Replacing AC condenser on a 2016 Leaf S

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Active member
Oct 26, 2016
I have a 2016 Leaf S. USA model.

One of the connectors leading to the AC condenser has cracked. The shop I initially took it to diagnosed it (using dye and a recharge kit -- total EPA violation) then procrastinated on the repair and was totally unaware replacement condensers were available from aftermarket. I was not interested in paying the $700 they insisted on to use the Nissan part.

I ended up getting it back from them and we've been driving it all winter as-is.

I installed my own house heat pump and have the necessary 134a gauges and vacuum pump so I was pondering replacing the condenser myself and then taking it into a shop to do the recharge.

I talked to a (different) local shop and they were a) aware of the S/non-S distinction in terms of what refrigerant/oil combo was required which was an improvement over the previous place b) happy for me to bring it into them for recharge only.


1) How easy is it to remove the condenser? The system is completely discharged. Not sure exactly what needs to be removed to access it.

2) I believe the HFC134a + AE10 combo means I need to have a shop do the refill vs trying to recharge myself. I wasn't able to find a supplier.

3) Car is pre April 2016 so the OEM part# is 921005SA2A, Confirmed with dealer using VIN. I was pondering buying this aftermarket unit.

4) Since I have an A/C TIG welder I'd also considered welding the crack shut but a) I don't really know how bad the damage is yet b) I have a $10 off coupon for so $57 shipped seems kinda a no brainer vs trying to weld it.

5) The OEM o-rings are stupid expensive. I believe they are 92472-N8210 92470-HC050, does anyone know the specs?
Was it a fluorescent dye? The service manual notes:
• Never use fluorescent indicators as these may reduce the insulation resistance.
• If a fluorescent indicator enters the refrigerant cycle, either wash the refrigerant cycle parts or
replace the parts.

They even go so far as to recommend the shop use hoses that have not been exposed to fluorescent dyes, when servicing the system.
Nubo said:
Was it a fluorescent dye? The service manual notes:

No clue but it's done and nothing I can do about it. Also "may" isn't will.

If anyone knows answers to questions I asked especially approx procedure for removing condenser I'd welcome the details. Thanks.
Page 52 of the factory service manual has the installation and removal steps:

They don't seem to have the FSR for the 2016 model year.
dorkshoei said:
Nubo said:
Was it a fluorescent dye? The service manual notes:

No clue but it's done and nothing I can do about it. Also "may" isn't will.

If anyone knows answers to questions I asked especially approx procedure for removing condenser I'd welcome the details. Thanks.

So you're new to the forum and going to be argumentive and dismissive towards the first person who tries to help you out with info. Good luck to you. AC systems can be cleaned/flushed, by the way so there is something you can do about it if you wish.
The dye used was made by Tracer "Tracer Products manufactures FLOURO-LITE® 5 TP3811 & TP9811 A/C dyes with hybrid/EV compressor oil. This means these dyes are OEM grade and are completely compatible with electrically-driven A/C compressors. The UV dye is specially formulated with high-dielectric properties – meaning it’s resistant to electrical conductivity. This is very important for technicians servicing electrically-driven compressors."

Specifically TP9811
Was there not a recall on the condenser lines cracking? I had mine replaced under warranty but DR if it was the 2016 S or not. Might have been the 2013?

Either way, the issue is a known one and looking like Nissan is holding to the 3 year B2B... Sucks.
DaveinOlyWA said:
Was there not a recall on the condenser lines cracking?

NHTSA site says 0 unrepaired recalls for the VIN. Not sure how to find closed recalls. I recall a couple but not what they were.
Curious on the AC Oil. Label on inside of hood states "oil: AE10 - refrigerant: HFC134a 0.45kg" states "I believe my 2014 Leaf uses ND-11 type compressor oil. Nissan calls it AE10" -> "Resources" -> "Lubricant Specification Guide" "2016 Leaf S" -> "ND-11 (POE)"

[I believe this following may be bad info?] states "S uses AE10 oil while SV and SL (with heat pump system) use ND11 oil." -> "Resources" -> "Lubricant Specification Guide" "2016 Leaf SV and SL" -> "Type R (PAG) 100" also seems to claim that AE-10 and ND-11 both equate to "POE 80" and "Airstal 113-0087" "Di-electric strength 75kV per 2.5mm"
dorkshoei said:
[I believe this following may be bad info?] states "S uses AE10 oil while SV and SL (with heat pump system) use ND11 oil." ...

That is what it says in my 2015 owners manual, but the service manual shows ND11 for both heat-pump AND non-heat-pump systems. My 2012 owners manual specifies "ND-OIL11" also. There was no heat-pump that year.

This member ran into the same confusion:
The factory service manuals for both 2015 and 2016 show ND-OIL11 for both systems (with and without heat pump). According to those service manuals, oil volume is 140 ml for heat pump system and 150 ml without heat pump. Also, the service manual for 2011 shows 150 ml of ND-OIL11 for the air conditioning system. The label under the hood of my 2019 SL Plus with heat pump also shows ND-OIL11.
Nubo said:
This member ran into the same confusion:

I referenced that thread :)

Anyways my bad I should have read the service manual. Thanks
Well shoot.

I'd not looked closely before. Only noticed it when I was poking around assessing how hard the condenser removal would be.

Pretty confident I didn't do it.

a) failed after I got it back from the dealer (coincidence)
b) the dealer damaged it [after their diagnosis]
c) that it's the actual cause of the leak [their diagnosis that there was a crack in the input line of the condenser - they quoted me a new condenser, not a new high pressure pipe - was badly wrong] I guess it's worth running a vacuum test with the old condenser still installed after I replace the high pressure pipe to confirm this before I go replacing the condenser (I bought a replacement condeser already).

What is also odd is that the high pressure cap is missing off the high pressure pipe, they're the only dealer to every work on the a/c and the dye/R134a should have been applied into the low pressure side (I can see remains of dye on the low pressure connector).

Pipe was easy to get off, new one is $83 from the local Nissan dealer (15% discount): Nissan part# 92440-3NK0A

I'm a bit surprised that there isn't a second stabilizing arm for the high pressure pipe closer to the condenser I wonder if this cracking is a common issue?

I'm also thinking now I'll do the whole job myself. Plenty of people have done so on the Prius forum. I can get ND11 at my local auto parts house.

My only question is how much oil to add. The top of page 89 of HA.pdf has the following table:

Replace evaporator 35ml
Replace condenser 15ml
Replace liquid tank 5ml
Refrigerant leakage is detected
- Large amount leakage 30 ml
- Small amount leakage — ml
Lubricant amount that is recycled together with refrigerant during recycle operation [alpha] ml

I'm assuming that puts me around 30ml (large amount leakage) plus 15ml (if I replace condenser).

The other option is to drain the compressor and follow the formula at the bottom of page 89, Obviously there is no R134a in the system so [alpha] would be 0.

GerryAZ said:
I would drain/evacuate the whole system since it has been leaking (open to atmosphere) for some time. Then you can just put the full amount of oil and R134a into the system to be properly filled.

It too recommendeds "If you are operating on a system that has sat idle and without refrigerant for a long period of time (like a project car), the entire system should be flushed before attempting to recharge the system". Looks,like I can borrow the flushing tool from AutoZone.

Reading the above it seems it assumes you'll be replacing the compressor. I was hoping mine is still ok. The Autozone video states to never attempt toflush the compressor. Per the Leaf service manual there is always some old oil remaining in the compressor even after draining it.
I don't think you will have enough oil left in the compressor after pulling vacuum for extended time to worry about. Just use the correct amount for filling an empty system. A little extra oil may slightly reduce the cooling capacity, but probably not noticeable on the LEAF. The main thing is to get the leak repaired and the system fully clean and dry. Are you planning to replace the accumulator? It might be a good idea since the system was open so long. Good luck with your repairs.