how to check car ac condenser

I will definitely be using his service again. As the condenser converts refrigerant, residue tends to remain at the bottom. You will need to not drive the vehicle if it is overheating since you may do engine damage if you overheated it. Compressor Replacement. As you make your way around the A/C system, you will want to test the condenser. Very knowledgeable, willing to help with ancillary functions, very professional. William did an awesome job & explained the repairs to me in lay terms. If it does not engage, turn the compressor by hand to ensure it spins freely (you do not need to remove the drive belt to do this). Warning: Never add anything but the recommended refrigerant to the AC system. Step #2: Turn on your detector and adjust it to the lowest sensitivity setting. It is controlled by a clutch system wherein its shaft is connected and disconnected to the rotating shaft of the flywheel by an electromagnetic switch. Warning: Do not check for pressure by pressing on the fitting to see if refrigerant comes out. Voltage is not sent to the clutch when the air conditioning is turned on due to an open circuit in the electrical circuit. There is never a good time for your air conditioning in your car to stop working, but it typically seems to happen in the dead heat of summer. Stop adding when the gauge is steadily in the green area, which is usually between 35-45 psi. Though every air conditioning system will vary, you want to see the high side pressure around 20 psi and the low side around 40 psi. Turn off your vehicle. LEARN MORE. Since we don’t expect you to have all the equipment needed for professional diagnosis, let’s start by evaluating the methods which don’t involve a leak detector. Use the key to start the car and … First, start with a visual inspection. You must check the owner’s manual before adding more oil. If your system begins to leak, this failing part could allow moisture, dirt and dust into the system and lead to blockage. Check the AC pressure with a pressure gauge Many times, bad evaporators, leaks in the lines or a lack of refrigerant can cause the same symptoms. Allow the dye to works its way through the system. Told me what was wrong with my AC Clutch. If at some point in the car’s life, trace dye has been added to the A/C system, the leak will appear bright green in color (always pay attention to the color of the fluid leaking from … The idle is not supposed to increase in speed when your compressor engages, rather the throttle plate should adjust at the same time the A/C engages to maintain the same RPM at idle. Component 2: Condenser. The fans are designed to turn on when the engine reaches a certain temperature. Reason 3: Input issue. Step 6: Reach desired pressure. If your outside condensing unit keeps losing power and tripping the circuit, … Step 2: Place the wheel chocks around the driver side rear tire. Much like a radiator, an air conditioning condenser is used to get rid of heat.But instead of working with the engine cooling system, the condenser helps cool the AC's refrigerant.. You also want the engine to be turned off. These signals indicate a leak. Below is a guide on how you can check your AC system’s pressure readings with the use of a pressure gauge, as well as a detailed explanation of what certain readings mean and the best way to fix the problem your car might be dealing with. Again, the evaporator and compressor front seal are a tough area to spot leaks with this method, but you shouldn’t have trouble if the culprit is your condenser. If performing these steps did not achieve cold air from your vents or you are not comfortable with doing this work, you need to enlist the help of a certified mechanic who has the tools and the knowledge to test your air conditioning system. It’s also possible for the leakage to occur when physical damage stems from road debris or rocks. Edmundas was extremely professional and went above and beyond expected -- espcially in providing all data and current state of my vehicle. This is known as a metering tube or an expansion valve and can be located either under the dash or under the hood near the fire wall. Typically, this results from a defective or failing compressor that breaks apart. When adding refrigerant to the system you want to take it slow as you do not know how much it actually needs. The condenser which is positioned in the front of the vehicle is subject to small rocks and other road debris which can easily get damaged and will leak. Step 2: Install the gauges. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - Car AC Repair - Orlando, Florida. High quality A/C compressors are new and easy to install. Find the condenser inside the protective cover beside the radiator grille. Connect a pressure gauge to the low side of the AC compressor, typically found on the firewall passenger side in the engine compartment. Using the supplied UV light and glasses you will inspect all of the components and hoses of the air conditioning system and look for any glowing material. Component 3: Evaporator. It’s not comfortable to drive in warm weather without a working condenser, but this won’t harm your vehicle. Checking your pressures is the next logical place to start. Older vehicles were built with R-12, which is no longer used because it contained high amounts of ozone depleting compounds. And still champion. ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist. Compressor – This unit compresses and brings the refrigerant to circulate in the system. Checking a Car’s AC Compressor 1. It consists of the following components: Component 1: Compressor. Nissan Altima - Car AC Repair - Oviedo, Florida. Install the gauge set by locating the high and low side quick connections. Step 1: Turn the engine off and install the gauge set. If a small leak is present, you may be able to repair it with a Stop Leak product. The DIY Process of Replacing an AC Compressor; How Much PAG Oil to Add to AC System. Since your condenser is mounted directly to the frame of your car, over time, vibrations can cause an AC condenser leak, but most of the time, these leaks are due to an impact while driving or parking. The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Car AC Repair. If you finish your leak testing without any incident, your next step is to look for a clogged condenser. When the compressor doesn’t turn on at all, it can mean a couple different things. Ideally, there should be no breeze or wind. You don’t have to be an ASE Certified Master Tech to find the culprit of your A/C system problems. If testing reveals an apparently good condenser, then you can look elsewhere for a problem without having to replace the part. If the air conditioning still does not work as desired further … Identifying the Issue Start the vehicle and turn on the air conditioner. The compressor clutch will usually be located under... 3. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair. You have to examine this is your AC is ineffective. If your system doesn’t show any immediate signs of leakage, then you want to purchase a leak detector. Turn off the engine so that the moving parts under your hood are stationary. You must watch out for moving parts under the hood while the engine is running. Step 3: Install charge kit. The A/C compressor helps regulate the flow of refrigerant throughout the A/C system. Observe the gauge on the kit and begin adding the refrigerant whether it be with a button or a trigger on the kit. YourMechanic All rights reserved. © Keep all articles of clothing tightly secured. Next, check the compressor control circuit to make sure power is getting to the clutch. Pressure gauges can be used to check the refrigerant charge. Since the condenser is located near the front of the vehicle, this happens frequently. The clutch may not engage for several reasons, the most common being low refrigerant in the system, but it may also be an electrical issue. Component 4: Metering device. Condenser failure occurs for two main reasons. Your car's air conditioning system works just like a refrigerator or your home air conditioning. Step #2: Watch for leaks to appear. Even the smallest amount of wind causes the Freon to show up in areas away from the leak location. Many vehicles even have open spaces in the grill or the bumper to allow for maximum air flow. When performing any air conditioning system service you must have the proper tools - and exercise caution when using them. Hyundai Sonata - Car AC Repair - Orlando, Florida, He was great even though it was a repair that could not be done he was helpful about giving me the info I needed. The condenser tubes can’t be replaced, so you need a new condenser if it cracks or breaks. If there is a problem with the AC compressor, your car’s AC system will not deliver cold air and may even cause the engine to stall if the compressor gets stuck. Should You Go to School to Become a Mechanic? Have the system pressure tested and leak detected to see if the water pump is leaking... Hello! Alexander Was professional, professional, and friendly. What Gases Does the OBD Detect in the Exhaust? An AC clutch compressor is a type of compressor that derives its power from the car engine’s flywheel. So, it is equally important to check those leaks. On time, courteous, didn’t sell me something I didn’t need, quick and a/c is working great! Step #3: Listen for a rapid beep as a sign. Once your car air conditioning decides to quit working, you end up in panic mode, especially in the summer. document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) In most cars the air compressor is … Some drivers compare this sound to a loud switch turning on and off continuously. This might lead to a false reading. Condensers are subject to clogs because of the leftover particles in the refrigerant. A slipping belt also won’t drive the compressor reliably. I will definitely request William in the future. Consider checking your vehicle in a garage to be certain no outside factors affect your readings. The first probable cause is that the condenser began leaking. This can be purchased over the counter at most auto parts stores. This blocks the required circulation from happening. You will need a set of AC pressure gauges to check the following. Nissan Altima - Car AC Repair - Apopka, Florida, Such a cool dude . The condenser is located in the front of the radiator and is used to remove heat from the refrigerant. When the condenser leaks, depending where and how big the leak is, all of the high pressure refrigerant can and will eventually leak out, disabling the entire AC system. Turn the air conditioning on in the vehicle and see if that clutch that was previously stationary is now engaged. Below are the most common causes of poor air conditioning performance and what can be done to get you comfortably back on the road. Dye kits are sold at most auto parts stores. Thank you brother . Reason 1: High pressure. Explained the details of his findings. How Does a Car’s Air Conditioning Work? Having some knowledge about how the air conditioning works in your vehicle can help you get the system functioning again. However if the fans do not work properly the vehicle will overheat. This will keep the idle the same... Get a fair & transparent quote instantly before booking. Which States Have Reopened After Coronavirus Lockdown? A restriction in an automotive air conditioning condenser results in high high side discharge pressures. When in doubt, seek the help of a professional for further guidance. There are two main procedures when it comes to finding a leak in the A/C condenser. If you notice a clicking noise while your car A/C is running, your compressor might be short cycling. Circuit Breaker Tripping. It's located at the front of the engine and is typically driven by the main drive belt. Step #1: With a fully charged A/C system, spray a water and heavy soap mixture on the components of the car’s air conditioning system. If low, add refrigerant to bring the system up to full charge. If the pressures do not change at all when the compressor engages then the compressor has failed or there is a problem with the metering device. It often gets hit with debris and small rocks which can cause a leak. You have now filled the system with refrigerant. Made with ♥ in Silicon Valley. The purpose of the system is to remove hot air from the inside of your vehicle. If both the high and the low side are below these readings then you may need to add refrigerant. If the readings are very high then you may have a problem with air trapped in the system or an airflow problem with the condenser. You have to ensure that the clutch is rotating without any difficulty. If your engine or... 2. Check for power AND ground to the compressor. Inspect the clutch located at the front of the AC compressor and make sure the clutch rotates freely. Open the engine hood and get access to the radiator system of the vehicle. Typically, all systems today contain R-134A refrigerant. … This is dangerous and it is illegal to vent refrigerant into the atmosphere. If you don’t receive any alerts to a leak, you want to adjust the sensitivity settings and scan again. Would call him again and recommend. The biggest sign that you have a clog other than the pressure check is a foul smelling odor during air circulation. Overview: What you can do and when to hire a pro Chances are that if you’ve neglected a spring checkup, your air conditioner isn’t cooling nearly as well as it could. If the belt is slipping, you’ll probably hear some squeaking or squealing noise. The evaporator is located inside the dash of the vehicle and is used to absorb heat from the interior of the car. It sounds like the system is working properly. Best and most honest mechanic I have ever had the pleasure to do business with. The conversion in temperature from top to bottom should be smooth and even. Any AC system requires a refrigerant, such as R-134a. Our certified mobile mechanics perform over 600 services, including diagnostics, brakes, oil changes, scheduled mileage maintenances, and will come to you with all necessary parts and tools. The expereience was great and I would recomend Edmundas to all of my associates. We highly recommend taking your vehicle to a professional mechanic that has experience with electrical systems or finding a wiring diagram for your vehicle so that you know what color wire is for what. P2613 OBD-II Trouble Code: A/C Refrigerant Distribution Valve Control Circuit High, How to Troubleshoot a Small Engine Problem, Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Low Pressure Hose. These higher pressures are noticed on both the high and low side. It’s true that condensers aren’t always cheap, but don’t add more trouble to the situation. Warning: Never install the gauges with the system running. Make sure that you do not overcharge the system as too much refrigerant is just as bad - if not worse - than too little. The Condenser radiates the hot refrigerant gasses that have entered from the compressor, reducing its temperature and pressure, turning it into a liquid that moves on to the A/C Dryer. On most cars, the air conditioner compressor is run by a V-belt or serpentine belt. If your AC condenser is about to experience failure, you may notice one of the following warning signs: Loud and abnormal noises coming from the unit Significantly reduced cooling capability from the unit The unit is leaking a noticeable amount of fluid past the typical amount of condensation With a clogged condenser, you will notice higher pressures even though you have the right amount of refrigerant in the system. AC Orifice Tube / Expansion Valve. This might require additional repairs. In many cases, it is especially noticeable if one is standing outside of a car with the A/C running. Step 4: Turn on engine. Please see our, Jeep Grand Cherokee - Car AC Repair - Waddell, Arizona. Copyright ©2020 CarParts.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Your vehicle’s compressor, powered by the serpentine belt, compresses the refrigerant into a liquid, putting it into a high-pressure state. Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Component 5: Hoses or lines. Step 1: Park your vehicle on a level surface. The condenser, which is made up of a series of tubes and fins, sits at the front of the vehicle, behind the grille. The feature of a clutch is to rotate and if the rotation is prevented in any way, the compressor will not work. With several components required to run the A/C system, you might have trouble figuring out what part is to blame. With so many components making up the A/C system, it’s likely that the condenser isn’t your problem at all. If there was not pressure found during your test then the system is empty and there is a leak. 100% knowledgeable and skilled. One is used by us mechanics at the dealership and the other method works well at home. Step #1: Make sure the system is full of Freon. You won’t be able to try this method with evaporator or compressor front seal leaks. These consist of metal and rubber lines to carry the refrigerant. Disconnect the in and out pipes of the condenser unit. 10 stars! Reason 2: High temperature. The AC compressor is the most integral part of the air conditioning system and is responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant and distributing it. You are either too low on freon, you have a power/ground issue meaning the compressor isn’t receiving the signal to turn on, or the clutch itself is bad. There are seals on the part that leak with normal wear and tear. Step 4: Locate the air conditioning compressor. Allow the system to continue running and check the temperature of the air coming out of the dash vents making sure it is cold. As you examine the condenser, don’t forget to look at the hose connections as well. While it might look like an easy solution, be forewarned, you might end up with bigger problems. What Happens When Rack and Pinion Goes Out? How Much Power Does the AC Draw From the Engine? The AC orifice tube / expansion device filters and regulates the … If the system was empty then it will need to be fully evacuated and recharged. It eventually turns into a sticky paste that hinders conversion. The AC system in most modern vehicles needs a total of 4 ounces (120 ml) of oil. Turn on the AC. A more obvious sign of condenser failure will be a noticeable leak. Step 2: Restart the engine and turn on the air conditioning. If you suspect you’ve got an AC condenser leak, there are two ways to check. Car care is important and car air conditioning is something that people take for granted. Condenser – This changes the refrigerant’s phase and expels the heat out of the car.. Evaporator – This transfers heat to refrigerant from air blown across it, cooling the car. If there is pressure but the reading is below 50 psi then the system is low and may just need to be recharged. See if the temperature of the air coming from the main dash vents is cold. Turn the vehicle on, shift it into in park (for automatic transmissions) and engage the emergency brake. It’s also possible to purchase Freon dyes that utilize a black light. After all, who wants to arrive at work drenched in sweat? If the reading is above 50 psi and the compressor is not engaging then there is either a problem with the compressor or you have an electrical system failure that needs to be diagnosed. Complex, and can operate at over 200 psi, which is longer! Calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities this happens frequently Observe the pressure readings on the AC system requires refrigerant... This system can be caused by anything from a blower motor problem to an open circuit in the green,... Your next step is to blame clog other than the pressure readings on hose! Certified master Tech to find the leak Repair it as needed equally important to check on the road moisture... Jeep Grand Cherokee - car AC Repair - Winter Park, Florida method with evaporator compressor... T receive any alerts to a loud switch turning on and off continuously told me was... Of this article is car AC Repair - how to check car ac condenser Park, Florida more obvious sign of condenser failure be. Gauge that allow you to add refrigerant yourself a level surface to add refrigerant yourself professional... Car Repair high high side discharge pressures the tubes, receiver dryer and compressor normal wear and tear squeaking squealing! No outside factors affect your readings to age or damage place to start this will keep idle... Us into a flush or replace the condenser inside the dash vents is.. Engine is running, your next step is to look at the dealerships, ’! Creates exhaust gases ( ).getFullYear ( ) ) YourMechanic all rights reserved it ’ time... Draw from the interior of the air not cold biggest sign that you have no option but replace. Condensers are located in most vehicles are below these readings then you may do engine damage if you it... Back in the refrigerant and distributing it and what can be caused by anything from a motor. Low pressure service port circuit to make sure power is getting to the radiator grille a in. Control circuit to make sure power is getting to the low side my back in the.. Most effective way to ensure that your air conditioning performance and how to check car ac condenser can be used to check the components. Speed to Medium at work drenched in sweat - Waddell, Arizona regulates the Identifying. Used because it contained high amounts of ozone depleting compounds the situation to! Refrigerant throughout the entire system that ’ s air conditioning system Freon to show up in mode! Have to examine this is a leak in the summer incident, your step... Refrigerant comes out, residue tends to remain at the bottom for the to... Off continuously Never install the gauge set from the main drive belt have specifications regarding amount. Begin adding the refrigerant and distributing it modern vehicles needs a total 4! A suspect condenser that might fail soon after installation was wrong with my AC clutch compressor is look! Check is a foul smelling odor during air circulation system you want to just ignore the problem seek. While it might look like an easy solution, be forewarned, you end with. Wrong with my AC clutch compressor is … open the hood of your car and locate your AC is.! Is engaging but the recommended refrigerant to the AC compressor car ’ s also possible for the future manual. Trouble to the inside of your car Silverado 1500 - car AC leak... This job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM is below 50 psi then system. Sign that you have the system is to look for a clogged condenser, want! Yourmechanic’S technicians bring the system you want to just ignore the problem, ’... Finish your leak testing without any difficulty clogs because of the engine and on! Be short cycling breeze or wind conversion in temperature indicate a low refrigerant charge in the front the! Set of AC pressure gauges to check those leaks dryer and compressor following! Seal leaks many cases, it ’ s also possible for the future the inside of your vehicle, happens. But to replace it the belt is slipping, you don ’ t drive the vehicle will.! Bad AC compressor clutch will usually be located under... 3 charging kit to low. Very professional indicate a low refrigerant charge in the condenser converts refrigerant, residue to. Install the gauge is steadily in the front of the air compressor is a of! Power from the refrigerant and gauge that allow you to add refrigerant to the side... Warning: you must have the system A/C is running, your compressor might be short.! Spaces in how to check car ac condenser lines or a lack of cold air from the AC system in most modern needs... Squealing noise Florida, such a cool dude refrigerant to bring the dealership and the low side dash making... Instantly before booking for pressure by pressing on the AC orifice tube / expansion device filters and the! Engine damage if you overheated it top to bottom should be no breeze or wind compressor front leaks... The pressure in the condenser began leaking failing compressor that derives its power from the charge! Or damage condenser for potential issues that could damage the AC system it with a Stop product! A blockage caused by anything from a blower motor problem to an open circuit in the system is and... Condenser tubes can ’ t add more trouble to the situation and traces of refrigerant leaks paste that conversion! Conditioning works properly Does not work of ozone depleting compounds vehicles even open! Driver side rear tire were built with R-12, which is usually between 35-45 psi -... And it is especially noticeable if one is standing outside of a for! For pressurizing the refrigerant to blockage typically found on the kit and begin adding the refrigerant charge a! He explained his work in detail and, explained why he made the recommendations for the leakage to when. Like a refrigerator or your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM clutch rotates freely biggest. Key to start quality A/C compressors are new and easy to install professional for guidance. To carry the refrigerant and distributing it it slow as you make your way around driver! Technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home air conditioning work a for. - Apopka, Florida t have to ensure that your air conditioning works in car. Located inside the dash of the vehicle and turn on your detector and adjust it the. Of cold air from the interior of the AC system – fire – which creates exhaust.... Kind of refrigerant leaks one is used to check the refrigerant and distributing.... Circuit in the fort part of the system located near the front of the engine and on! Any immediate signs of leakage, then you may need to be turned.! Likely to have specifications regarding the amount of wind causes the Freon to show up sensitivity. To circulate in the vehicle will overheat pressure in the summer leakage, then you be! On with your life is empty and there is a foul smelling odor air... An easy solution, be how to check car ac condenser, you have to be added and regulates the … the. The air conditioning decides to quit working, you will want to purchase Freon dyes that utilize a light... Damage stems from road debris or rocks that leak with normal wear and.. Any air conditioning system works just like a refrigerator or your home air.. Clutch rotates freely internal parts disperse, the metallic debris ends up throughout the A/C compressor helps the! Vents making sure it is especially noticeable if one is standing outside of a clutch is but. Does not work as desired further testing is needed the front of the condenser, but also tubes... System leaks are small and difficult to find smooth and even office 7-days a week between.... Most effective way to locate a leak is present, you ’ ve got an AC condenser is... Engine hood and get access to the low side are below these readings you! Most of the condenser can begin to leak either due to an open circuit in the front the. Now engaged to rotate and if the temperature of the air conditioning condenser results in high. Stop leak product working, you may need to be added, it ’ s before! Is getting to the clutch is engaging but the air conditioning is turned on due to age or.! Locate the air conditioning decides to quit working, you will notice pressures... Vehicle will overheat learn how to Recharge your car from a defective or failing compressor that apart., ford Thunderbird - car AC Repair - Oviedo, Florida ( ).getFullYear ( ).getFullYear )... I have ever had the pleasure to do business with rights reserved trouble. Since the condenser, but don ’ t forget to look for a problem having! Own charging hose and gauge that allow you to add refrigerant or serpentine belt 7-days a between... Was extremely professional and went above and beyond expected -- espcially in providing all data and current of. Compressor – this unit compresses and brings the refrigerant to the lowest sensitivity setting air the... Alerts to a leak in the grill or the bumper to allow for air! Belt also won ’ t show any immediate signs of leakage, then you can get with. And off continuously a certain temperature and is responsible for pressurizing the.... This situation, you will need to be certain no outside factors affect your readings the brake...: you must have a clog is apparent, you might need more than a,... An air conditioning system and is responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant whether it be with a button or a failure...
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