In Australia, the air conditioning system within your car or truck is equally as important as any of the other mechanical components. In the summertime, you won't be able to drive your vehicle in comfort if the A/C fails to cooperate, and you'd probably have to take a change of clothes with you to work. Consequently, you need to keep a close eye on its condition and take action should you encounter any problems. There are a variety of different components involved, and each one of them can develop an issue from time to time, but the condenser fan is one of the most important. What is this and how can you tell if it is on its way out?
The Importance of the Fan
As you may know, the condenser converts refrigerant from its gaseous state to a liquid so it can be used through the rest of the system. A tremendous amount of heat is generated when the gas is converted into a liquid, and the condenser acts as a heat exchanger for the entire system. This heat has to be regulated, as the condenser will not function correctly if becomes overly hot, and the condenser fan is, therefore, a crucial component in the exercise. If the fan develops a problem, you may notice issues that should prompt you to take action.
Overheating When Stationary
Firstly, you may notice that the engine starts to overheat when you're sitting at a traffic light with the air conditioning in the on position. Of course, an overheating engine could be traced to a thermostat or radiator issue, but here the condenser fan is not able to dissipate the heat from the condenser effectively, and this heat will transfer to the engine itself. You may notice that things return to normal when you begin to move again.
You may also notice that the air in the cabin is warmer than normal, which could be a sign that the fan is not working. Without the fan, the condenser is not able to convert the refrigerant into its cooler, liquid form, which causes the cabin temperature to rise.
Smell of Burning
In the worst-case scenario, you may begin to notice a burning smell as the condenser becomes so hot that it starts to char some of the components around it. This typically means that the condenser fan has failed altogether and the condenser itself will not be too far behind.
Getting Expert Help
While it may be tempting to repair this yourself, you should proceed with caution. It can be difficult to access the condenser fan, and you will need to ensure that the job is done properly, or you could be facing a much higher repair bill in the future.
Reach out to an automotive aircon technician to learn more.