How not to blow up a compressor

Locked up and billowing smoke, this failed compressor was pulled out of a John Deere 8870. If you want to see what happens when you replace a compressor without flushing the system, this is it!

When the AC system is contaminated, flow of refrigerant and oil is restricted. Contaminants like dirt and metal dust combine with the oil, become abrasive and go through the entire AC circuit, leading to component damage. The flushing process is therefore critical when doing an AC repair, removing impurities and harmful substances; thus allowing the system to work efficiently.

The orifice tube works by metering the refrigerant. At one end is high pressure refrigerant liquid, which passes through the small copper tube and exits as low-pressure liquid. The change from high to low pressure generates cold.

Pictured here is a clogged orifice tube with graphite grease. Due to the small passage when there is debris in the system, the orifice tube is easily blocked and will then need replacing. As the orifice tube is fairly simple with no moving parts, a malfunctioning orifice tube is a sign of a larger internal problem occurring.

Flush your system and avoid bigger headaches later!

Thank you to Peter, of Vowlesy’s Mobile Auto Air in Streaky Bay for sharing this photo to highlight the importance of flushing a system.

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