Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube)

Our certified mechanics come to you · Backed by our 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty · Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

GET A QUOTE Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee
Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube)

Common signs include the AC system working worse than usual, frost coming from the vents, or the AC compressor constantly running. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2010 Toyota Tacoma $893 $116.00 $777.00 31% $1309.25
2012 Toyota Highlander $626 $115.28 $511.00 30% $900.03
2012 GMC Sierra 2500 HD $356 $97.32 $259.00 28% $495.07
2004 Audi A6 Quattro $215 $88.86 $126.00 23% $282.36
2013 BMW 335i $316 $155.04 $161.00 21% $402.29
2006 Porsche Cayenne $800 $149.08 $651.00 30% $1148.83
GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR CAR

How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube)?

expansion valve

An expansion valve is an AC component that is commonly found on many road going vehicles. It is usually installed at the evaporator inlet and works together with the orifice tube to regulate the flow of refrigerant through the vehicle’s AC system. Too much refrigerant flow and the evaporator core will freeze over; too little and the evaporator core will overheat and compromise the efficiency of the AC system. The expansion valve meters refrigerant flow according to evaporator temperature and the load and cooling demand of the AC system. When the expansion valve fails or has any issues, it can cause problems with the functionality and performance of the AC system. Usually a bad or failing AC expansion valve or orifice tube will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

1. AC system performing worse than usual and blowing warm air

One of the first symptoms of a problem with the AC expansion valve or orifice tube is an underperforming AC system. The AC expansion valve and orifice tube work together to regulate the flow of the AC system. If either component fails or has an issue, it can disturb the performance of the AC system, which can cause it to underperform. The AC system may begin to blow noticeably less cold than before and may even begin to blow warm air depending on the severity of the problem.

2. Frost on AC evaporator or coming from the vents

Another symptom of a potential problem with the vehicle’s AC expansion valve or orifice tube is frost coming from the vehicle’s vents. If the AC evaporator or orifice tube malfunctions, it can cause refrigerant to flow unmetered through the vehicle’s AC system. This can cause the evaporator to freeze over, or frost to form or come from the vehicle’s AC vents. Either symptom is a sign that the system is getting too much refrigerant, which will actually hinder its efficiency and performance.

3. AC compressor constantly running

A constantly running compressor is another symptom of a possible problem with the AC expansion valve. If the AC expansion valve fails or sticks open, it will cause the compressor to pump refrigerant through the vehicle’s AC system, even when it may be undesirable for it to do so. This will put an additional strain on the compressor and associated AC components, making them more susceptible to premature failure.

The AC expansion valve and orifice tube are important components to the proper operation of the AC system and any issues with them can lead to AC system problems and malfunctions. If you suspect that your expansion valve or orifice tube may be having an issue, have the vehicle’s air conditioning inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the car will need an AC expansion valve replacement or another repair.

orifice tube
valves

Fast and easy Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) Replacement service at your home or office.

GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR CAR
Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee

Recent Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Expansion Valve (Orifice Tube) Replacement Service

Average Rating

5/5

Number of Reviews

20

Rating Summary
20
0
0
0
0
20
0
0
0
0

Joe

40 years of experience
533 reviews
Joe
40 years of experience
Joe is awesome. He went out of his way to work with me. His diagnostic skills are excellent, and his work is spot on.
2003 HONDA CR-V - EXPANSION VALVE (ORIFICE TUBE) - SAINT PETERSBURG, FLORIDA

Peter

40 years of experience
972 reviews
Peter
40 years of experience
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.
1995 TOYOTA 4RUNNER - EXPANSION VALVE (ORIFICE TUBE) - GLENDALE, ARIZONA

Fred

14 years of experience
209 reviews
Fred
14 years of experience
Fred was prompt and courteous. He has many years experience which is evident in his work. He fixed the air conditioning in my Lincoln Town Car and it is working like new again. He was clean and efficient leaving no mess. I will definitely use Fred again and recommend him to my family and friends.
2000 LINCOLN TOWN CAR - EXPANSION VALVE (ORIFICE TUBE) - CONROE, TEXAS

Patrick

30 years of experience
823 reviews
Patrick
30 years of experience
Patrick got to my apartment early, and was happy to work on my car with the parts I purchased. He was very honest and straightforward, and got my A/C blowing ice cold for way less than the 4 quotes I got from shops all around Austin. Awesome job man!!
2004 ACURA TL - EXPANSION VALVE (ORIFICE TUBE) - AUSTIN, TEXAS

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...

Related questions

Q: On a 1996 Lumina with a 3.1, in which A/C line is the orifice located?

The orifice will be in the line where it comes from condenser to evaporator.

Q: Can I remove with EPC solenoid and wiring harness without removing the valve body?

The solenoid may be removed without removing the valve body, however, the valve body will need to be removed in order to get the harness out safely without damaging it. There are two bolts that hold the solenoid in as...

Q: Where the orifice tube on 2013 Chrysler 200

Hello, thank you for writing in. The orifice tube is located in one of several places. For your make and model, you should be able to locate it between the condenser outlet and the evaporator inlet. It will be placed...

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.

1-800-701-6230 · hi@yourmechanic.com