AC Condenser Temperature


I was curious to see how the temperature of the AC condenser changes when transitioning from having the air conditioning off to on.


To gauge the temperature change I installed a small RTD sensor between the fins of the AC condenser, close to the center of the AC condenser and slightly above the top edge of the bumper cover.

AC Condenser Temperature Monitor
AC Condenser Temperature Monitor

The probe extends slightly past the fins both on the front and back of the condenser since the probe tip is 1″ long which is a little greater than the depth of the AC condenser.

AC Condenser - Temperature Probe Location
AC Condenser – Temperature Probe Location

AC Condenser Temperature Results:

I made a short drive through my neighborhood at very low speeds beginning with the air conditioner off. A brief stop was made for approximately 2 minutes during which the engine was shut off. After the pause, the drive was resumed.

After the stop, once the car was moving again the air conditioning was turned on and remained operating for the remainder of the drive.

The temperature is shown in the chart below.

Once the air conditioning is active, indicated by the AC Fan (%) increasing from zero quickly, a corresponding increase in the temperature at the probe location is observed.


5 thoughts on “AC Condenser Temperature”

  1. Wow 40 degrees above ambient. I’ve logged and seen IATs increase by 10-15 degrees running the AC.

    1. I was not expecting the jump in temperature that rapidly. It was the first look, but interesting, nonetheless.

  2. Wow. I didn’t expect it to be that much over ambient. And I didn’t expect it to shoot up so quickly either. Having ambient air blow through it, then the radiator, then into the intercooler seems like a bad idea for folks that want to be competitive

    Thanks for the info. Really eye opening stuff! I never use my ac, I don’t like automotive air conditioning. Always feels kind of sticky and nasty haha. When the wife is in the car though, I don’t have a choice. Gotta run the ac.

      1. Ohhhh right right. It’s sandwiched! My mistake.

        IMO, and don’t take it too seriously. The GTI’s ac is pretty darn good and blows cold almost instantly. At least that’s what I’ve noticed, the few times I ran it. I wonder what your test would’ve looked like on a car known for not having great ac.

        Either way, great read. Thanks!

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