Your car’s air conditioning system consists of a number of components, including an evaporator, condenser, dryer and compressor. The system itself works by means of a refrigerant, which is carried to, and taken away from, the various components, by means of hoses. The low pressure hoses take the refrigerant away from the components, and, as you can tell from the name, sustain less pressure during operation than the high pressure hoses, which deliver the refrigerant.
Usually, you can expect your AC hoses to last a very long time, perhaps even the life of your vehicle. That said, keep in mind that they are made from rubber, and as such are vulnerable to weakening and cracking with age. This process can be accelerated by the presence of hot coolant. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect your AC low pressure hoses to last about eight years, and likely no more than ten. And the older they get, the more likely they are to leak. If they do, your engine can overheat, and you could end up with expensive repairs.
Signs that your AC low pressure hoses may need to be replaced include:
- Air conditioning not working as well as it should
- Air conditioning not working at all
If you suspect that your AC low pressure hoses have been compromised, you should have them checked by a professional mechanic. Ignoring symptoms that could cause your engine to overheat is ill-advised, so get a diagnosis, and if necessary, have your AC low pressure hoses replaced.