Owning a classic car requires dedication to maintenance simply due to the aging of various parts on the vehicle. When it comes to the maintenance of your factory AC system, questions regarding AC part replacement on daily driven classics versus stored classics arises often. One part that you may, or may not have considered is the replacement of your AC drier.
An AC drier’s function is to act as a temporary storage area for refrigerant and oil in the AC system during periods of low need, such as when the car has reached the correct temperature and the vent fans are running on low. Inside the AC drier there is desiccant material. The desiccant material functions to absorb moisture that may be in the AC system, usually introduced during servicing. Additionally, moisture in the air, such as in high humidity regions can seep into the system. Once the drier reaches it’s maximum ability to absorb moisture, it is no longer effective and will need replacement.
Anytime you are opening the entire system, as during a restoration or just to replace a hose, it is highly recommended to replace the AC drier. When the air conditioning system components are exposed directly to air, the drier desiccant immediately begins to absorb moisture. If your AC drier is an original component, 30+ years of function may be heavily degraded which can lead to corrosion in the system and degrade the compressor’s lubricating oil performance.
So if you plan to do work on your factory AC system that involves replacing a part that exposes the system to air, plan to purchase a new AC drier. Some companies require that the AC drier is replaced when changing or upgrading the compressor to have a valid warranty.
Have you changed your AC drier on your ride? Is your drier the original one from the factory?