AC Dryer

Should You Have Your AC Dryer Replaced When Replacing Your AC Compressor?

April 2, 2019 12:13 am Published by Leave your thoughts

You’re driving your car when suddenly it starts to smoke up. When you look under the hood, it’s obvious the smoke is coming from the AC compressor. You’re pretty sure that the air compressor will need to be replaced, but is that really the problem with your car?

If you need an auto AC compressor replacement in Madison, TN and call around for estimates, or even check online, you will quickly find that the cost of replacing an AC compressor can vary quite a bit from one mechanic to another, and this usually depends on whether or not that particular mechanic includes replacing the AC dryer in their estimate.

What is an AC dryer?

The AC dryer, also known as the receiver, filter or dehydrator, is located in the high-pressure section of your AC system. The dryer looks like a series of small metal canisters and can usually be found in the plumbing between the condenser outlet and the expansion valve inlet.

The AC dryer is an integral part of the AC system in your vehicle. It serves three main functions:

  • The dryer acts as a filter and helps trap debris and other contaminates that may be inside the AC system.
  • When oil and refrigerant are not needed for system operation, such as during periods of low cooling demand, the dryer acts as a temporary storage container.
  • During manufacturing, some moisture can get into the AC components. Moisture can also enter the system due to humidity in the air. The dryer contains a desiccant that functions to absorb the moisture that may have gotten trapped in the system.

When should you replace your AC dryer?

As you can see, the AC dryer is very important to your AC system. So when should you replace it? The simple answer is this: the AC dryer should be replaced any time your AC system is opened for service. While this may seem unnecessary to some mechanics, most would agree that this is a good rule for replacing the AC dryer. In fact, most compressor warranties require that the dryer also be replaced if the AC system is worked on.

As mentioned, the dryer contains desiccant, which functions to remove any moisture that may get trapped in the system. If the AC system is worked on and open to the atmosphere, the desiccant can quickly become saturated from the humidity in the air. When this occurs, the dryer is no longer effective and the excessive moisture in the system can cause corrosion and degrade the performance of the compressor’s lubricating oil.

If you are in need of auto AC repair in Madison, TN, be sure that you choose your mechanic carefully. While a lower estimate may seem appealing, it may not include a replacement AC dryer, which can wreak havoc on your AC system. At Rivergate Muffler & Auto Repair, we will always make the necessary repairs to your AC dryer when working on your compressor. For an estimate or to learn more about our services, just call us today!

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