Originally, my Civic had the expansion valve with the "bulb" shaped sensor that clips onto the evaporator pipe. Years ago when I first overhauled the AC system I was given an expansion valve that had the tightly wound coiled style sensor. I asked the parts guy back then what the difference was and he stated there was no difference. I've been running that style for years now without a second thought.
Fast forward to tonight and I'm putting my interior back together after an overhaul and am installing a new expansion valve just for good measure while it's all apart. I buy one at Autozone and notice they list their expansion valves as Matsushita-specific with the coil-type sensor bulb. My car has the Sanden compressor. Autozone did have a listing for an expansion valve with the actual cylindrical bulb deal that I remember my car originally came with and this part did not have a note listing a specific compressor application. They did not have this one in stock.
This has me wondering now. Operationally, is there any difference between the two styles of sensor bulbs? Do I need to make certain I have the OEM style?
There is really no difference. The sensor coil/bulb is simply there to read temps. As longs as you have it attached and covered in the tar like tape you will not have any issues.
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