910 Freeport Parkway, Suite 100 Coppell, TX 75019
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Model Specific Air Conditioning
1930's to 1980's Cars & Trucks
Since 1977

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So what exactly is the condenser?

So what exactly is the condenser?

So what exactly is the condenser?

Normally made of aluminum the condenser plays an important role in your vehicles A/C system. So what does it do? The condenser is a heat exchanger. The refrigerant passes through the condenser and it releases the heat to the atmosphere.

The heat the refrigerant absorbed while it was flowing through the evaporator enters the condenser as a high-pressure vapor and makes its way through series of tubes with fins around it to expel this heat. After the refrigerant flows through these series of tubes in the condenser and cools, it turns back into a cooled high-pressure liquid

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What can go wrong and what should I do?

There are things that can go wrong with the condenser externally and internally. The easiest to fix is an external blockage. More often debris such as dust, and insects can diminish the performance of the condenser. Some preventive maintenance can go a long way. Spray down the condenser with some water and even a small amount of soap to loosen and remove daily grime. If just being dirty is the problem increased performance should be noticed immediately. Another external issue is damage. Because the condenser is mounted in the front of the car it is most likely to take the impact of road debris, such as rocks.

An internal blockage is more serious. If you have had previous compressor issues metal shavings could have made their way into the condenser in the refrigerant. An internal blockage can happen very easily since the pathway is so small inside the condenser. Flushing the system to remove the debris in the condenser sometimes works but in most cases the condenser will have to be replaced.

Design types

Serpentine

This type of condenser consists of one long tube, which is coiled over and back on itself with cooling fins in between the tubes.

Parallel flow design

This design is very similar to a cross flow radiator Instead of refrigerant travelling through one passage (like serpentine type); it can now travel across numerous passages. This will give larger surface area for the cooler ambient air to contact.

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