Your car’s AC system works almost like your home’s air conditioning in that it uses a refrigerant to hold heat and then to deliver cool air. Depending on the amount of pressure the under refrigerant which is, it will be a gas or a liquid. When the pressure is low, it is a gas, and when the pressure is high, it has become a liquid. Your car is equipped with low and high AC pressure hoses – the low handles the gas, and the high the liquid. As you might expect, the high pressure hose has a smaller diameter, and this is the hose that gives high pressure liquid to your car’s AC.
Generally, your AC high pressure hoses will deliver years of good service, and you might find that you never have to worry about replacing them. Often, they will last as long as your car does. It is not unreasonable to expect the hoses to last eight years, and they will generally not last more than ten. They are vulnerable to damage if refrigerant should leak, or connectors should become damaged, and if that happens, they will need to be replaced.
Signs that show that your AC high pressure hoses need to be replaced include:
- Air is not as cool as it should be
- No cool air at all
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC High Pressure Hose
Check for noticeable damages on the hose or any leaking issues. A failing AC high pressure hose may cause your entire AC system to fail.
The AC systems on most vehicles are highly sophisticated. Generally, they operate using high as well as low pressures. One side of the AC system is low pressure, where the refrigerant starts as a gas; and the other is a high pressure, where it is converted to liquid to can flow throughout the system. Both sides of the system work together to keep refrigerant flowing so that the system can function in a proper way. It is the job of the AC high pressure hose to carry the refrigerant from the compressor outlet to the receiver/drier to cool it and use it to produce cold air for the cabin.
As the AC high pressure hose carries high pressure refrigerant, it is subject to high levels of stress when it’s in use. Just like all the other component, it can fail and cause problems for the rest of the system. When the AC high pressure hose is starting to have trouble, it will usually display a few symptoms that can alert the driver that it requires attention.
1. Noticeable physical damage on hose
One of the first symptoms when a high pressure hose is beginning to fail is noticeable physical damage as the high pressure hose is located in the engine bay (which sometimes can be a tight fit) the hose can sometimes become damaged from rubbing up against moving engine components or from heat radiating off the engine. Any abrasions, loose threads, or signs of tearing anywhere on the hose will tell that it has sustained damage and needs to be replaced.
2. Leaking around the hose
As the refrigerant flowing through the hose is under very high pressure, it is not uncommon for the hoses to eventually develop leaks later on in their service life. A hose that has begun to leak, even if it is a minor leak, can quickly empty the system of refrigerant, which will make the AC system unable to produce cold air. Mostly a leak will display visual cues, such as noticeable traces of refrigerant dripping or leaking from the hose, or along the fittings. If you notice any signs of a leakage, quickly replace the hose to prevent any damage from possibly occurring to the rest of the system.
3. AC not cooling
Another symptom that shows the AC high pressure hose has failed is because the AC system was not able to produce any cold air. Since the AC high pressure hose carries refrigerant to the accumulator so that it can be liquefied for use in the system, if there is any kind of problem with the hose, the system will be unable to produce cold air for the cabin.