A/C Accumulator Installation Done Right

A/C Accumulator Installation Done Right

An accumulator is an auto A/C system component. It is often located at the outlet of the evaporator, inside your car’s engine compartment. Its appearance resembles a metallic tank or can. Most units also feature an array of connected lines or hoses. The difference between a receiver/dryer and an A/C accumulator is that the latter does not feature a sight glass.

Understanding the Importance of an Accumulator

Certain auto A/C systems utilize accumulators to temporarily store liquid refrigerant. They help trap moisture inside the A/C and keep the refrigerant from entering the compressor, where it may cause damage. Simply put, A/C accumulators are needed to keep moisture levels inside an auto air conditioning system under control. So, how do you install a new accumulator?

Understanding the Four-Step Process of A/C Accumulator Installation

Before you begin, you need to get the right tools for the job. The materials you need include a ratchet, a large open-end wrench, multiple sockets, and a brand-new accumulator with O-rings. Are you ready? Let’s start:

  • Step One

Once you have identified the accumulator lines, proceed to install new rubber O-rings onto them. Next, you need to apply enough lubrication on the new O-rings. This prevents them from breaking when you install the new accumulator. The lubricant is designed to keep the O-rings from cracking, shrinking, and drying out over time.

  • Step Two

The next step often involves the mechanic or car owner installing the accumulator and bracket onto the vehicle. It is pertinent that you guide the lines into the accumulator. You will also need to start the threads before securing the accumulator in place. If you attempt to secure the accumulator before starting the threads, you may cross threads.

  • Step Three

You are now ready to secure the accumulator to the car with the accumulator bracket. Before you tighten the lines for the last time, you will need to ensure that the bracket is secured. If you tighten the lines too soon, they will impede you from aligning the bracket bolts to your car. This is similar to how a bracket can impede your ability to start the threads.

  • Step Four

Next, tighten the lines that connect to the accumulator. When you successfully secure the bracket, you can proceed to tighten the accumulator lines without worry. There you go! That’s how you install an auto A/C accumulator.

When do You Need a New A/C Accumulator?

When the A/C accumulator begins to fail, it will often display several warning signs, including:

  • A moldy smell: When you turn on the A/C, you may notice a moldy smell. This indicates that excessive moisture has caused mold and mildew buildup in the system.
  • Obvious refrigerant leaks: If your accumulator is leaking, you will notice pools of refrigerant forming underneath the car or in the engine bay. You need to address this issue immediately.
  • Rattling noises: An accumulator contains chambers inside. Rattling noises can be caused by loose fittings or hoses as well as internal damage such as corrosion.

We hope that this simple guide has been useful for your A/C accumulator installation needs!