What Does A Typical Car A/C Kit Contain?
Air conditioners are intricate systems which utilize multiple parts, so it is essential to know specifically what your car needs. While it is possible to order various items, you can also purchase a car A/C kit which includes all the components needed to service the air conditioner. Below is a description of what this kit contains.
The A/C Drier
This device is also referred to as the accumulator and functions as an A/C system filter. It collects water which is present inside the unit, and stops it from becoming frozen as this will also freeze the lines, leading to a blockage. The drier can also capture debris, which keeps it away from the evaporator and condenser. When the compressor wears out and is in need of replacement, it is usually a good idea to replace the drier as well, since the compressor might have transferred shrapnel within the system’s fluid lines, and if the drier is not also replaced, this fluid might reenter the unit and damage the newly installed compressor.
The condenser is responsible for cooling down the refrigerant that flows through the lines. It is mounted near the radiator, just behind the vehicle’s grill. When replacing the compressor, it is sometimes possible to reuse the default condenser, but you must be able to properly flush it. The reason for this is because over time, debris will enter the grill of the radiator, and the condenser fins might get bent or damaged because of them, which degrades its ability to correctly flush. Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, the condenser may have a drier attached, which means the whole condenser must be replaced along with the drier.
The A/C Expansion Device
The A/C expansion device is responsible for managing pressure inside the air conditioning lines. Although it rarely malfunctions independently, its chances of breaking down is much higher when your compressor breaks down, because it tends to get clogged by debris, which can be difficult to flush out. Expansion devices consist of multiple parts, one of which is a valve which connects to an evaporator, while the other is a block for expansion that attaches to two lines. There might also be the orifice tube inside one of the liquid lines. The good news is that this component is one of the kits least expensive and is simple to replace at the same time you replace the compressor.
Those familiar with air conditioning units will tell you that the compressor is the heart of the system, and they’re right. Most compressors come with a clutch, which both reduces the cost of repair while ensuring greater longevity. Compressors are pulley powered via the vehicle’s drive belt, and when you press the A/C button on the dashboard, it actually activates the clutch. Over time the compressor wears down due to wear that occurs internally and has to be replaced, and sometimes the clutch fails.