By CRM Staff
Toronto, Ontario -- August 31, 2018 -- The R-1234yf refrigerant is becoming more common in the air conditioning systems of vehicles, which means more time and money for collision repairers and insurers.
Under an Environmental Protection Agency mandate, R-134a will be taken out and R1234yf will be put in all new cars by 2021.The purpose of this is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.
The R-134a replaced the CFC-12 because it was seen as an ozone-hurting chemical that was an issue in the 1970’s-90’s. R-134a was said to not ruin the ozone layer but it was still put on the radar by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have been transitioning to R-1234yf since 2013, and Ford has also been switching some of theirs over, according to CPS automotive sales and marketing vice president, Chuck Abbot. General Motors will also have all of their vehicles switched over by the end of the year, he said.
Japanese and European manufacturers are looking to switch over. Some of the European OEM’s use carbon dioxide right now.
Many technicians will try to use an adaptor and just fill the air conditioner with what is already there, according to Vehicle Collision Experts CEO Mark Olson.
Cross-contamination of different refrigerants is illegal, said Abbot.
However, the SAE and EPA knew that some repairers would try this, in which a refrigerant identifier was put in place. It can tell if the car is 100 percent filled with one refrigerant or if it is mixed. If the machine detects a mix of refrigerants, it won’t recover it.
An R-134a machine can still be used by a shop to work on newer R-134a cars, but a shop can’t avoid buying R-1234yf equipment to work on those vehicles.