What is R-1234yf Refrigerant?
You may remember back when you purchased your vehicle your dealer mentioned that it used R-1234yf refrigerant, but then you got distracted by your new cooling seats and back-up camera and didn’t look much into it. That’s fair! But now your air conditioning is on the fritz and you can’t find a shop that’s able to fix it. So what’s the deal?
Let’s take a look first at what R-1234yf is. Its creation in the mid 2000s was brought on by an effort to bring down the environmental impact of air conditioning refrigerants. Remarkably, R-1234yf has a 1 GWP over 100 years compared to its predecessor, R-134a, that had a 1300 GWP over 100 years. Simply put, R-1234yf traps only 0.077% of the heat that R-134a does, leaving an exceptionally smaller impact on the environment.
Until European manufacturers began making it standard in 2011, though, we did not see a lot of cars using it. American manufacturers like GMC, Buick, Chevy, and Cadillac were the first to put R-1234yf into production in the States and others have slowly followed suit. It’s estimated that there are over 35 million cars now on the road with R-1234yf worldwide, and by 2020 it will be mandated that all new cars in the United States will have it.
So if so many vehicles are now using R-1234yf, why is it difficult to find an auto repair shop that can work on it? Well, because it’s so new (most manufacturers hadn’t put it into production until 2017), there simply haven’t been a lot of these newer vehicles in need of air conditioning service. Those that have needed it most likely were covered under warranty by the dealership at the time. There just hasn’t been a high demand for independent shops who have technicians with this knowledge.
That’s not true of all auto repair shops, however. At Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers, all of our service technicians at each of our three locations have been specially trained in repair and maintenance of R-1234yf refrigerant systems to ensure we can provide the highest quality service to all of our customers. So if you have a newer vehicle with a faulty air conditioner, stop on by and we’ll get it back up and cooling properly!