pressure of the a/c system and may develop leaks from any connection of the hvac lines or compressor main seals.

Auto Air conditioning Repair and maintenance

Depending on the conditions the vehicle is driven the auto air conditioning condenser may need periodically scheduled maintenance.

  • The condenser coil must be clean
  • Free from road debris ,leaves and dirt
  • The condenser coil cannot properly operate with missing or bent fin.
  • Aftermarket modifications of the bumper, front grille and fresh air intakes affect the a/c condenser operation.
  • Aftermarket fan clutch or condenser fan assemblies out of specification must be corrected

Auto A/C Repair LLC. is here to help with any automotive air conditioning need.

Call Us Today ! We have auto air conditioning specialist near you to help you repair, replace, or diagnose any issues with a/c system operation in your vehicle.

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ac auto repair shops near me

ac auto repair shops near me

Auto A/C Repair LLC brings the entire mobile shop right to your home or office. We have ASE certified auto ac repair mechanic near your area in all Miami-Dade County.

Better A/C Auto Condenser Repairs

A/C condensers are in charge of reducing refrigerant temperature so the entire auto AC system chills out. A well maintained or brand new more efficient installed condenser will improve the overall performance of the automotive air conditioning system. By ensuring the most efficient possible operation of the car ac condenser we are extending the life expectancy of the ac compressor and the coldest air flow possible out of the vents in the vehicle.

Mobile AC Repair Shops Outdated Condenser Designs Replacement

The Parallel auto ac flow condenser (PFC) is the most efficient style of condenser for heat transfer because the fins stay in contact with tubes and refrigerant can flow thorough multiple tubes at the same time. This design provides the best possibility for the refrigerant to release heat.

Condenser designs have changed over the years, but there have been 3 primary types.

  • Tube and fin Condenser (TFC)
  • Serpentine Tube Condenser (STC)
  • Parallel Flow Condenser (PFC)

AC Automotive Condenser Repair and Installation Near Me

When servicing an A/C system it is important to know the type of condenser the vehicle has as well as the type it is being replaced with. Less efficient car ac condenser should be replaced with new more efficient designs. The purity of the aluminum and the number of fins per inch should closely be taken into consideration. The heat exchange properties could be improved greatly by taking these factors into consideration. The more efficiently the condenser is operating the less effort must be made by the compressor to operate and cool down the interior of the vehicle. A  condenser that lowers the overall temperature and pressure of the vehicle’s ac system is preserving the quality of the compressor oil and proper lubrication.

Auto A/C Shop Repair Mobile Service Near Me

Call Us Today ! Get your car a/c condenser updated and replaced by an a/c certified mechanic near you.


Is my auto ac condenser operating properly

How do I know if my auto ac condenser is operating properly ?

To know if the auto ac condenser is operating properly we need a set of air conditioning gauges and accurate thermometer to measure outside ambient temperature ,condensing saturation temperature and subcooling temperature. The readings will be compared to a pressure/temperature chart for the corresponding refrigerant used in the vehicle. The readings must be in the range specified by the manufacturer and the pressure/temperature saturation chart.

The conditions for condensing are determined by the efficiency of the condenser and the heat load put on the condenser. A standard condenser ,has a condensing temperature about 30-35 F higher than the surrounding air used to absorb heat  from the condenser. Some condensers are more efficient than others and the relation between the outside air and the condensing temperature will be lower .Condensing temperatures and pressures are also dependent on the heat load given to the condenser to reject. The higher the heat load, the higher will be the condensing temperature and the corresponding pressure. The performance of the ac condenser will change according to the outside ambient temperature.

For example, if the outside ambient temperature rises to 105 F degrees , the condenser saturation temperature would rise to about 135 F

Symptoms of a bad or failing ac condenser

  • Higher relationship between condensing temperature and outside ambient temperature.
  • Higher A/C system head pressure
  • Lower A/C compressor capacity.
  • Condenser fan assembly operating on high continuously


How to properly install an ac condenser


When installing a replacement condenser,  measure the amount of oil found in the component that was removed, and then add that same amount of oil, back into the condenser prior to recharging. If oil has leaked out of the system, use the manufacturer’s recommended amounts.

  • Torque all fasteners to manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Replace o-rings
  • Evacuate and recharge the system
  • Check for leaks
  • Check A/C system performance.

Do you need assistance checking the ac condenser operation in your vehicle ?

Auto A/C Repair brings a complete auto ac care center right to your home or office to take care of your vehicle’s air conditioning system. Call Today !

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