The national cost for an ac receiver/drier replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $77 and $519 with an average of $237.

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HOW IT WORKS

What is an AC receiver/drier and how does it work?

The AC receiver/drier is part of your vehicle’s air conditioning (AC) system. Usually located inside the engine compartment, the receiver/drier uses a filter and desiccant to remove any moisture that has made its way into the AC system.

Your AC system relies on a special compound, the refrigerant, that is capable of changing from a liquid to a gaseous state, depending on where it is located in the system. When refrigerant leaves the AC compressor, it is a warm high-pressure gas. It enters the condenser where it cools down and condenses into liquid. From there, the refrigerant enters the receiver/drier to ensure that moisture has been removed before it passes through the expansion valve and into the evaporator, now as a cold, low-pressure liquid capable of cooling down the passenger compartment.

Some systems, instead of using a receiver/drier, employ another device, an accumulator. The accumulator is similar to a receiver/drier in its purpose, but is a bit different in construction and location. The receiver/drier is used in AC systems with an expansion valve that converts the refrigerant from high to low pressure. Accumulators are used in systems with a fixed orifice tube in place of the expansion valve. A receiver/drier is located in the high-pressure side of the AC system; an accumulator is installed in the low-pressure side of the system.

HOW IS THIS SERVICE PERFORMED?

How is a an AC Receiver/Drier Replacement done?

AC receiver/drier (or accumulator) replacement procedures will vary depending on the vehicle make and model. A technician will, however, take the following general steps to replace the component:

  • Using an AC recovery machine connected to the high and low side service ports, evacuate the refrigerant from the system
  • Remove any components that block access to the receiver/drier
  • Disconnect the refrigerant lines to and from the receiver/drier
  • Unbolt the unit from its mounting bracket and remove it from the engine compartment
  • Insert the new receiver/drier and secure in place
  • Reconnect the AC lines to the unit
  • Using the AC machine, evacuate the system of all air and moisture
  • Allow the system to remain under vacuum for up to 30 minutes
  • Charge the system with an amount of refrigerant specific to your vehicle
  • Start your engine and test the system to verify the repair
  • The receiver/drier on some vehicles is integrated into the AC condenser. When that is the case, the entire condenser assembly must be replaced if the receiver/drier fails. It is also worthy of note that, under federal law, it is illegal to vent refrigerants into the atmosphere. Therefore, it is essential that it be collected in an approved container by a specially-certified technician.

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POPULAR VEHICLES

National average cost of a an AC Receiver/Drier Replacement
for popular vehicles:

Car Model

Avg. cost

$50

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COMMON SYMPTOMS

How do I know if my vehicle needs a new AC receiver/drier?

The signs of a bad AC receiver/drier (or accumulator) are, unfortunately, no different than those of other failing AC system components.

If you do not feel cool air coming from the vents when the AC is switched on, the problem could be a faulty compressor, a refrigerant leak from a damaged or corroded AC line, or a bad receiver/drier. The same can be said if the compressor clutch does not engage, or if you notice that the AC switch does not light up when you press it. Noises coming from the AC system and a blinking AC warning light are also symptoms of a failed receiver/drier.

The only way to tell for certain is to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified technician.

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Other questions customers ask

Can a receiver/drier get clogged?
Yes. A receiver/drier can become clogged, especially on older, high-mileage vehicles. The receiver/drier serves as a filter in the AC system. Corrosion, moisture, and foreign matter circulating because of component wear or a past service procedure can cause the filter to fail. The desiccant can also lose its effectiveness.
What is the difference between a receiver/drier and an accumulator?
The function of a receiver/drier and an accumulator is essentially the same. They both remove moisture and foreign matter from the refrigerant in your vehicle’s AC system. Where they differ is in their construction and their location. A receiver/drier is used on vehicles that employ an expansion valve in the AC system. It is made up of a small cylinder with a filter containing a desiccant inside, The receiver/drier is located on the high pressure side of the system. An accumulator, on the other hand, is larger, located on the low-pressure side, and is used on vehicles with a fixed orifice tube rather than an expansion valve.
Is an air conditioning receiver/drier necessary?
A receiver/drier is essential to the function of your AC system. Without this component, moisture and foreign matter inside the refrigerant would build up, cause corrosion, and lead to a system malfunction. Other important components, like the AC compressor, would fail. In time, without a receiver/drier in place, the entire system would fail, requiring most or all components to be replaced.

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