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Car and Truck A/C Hoses and Fittings

If your A/C system stops working, hoses or fittings could be the problem. These parts keep your system running efficiently, and they do wear out over time. Fortunately, finding replacement parts is fairly simple.

How can you find replacement A/C parts for your vehicle?

All vehicles must have certain identifiable parts in their air conditioning systems. This helps limit the release of refrigerant into the atmosphere. This also makes it easier to find standard parts, regardless of vehicle type. Some ways you can look for these parts include:

  • Fitting size: If you need to replace fittings, you can measure current fittings for comparison. For circular fittings, size always refers to the outside diameter.
  • Hose rating: If you need to replace this part, you will want to make careful note of the rating printed on the side. This series of numbers indicate the length, width, and intended use of the hose.
  • Replacement kits: If you need to service an entire air conditioning assembly, kits offer all the parts you need. You will still need to pay close attention to hose and fitting sizes as you would if buying separate parts.
What are some fitting types?

There are the four fitting types you may need to replace to service your system.

  • O-ring: This circular, rubber fitting helps seal connected parts the system. If an O-ring breaks, it can greatly impact A/C efficiency. You can search for this fitting by size measured across the diameter.
  • Grommet: Like the O-ring, these metal fittings help seal pipes by sitting partly inside. Unlike O-rings, this part may be round or square on the outside, depending on requirements. You will want to measure this part carefully, taking all its dimensions into consideration.
  • Bulkhead fitting: Because air conditioners run on engine power, they must be securely attached to the bulkhead. This part will vary depending on your vehicle.
  • Beadlock: This fitting connects hoses and other parts, locking into place with a bead. Although the fitting has standard attachments on each end, size requirements can vary.
What kind of hoses does car air conditioning use?

Most car and truck air conditioners use a cyclic system that recycles refrigerant through a system to cool the air. Refrigerant hoses, also known as barrier hoses, carry refrigerant through these stages. These parts have three essential layers: an inner tube, an outer reinforcing mesh, and an outer sheath. Each hose is usually stamped to indicate how they should be used. Over time, hoses wear out and need to be replaced, usually at intervals recommended by the manufacturer. Using an incorrect size hose will cause this part to wear out due to bending or stretching.

What are hydraulic hoses used for?

Hydraulic hoses hold and transport high-pressure liquids. Like refrigerant hoses, they're usually stamped to show the kind of liquid and the level of pressure. Some truck air conditioning systems use hydraulics instead of the engine to power the air conditioner compressor. These hoses have different requirements from standard refrigerant hoses. These parts should not be confused, even though they look the same.