Mercedes-benz 190e air conditioning condenser replacement w201 1987-1993 pelican parts diy maintenance article s gashi

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The air conditioning condenser is mounted in front of the radiator and is susceptible to damage from road debris – our project car’s condenser had a small hole in it and needed to be replaced. The unit itself is expensive to replace, so before you buy a new one, pressure test the system first and verify the location of any leaks.

A word of note before you start: The A/C system is charged with a refrigerant that is both dangerous and illegal to discharge into the atmosphere. If you are going to be working on the system make sure you have the refrigerant properly evacuated and disposed of.

To replace the A/C condenser, a few things need to come off the car, starting with the front bumper, which is very simple to remove. Be carefully though, if you are doing this job by yourself, make sure the bumper does not fall on you while loosing it from underneath. While the bumper can easily be lifted by one person, it is always a good idea to have someone help hold the bumper while you are undoing the bolts.

Because of clearance issues with the A/C lines, you will need to remove the condenser and radiator as a unit. Safety tip! Make sure the car is cool before you begin working on it. You do not need to lift the car or remove the wheels to take perform this job, but it will give you more room to work if you do.

Next, remove the front fender liner. There are two 8mm bolts and a Phillips-head screw holding it on. With the liner removed, you will be able to see the two 14mm nuts holding the bumper to the front of the car, along with a 10mm bolt attaching it to the side support.

Remove the 10mm side bolt and then the two 14mm nuts and washers. Take care not to loose the two large washers behind the nuts as they are important and need to be reinstalled when putting everything back together. With everything unscrewed the bumper just pulls straight away from the front of the car.

There are two ways to drain the coolant from the radiator. The first is to use the red plastic drain knob with a drain hole below it located on the lower front passenger side of the radiator. Place your drain bucket under the hole and turn the knob clockwise. Coolant will begin to come out but will not drain rapidly because of the vacuum caused by the sealed system. To get all the fluid out, undo the cap on the coolant reservoir tank, this will break the vacuum and allow the coolant to flow freely. A word of caution though, this knob can get corroded and stick. If the knob will not turn or you are planning on reusing your radiator and are worried about breaking this part, you can just unscrew or cut off the lower hose. If you are planning on buying new hoses, it is much easier to just cut the lower hose off.

While the radiator is draining, remove the three 10mm bolts on each side of the cross brace and the three bolts at the latch and center support. With the brace free, flip it over and remove the latch cable. The hood latch cable just slips out of its mount and can be removed from the latching mechanism.

From the passenger side of the radiator, disconnect the automatic transmission fluid lines. Use two wrenches, one to hold the mount to the radiator and the other to turn the line. This will help you avoid stripping the line out of the radiator. With the line detached, undo the 10mm nut securing the line to a bracket on the bottom of the radiator.

On the front lower driver side you will see a hard line coming out of the condenser. Separate these and plug the line that attaches to the condenser. Directly under this line on the inside engine compartment is another line coming from the compressor to the condenser. Separate these lines and plug the line going to the compressor. There is a 10mm bolt holding the condenser line to the frame, remove this. When opening your A/C system, cleanliness is very important, do not get dirt or debris into the lines.

Follow the electrical lines from both fans into the engine bay area and separate them. The radiator and condenser are now free and can be lifted from the car together. The radiator has two rubber mounts that sit on grommets in the lower cross frame. Sometimes you need to wiggle the radiator around to free it from the lower mounts, just take care that you do not damage it against the fan.

The air conditioning condenser is mounted in front of the radiator and is susceptible to damage from road debris – our project car’s condenser had a small hole in it and needed to be replaced. The unit itself is expensive to replace, so before you buy a new one, pressure test the system first and verify the location of any leaks.

A word of note before you start: The A/C system is charged with a refrigerant that is both dangerous and illegal to discharge into the atmosphere. If you are going to be working on the system make sure you have the refrigerant properly evacuated and disposed of.

Followup from the Pelican Staff: Since I don’t know your year make and model it is hard to help you. With the AC on check if the AC lines under the hood are getting cold. Crimp off your heater lines to block the heater core. You may have a temperature blend door problem in the dash board. Have someone with a Mercedes Benz capable scan tool check for codes in the climate control system. – Kerry at Pelican Parts