Auto A/C Help - Find the location of the orifice tube in the A/C Sysetm - Orifice Tubes, Expansion valves & TXV's - Auto A/C Diagnosis

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Your best source for complete troubleshooting and diagnosis information on auto A/C systems. Our information provides proper repair, recharge, service and maintenance procedures for all automotive air conditioning systems. Regardless if you have a current CCOT (cycling clutch orifice tube) system or an expansion valve and POA valve system, we've got the information you need. From step-by-step help on retrofitting and recharging to complete A/C compressor or component replacement, our A/C manuals provide you a quick and easy methods that have been proven helpful to everybody from the apprentice to the professional.

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Orifice tubes & TXV's (Expansion Valves)
To find the orifice tube on any auto A/C system, simply look for the 'dimples' in the line. In this photo, the dimples are right at the evaporator. The orifice tube is one of the divisions between high pressure and low pressure on the auto A/C system. This is a photo of a 2003 Lincoln Town Car evaporator. The white circle indicates the exact location of the orifice tube.

Remember, the orifice tube is one of the divisions between HIGH PRESSURE Liquid refrigerant (returning from the condenser) and LOW PRESSURE liquid refrigerant entering into the A/C Evaporator.

The orifice tube replaces a typical expansion valve (also called a thermostatic expansion valve or TXV). Both orifice tubes and expansion valves perform the same function in an A/C system. The biggest difference is that an orifice tube has no moving parts!

For an up close photo, click here!

The orifice tube will always be located between the condenser outlet and the evaporator inlet. Keep in mind that in some applications, it's actually right inside the condenser outlet! Some Ford applications have it located 'mid line' between the condenser and the orifice tube. You may have to replace the line in order to replace the orifice tube.
What's wrong with these orifice tubes?
How can you help prevent this?
Auto A/C orifice tube photo shows serious restrictions! How can you prevent this from happening? Install an in-line A/C filter from the COOL ZONE! As stated above, orifice tubes can easily become restricted with debris that may travel through the system. Restricting the orifice tube immediately restricts the flow of refrigerant. It also limits the flow of refrigerant oil. The oil is required to maintain compressor lubrication. Therefore, orifice tube restrictions can easily cause a catastrophic compressor failure. Auto A/C orifice tube photo shows serious restrictions! How can you prevent this from happening? Install an in-line A/C filter from the COOL ZONE! What causes the debris and contamination? In short, moisture which enters the system mixes with the refrigerant to form acids. Those acids corrode aluminum components. That corrosion moves throughout the system and get caught by the filter screens on the orifice tube. As shown on the left, if takes less than 1/10 of a teaspoon of debris to plug the orifice tube.

 How can you prevent this from happening?

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