A car consists of various components to make it work well and be comfortable to use. Among them is the condenser in the AC cooling system. A car's air conditioner is an important part of the AC system's performance, it blows cold air and cools the cabin.

Qoala explains the car's condenser completely, how to work, parts, location, function, damage features and how to take care of them. If you are very concerned about driving comfort, you should read this article to the end to take better care of your condenser.

What is a car condenser?

What is a car condenser?
Photo credit: Orlov Alexander via Shutterstock

The car condenser is one of the parts of the car that is located between the grill and the engine cooling radiator. It consists of sheets of tin, each sheet of which is covered with paraffin paper and rolled tightly to form a small cylinder.

In general, the function of a car condenser is to reduce the temperature of the coolant by conducting a cooling process. When the temperature cools down, the refrigerant, which was initially in the form of a gas, turns into a cold liquid and then passes into the next process and is released by the AC fan of the car.

In summary, the sequence of how a car AC works to produce cool air is as follows.

  1. The AC compressor releases the compressed refrigerant in gaseous form. The compression process causes this refrigerant gas to be at high temperature and pressure. This hot, pressurized brake gas goes to the AC condenser.
  2. In the reservoir, as the heat carried by the brake enters, the brake, which was initially in the form of a gas, turns into a liquid, this change of substance is called condensation. In the process of absorbing the heat, the air conditioner is assisted by the fan by blowing air through the air conditioner's wings.
  3. After passing through the condenser, the liquid freon is filtered to the receiver dryer, so the air becomes cleaner and fresher. The air then enters the expansion valve, where the Freon is converted back into gas form. Next, the air enters the evaporator and is distributed into the cabin using a blower.

If you pay attention to how the AC system works above, the function and role of the car's condenser is to absorb heat from the freon that comes from the compressor, so that it cools down. In addition, the condenser changes the form of the refrigerant from a gas to a liquid.

Considering its important role in the car's AC system, the maintenance of the car's air conditioner also needs attention. The maintenance is aimed at preventing various damages that can happen to the condenser, which affects the temperature in the house and disturbs the comfort in the car.

Car cooling area

As mentioned earlier, the position of the condenser is in front of the car's radiator, between the car's grille and the radiator. By opening the front grill of the car, you can see the air conditioner directly.

This position allows the conditioner to get a lot of dirt and dust from the outside, which makes the parts dirty or blocked. This is one of the causes of problems with the condenser, which cannot work properly.

Car condenser function

From the above explanation, the function of the car condenser is explained, which is known to the general public. However, if you look specifically, the car air conditioner has several functions, such as refrigeration, lighting system and cooling system. Following is an explanation of each of these functions:

1. Cooling method

As described in the general function of the condenser, this device is a component that works to absorb heat or heat from the refrigerant in the refrigeration system. By absorbing the heat, the freon changes from a gas state to a liquid state. This phenomenon of changing the state of gas to liquid is called condensation, hence the name of this component is condenser.

In the cooling process, the medium used is air or wind. In this process, the role of air is needed as a cooling mechanism. Therefore, when releasing this heat, the car's condenser is assisted by a fan that can blow air.

As an integrated car cooling system, not only the air conditioner but the integration between all the AC units is needed to make the heat work properly. When all the components in the cooling system perform their functions normally, the air that the AC blows into the cabin will be cold.

2. Ignition system

In addition to the cooling system, the conditioner has a role in the ignition system. The function of the capacitor in the ignition system is to absorb the jump of the spark plug at the breaking point in the platinum. The conditioner will increase the voltage on the second circuit and the platinum condition of the car is better protected from the risk of loss.

3. Cooling method

In a refrigeration system, the condenser acts as a condensing device: Aka the high-pressure, high-temperature compressor that condenses gas into a liquid refrigerant. The refrigerant holds the heat so that the refrigerant or refrigerant has a cold temperature.

How does a car air conditioner work?

After knowing the role of the condenser in several systems in the car, it will be a good idea for you to know how this device works in these systems.

1. Lighting system

When the platinum is closed, the capacitor flows the primary current from the battery to the mass of the battery and to the secondary winding. Meanwhile, when the platinum is opened, electric current flows into the condenser, preventing sparks from occurring.

2. Cooling method

In the refrigeration system, the conditioner works in 2 ways: natural oscillation and forced expansion. In natural convention, the system depends only on the wind blowing from outside the car, so the air flow rate in the air conditioner is very low. Meanwhile, in forced convection, cooling is also carried out with the help of a fan or something similar.

3. Cooling method

In the refrigeration system, the conditioner works by converting gas into liquid. The freon pumped into the refrigeration system by the compressor is forced into the condenser in the form of a high-pressure, superheated gas. With the help of a fan, the condenser removes the heat so that the gas refrigerant turns into a liquid.

Characteristics of a damaged car condenser

When the air conditioner does not work, it really reduces the comfort of driving, because the temperature in the cabin will be hot, especially when you drive the car at low speed or stop.

Therefore, it is very important for car owners to know the signs of condensation damage, so that the problem can be prevented from getting worse. So here are 3 signs that can be indicators of a damaged car condenser.

1. The AC is not cooling and there is no leakage in the pipe

If the AC doesn't feel cold but you don't find any brake leaks in the ducts or other visible parts of the AC system ducts, this could be an indication of damage to the condenser. So, how do you know if the tube is leaking or not?

The method is very simple, you only need to check the ductwork of the AC system. If you find it full of dust or seeping traces of compressor oil, the hose is leaking. This is because the leakage in the pipe causes the compressor oil to leak or drip. If you don't find any compressor oil leakage, you can be sure that the line is safe.

Or you can test for looseness using soapy water. The method is simple, i.e. cleaning the hose or other channels of the AC system using soapy water, then turning on the AC. As we know, there is air flowing in the AC system. If there is a leak, air will escape from the hole and blow into the soapy water, causing bubbles to appear. This means that when you see bubbles when the AC is turned on, the hose must be flushed.

If after checking the ductwork using the above two methods, you find no signs of leakage but the AC does not cool, you can suspect that the problem is with the condenser.

2. Big difference in high and low pipe pressure

The upper pipe is the pipe connecting the compressor and the condenser, and the lower pipe is the pipe after the evaporator. There are nipples on both tubes that work to check the pressure value.

If the air conditioner of the car is closed, the freon is blocked and cannot flow into the condenser. This causes the nipple to sense the high pressure in the upper tube. Since it does not flow into the condenser, that is, it does not flow into the evaporator, the nipple on the lower tube realizes a very low pressure.

Therefore, if you find that there is a significant difference in pressure between the high and low pipes, the conditioner may be blocked. In addition to the pressure difference, this type of turbulence causes the compressor to continue to cycle on and off rapidly.

3. There are signs of leakage in the condenser

Just like an AC hose, you can see the same symptoms when the conditioner is leaking, namely compressor oil seepage. If your car model allows you to see the air conditioner through the grill, you can easily check the unit for leaks. If it is dry, the item can be said to be good, but if there is visible bleeding, then there is a leak.

But, to be more precise, Condenser...