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The air conditioning condenser cools the gas Freon low enough to turn it into
cold liquid Freon. This is done by running it through a series of fins in
the condenser. These fins are cooled by air coming into the vehicle and
thus cool the Freon.
Many newer vehicles have serpentine or parallel flow
condensers that simply cannot be properly cleaned
and must be replaced.
The condenser is located in front of the engines
radiator, on most vehicles, where a strong flow of RAM air can be counted on to
draw heat away from the hot high pressure refrigerant. As with the radiator, air
is drawn through the condenser by a fan when the vehicle is less moving than 30
Hot, high pressure refrigerant gas enters the condenser at the top, and liquid
refrigerant is delivered from the bottom. The refrigerant entering the condenser
is 100 percent gaseous, as the refrigerant flows through the condenser the
cooler air passing over the tubes and fins cools the refrigerant below its
boiling point, causing it to condense into a liquid. The latent heat that was
absorbed in the evaporator is then given off to the outside air and the
refrigerant is ready for another cycle through the evaporator.
The size and design of the condenser determines the amount of heat that can be
transferred to the outside air. R12 systems utilized a serpentine tube and fin
construction. 5/16 inch diameter tubes were common in R12 condensers.
R134a systems utilize condensers with multiple passages for the refrigerant to
flow through. Some of the passages are only 1.5mm in diameter. These condensers
can be either serpentine or parallel flow in design.
There are OE replacement and universal condensers. OE style condensers are
listed by model and vehicle year. Universal condensers are listed in the
Illustrated Guide by size, fittings, and type. We provide Multi-Flow Universal
Condensers that can be used in older R12 systems or R12 systems that have been
converted to R134a.