How to Remove an AC Condenser

by Russell Wood

The air conditioning condenser on your vehicle's engine uses refrigerant to cool the air circulating through the A/C system. The A/C condenser is mounted on the front of the vehicle and, as a result, is vulnerable to impact or damage from rocks on the road. If your condenser is damaged, your A/C will stop cooling efficiently and you won't be able to get cold air in the vehicle until the condenser is replaced. The first step to replacing the condenser is removing the old one, which does take some special tools to get done properly.

Open the hood. Locate the color-coded valves on the top of the A/C compressor lines connected to the A/C compressor. Connect the matching color lines on the freon recovery machine to the valves and tighten them down. Start the truck and turn on the A/C. Turn on the machine and evacuate all of the refrigerant out of the system. Turn off the vehicle.

Remove the A/C line connections to the air conditioning condenser located at the front of the vehicle by the radiator, using the aluminum wrench set. Do so slowly in case any remaining refrigerant is left in the system. Then pull off the A/C lines from the condenser.

Unbolt the A/C condenser from the core support. Lift it out of the engine bay with both hands and set it to the side.


  • close Refrigerant is under a lot of pressure, so be sure to use the proper tools to remove it from the system. It is illegal to discharge freon into the atmosphere, as it can cause environmental damage.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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