How do you clean a car’s AC condenser?

My car’s air conditioning hasn’t been working as effectively recently. I asked my mechanic friend to take a look, and he said it looked and sounded fine but that the condenser could use a cleaning. He briefly explained how to clean the condenser, but honestly was a bit over my head. What’s the best way to clean a car’s AC condenser?

That was nice of your friend to take a look and the fact that your AC has no serious issues is a relief. Cleaning your car’s air conditioning condenser is not too complicated, but it requires some preparation and a few hours of your time.
Before you start, gather the following:
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Shop-vac or a soft-bristled brush
  • Garbage bags and painter’s tape
  • Coil cleaner
  • Hose or spray bottle of water
  • Personal protective equipment like rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a mask
Once you have your materials, follow these steps:
  • Turn off your car and let the engine cool
  • Remove the front bumper by undoing the screws, bolts, and fasteners that hold it in place; consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions
  • Cover sensitive parts around your condenser using garbage bags and tape
  • Remove debris from the condenser using your shop-vac or brush
  • Apply the coil cleaner and let sit for five minutes
  • Rinse the condenser using a hose or spray bottle and allow it to completely dry
  • Remove the garbage bags and clean the surrounding area of any overspray
  • Reinstall the front bumper
Although your car insurance can’t pay to clean your car’s AC condenser, the right policy can free up some cash for emergencies.
That’s when Jerry can help. Jerry is a car insurance comparison app that shops for low prices with over 50 different insurance companies. Sign up in minutes to compare quotes and get the best rate on your car insurance.
Jack Walsh
Answered on Nov 18, 2021

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