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‘New’ Air Con gas, one to avoid…

StarCruiser

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It seems that some new cars are being supplied with a new refrigerant in their AC systems. R1234YF. So what? Well, there’s a few good reasons to avoid cars with this gas in them. Aside from the cost, about 30 times that of 134A, incredibly it is flammable! What is even worse is that when burned it liberates Hydrogen Fluoride. So if there’s a leak on the evaporator inside the car and there’s a smoker in the car it could catch fire. Now, hydrogen fluoride is evil stuff. It turns to hydrofluoric acid when it comes into contact with water. So imagine what happens when you breath it in and it meets the moisture present in lungs. Oh, and it carries on burning until an antidote is applied. Nasty beyond belief.

Here’s Scotty telling it in his own inimitable style…

This will only be in some newer vehicles so worth checking before buying.

It seems, talking to my Fridge engineer pal that this has been out for around 10 years and there’s cars in the UK with it in.
 
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So if you inhale the gas it turns to the acid in your lungs? I have nightmares about hydrofluoric acid.
 
And I take it you can’t revert to 134A without changing all the system?

Edit... although the linked article suggests that 134A has more HF atoms than its successor...
 
I have that new type of gas in the GT86, on the later ones they changed back to normal a/c gas.
 
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There's quite a lot of cars using it, some French manufacturers have been using it longer then others.
We've been using it since the i3 was launched and now is standard across the range.

It's bloody expensive and seen very little issues so far (apart from the unreliable machine)
Not something I plan on inhaling but either is R134a tbh.
 
It's been around for a while on newer models. Old designs, like Berlingo, can still use R134a, but all recent designs must use a gas with lower global warming potential. It doesn't have to be 1234, but this has been standardized by most manufacturers.

Yes it is flammable, but the quantities are quite small, the chances of it suddenly entering the cabin, and in sufficient volume, and to hang around long enough to actually cause any problems, is very very small.

It is though very expensive as it is owned and patented by Honeywell and Dupont, so they have the market to themselves. Unlike many other refrigerants that can be made by anyone. I think it was a stitch up between Honeywell, Dupont, and the EU that wanted a new refrigerant for cars. Its not used anywhere else in the world.

In reality the global warming problem caused by european cars running R134, and leaking it out, is negligable, but thats not how the eviromental terrorists at the EU work. A simpler solution put forward by the manufacturers was to offer a lifetime warranty on the a/c system, forcing them to substantially over-engineer the systems, thereby virtually guaranteeing no system failures/leaks.

And ironically, the newer systems were using slightly more energy for the same effect, and that energy only comes from one place, the fuel that goes through the engine. And what does that extra fuel useage do for global warming?
 
So if you inhale the gas it turns to the acid in your lungs? I have nightmares about hydrofluoric acid.
Only when it’s burned, not in its unburned state. Hydrofluoric acid is horrendous stuff.
 
Old designs, like Berlingo, can still use R134a, but all recent designs must use a gas with lower global warming potential
…which I suppose is why they’re trialling Systems using that gas.…oooh now what was it-? Oh yes, CO2.


Isn’t that supposed to be a greenhouse gas? :)
 
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