Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Condenser Fan

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The AC condenser is the component that converts the refrigerant from a gas to liquid so that it can flow through the AC system. As the condenser basically functions as a heat exchanger for the AC system, a great amount of heat is expelled from it during the conversion from gas to liquid. If the condenser becomes too hot, it will not be able to convert the refrigerant into cooled liquid form required to produce cold air. The AC condenser fan is designed to keep the condenser cool so that it can continue to efficiently convert the gas into liquid, and keep the AC system operating correctly. A defective fan can cause problems with the entire AC system. Usually the vehicle will display a few symptoms when the condenser fan has failed.

1. Lukewarm air

One of the first symptoms that a fan has failed is the air coming from the vent being warm. This problem occurs when the condenser has gotten too hot and is no longer able to convert the refrigerant into cooled liquid form. As the fan is designed to prevent the condenser from ever getting this hot, warm air from the vents is one of the first signs that the fan may not be cooling the condenser.

2. Car overheating while idling

Another symptom that may present itself when the fan has failed is the vehicle overheating while the engine is idling with the AC on. During the conversion process, the AC condenser is able to generate a considerable amount of heat, which can affect the overall engine temperature enough to cause overheating. Usually, the overheating will subside once the vehicle is moving due to the increased airflow and cooling the condenser receives when the vehicle is in motion.

3. Burning smell when the AC is on

Another more serious symptom that the condenser fan has failed is the vehicle beginning to emit a burning odor. When the condenser overheats, all of the components of the AC system will begin to overheat until they eventually get hot enough to burn and emit an odor. The longer the components are overheated the more damage is done. So if a burning smell is detected when the AC is turned on, make sure to have the system inspected as soon as possible.

Because the condenser fan cool such an important part of the AC system it is very important to pay attention to its operation if you find that your AC is not working. A failed fan will not only fail to produce cold air, but can even result in damage to the AC system due to overheating. If you suspect that you are having a problem with the condenser fan, make sure to have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. If necessary, they will be able to replace your AC condenser fan so that your car’s AC system can be repaired.


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Oreste

12 years of experience
117 reviews
Oreste
12 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - AC is not working - Miami, Florida
Oreste is extremely knowledgeable and professional. He fixed my car quickly and knew exactly what I was asking about and made me felt confident I was getting excellent service. He is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend him!
Mini Cooper - AC is not working - Miami, Florida
Excellent mechanic , he know all abou the Minicooper engines , he fixed the fail and check all , he did a great job

Joe

41 years of experience
707 reviews
Joe
41 years of experience
BMW 740i - AC is not working - Saint Petersburg, Florida
Great guy. Knows his stuff and easy to work with. Very friendly and helpful. Knows BMW and that’s important to me. Highly recommend.
Honda Odyssey - AC is not working - Tampa, Florida
As expected - Joe was great. Insightful, helpful and explained everything. Will book again without hesitation.

Brian

21 years of experience
245 reviews
Brian
21 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - AC is not working - Jacksonville, Florida
Very knowledgeable and courteous. He was able to quickly diagnose the problem and tell us how to fix it! Thanks Brian!!
Nissan Rogue - AC is not working - Jacksonville, Florida
Amazing service!!! Brian was timely, professional, informative, and this service is just SO convenient. This was my 2nd time booking with Brian via Yourmechanic.com and it wont be my last!!

Benji

20 years of experience
71 reviews
Benji
20 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee - AC is not working - Paradise Valley, Arizona
Benji was beyond professional and handled our issue with speed. Super efficient and went above and beyond!
Land Rover Range Rover - AC is not working - Scottsdale, Arizona
Very knowledgeable! On time, kind, Courteous. Definitely a master technician. Identified the issue Immediately and resolved quickly! A pleasure to work with.

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