after I turned A/C, engine room started smoking and it turned out it's coming from the leak around the receiver/dryer of A/C. There are two pipes to it. unsure which is high or low but I tried to fasten and it wouldn't stop the leak. I can hear the hissing sound from the dryer. When I loosen abit, more coming from the pipe to the dryer. I think I found the exact spot of the leak.

To fix it,

I wonder if I need to replace the dryer or is it something I can fix by adding some seal?

  • Welcome to the site. You could possibly try a sealant, but more than likely one or more of the o-rings which seals the pipes is damaged, which is why there's a leak in the first place. More than likely you'll need to evacuate the system, replace the o-rings, close everything up, draw a vacuum on the system (to ensure it's sealed correctly), then recharge if good. I'm not an A/C expert, so I may be missing something, thus this is being left as a comment. Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 0:22
  • Probably wise to switch the orifice tube if you're going to do the o-rings
    – user38183
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 5:59

1 Answer 1


You should replace the o-ring seals as well as the drier. The main purpose of the drier filter is remove moisture from the system. A new filter drier is not particularly expensive for your car and will protect your system better in the long run. The main causes for automotive compressor failure are moisture and low oil/refrigerant generating excessive wear.

When you remove the two pipes, make sure you check for corrosion/damage at the ends going into the drier as that may be the cause of it not sealing correctly.

To be environmentally friendly consider going to an AC shop/Service shop as they have machines that allow the removed refrigerant to be recycled correctly. Due to the simplicity of changing the seals and filter drier on your car, you could do it in the parking lot after they have evacuated the system if they want to charge you too much.

If you want to do it yourself, you will evacuate the system of refrigerant.

  1. Remove the filter drier, you've said you know the location but I believe on the 4 cylinder engines it is behind the driver's side taillight and behind the 6 cylinder engines it is behind passenger's side tail light.

  2. Change the o-ring seals on the two inlet pipes, most likely the old ones will be hard and break upon removal.

  3. Install new filter drier.

  4. Perform a "deep vacuum" (usually service manuals will call for 15-30 minutes of pumping) of the system. If the system is sealed, it should hold the vacuum for 30 minutes.

  5. (Depends on how you evacuated and vacuumed the system) If you vacuumed out the oil as well, you will need to replace it, there is usually a plate or sticker near the condenser specifying the amount of oil needed. This information should also be in your owner's manual and can be found online with exact model information.

  6. Using a refrigerant scale, add in the correct amount of refrigerant. Again this will be marked on a plate or sticker near the condenser and is in the owner's manual as well as online depending on the exact model. You can add refrigerant using gauges but without experience diagnosing HVAC systems, I wouldn't recommend it.

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