How to Replace the AC Condenser on a Chevy TrailBlazerby Chris Moore
The condenser on your Chevy TrailBlazer's air conditioner works directly with the radiator and removes heat from the refrigerant. If you need to replace the condenser or any part of the air conditioner, use extreme caution; you are dealing with a system that is under high pressure and uses liquids that are highly regulated by environmental laws. Consult with your mechanic first before replacing the condenser.
Take the truck to your dealer's service department or an automotive air conditioning shop to have the air conditioning system discharged. This must be done by a licensed technician.
Drain the engine coolant by placing a large container under the radiator drain and loosening the clamp (this may take pliers) on the lower radiator hose to detach it so the coolant will drain out.
Disconnect the truck's negative battery cable.
Disconnect the refrigerant lines by removing the nut; an open-ended or flare nut wrench may work best. Plug the refrigerant lines to prevent dirt or moisture from entering them.
Remove the lower radiator hose and the support shield, then detach the transmission cooler lines and plug them. Unfasten then remove the radiator support brace. Disconnect the coolant reservoir line and radiator side panels, then pull the radiator out.
Unbolt the condenser with a wrench and remove it.
Fill the new condenser with one ounce of R-134a-compatible refrigerant oil.
Insert the condenser, making sure the rubber insulation pads on the lower cross member are in place underneath, then bolt it in place with the wrench.
Reinstall the radiator, reconnect the refrigerant lines to the condenser then reconnect the negative battery cable.
Refill the cooling system with fresh coolant--half water and half antifreeze--if the old coolant is dirty.
Return the TrailBlazer to the automotive technician to have the air conditioning system evacuated, recharged and leak-tested.
- You will likely need to raise the vehicle on a jack to access the lower hose, support shield and transmission lines when removing the radiator. Use caution and lower the truck once you've detached these components.
- A flare-nut wrench can help make sure you don't strip any of the bolts you need to remove.
Items you will need
- Waste container
- Pliers (optional)
- Rubber plugs
- Replacement condenser
- Refrigerant oil
- "Chilton General Motors TrailBlazer Repair Manual;" Alan Ahlstrand; 2003
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images