One of the most important parts of a vehicle’s air conditioning (A/C) system is the orifice tube, which controls the amount of refrigerant that enters the evaporator.
Its exact location can vary depending on the vehicle’s make and model, but you can typically find the orifice tube between the condenser and the evaporator on most vehicles. Most manufacturers put a crimp in the evaporator’s inlet line to keep the orifice tube from slipping down, so it should be easy to spot from other lines.
On most General Motor (GM) and Ford vehicles, you can find the orifice tube inside the inlet line to the evaporator. In some vehicles such as the 1997 Chevy 1500, the orifice tube is located in the condenser outlet pipe instead.
Tips on How to Access the Orifice Tube
Sometimes, the plastic material of the orifice tube can crumble, making it hard to pull out in one go. Luckily, there’s a special orifice tube removal tool that you can use to make the whole thing easier. If you can, try to use those instead of needle nose pliers.
Here’s an important tip: if you’re dealing with a clogged orifice tube, then you’ll want to flush your entire A/C system with a specialized cleaner. Even if you replace the orifice tube, it’ll most likely end up clogged again unless you get rid of whatever’s causing the blockage in the first place.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.