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Hello,

The other day I was sitting at a light and I heard a loud pop and smoke started coming out of my hood. I quickly pulled over and realized something exploded since there was coolant everywhere. I got my truck home and pulled off the grill to get a better look at the damage. As you can see from the attached picture the AC receiver drier popped.

My questions are:
1. What would cause this?
2. Is this a symptom of a problem or was the receiver drier the problem?
3. As a do it yourselfer, it this a project I can take on myself?
4. If this is something I can do myself, does anyone have a good diagram showing what parts and pieces I need? A basic "how to"? Maybe a parts list?
5. If this is something I cannot do myself, what would a ball park cost be to have this done in a garage? (Connecticut resident).

I have a 2006 Frontier SE 4.0L V6 with 190,000 miles on it.

See attached picture of the receiver from the front.
 

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Well since the dryer is what went bad you are in for quite a repair bill. At this point since the system is now exposed to the outside world you are going to have to replace most of the parts since they now have moisture in them. The bigger problem I have is why the pressure got high enough for the this to happen. The system has a pressure relief that appears to have not done its job.

You can do most of the job yourself as in replacing the parts, but unless you have the correct machinery sitting around in your garage you will have to have a professional vacuum the system down and do the coolant fill. Honestly, and my opinion only, a 10 year old truck with 190k miles on it is not worth the amount of money and effort you are going to have to put into it for this problem. I say sell that bad boy to some teenager looking for a first vehicle and use the money as a down payment on a brand new truck if you can do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

I was already on the fence about buying a new pick-up. This frontier does not owe me anything and I am fairly satisfied with its services for the last 8 years. I just wish it made it to 200k miles. That was the cut off for a new truck.

Happen to know of any newer threads discussing the pros and cons of nissan trucks from the last 3 years?
 

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Happen to know of any newer threads discussing the pros and cons of nissan trucks from the last 3 years?[/QUOTE]

There are plenty of threads about the newer trucks on here, I have a 2012 SV with the 4cyl and a manual Trans. Only real issue I have had with it is the clutch going out prematurely. But, alas, I am not really the one to ask about the cons as I needed to add another vehicle and just could not see myself buying a brand new truck that was just like the 4 year old one I already had. I do still love the Frontiers, but needed to upgrade (plus I WANTED a diesel engine)

If your wants are inline with the Nissan Frontier, it is absolutely the best way to go on the market today. You get a great truck at an awesome price point, they are typically $10k less than anything else with comparable features, other trucks on the market are going to have much newer technology.

All in all I think you have a great excuse to treat yourself to something new and don't trade the old one in, they will r**e you because of the AC. Private sale is the way to go in this case IMO.
 

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You could probably find parts you need at a salvage yard. Do everything you can yourself. If it runs and drives fine there is no reason to go in debt for something new.
 

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My responses in capitals

my questions are:
1. What would cause this?
Either faulty receiver-drier (unlikely after all these years) or obstruction in the system causing high pressure, and pressure relief valve not releasing
2. Is this a symptom of a problem or was the receiver drier the problem?
See above response

3. As a do it yourselfer, it this a project i can take on myself?
I'd guess you'd need new expansion valve, condenser, and receiver-drier, and maybe should do new compressor too because of mileage.
4. If this is something i can do myself, does anyone have a good diagram showing what parts and pieces i need? A basic "how to"? Maybe a parts list?
You could bolt on those new components, but i'd flush the lines with solvent. I think you need a shop to do this.
5. If this is something i cannot do myself, what would a ball park cost be to have this done in a garage? (connecticut resident).

I have a 2006 frontier se 4.0l v6 with 190,000 miles on it.

See attached picture of the receiver from the front.
 

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Agreed that the pressure relief valve failed. I believe the receiver drier is integrated into the condenser so you will need to replace that as a whole.

I would find the pressure reliefvalve and change that. If it's integrated into the compressor, change that too.


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If you go to Rockauto, you can get a new condenser with drier, an expansion valve, a compressor and an "O" ring kit for $269.69 using discount code 4999781144100476. You'll need some correct type A/C oil, which your local auto parts store should have. If there is metal in the system, you'll want to flush the lines and evaporator core. The only other part you should need is the R-134 refrigerant. Any competent auto repair shop can put the system under a vacuum for 30 minutes, which will boil out the moisture in the system, and charge it; that should be an hour's labor. Should be around $400-450 if you do it yourself. Of course, there's always the possibility that the only failure was the drier, itself. In that case, all one would need to replace is the condenser, refrigerant, some oil and "O" rings...plus the shop labor. The price of the parts from Rockauto would only be $84.63. You'd probably looking at a total cost around $250-ish.
I'm kinda leaning on the side that it was a failure of the weld on the drier tank, because if the pressure was high enough to break and aluminum weld on a tank, then it should have blown the high pressure hose well before that.
 
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I'm kinda leaning on the side that it was a failure of the weld on the drier tank, because if the pressure was high enough to break and aluminum weld on a tank, then it should have blown the high pressure hose well before that.
Not a bad thought, should have blown the high pressure line or high pressure relief valve first.
 

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ac system blowing isnt a reason to get a new truck in my eyes. fix it and keep driving it..
should be able to fix everything yourself and have a shop charge the system. you will be in a few hundred for sure, but whats that? 2 payments of a brand new truck... not 60
 

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It looks like UV dye or refrigerant was added. Perhaps someone was searching for a leak.

My old car had a broken high side tube. I replaced the tube and dryer. I refilled it myself without vacuuming and boiling off the system. It still blows cold. I have also used a vacuum pump on my other car to do it correctly. It's not hard with the correct tools.

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i have a pump i got it from amazon for around $80, or even $50, and harbor freight sells the a/c manifold for like $45.

all you need to do, is replace the part, vacuum the whole system for 30 minutes,
then refill with freon.

you can also find decent mechanics who can do it.

I recently replaced my a/c compressor for $90 labor. That include vacuuming the system and refill with freon
I was going to do it myself, but the price was not too bad...

I actually now have a bigger problem, my heater core is no good and needs replacement.

that requires the whole dash to come out. and that guy quoted me $250 labor which is not bad at all.
I live in california though so i'm thinking i may not even need it
 

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The system gets vacuumed for 2 reasons: to boil off moisture, and to get the air out of the system. AC performance will be compromised if there's air in the system, would be an issue in hottest climates like where I am.

If you like your vehicle, and there's not a rust problem, ALWAYS less expensive to repair...those payments go on for many years !!!
 

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Green dye is factory installed. So guessing it has been worked on in the past is just that a guess.
Old vehicles had relief valves. They leaked. New stuff does not have relief valves but has a high side cut off switch. Removes power from the compressor clutch if the pressure gets too high. Doesn't spew refrigerant into the atmosphere. Doesn't require recharging in case of an episode of excessive high side pressure. Self resetting.
The receiver drier is aluminum. Aluminum corrodes. Corrosion may have compromised the structural integrity of the drier allowing it to fail.
 

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If you want a new truck, you want a new truck. this malfunction is just the push.

If you love your truck just fix it. Do you use your A/C much? me, I hardly ever use my A/C. on my car, its been almost never. On my old GMC, it was never. When the a/c pump died I just pulled it all out & put in a free-spin pulley. On my fronty, I've used it 3 times (once to make sure it worked).

Personally with 200K I'd consider building this one into a more trail-focused rig and get a new(er) DD. Show those Jeeps a thing or 2.
 

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ac system blowing isnt a reason to get a new truck in my eyes. fix it and keep driving it..
should be able to fix everything yourself and have a shop charge the system. you will be in a few hundred for sure, but whats that? 2 payments of a brand new truck... not 60

I agree. Things break once in a while. If you're looking for a reason to get a new truck do it.
These days 10 years isn't that old, just because something broke doesn't mean your truck is
trash. Take it to a few AC shops and get a quote, if it's reasonable, and you like your truck...
get it fixed.

I had my first truck for 21 years, only traded it because I did a lot of work at pulp mills and
the chemicals ate away at it's body and frame. Had my 2nd for 14 years... only traded it because
of a major accident that pushed it into the $10k repair range. I easily had $8k mods on it, but
decided to move on. This ( 2016 KC ) will probably be my last truck.

There's no way I'd ever trash my truck just because one thing broke.
 

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It's got 190k so I would either fix it or get a new truck if you needed an excuse.

You don't need to replace everything because a little moisture got in.

Replace the drier / condenser (rockauto), pressure valve, and vacuum and fill it. You can do a decent vacuum yourself or let a shop fully vacuum it. Even at a shop it should be around $150 for a vacuum and fill.

This will get you back on the road for a while without breaking the bank.
 

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Hello,

The other day I was sitting at a light and I heard a loud pop and smoke started coming out of my hood. I quickly pulled over and realized something exploded since there was coolant everywhere. I got my truck home and pulled off the grill to get a better look at the damage. As you can see from the attached picture the AC receiver drier popped.

My questions are:
1. What would cause this?
2. Is this a symptom of a problem or was the receiver drier the problem?
3. As a do it yourselfer, it this a project I can take on myself?
4. If this is something I can do myself, does anyone have a good diagram showing what parts and pieces I need? A basic "how to"? Maybe a parts list?
5. If this is something I cannot do myself, what would a ball park cost be to have this done in a garage? (Connecticut resident).

I have a 2006 Frontier SE 4.0L V6 with 190,000 miles on it.

See attached picture of the receiver from the front.
Hi I am just gettin into this conversation. And let me tell you I replaced a receiver dryer on a Metcedes where the pressure exploded the receiver dryer. I installed one can of Freon and as a result it truly took half my hand off so if ur planning on working on the ac system be very careful. Because u never know!!
Hello,

The other day I was sitting at a light and I heard a loud pop and smoke started coming out of my hood. I quickly pulled over and realized something exploded since there was coolant everywhere. I got my truck home and pulled off the grill to get a better look at the damage. As you can see from the attached picture the AC receiver drier popped.

My questions are:
1. What would cause this?
2. Is this a symptom of a problem or was the receiver drier the problem?
3. As a do it yourselfer, it this a project I can take on myself?
4. If this is something I can do myself, does anyone have a good diagram showing what parts and pieces I need? A basic "how to"? Maybe a parts list?
5. If this is something I cannot do myself, what would a ball park cost be to have this done in a garage? (Connecticut resident).

I have a 2006 Frontier SE 4.0L V6 with 190,000 miles on it.

See attached picture of the receiver from the front.
Be carful messing with the ac system I did and receiver dryer exploded and it took half my hand off
 

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