If you suspect your car's air conditioning system is leaking, some of the primary components to check are the hoses. Hoses are considered wear parts, so they aren't meant to last for the lifespan of the car. Before you go out and buy new air conditioning hoses for your car, it's important to understand the type of hoses your particular make, model, and year that your vehicle needs.
Your Car's Air Conditioning System
Automotive air conditioning systems work a lot like home air conditioning systems. They use refrigerant flowing through high-pressure hoses to remove heat from the air flowing through your car's vents. These hoses need to stand up to the pressure needed to convert refrigerant from a gaseous to a liquid state because that process allows heat to be removed from the refrigerant and the air around it. Modern automotive air conditioners use a different kind of refrigerant than older systems, so the type of hose you need relies partly on the age of your car.
Non-Barrier Air Conditioning Hoses
Before 1994, cars typically used R-12 refrigerant. This type of refrigerant has a large molecule size that is easy to keep in the air conditioning system, so these systems typically require non-barrier hoses. However, because R-12 refrigerant depletes the ozone layer, it's possible that you won't be able to simply replace the refrigerant if your system has a leak. In this case, you may have to have your air conditioning system retrofitted to accept modern refrigerants. If you know that you have lost refrigerant, it might be worthwhile to upgrade to barrier air conditioning hoses instead. Check with a local mechanic to learn more about your options.
Barrier Air Conditioning Hoses
Whether you have a modern or retrofitted automotive air conditioning system, it's important to only install barrier air conditioner hoses. These hoses have a plastic liner that prevents the small molecules of modern R-13a refrigerant from seeping out of the system. Not only does this protect the environment, but it also ensures that your system will operate at full capacity for as long as possible. These hoses also typically contain a braided nylon layer for added strength and flexibility. This makes them easy to install, even in tight spaces.
If you notice that your car's air conditioning hoses are cracked, brittle, or fraying, it's time to replace them. Unlike some automotive hoses, air conditioning hoses typically come with pre-attached fittings, so you will need to buy hoses specific to your car. Contact an auto parts store, like Williams Oil Filter Service Co., in your area to learn more about air conditioning hoses for your make and model of vehicle.Share