All about Car Condensers


A condenser plays a very important role in effective functioning of your car’s air conditioning system to keep the things cool and calm. The air-conditioner condenser can easily be compared to a radiator in an engine cooling system. Just like a radiator releases heat to the atmosphere, from the hot engine coolant passing through it, the condenser too releases heat from the hot air conditioning system refrigerant passing through it.

The condenser receives the compressed, gaseous refrigerant from the air conditioner compressor of the vehicle. Upon passing through the air conditioning condenser, the hot gas gets cooled down and changes it into its liquid state for being sent to the evaporator. A car condenser, thus essentially cools the refrigerant down from a hot gas leaving the car compressor and back into a cool liquid, which is needed by the rest of the system to operate the air conditioning in your vehicle.

Simply stated, the car condensers are just another heat exchanger in a vehicle’s air conditioning system. Since the car parts such as condensers and radiators function on the basis of air flowing through them, they are normally situated in front portion of the car. In fact the condensers resemble very much to the radiators in their appearance, the only difference being that the condensers are a little thinner than the radiators. Condensers mostly come made of aluminium in current times; however in the past their construction also involved use of copper or brass.

As is the case with car parts like radiators and evaporators in an engine cooling system, the air conditioning condensers too feature a series of tubes with fins around them in their structure. But whereas the condenser’s job is to release the heat, an evaporator works by absorbing the heat. To be precise, the condenser releases the heat absorbed by the refrigerant while it was flowing through the evaporator. It works pretty much in the same manner in which the radiator releases the heat from engine coolant that the coolant absorbed while it was flowing through the engine. The refrigerant that enters the condenser as a high pressure vapour, upon getting cooled down, gets turned back into a cooler high pressure liquid as it flows through the condenser.

Car parts which are located at the front of the vehicle can easily suffer physical damage from front end collisions, or from debris like small stones kicked up off the road, and condensers are no exception to this. Condensers can suffer a seam or weld failure too, which is likely to result in a leakage from them.

To keep your car’s air conditioning system running like new, you must make sure that the condenser in your vehicle stays in good shape, always. Being located in the front of your car, the condensers are naturally prone to external blockages, mostly caused by objects like dry leaves, dust, dirt and even the insects. Getting your car serviced regularly by trained personnel generally addresses this issue effectively, but in the vast majority of circumstances, internally clogged, leaking, or damaged car parts including condensers cannot be repaired and must be replaced with new units. The condenser typically consists of very small passages, which can easily get blocked on account of a number of reasons. A failed compressor is also one such reason, which makes the air-con condensers susceptible to severe internal blockage. Metal particles and other debris from the failing compressor can easily gain entry into the condenser with the refrigerant, and can quickly block the very small passages inside the condenser. Although, in some instances the blockage can be removed by flushing the debris from inside the condenser, but mostly the blockage is so severe that one is left with no option but to replace the condenser.

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