Car Air Conditioning Refrigerant’s Explained.
In the early days when Car Aircon was looked upon as a luxury extra, a CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) based refrigerant was used. Manufactures after around 1992 had to stop supplying vehicles with the R12 refrigerant, and this was to be replaced with a HFC (Hydrofluorocarbons) alternative, R134a, as its known in the trade. Often under the bonnet you will find a small sticker, indicating you have R134a refrigerant installed in you Car Aircon system. You may be aware that there are a variety of refrigerants out on the market these days, some inflammable, some flammable, but for obvious reasons these cannot be used on moving vehicles for safety reasons. Both, R12 & R134a refrigerants are inflammable. Although R12 is no longer fitted to new Cars, a drop in replacement or a retrofit kit can be installed, to convert the system over to R134a. The Vehicle Air Conditioning Company can undertake the whole process for you.
R134a Refrigerant is due to be phased out over the next few years, says the powers that be in the UK and Europe, even though R134a systems have become smaller containing less refrigerant, and using less fuel to run.
Europe originally decided that we use a refrigerant R744. (CO2 used as a refrigerant, at very high pressures). The technology as already been developed and tested, but problems where found especially with HGV’s. So alternatives were looked at, and a newly developed refrigerant R1234yf ticked all the boxes. This is to be introduced into new vehicles produced sometime 2012, and all new models must be fitted with the new R1234yf refrigerant by 2017.
Cars currently using R134a can continue, as there are no plans to make it illegal yet, but it is illegal already to use R134a on a vehicle designed for R1234yf.
Of course you may have already guessed R1234yf, will be more expensive than R134a.