Car Air Conditioning Hose Guide
Air Conditioning Hose (A/C Hose) is a component of your A/C system. There are two types of A/C hoses: high-pressure discharge hoses and low-pressure suction hoses. These hoses transfer the refrigerant among different parts of the AC system and keep your summer trip cool.
The high-pressure discharge line hose carries the compressed refrigerant from the discharge valve of the compressor, to the condenser. The low-pressure suction line hose carries the refrigerant from the evaporator to the suction valve of the compressor. The temperature in the discharge line hose is hot and the pressure is high. On the contrary, the suction line hose only needs to deal with low temperature and low pressure. The size of a discharge line hose is usually smaller than a suction line hose because the refrigerant vapor and lubricant in the suction line hose need more space to flow. Since the discharge line hose works under a harsher environment, it is not out of expectation that a discharge line hose is usually more expensive than a suction line hose, especially when we are comparing a high-quality discharge line hose and a high-quality suction line hose.
Over time, the gaskets that seal your A/C Suction and Discharge Hose can break down. If the air conditioning hose in your car leaks or breaks, the biggest sign is that the cooling power of the A/C system becomes insufficient. Even though driving a car with a broken A/C hose is not as dangerous as driving a car with a broken ABS wheel speed sensor, we still recommend you get your A/C hose fixed or changed as soon as possible because a bad air conditioning hose can expose the inner working environment of the A/C system to the outside world. Moisture and other contaminants could be harmful to other components of the A/C system. Fixing the hoses is inexpensive, but repairing other components such as the compressor can be a lot more expensive.
There is one more thing that you might need to note. It is illegal to release refrigerant into the atmosphere and you are not allowed to handle it unless you have an EPA-approved Section 608 License or a universal refrigerant handler’s license. Also, if you don’t have an A/C evacuation and charging setup, you will not be able to recover the refrigerant properly. Hence, a better choice is to go to a technician when you find your A/C Hoses broken.
Symptoms of A/C Hose Leak
- Loss of cooling power: if the level of refrigerant goes down, there won’t be enough refrigerant to carry the heat away from the cabin.
- Vents not blowing cool air: if the air coming from the vents is not cool enough, it can be a good sign of a refrigerant leak.
- Dampness, deposits, or build-up of dried coolant: minor leaks can cause this kind of symptom.
- Uncommon smells: A sweet burning smell indicates a refrigerant leak.
Checklist for your Car Air Conditioner Hose
- End connection leaks
- Cracks or rotting of hose cover
- Discolored fluid
- Mounting bolts