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Car encyclopedia

Air Conditioning Dryer

The AC dryer is a holding vessel that receives refrigerant from the condenser. Its primary function is to make sure only liquid refrigerant reaches the expansion valve. It also contains a desiccant, a moisture absorbing element to to help "dry out" the refrigerant. 

Symptoms of Wear or Failure

  • Weak cool air from system (or no cold air at all)

Related Repair Advice

  • The dryer commonly contains a "sight glass," which can be used to help determine the amount of refrigerant in the system
  • The accumulator contains a desiccant, which absorbs any moisture in the refrigerant. If the system is open to the atmosphere more than a short period of time, the desiccant can become "full" of moisture, which can lead to corrosion. This can cause the expansion valve or orifice tube to freeze, which can block refrigerant flow in the system.
  • We recommend replacing the AC drier when the AC compressor is replaced. The drier acts as a moisture and debris filter for the AC system and a new part will keep the repaired system clean.

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