How to Remove an AC Condenser in a Jeep Cherokee

Updated July 20, 2017

The air-conditioner (AC) condenser is a small radiator in front of the main engine radiator. It dissipates heat drawn from the passenger compartment by the air-conditioning system. The heat transfers to the condenser in the refrigerant that flows through the AC system. The condenser will not function properly if it leaks or if its fins become bent, broken or jammed with dirt and debris. Always have the AC system discharged professionally to prevent accidents.

Take the vehicle to an air-conditioning specialist, and have the refrigerant drained professionally. Do not attempt to perform this task yourself, and do not remove any of the hoses or AC components until after the draining.

Disconnect the negative battery cable with a box wrench or socket wrench.

Unscrewing the eight screws that connect the radiator grille to the frame using a screwdriver. Remove the radiator grille.

Drain the engine coolant once the engine has cooled down. Let the coolant run into a suitable drain pan by opening the radiator cap on top of the radiator and the radiator drain at the bottom of the radiator. You may need pliers to open the drain, but work gently with it in case corrosion has frozen it in place.

Open the block drain plug with a wrench, and collect coolant in your container. The block drain plug sits on the driver side of the engine below the exhaust manifold. The six-cylinder engine has a block drain plug on each side of the engine.

Disconnect the hose clamps and connections to the radiator with a wrench or screwdriver, including the reservoir hose. Prevent dirt and contaminants from entering the cooling system by plugging the hoses and fittings with plastic bags or paper while you have them exposed.

Unscrew the fan shroud with a screwdriver, and pull it off.

Unscrew the radiator mounting bolts with a wrench. Remove the radiator by carefully lifting it up and out of its position.

Disconnect the refrigerant lines from the condenser using two wrenches. (One wrench keeps the line from twisting while the other loosens the connection.)

Loosen and remove the condenser mounting bolts with a wrench.

Remove the condenser, and plug all of the hoses and fittings where contaminants could enter the AC system.


The AC system is under extremely high pressure; do not take it apart without first having the system discharged professionally. Always clean up any spills of engine coolant so children, pets and wild animals cannot ingest this toxic, sweet-tasting liquid.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Drain pan
  • Pliers
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About the Author

William Boyce started writing professionally in 2009. His work has appeared on and his own blog. Boyce was a registered professional forester in central British Columbia for 24 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in forestry from the University of British Columbia.