Our Experts Breakdown the 5 Major Parts of Your Car’s A/C System

Our Experts Breakdown the 5 Major Parts of Your Car’s A/C System

| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

The experts at Christian Brothers Automotive Clermont are here today to remove some of the mystery regarding your A/C by talking about the five parts that make up your car’s A/C system and explain what they actually do.

Although your A/C system also is made up of a variety of hoses and refrigerant charging ports, these five parts perform the important work. If you are noticing you car’s air conditioning just isn’t what it once was, drop by your local auto repair experts at Christian Brothers Automotive in Clermont, Florida. We’ll get the cold air blowing and show you the nice difference in auto repair!


If you want to stay cool, you have to make sure your compressor is in good order. It’s an absolutely essential component. The compressor is mainly responsible for these four functions:

  • Pressurizing the refrigerant to cool the air
  • Sensing temperature changes inside and outside your car
  • Monitoring and controlling temperature output
  • Moving air to the condenser


Most often located in front of your radiator, your A/C’s condenser is sometimes also appropriately called a mini-radiator. As the compressor pressurizes the refrigerant, the condenser works to lower both the temperature and pressure of the hot gasses from the refrigerant. On top of this, the condenser also needs to move the cooled liquid refrigerant to the receiver/dryer or accumulator.

Receiver/Dryer or Accumulator

Your car may have either a receiver/dryer or accumulator, depending on the model of your vehicle. A receiver/dryer is used on vehicles that have a thermal expansion valve. Accumulators are in vehicles that have an orifice tube.

The receiver/dryer is responsible for separating gas from liquid. This is a crucial task because compressors aren’t designed for liquids, only gasses, and could be destroyed if any liquid gets in. This part also takes out any moisture using a desiccant. Desiccants are sort of like the small, bead-filled packets that are found in the packaging for new electronics. Filters located in this component also help protect the A/C system from contaminants.

The accumulator monitors and controls exactly how much of the refrigerant enters the evaporator. Some other task it carries out include the storage of excess refrigerant, filtering of debris and removal of moisture.

Thermal Expansion Valve or Orifice Tube

As we mentioned before, vehicles with a thermal expansion valve are equipped with a receiver/dryer whereas vehicles with an orifice tube have an accumulator. The Thermal Expansion Valve or Orifice Tube can be found in between the condenser and evaporator. These parts help monitor the pressure and temperature of your A/C system, calculating exactly how much of refrigerant the evaporator needs.


The final component that makes sure cold air gets to your cabin is the evaporator. It’s found right behind the dashboard and works to chill the air with the refrigerant before the air is sent into the cabin where you are sitting.

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