If Your A/C Blows Warm, Could This Be the Condenser?

In an automotive air conditioning system, there are several key parts. Each one of them needs to work correctly and in sequence if the refrigerant is going to be processed to provide cool air. With such a complex system, issues can certainly arise, and the system on your car may only be returning hot air. In this situation, you can probably trace the problem back to the condenser, so what could be going wrong, and what should you do? 

Suspecting the Condenser

If you've turned on the A/C and are being greeted with a lukewarm gust of air, the system is not able to remove any heat, which is the primary job of the condenser. This part receives refrigerant in the form of a gas which is pumped under high pressure into its radiator. As outside air flows across the surface of the condenser, the heat is removed, causing the gas to condense back into a liquid form. This gas will then move on to complete another phase of the process before it eventually arrives at the evaporator beneath your car's dashboard.

Further Issues

If the condenser is partially blocked or is otherwise defective, the refrigerant may still make its way through the process, but it will retain any accumulated heat. Sometimes, the heat will build up to such a degree that internal components will start to burn, and you may notice an unpleasant smell once you turn the A/C on.

Leaking Condenser

The A/C condenser can only work if the refrigerant is forced through under high pressure. So, if there are any pinhole leaks across the surface of the condenser, the refrigerant can pour out in large quantities. You may suspect damage to the condenser if you see a pool of reddish refrigerant underneath your vehicle. Occasionally, seals can also fail as they age and become more brittle with the same end result.

Warning Sensor

More modern vehicles may well have a sensor-driven warning system that will automatically detect a problem with the air conditioning system. If you see a warning light on your dashboard, you will need to take action as soon as possible.

Taking Action

Your A/C condenser should last a reasonable amount of time, but general wear and tear can cause issues. If you are unable to get any cooling air in your vehicle's cabin, take the car to a mechanic for them to take a closer look.

Reach out to a local mechanic to learn more about auto air conditioning repairs.