How to Replace the Condenser in a Buick

by Dan Ferrell

Much like the radiator, the air-conditioning condenser on your Buick transfers heat from the circulating refrigerant in the system into the atmosphere. In fact, the condenser is right in front of the radiator. Replacing the condenser on your Buick follows the same general procedure as replacing the radiator, with the addition of one or more components that you may have to remove for access on your particular model. Before beginning this task, make sure to discharge the refrigerant in the A/C system appropriately.

Removing the Condenser

1

Take your Buick to an approved facility to recuperate the refrigerant in the system, if necessary.

2

Park your vehicle in a safe place.

3

Remove the hood-latch support bracket using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

4

Detach the upper radiator seal, if necessary, by carefully prying the seal from the frame using a screwdriver.

5

Loosen the compressor and evaporator hoses on the condenser using a line wrench to prevent damage to the fitting nuts. Then detach the hoses by hand.

6

Remove the O-ring seals from the compressor and evaporator hoses by hand.

7

Unscrew the condenser hose bracket from the radiator using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

8

Unscrew the condenser-to-radiator mounting bolts using a wrench and/or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

9

Remove the condenser from the vehicle.

Installing the New Condenser

1

Set the new condenser in place in front of the radiator.

2

Start the condenser-to-radiator mounting bolts by hand and then tighten the bolts using the wrench and/or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

3

Install the condenser hose bracket to the radiator using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

4

Install new O-ring seals in both the compressor and evaporator hoses by hand.

5

Start the compressor and evaporator hoses retaining nuts by hand on the condenser fittings. Then use the line wrench to tighten the retaining nuts but do not over-tighten.

6

Attach the upper radiator seal to the frame by hand.

7

Install the hood-latch support bracket using the wrench or ratchet and socket.

8

Take your Buick to an approved facility to charge the conditioning system with the type of refrigerant recommended by your car manufacturer. Consult your car owner’s manual, if necessary.

9

Perform a leak test on the A/C fittings using an A/C leak detector tune-up kit.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images