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GMC Sonoma A/c Accumulator

GMC Sonoma A/C Accumulator Problems and Quick Solutions

The GMC Sonoma A/C accumulator rarely fails, but when it does, it causes several inconveniences. First, if the accumulator becomes saturated, it can no longer hold more moisture to keep the refrigerant from entering the compressor, thus degrading the performance of the compressor or even cause it to fail. Second, if the desiccant bag in the accumulator breaks open, the desiccant debris can contaminate the A/C system. Third, if the accumulator has clogged, it can cause problems that may result to low cooling performance and leak. That said, here are detailed solutions to each problem associated with the A/C accumulator.

A/C accumulator becomes saturated

This happens if there's a leak in the accumulator that causes moist air from the atmosphere to enter the accumulator. The leak often occurs in the o-ring, but sometimes appears in the hoses and other parts of the A/C system. If you suspect that there is a leak in the A/C system, the only solution is to stop the leak and then replace the saturated A/C accumulator. Do this as soon as you detect the problem because a saturated accumulator can no longer hold the refrigerant and prevent it from entering the compressor. Note: When the refrigerant enters the compressor and mixes with the vapor, it forms a very corrosive hydrochloric acid that can damage your system.

Desiccant bag breaks open

The purpose of the desiccant bag inside the accumulator is to trap moisture and prevent it from entering the compressor. If it breaks open, the debris will mix with the refrigerant and lubricant, causing clogging in the accumulator. When this happens, the cooling performance will suffer, causing the blower to deliver little or no cold air to the cabin. The only solution is to replace the accumulator.

Clogged A/C accumulator

Aside from the desiccant, debris and other contaminants can clog the accumulator, which decrease the cooling performance of the A/C. And when it is clogged, the accumulator will not function properly and cannot keep the refrigerant from entering the compressor. The refrigerant will then mix with the vapor in the compressor and become a corrosive hydrochloric acid with will eat away the A/C hoses, resulting in leaks. The solution would be fixing the hole and replacing the accumulator.

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  • GMC Sonoma A/C Accumulator Maintenance Tips

    The GMC Sonoma A/C Accumulator plays an important role in the A/C system as it prevents moisture or water from harming the A/C system. The main function of the A/C accumulator is to "accumulate" or store the liquid refrigerant that passes out of the evaporator and prevent the refrigerant from entering the compressor. It is very important that the accumulator functions properly because if the refrigerant mixes with water vapor inside the compressor, they become hydrochloric acid, which can corrode and harm your A/C system. To keep the accumulator and the A/C system functioning properly, here are some guidelines you need to follow:


    Replace the A/C accumulator after the A/C system is opened.


    The accumulator contains the desiccant. This ensures that the moisture will not pass through the compressor. When the A/C system is opened for service, the desiccant is exposed to the atmosphere and quickly gets saturated, which may lead to corrosion. It is important, therefore, that the A/C accumulator is replaced after the system has been opened. This is comparable to changing the oil filter after changing the oil.


    Replace the A/C Accumulator after replacing the compressor.


    The A/C accumulator rarely fails, but may be affected by other parts of the system. If your compressor has failed and must be replaced, it is important that the accumulator is replaced as well.


    Replace the A/C accumulator if the accumulator has a leak.


    If the accumulator is leaking liquid, it is likely that the o-ring that connects the hoses to the accumulator has failed and is causing the leak. While replacing the o-ring will solve the leak, it is important that you replace the accumulator as well, since replacing the o-ring exposes the accumulator to the atmosphere, making it saturated.


    Replace the A/C accumulator if the A/C doesn't blow cool air.


    There are several reasons why the A/C doesn't blow cool air; a failed accumulator is just one of them. If the accumulator is clogged with debris or becomes saturated, the refrigerant will fail to circulate, causing a reduced air conditioning performance. Note: There is a possibility that the bag that holds the desiccant may burst and the desiccant material may circulate throughout the A/C system. This may also cause clogging.