How to Clean Car’s AC Condenser in 8 Easy Steps

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to clean car's AC condenser

A dirty car AC condenser can be one of the reasons behind poor AC performance. Cleaning the car AC condenser promotes its optimum performance and increases AC efficiency. By taking care of your car’s AC condenser, you’ll be able to enjoy an efficiently functioning AC in your vehicle.

In this article, you’ll find steps on how to clean car’s AC condenser. It may require removing the front bumper but cleaning it is rather simple if you follow the tutorial below.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial


Car AC condenser cleaning is a process that needs to be cautiously done with the right products and tools, especially in protecting the engine, brushing, applying the solution, and rinsing. So make sure you prepare the appropriate products and tools for the cleaning process as follows:

  • Screw Driver – To access the AC condenser, first remove the front bumper. And some screws have to be detached from the front bumper. You will need a screwdriver for that.
  • Wrench – We need a wrench to remove bolts from the front bumper.
  • Garbage Bags – You would need some garbage bags to protect the delicate parts of the engine.
  • Shop-Vac With Soft-Bristled Brush Attachment – It can get rid of debris from the AC condenser. If you don’t have one, you can use a soft-bristled brush.
  • Coil Cleaner – You need a coil cleaner to clean off the grime and grease from a car’s AC condenser. Make sure you get a cleaner that is specifically designed for cleaning an AC condenser. Don’t just use any cleaner or degreaser because some products may react with the AC condenser’s aluminum and cause it to corrode.
  • Coil cleaners come either in concentrated solutions, which you will have to dilute, or ready-to-use in spray cans. Using the ready-to-use in a spray can make cleaning easier and the best way to clean car condenser. With it, you will only spray the cleaner on the AC condenser, and it will foam up, then you’ll just have to rinse it off.
  • Garden Hose – A garden hose would suffice when rinsing off the cleaner from the car AC condenser. You should not use a pressure washer on the AC condenser, especially that the AC condenser’s fins are delicate.
  • Air Compressor With a Blow Gun – An air compressor with a blowgun attached can easily get rid of the remaining water in the AC condenser after rinsing it.
  • Protection pieces – You can wear rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a mask in the process to avoid dust and smell from irritating you.

Step by Step Instruction


Auto AC condenser cleaning is really just easy, especially with a good coil cleaner with foaming action that will take care of all the grime and grease for you. Read the steps below, and you’ll see how easy it is to follow. Make sure to put the protective pieces on first.

Step 1: Remove the Front Bumper of Your Car

Every car is built differently, but the first step in cleaning car AC condenser is always going to be to remove the car’s front bumper. There will be a difference in where the clips, screws, and bolts are located.

To remove the front bumper, you will first have to open the hood. Then you will locate all the clips, screws, and bolts that you have to remove. After you’ve removed them, you’ll be able to take out the front bumper and reveal the AC condenser.

Step 2: Take Necessary Precautions Before Cleaning the AC Condenser

  • You should turn off your car first and make sure that your engine has cooled down if you have used the car prior to cleaning.
  • Be cautious not to cause any damage to your engine. So you would need to cover its delicate parts that may get wet and damaged with some garbage bags.

Related: How to clean car engine without water.

Step 3: Brush Off the Dirt and Debris from the AC Condenser

The next step would be to remove the dirt and debris that got caught in the AC condenser. You can use a shop-vac with a soft-bristled brush attachment to clean them off, or a soft-bristled brush can do.

Be gentle when brushing because the AC condenser’s fins are delicate, and you wouldn’t want to damage them.

Step 4: Spray Coil Cleaner on the AC Condenser

Once the dirt and debris have been removed from the AC condenser, it’s time to spray some coil cleaner on it. If the AC condenser in your car is separated into two parts, it would be best to clean them one at a time.

You would first need to shake the coil cleaner spray bottle, then spray the car AC condenser cleaner on the AC condenser’s surface.

Once the cleaner is applied, you will notice it foam up. You would need to let the cleaner sit on the surface for at least five minutes but not more than ten minutes to let it work on the grime and grease.

Step 5: Rinse the AC Condenser

After the coil cleaner has worked on the grime and grease on the AC condenser, you can rinse the AC condenser with a hose until all the detergent is gone. Don’t get the engine’s wires wet because it can result in a short circuit, and make sure that the engine is not hot when doing this step.

Work on the other half of the AC condenser next if your car’s AC condenser is two-part. You can repeat steps number four and five if necessary.

Step 6: Let the AC Condenser Dry

You’ll need to get rid of the water from the AC condenser after cleaning it. You can blow out the water with an air compressor with a blowgun if you have them.

Step 7: Remove the Garbage Bags and Clean Areas Around the AC Condenser and Bumper

After the AC condenser has finally been rid of grime and grease and rinsed out, you can remove the garbage bags used to protect the car engine and clean the areas around the front bumper and AC condenser.

Step 8: Reinstall the Front Bumper

When everything has finally been cleaned, you can reinstall the front bumper. Put back the front bumper in place and secure it again with all clips, screws, and bolts that you removed earlier.


Now you know how to clean car’s AC condenser, don’t let a dirty car AC condenser adversely affect your car AC’s performance. Keep it clean and keep your car AC system running in perfect condition by following the easy steps aforementioned in this article.

Did you enjoy reading this tutorial? Any thoughts are welcome, and sharing this article would be appreciated.

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