How to Replace an Air Conditioner Receiver Drier

The receiver/drier is designed to store and dry A/C refrigerant. There is a desiccant inside that absorbs moisture from the refrigerant. Receiver/driers are used in expansion valve equipped A/C systems.

It is the job of the receiver/drier to protect the rest of the A/C system against moisture damage. The desiccant bag can only hold a finite amount of moisture. If too much water gets into the system, the receiver/drier should be replaced. The receiver/drier should also be replaced if it leaks, is clogged or the A/C compressor is being replaced (as a preventive measure).

Signs of a failed receiver/drier include desiccant in the A/C system, moisture in the system, ice build up on the receiver/drier or a temperature drop between the unit inlet and outlet.

Part 1 of 3: Locate the receiver/drier

In order to safely and efficiently replace your A/C receiver/drier you need a couple of basic tools:

locating the receiver/drier

Step 1: Locate the receiver/drier. The receiver/drier is located between the located on the high-pressure side of the A/C system between the condenser and evaporator.

Part 2 of 3: Remove the receiver/drier

mechanic evacuating the system

Step 1: Have the refrigerant recovered by a professional. Before the receiver/drier can be replace, the A/C refrigerant must be removed from the system. This can only be done by a professional using an evacuation machine.

disconnecting the negative battery cable

Step 2: Disconnect the negative battery cable. Disconnect the negative battery cable with a wrench of ratchet. Then set it aside.

removing the electrical connector

Step 3: Remove any electrical connections from the receiver/drier.

disconnecting lines from the receiver drier

Step 4: Disconnect the lines from the receiver/drier. Disconnect the lines from the receiver/drier using a wrench. Cap the lines off to prevent contamination.

  • Note: Most of the time the receiver/drier will have flarenut fittings which should be removed with a flarenut wrench to prevent rounding off.

removing the receiver/drier

Step 5: Remove the receiver/drier. Remove any fasteners securing the receiver/drier and remove it from the vehicle.

Part 2 of 3: Installing the new receiver/drier

Step 1: Measure the amount of oil in the receiver/drier. Measure the amount of oil in the old receiver/drier by pouring it into a graduated glass.

If oil has leaked out of the system, use the manufacturer's recommended amount to refill the receiver/drier.

Step 2: Add oil to the receiver/drier. Add the correct amount of oil, as determined from the previous step.

Most A/C systems use PAG oil, but a few use Polyol Glycol, so it’s important to determine which is used in your vehicle.

replacing the old o-rings

Step 3: Replace the pressure line o-rings. Remove the oil o-rings from the A/C pressure lines with a small screwdriver.

Some receiver/driers will come with replacement o-rings, or your can replacements from your local auto parts store.

Lubricate the new o-rings with refrigerant oil and slide them into place.

installing the receiver/drier

Step 4: Install the receiver/drier. Lower the new receiver/drier into position, reinstall any mounting fasteners and tighten them down.

tightening the line nuts

Step 5: Reinstall the lines. Reinstall the lines and tighten down the fasteners

reinstalling the electrical connectors

Step 6: Reinstall the electrical connectors. Reinstall any electrical connectors.

reconnecting battery cable

Step 7: Reconnect the negative battery cable.

mechanic recharge the system

Step 8: Have a professional recharge the system. Have the system recharged by a professional.

If everything went accordingly, you should now have air cold A/C. If after reading this article you feel like leaving this job to the professionals, the team at YourMechanic offers expert receiver/drier replacement.


Next Step

Schedule AC is not working Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is AC is not working Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent AC is not working Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(1,163)

Rating Summary
1,098
29
7
11
18
1,098
29
7
11
18

Greg

22 years of experience
333 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Toyota Corolla L4-1.8L - AC is not working - San Tan Valley, Arizona
Greg was very knowledgeable and shared all of the information and recommendations for my vehicle. He is personable and does a great job. Thank you Greg!
Nissan Rogue - AC is not working - Surprise, Arizona
Very happy Greg was able to come back, since he originally installed my compressor. He's honest, forthcoming, and explains exactly what he checks.and exactly what he does! I'm pleased yet again with my appointment! AND I have a/c again! Thanks so much!

John

27 years of experience
1019 reviews
John
27 years of experience
Kia Forte L4-2.0L - AC is not working - Houston, Texas
I really like this guy. He was direct, straight to the point & fairly honest about other things I already knew what was wrong with my car. I honestly felt like I could actually trust and believe In the guys integrity.
Nissan Rogue Sport - AC is not working - League City, Texas
Quick, efficient, detailed, professional. Everything you’re looking for in a mechanic! HIGHLY recommend him. Thank you so much!!

Benji

22 years of experience
277 reviews
Benji
22 years of experience
Honda Accord L4-2.4L - AC is not working - Phoenix, Arizona
Benji was running behind on his appointments. He called to give me very early notice to plan accordingly since he was 20 minutes behind. He's super friendly, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to work it. I would work with Benji again for my auto needs and recommend him to people I know.
GMC Yukon - AC is not working - Chandler, Arizona
On time, friendly, and professional. Gave thorough explanation of findings and answered all my questions - I would not hesitate in recommending Benji to anyone.

Peter

25 years of experience
514 reviews
Peter
25 years of experience
Toyota Matrix L4-1.8L - AC is not working - Los Angeles, California
Peter was incredibly detailed and was able to diagnose and fix my AC issue. As a new car owner, 10/10 I would hire Peter again to help diagnose and fix the issues on my Toyota. Thank you!!!
Ford Taurus - AC is not working - Granada Hills, California
Great experience! Peter lives close by and contact me to see if he could come by a day early at the end of his day. He made the repair, gave me instructions on what to look for in the future and all took 30 minutes.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Should I Get an EPA Technician Certification?
Automotive technician jobs often require EPA technician certification for mechanics, so you can make repairs on automotive air conditioning systems.
How to Clean Evaporator Drain Tubes
The air conditioning system on a car has evaporator drain tubes than need cleaning if there is dirty air in the car or it is not blowing consistently.
How to Replace a Car Air Conditioning (AC) Compressor
If the AC compressor fails, it can cause the air conditioning system not to work. This article covers how to locate, remove, and install a compressor.

Related questions

Driving in heat towing a trailer and suddenly the car smells strongly like nail varnish? Adjusted A/C and
The catalytic converter (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/catalytic-converter-replacement) may be getting overheated and turning cherry red, causing the hot floor and burning smell. The engine may be running too rich which can cause this problem as well. Also, towing the trailer can overheat the...
A/C Blowing HOT air. 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe
Hello. If there is no pressure in the system, then that means that there is a leak in the system. If there was no refrigerant, then there is going to be air in the system. If that is the case,...
Air conditioner blows hot air on the left side and cold air on the right side
A common issue across many makes and models with dual AC in the temperature blend door actuator failing and causing drastic temperature differences between the driver and passengers sides. Have the HVAC system inspected by an experienced professional to find...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com