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:
- Free repair manuals - Autozone provides free online repair manuals for certain makes and models
- Protective gloves
- Chilton repair manuals (optional)
- Safety glasses
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
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.
Step 2: Disconnect the negative battery cable. Disconnect the negative battery cable with a wrench of ratchet. Then set it aside.
Step 3: Remove any electrical connections 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.
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.
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.
Step 4: Install the receiver/drier. Lower the new receiver/drier into position, reinstall any mounting fasteners and tighten them down.
Step 5: Reinstall the lines. Reinstall the lines and tighten down the fasteners
Step 6: Reinstall the electrical connectors. Reinstall any electrical connectors.
Step 7: Reconnect the negative battery cable.
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.
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 MORESEE PRICING & SCHEDULING