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What is a Receiver Drier?
The receiver drier is a critical part of your car’s air conditioning system. It serves a pretty basic purpose: To remove liquid and particulates from the refrigerant before the refrigerant heads to the air conditioning compressor and the rest of the AC system.
Water in the refrigerant is bad. When the two liquids meet, they form either hydrochloric or hydrofluoric acid, which leads to corrosion in the air conditioning system. And then you’ve got a really big air conditioning problem on your hands. It’s also vital to have the refrigerant in a completely gaseous state when it heads to the compressor, so removing all the moisture is vital.
The receiver drier, which as a metal canister, is located immediately past the condenser. The refrigerant enters from the top of the receiver drier, and is then passed through a filtration system. That’s where the moisture and particles are removed from the refrigerant.
The refrigerant then leaves through the exit tube.
Some cars don’t have a receiver drier, but instead have an accumulator. The accumulator serves the same purpose, though it’s a little bit bigger.
Symptoms of a failing Receiver Drier
Air conditioning isn’t cold enough
When the receiver drier isn’t properly filtering the refrigerant, it can lead to blockages in the air conditioning system. When that happens, the air conditioning won’t function properly.
You might not mind this problem in December. But it becomes a pretty serious problem come June.
When in doubt, if your climate controls aren’t functioning as they should, it’s a good idea to get the car checked out. It could be a few different things, including the receiver drier.
A lot of different things can cause leaks in your car, so it’s not always easy to find the culprit. But one of those things is a busted receiver drier, which will leak refrigerant.
When in doubt, just know that a leak is a bad thing, and should be addressed. You may also notice the leaking under the hood.
How urgent is a Receiver Drier replacement?
The receiver drier is a part of your air conditioning system, so it’s not exactly going to impact the safety of your car. You can still drive around without worrying about your safety.
But ignoring a broken receiver drier can cause damage to your entire air conditioning system, so it’s a pay now, or pay way more later situation. Seems obvious what the answer is here.