The evaporator and condenser are two of the main components of an auto A/C system. A variety of problems may occur with these parts. Many car owners prefer to work on, and repair, their own vehicles to save money. Mishaps with the A/C parts range from mild to severe. It is important for users to understand how condensers and evaporators work, different brands and their features, the problems that occur with them, and how to fix the problems.
How an Evaporator Works
The evaporator is a heat exchange system in a car A/C system. They are usually made of aluminum and resemble small radiators. A series of internal tubes with attached fins make up the component. Air travels through the fins, and the internal tubes carry moving refrigerant. Warm air from the vehicle passes through the evaporator, and the refrigerant absorbs the air. Humidity condenses on the cool surface and drips out of a tube outside of the car. The refrigerant then moves on to the condenser.
How a Condenser Works
Like evaporators, condensers look like small radiators. However, instead of absorbing heat, they release it. They release the heated refrigerant absorbed while flowing through the evaporator. The refrigerant enters the condenser as a high-pressure vapor. As it flows through the condenser and cools, it turns back into a cooler high-pressure liquid.
Popular Evaporator and Condenser Brands
Various manufacturers of evaporators and condensers exist on the market. Each brand boasts unique features made for specific models and makes of vehicles. Users may review the features of each brand to find the replacement part that is most compatible with a certain car.
Core design meets or exceeds OE performance and efficiency
Optimized refrigerant flow
Application specific design
Contains gaskets, o-rings, and seals to aid in replacement
Each parts goes through a unique process called the "Quality, Fit, and Price" process
Evaporators created with all new and lightweight materials
Wide range of products for a variety of car models and makes
Units are nitrogen-leak tested to ensure a damage-free condenser
High-density fins designed for maximum cooling
Heavy-gauge mounting brackets reduce movement and vibration
Precise mounting holes and brackets provide users with easy installation
Fixed feeder tubes with no fault tolerance in length, diameter, and bending angle prevent leaks and loss of effect
Each condenser is tested thoroughly at Nissen's lab
Extensive variety of condensers to fit nearly all vehicles
Each company that produces condensers and evaporators strives to meet quality auto standards. The companies make the parts from a variety of materials that provide quality performance and less instances of leakage. Users may review the features to find the part that matches a specific vehicle.
Common Problems that Occur with Condensers and Evaporators
Sometimes problems with condensers and evaporators arise. Do-it-yourself mechanics benefit from knowing the sign of common mishaps so they can repair them before further damage occurs. Different types of diagnostic tests help users find the problem and fix it.
Minor or major restriction, faulty cooling fans or fan clutch, or poor airflow across the condenser prevent refrigerant from cooling down properly. The resulting warmer air or extensive back-pressure often causes damage to the compressor. To detect this problem, users may check the temperature of the condenser's inlet and outlet with the A/C on the highest setting and all windows and doors open. A 20-40 degree temperature difference between the inlet and outlet is normal.
Less than 20 degrees indicates and airflow problem and greater than 40 indicates a restriction problem. Each problem is preventable with regular flushing and cleaning of the A/C system. If too much damage exists, the user must replace the entire condenser.
Problems with an evaporator are indicated when it produces less air than normal. A frozen evaporator forces air around the outside instead of through the cooling fins. Improper metering from the Freon to the evaporator is one cause of the problem. A faulty cabin filter or blower motor is sometimes the culprit of a clogged evaporator. Flushing and cleaning the part prevents and often fixes all problems. However, users must replace severely damaged or worn out evaporators.
Finding A/C Condensers and Evaporators on eBay
A variety of condensers and evaporators for most car models exist on eBay. Sellers often offer their products at lower prices than what retailers offer. Start your search by entering keywords in the search bar found on any eBay page. Filter your results with more specific keywords, such as the make, model, or year of your vehicle. You may also enter a specific brand name. View detailed descriptions, pictures, and shipping options on the seller's site.