Refrigerants For Automotive AC Systems
Technicians and auto shop owners must always stay on top of the latest technology. For years, (Freon), R-12 was the refrigerant of choice for all automotive air conditioning systems. But in 1994, it was replaced with the more environmentally friendly R134a. Everybody knows that you cannot interchange or mix the two. Any vehicle that has an R-12 system must be retrofitted for R134a.
There are new refrigerants on the horizon. Car manufacturers are developing new refrigerants for their latest models. This means any system that is serviced after a certain date will need to be retrofitted for the new refrigerant.
Others are in development across the world as well. Other countries in Europe and Asia have mandated use of new refrigerant (CO2) to replace R134a.
Unfortunately, some new refrigerants under development don’t cool as efficiently, and are significantly more costly, so consumers won’t particularly like that. Some are also more hazardous, more explosive, and more flammable. But progress in the name of environmentalism will not be stopped.
These new refrigerants also mean increased costs for auto shop owners, because they will have to purchase new AC Service Machines to handle these new refrigerants. These machines are quite costly. They typically run in the $3500 to $5000 range. That’s quite an investment for a small shop.
The Automotive industry is always changing. Auto shop owners face increased expenses if they want to keep up with the competition.