The New R1234yf Refrigerant for Car AC System: What You Need to Know
Over the years, the air conditioning systems in vehicles have changed. First, they used R12 Freon, which was bad for the environment.
In the mid-1990s, vehicle manufacturers started using R-134a, which was better for the environment but still had a global warming potential (GWP) of 1430. The newest refrigerant, R1234YF, found in newer vehicles, has a GWP of 1!
The Differences Between R1234YF and R-134a
You might be concerned that a technician might confuse the two types of refrigerants. However, because the service coupler sizes and hose connections are different, it is not possible to put R1234YF into an R-134a system or vice versa.
Additionally, the hose connection couplers for R1234YF have a left-handed thread and require a matching pipe. Thus, the tech must also have special R1234YF gauges to check the pressure in the system.
As of 2020, the United States required all manufacturers to manufacture vehicles with R1234YF. However, it will take several years for cars with R-134a to become obsolete, so you don’t have to convert or worry about finding parts to repair an R-134a system.
Additionally, a vehicle with an R1234YF system will have a unique label that shows the type of refrigerant, how much refrigerant it takes to charge the system, the type of oil you need to use, and more.
How R1234YF Affects You and the Automotive Industry
If you are a vehicle owner with a vehicle that still uses R-12, you can still purchase R-134a retrofit kits. If your vehicle uses R-134a, you won’t have to worry about it for several years, as R1234YF has only been in production for a few years. Converting from R-134a to R1234YF is also an option.
The new R1234YF system is efficient but more expensive to maintain. For auto technicians, it is more complicated. Firstly, the auto tech requires R1234YF service machines with new SAE standards, so techs will have another purchase if they want to provide R1234YF service.
For the shop that keeps oil for the air conditioning system in stock, it will have to purchase new inventory. However, some PVE, PAG, and POE oils work with R-134a.
The tech cannot mix R-134a and R1234YF. If your vehicle has R-134a and you convert it, the tech must vacuum all of the R-134a out of the system and may have to replace several air conditioning components.
The cons of R1234YF are that it is extremely corrosive and slightly flammable. Additionally, some of the machines used to recover R1234YF do not allow refrigerant recovery if it has dye in it—techs use dye to locate refrigerant leaks in the air conditioning system.
Contact Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI for Auto AC Services & Repair
If you have a vehicle that uses R1234YF, contact Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI for an auto AC service and repair appointment. We have the equipment and tools to maintain and repair the new air conditioning systems.
You can call the shop at (715) 258-0200. We are conveniently located at 323 S. Western Ave., Waupaca, WI 54921.