How Long Does an Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) Last? | YourMechanic Advice

How Long Does an Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) Last?

Most cars nowadays have air conditioner. We love to have the feel of the cool air on those hot summer days, and we don't often think about what's involved in making sure the air conditioning runs properly, that is until something goes wrong. The expansion valve (orifice tube) is a component that is used in your vehicle’s air conditioning system. What it does is regulate the pressure of the A/C refrigerant as it enters into your car's evaporator. It's in this tube where the liquid refrigerant turns into a gas thanks to the pressure that converts it.

What can happen with this valve is that it can become stuck, either open or closed, and sometimes it can become blocked. Once any of these happen the air conditioning won't be able to work properly. While this isn't a safety issue, it's certainly a comfort issue especially in the middle of summer. There isn’t a specific lifespan of the valve, it’s more just a wear and tear kind of situation. Obviously the more you use the air conditioning, the quicker it will wear down.

Here's a look at some of the signs you can watch for that can signal the end of your expansion valve's lifespan.

  • If your expansion valve is cool and frosty, yet the air conditioning doesn't seem to be blowing cold air out, there's a good chance the valve needs to be replaced. What is most likely happening is that an excessive amount of refrigerant is being used, which is causing the core to frost over, and then the air isn't able to blow through.

  • As a more basic symptom, it may be that cool air is blowing out but not cold enough. Again this is a sign that the valve needs to be replaced, or at the very least inspected.

  • Keep in mind that air conditioning can help to remove moisture from the air, which is important when you use your defrost setting on your vehicle. You won't want to go without it for long if you live in a humid climate.

The expansion valve (orifice tube) ensures that your air conditioning is working well and that the cool fresh air you crave blows out the vents. When it stops working, so will your air conditioning. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your expansion valve (orifice tube) is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book an expansion valve (orifice tube) replacement service with a professional mechanic.


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Recent Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) Replacement reviews

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Richard

12 years of experience
601 reviews
Richard
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Sonic - Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) - Henderson, Nevada
After being overcharged by multiple mechanics for various necessary (and unnecessary services), I am so glad to have found Richard. He is honest and only charges for what truly needs fixing. Richard even refunded me for a service I originally booked, but which did not need to be performed. He most certainly is my go-to mechanic in Vegas now.
Chevrolet Sonic - Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) - Henderson, Nevada
Richard was very professional, did not rush the service and took his time to answer the questions I had. He saved me a lot of money as other shops had recommended me a bunch of unnecessary services. My housemate just booked a service with him.

Joe

42 years of experience
771 reviews
Joe
42 years of experience
Cadillac Eldorado - Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) - Largo, Florida
Hi Joe saved me several hundred dollars from a miss diagnostic problem from another garage . Joe's the MAN .
Honda CR-V - Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) - Saint Petersburg, Florida
Joe is awesome. He went out of his way to work with me. His diagnostic skills are excellent, and his work is spot on.

Chris

21 years of experience
1940 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Ford Escape - Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) - Laguna Niguel, California
So much better than going to a shop. Chris quickly diagnosed the problem with my AC and scheduled a follow up to address the problem. I didn't have to leave my car at the shop while they worked on 20 other cars before mine. This process was very affordable and the minimum down time for a very busy family car.
Hummer H2 - Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) - Irvine, California
Wow, what a great website and service. I will say goodbye to the stealerships and over-priced auto shops. Chris was on time, found the problem and had it corrected in no time. I will surely use this service for ALL my future automotive needs. Thanks!

Peter

42 years of experience
1320 reviews
Peter
42 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner - Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) - Glendale, Arizona
Being in the A/C business myself for over 30 years had a lot of knowledge myself so it was easy to know Peter had a wealth of knowledge. So most people unless they had at least some knowledge of the field would have trouble knowing if a person really knew what he was talking about, but since my past was in the same field you can be assured he impressed me.
Honda Accord - Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) - Gilbert, Arizona
Peter was a true professional. He showed upon time and explained what my service was to involve. He was willing to answer all questions on the repair and diagnostics. My A/C is now blowing ice cold. Thank you Peter.

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