Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Condenser

AC Condenser

Bad or Failing AC Condenser Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

The AC condenser is a very important component found on virtually all modern automotive AC systems. Its primary function is to convert the refrigerant coming from the compressor from a high temperature, high pressure vapor into a high pressure liquid through condensation. Similar to how the cooling system radiator functions, the vehicle moves cool air passes through the condenser fins, cooling the refrigerant as it passes through until it is liquified. The cooled liquid refrigerant is what is used to cool the cabin when the AC is turned on.

As all of the AC system’s refrigerant passes directly through the condenser, if there is any problem with the condenser, it can negatively affect the operation of the entire system and should be replaced if necessary. There will usually be a few ways to spot a bad or failing condenser.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

Significantly reduced cooling

One of the first symptoms of a failed or failing AC compressor is reduced cooling. If the condenser is damaged in any way and results in the restriction of refrigerant flow, then the entire cooling system will work less efficiently. If the refrigerant cannot flow properly, then the amount of cool air that the system can produce will be significantly reduced.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

Noticeable leaks

A more obvious sign of condenser failure will be a noticeable leak. Over time, the condenser can begin to leak either due to age or damage. 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. When it begins to leak it must be replaced as a whole since the condenser is one piece.

If you suspect that you may be having a problem with your AC condenser, then have it looked at by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. If necessary, they will be able to replace your AC condenser, as it is a critical component to the operation of the vehicle’s AC system.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


Related questions

Q: The engine is off, radiator fan still works, AC issues

Since the wiring system has been modified and the fan wired hot at all times with the key on. I recommend having a mechanic diagnose the real problem with the wiring since it may be an issue with the internals...

Q: Why does the AC stop cooling the car once the car speed exceeds about 80 Km/h?

The A/C thermal expansion valve (TXV) most likely is the cause of the A/C system freezing up at higher engine or vehicle speeds. The TXV controls the flow of refrigerant through the evaporator and the valve can stick open causing...

Q: Air conditioner blowing hot air on drivers side

If the air conditioning system is on and vent temperatures are as expected for a/c at certain outlets (typically outlets would measure around 35-40 degrees below outdoor ambient) yet the air blowing from other outlets is "warmer" or indeed "hot",...