Q: What is the current adoption rate for the new R1234yf refrigerant and what should technicians be aware of?

A: Many major car manufacturers have already begun to utilize R1234yf in their automotive air conditioning systems. According to the most recent statistics, in 2014 only 4 million cars came factory installed with the new refrigerant. That number has grown to 50 million and we expect it will continue to rise.

There are several things technicians should be aware of when working with this new refrigerant. To prevent cross-contamination with different refrigerants, vehicles with R1234yf have different service fittings. R1234yf refrigerant is mildly flammable, so safety in handling is very important. In addition, technicians will note the procedure for servicing vehicles with R1234yf is going to take longer than with R134a vehicles. Increased service times are due to extra safety processes built into the new service equipment to ensure a vehicle A/C system is leak free prior to a recharge.

Any machine you purchase should have leak and purity check capabilities built in to comply with SAE standards. Regardless of what machine a technician uses, SAE-certified productivity ensures the machine will operate with specific equipment performance, purity and safety guidelines for the recovery and recycling of motor vehicle refrigerant. Refer to the SAE J2788 guideline for R134a refrigerant and the SAE J2843 guideline for R1234yf refrigerant before purchasing a manufacturer’s product.

Information provided by: MAHLE Service Solutions