What's the best way to clean the A/C condenser?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by ski.dive, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. ski.dive

    ski.dive Active Member

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    bugs, dirt, etc.
     
  2. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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  3. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I carefully do it with a soft toothbrush.
     
  4. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

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    To "dissolve" the bugs and garbage, Simple Green is what I have used in the past, followed by a "condenser comb", if used carefully, they will not only straighten the fins but remove most of the junk from the front side.

    Experience however, has proven that the most garbage is on the BACK side of the condenser, because in most vehicles, the fin "pitch" if you will, gets smaller with each consecutive heat rejecting component behind it.
     
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  5. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I agree 05. if you can get behind it and power wash it out that is perfect but impossible on a car. i did go through the trouble the other day of taking the top off my home compressor unit and washed it out from the inside. It was full of leaves.

    What has really helped my home unit stay clean was when i got a new outdoor unit 7 years ago I had a metal shop weld me up a custom metal bracket stand for it about 30 inches high off the ground.

    I bolted the ac unit onto the stand. I poured a custom concrete base for it and redlegged the stand to that base. Hurricanes you know all about the hurricanes down here. Irma was bad.

    It has stayed pretty pristine since. Most ac units down here are almost laying on the ground covered in dirt and lawn clippings.Smh.

    And it really pays to keep direct sunlight off the compressor unit. Mine is on the north side but house sideways enough to catch the sun. I blocked it from the sun on both sides as an experiment. Its in the shade now. Wow it went from cold to freezing cold ac. Major improvement. My electric bill says using less kilowatts now then last year.

    Its a different sun now its painful down here to spend any time in the sun its so hot. Its well worth the effort to keep it clean and shade it and that will extend the life of your compressor and save some $$$ too.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Go over it gently with a vacuum with brush attachment? That'll flow air the opposite of the usual intake direction, hopefully loosen any bugs and grime.
     
  7. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    If one is going to remove the condenser (that's a lot of work!), then compressed air from the backside first.
     
  8. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    You could fabricate a right angle blow gun that would allow one to insert into the space between the radiator and the AC condenser with the top panel cover removed. To avoid damage from the Newton's Third Law reaction, a wider pad could be attached to increase the surface contact area.
     
  9. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Not sure about my Pri but I just so happen to have a Mazda front end partially disassembled in the garage and there's only about a 10-12mm air space between the two and they're flush at the top.
     
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  10. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Wouldn't be hard to make with a 1/4 inch copper tube crimpled and soldered on the end and to a flat piece of copper to the opposite end of a drilled the opening. Could be used with either air or a water hose,
     
  11. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Never seen a gap or much of a gap between the condenser and the rad. There right up against each other tight for a reason the fan sucks from the backside pulling air through both of them. If not there would be no cooling of the condenser unless it was in the wind.

    The g2 has 2 fans both turn on when ac on or both come on when ac on cant remember have to look at the schematic.But there is an ac assist fan system.

    But a routine cleaning of the condenser with condenser cleaner and pressured water from the front works pretty good. Just don't let crud build up on it.

    Same for the ecoil under the dash. Keep up on cleaning that because replacement of that is very difficult and expensive. Especially if you smoke in the car. Yuck. Although Toyota does offer an upgraded anti microbial ecoil.

    I do know the secret to long ac life is use it every day. If you don't the seals dry up and will leak.

    But look at us discussing the technical aspects of cleaning these components and most people never touch them or have no clue what your talking about.

    Cha Ching for the dealer. $$$$$$
     
  12. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Best thing is to replace it.
     
  13. qmanqman

    qmanqman Junior Member

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    There are cleaners (soaps) that are made specifically to be sprayed onto a condenser. The soap foams and pushes out the gunk. You follow up wit ha rinse.

    You can youtube search some of them. I found one a while back from a mechanic. In the video the a/c isn't performing quite right (he does some measurements and shows you this) before the cleaning. After the cleaning it performs much better.
     
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