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Auto A/C Technical Tips and Tricks the pros use every day!
Flushing and cleaning the Auto A/C System.
It's one of the most important steps when restoring a system after compressor failure.

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The best methods to flush any Auto A/C system:
Consider that flushing the A/C system is really all about cleaning the inside of a very long, long tube. In order to do the best job, you should always break the system apart into the smallest possible pieces. That means disconnecting all the hoses and components and flushing them individually.

The basic concept behind any flush job is really to remove the oil and contaminants from the A/C system. In most cases, contaminants and debris will 'stick' to the oil. If you can remove all the oil, you will remove all the contamination.

Always use an approved flush solvent. Approved A/C system flush solvents will always evaporate quickly and not leave any residue. That's important because O.E. Parts suppliers advise that the biggest so called 'warranty' claim on A/C compressors can be traced back to problems where residual flush solvents left in the system caused a break down of lubrication. Also be sure to flush all components in both directions until the flush leaving the component is clean.

Never use oil based flush solvents. These were developed as an 'answer' to vehicle manufacturer's suggestions that A/C systems should not be flushed. The oil based flush solvents do not eliminate the debris and never evaporate completely from the A/C system.

Aerosol or Liquid Pour flushes?
Using the right flush solvent is important. Typically, most 'liquid pour' flush solvents require the use of a flush gun in order to 'push' the flush into the A/C system. In cases where flush guns are not available, an acceptable solution is to use the 'Aerosol' flush. The aerosol flush can acts like a flush gun to 'push' the flush solvent into the A/C system. In both cases, you will still require dry compressed shop air or nitrogen to assure all the flush is pushed through the component and out of the system.

What not to flush:
For any auto A/C system, you should never attempt to flush the A/C compressor, the receiver drier or accumulator, expansion valve or any muffler assembly that may be located between the compressor and condenser.

Driers and accumulators will have to be replaced. Likewise, you will never be able to remove all the debris from any muffler assembly, so they too will have to be replaced or eliminated from the system. Where you suspect a plugged expansion valve, inlet screens can be cleaned. If your valve is not equipped with an inlet screen and it is restricted, it will have to be replaced.

Use caution whenever flushing any Auto A/C system.
These components should never be flushed!

Use caution when flushing auto A/C systems. These components can NOT be flushed!

Regardless of the type of A/C system you are flushing, never attempt to flush the compressor, accumulator or receiver drier or any muffler assembly that may be included in the hose between the compressor and condenser. In the case of expansion valves, if equipped, you can flush any inlet screens, but not the valve itself. In the case of orifice tubes, they should always be replaced after flushing.


Recommended Reading

Flushing and cleaning any auto A/C system is easy if you follow all the right procedures! Section 7 - Flushing the A/C system
No matter what type of A/C system you're attempting to flush, following the right steps is critical to removing all the debris and contamination. Be sure to review this information so that you can easily restore any auto A/C system, even after catastrophic A/C compressor failure!
Flushing the auto A/C system

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