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Condenser seems to have leaked out. Is it safe to replace or do I need to take it in to empty?

I believe the condenser has leaked out. IS it safe to replace or do I need to take it in to flush out any residual freon? Just want to be safe. Thanks for your help…

The only time an AC system is flushed out is when the AC compressor fails internally.

Once the leak is fixed, a vacuum must be pulled on the system to remove any air and moisture before the system is recharged with refrigerant.


Since your asking, you probably should have a pro handle this. Honest.


Thank you. So I can remove now as is and then when the new condenser is on take it in to get vacuumed out and filled with freon right?



It’s seem easy enough to replace. Just trying to be safe is all. I have pretty decent capabilities when it comes to cars but I never messed with the a/c system. Everyone has had their first, this is mine.



But if you’re going to leave the system open to the atmosphere, you should also install a new receiver/accumulator/drier. Whichever the vehicle has.



Got it. Thanks a mil!


IF . . . and only if, you’re certain the leak fault is the condeser proper , would you blindly replace it and head for the shop.
Does it have a hole or are you merely guessing as to the source of the leak ?
Did a wreck damage the condenser or a known pucture ? Sure, but if freon has ‘‘leaked out’’ then you best be proving that out before you lose the next load. A mere dollar o-ring elswhere in the system can be responsible for a complete leak out too.


It has a hole and the freon shot out when I tried recharging. I know exactly where the hole is.


You sure that the safety port isn’t releasing excess pressure from overcharging the system?

I recommend a pro because you’re dealing with a high pressure system with lots of small openings. If you change the condenser and leave or put dirt in the system you’ll have a problem. If you replace it and take it to a shop to fill it and have a problem they’ll blame you. If you fill it incorrectly you could damage it. I learned how to do it from an expert, not by the seat of my pants.

You’re going to need a pro with the proper knowledge and equipment to properly repair, purge, and recharge it anyway, so you might as well just take it an and let the pro do the whole job properly.


Go back in the house.




It might be cheaper to take it to a pro. It might not need a charge if you just tripped PRV (pressure relief valve). You might just have a simple problem that can be repaired without replacing the compressor.

The guy said he can see the HOLE in the condenser :smiley:

I don’t know if you’re wearing gloves and safety goggles but if you’re not then you need to cease operations and turn it over to an expert as mentioned.

A second or two of refrigerant can cause frostbite or blindness instantly if it hits the eyeball.

There’s also an old saying about weak links in the chain and especially if the vehicle has age or high miles on it. Repair the condenser and the next weakest link may start leaking.

The hole could be where the pop off PRV was. There may be a simple issue, but the OP attempted to add freon and it blew off the PRV. He may not need a new compressor, but unless it is looked at by a pro, actual eyes on look, he won’t know. He could replace a compressor that did not need to be replaced and still have a problem.

On the other side, it might need a lot more than just a compressor and it might be bad, but without checking everything, the new compressor gets ruined too.

I’m just trying to get the OP to take it to a pro. I think in hte end, it will be cheaper for him. But he can write off the extra expense if he DIYs it as an educational expense, if he doesn’t get seriously hurt in the process.

“I know exactly where the hole is.”

That doesn’t sound like a pressure relief valve

Sounds like a physically damaged condenser


The pressure relief valve isn’t on the condenser. It’s on the compressor.

I don’t see what the big deal is about? This is the same as replacing a radiator and a fuel filter.

The OP should also know that they’re going to need refrigerant oil when replacing the components.

You want to add one ounce of oil to the new receiver/accumulator/drier and two ounces of oil to the new condenser.

Then lube the O-rings with the oil.

Then you can bring the vehicle in and have a vacuum pulled and the system recharged.


I have no air conditioning training or experience. I have friends who do but fortunately have had no A/C problems. I don’t experiment on (potentially dangerous) things I have no training or experience with. Excellent advise by our experts.