Which Type of A/C Accumulator Should You Buy for Your Car?
One of the parts that need to be changed on a regular basis is the A/C accumulator. Just like the other parts, it is also prone to wear and tear due to time and usage. Before you look for a replacement in the stores, read first about the various types of the A/C accumulator so that you can fully understand how it works.
Types of a/c accumulator
Not all cars use the same type so you have to be careful with this. Read your car's manual to get the specifications.
Here are the two types:
- Water accumulator
This type of accumulator uses water pressure to pump the liquids such as the refrigerant, desiccant, and oil in the entire cooling system. One of the advantages of using a water accumulator is it is less expensive. Aside from the accumulator itself, you don't need to buy other components such as hydraulic fluids. Also, this type doesn't require huge maintenance effort. Water accumulators complement well with water and other engine fluids. They are highly corrosive resistant. That makes this type a great choice for those who want to spend and work less.
- Hydraulic accumulator
The hydraulic accumulator functions basically the same as the water type. The difference is, it uses hydraulic fluid to generate pressure that would pump the liquids. Under the hydraulic accumulator are three types:
- Bladder- This is the most popular type of hydraulic accumulator. Some of its notable features are quick response, high gas compression ratio, and high dirt tolerance. It is also the easiest to install. Compared with the other types, this is the lightest so if you own a small car or a race car, this could be a great option.
- Piston- Slower response than the bladder type but it has higher flow rate. This is also highly adaptive to extreme temperatures because it is made of rubber. It is also available in different sizes that can go with any car type and model. If your car requires these things, the piston type is the right for you.
- Diaphragm- This type seems to fit all cars. It also has the same advantages that the other two possess. It is also efficient in absorbing hydraulic shocks and can store energy under extreme pressure. For heavy-duty trucks and vehicles, this can work great.
There is a wide selection of A/C accumulator available in the market. Be familiar with these types to avoid buying the wrong one.
Replacing a Busted A/C Accumulator in 7 Steps
Always remember that you have to change any broken part in your car as soon as possible. A damaged part is just a baggage and it doesn't help your car perform well in any way. No matter how small the part is, once it is spoiled, it affects the entire process inside your car. One good example is the A/C accumulator; it is a part of the whole air conditioning system in your car. Once it is spoiled, you are meant to experience these problems: damage in the compressor and acid leaks.You need to act quickly once you started to experience either of these. Change the A/C accumulator in your car right away.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Here are the tools that you need:
- Set of sockets
- Set of wrenches
Step 1: Read your car's manual to know the specific repair guidelines, tips, and procedures in changing the A/C accumulator in your car. It is important to know these before you start the replacement project.
Step 2: Empty the Freon.
Warning: Never start working when the Freon is still in the entire system. Once it leaks and absorbs moisture, you have to buy a new one. This task needs a mechanic's expertise so it's better to bring the car to a service center first.
Step 3: Detach the high and low pressure lines from the A/C accumulator by using the correct size of wrench.
Step 4: Remove the accumulator from the vehicle by removing the bolts that hold it. Use the right-sized socket. If you also intend to change the liquid line, take it out from the condenser and evaporator. To locate the fluid line, find the pressure line, which is smaller in diameter.
Step 5: Install the new fluid line. Use your bare hands so you can apply the right pressure. Do not put too much pressure so you won't damage it.
Step 6: It's time to install the new A/C accumulator. Place it where you've taken out the old one. Secure it in place by tightening the bolts again. Reconnect the high and low pressure lines.
Step 7: Take the car back to the service facility and ask the technician to put back the newly-charged Freon.