The air conditioning receiver drier functions as a storage repository that temporarily holds refrigerant. It also acts as a filter that will remove moisture and debris. It usually resembles a canister that is chambered and filled up with desiccant, which is a material designed to absorb moisture. This device is supposed to store system refrigerant during times when cooling demand is low, but it can become faulty. Below are some signs of a bad car A/C receiver drier.
You Detect a Moldy Scent
If you notice an unpleasant odor coming from your automobile’s A/C system, there is a good chance you’ve got a receiver drier that is failing. This smell is particularly noticeable whenever the A/C system is being used, which is because the desiccant will absorb moisture from the accumulator, and if the accumulator is damaged excess moisture will enter it.
Most receiver driers have a chambered structure, which means that rattling sounds could come from either contamination or internal damage. It could also be the result of fittings, especially if they’ve become damaged or loose. Regardless of what is causing it, this issue must be addressed promptly otherwise it could lead to additional problems.
Refrigerant leakage is a common issue with air conditioning systems of all types. Since the receiver drier plays an essential role in refrigerant storage, it has a high susceptibility to leakage when compared to other components. At a minimum, you might see refrigerant drips or film near a receiver drier’s underside or fittings, but in extreme cases, you’ll notice refrigerant pools beneath the vehicle. If the problem is ignored, the system can rapidly run out of refrigerant which will cause the A/C to either stop working or it will overheat and sustain permanent damage.
The Filter Drier May be Clogged
If a filter drier becomes partially clogged, you may notice a slight temperature drop. But once a filter driver becomes clogged completely, you’ll notice a much larger temperature drop as well as frost because of the lower refrigerant temperature.
What Should Be Done to Remedy the Problem?
Receiver driers are rarely replaced by themselves because of warranty regulations. This means that aside from it, you’ll also need to replace the compressor as well, and if the damage is serious enough, you’ll probably need to replace the evaporator and condenser. As you can imagine, doing this can be expensive, which is why you want to prevent the problem from arising in the first place.
The average receiver drier lasts approximately three years. If you don’t replace it, its operation may deteriorate. Moisture might also compromise its lubrication which can lead to internal corrosion. Any particles which are unfiltered and allowed to circulate will probably end up clogging other system components. The receiver drier might also freeze up. This is why it is so important to get an annual A/C inspection; so that you can diagnose these problems in advance and get them resolved before it spreads and damages other system components.