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Do I have to replace Condenser / Dryer Assembly when I change Hose?

The car started making a rattling noise when I turn on the AC. I suspected a belt at first, but I don’t know if the belt could make this much noise. It does seem to get quieter though at higher speeds. I’m also concerned it may be the Compressor.

1) Does this sound like it might be the belt, or is it more likely the compressor?

2) In addition, I know I was told I have a small leak in one hose. If I have the compressor changed, and I replace the bad hose, should I go ahead and change both hoses. Isn’t is cheaper in the long run to change both at the same time, and avoid all the labor of changing the second one out later?

3) Some people are indicating that I need to change out the Condenser / Dryer assembly as well, anytime you open the system. Is this really true? Can I get by without changing the Condenser / Dryer Assembly? Pros / Cons?

4) It seems like the entire system will be replaced. If I need the compressor, and I put in both hoses, and if it’s recommended to also change the Condenser / Dryer assembly, and I might as well do the belt at the same time, isn’t that the entire system?

Normal practice is to replace the filter/dryer anytime the AC system is opened up to the atmosphere. The filter/dryer has a desiccant material that absorbs moisture. And when exposed to the air is becomes saturated with moisture. Plus the filter is replaced to remove any debris that may have come from the worn compressor.


Is it unusual for a Dryer to come packaged with a Condenser? I am told, that for this vehicle, the Condenser / Dryer are sold together, and I was quoted $445 for the Condenser / Dryer part. So, anytime I have a hose changed, I have to buy a new $445 Condenser / Dryer, plus labor?

The dryer can be attached to the condensor but is usually a removable part. If you told us the year of your Altima this could be verified.


If it’s just a hose that’s being replaced, and the system isn’t going to be open for long and hasn’t run out of charge, you can probably get away with not replacing it. If the compressor is being replaced too, I’d definitely change the dryer too. Plus if it’s an older car, the desiccant material may be pretty well used up anyway. If you’re doing a major repair like this I wouldn’t skimp just to save another $50 at the expense of the new compressor or the system not cooling right.

If it was $50 extra, I wouldn’t hesitate to replace the Condenser / Dryer assembly, but I was quoted $440 for the Condenser / Dryer assembly, and another $216 labor to remove and replace it. I found a Condensor / Dryer Assembly here:, for $175 including shipping, which is quite a bit less than the $440 I was quoted locally, but still, with labor, it’s $391 (if I buy the part online), just for the Condenser / Dryer Assembly. I still have to deal with the hose, a possible belt, and a likely compresssor replacement.