The question instead is: Why is the system dead? The molecule size of R134a is smaller than that of R12, so there was concern that R134a could leak out through the hoses and flare fittings that R12 systems used. On a long-dormant system, the odds are very high that it’s dead because it has no refrigerant in it, which means it has leaked out… which means there’s a leak that must be located and fixed. The manufacture and sale of the small cans of R12 used by hobbyists to “top off” a system also ended, although New Old Stock (NOS) cans of R12 are still privately traded on eBay and Craigslist (I’ll come back to that).The Internet is a large and often-strange place, and if you want to search for sites that claim that R12 isn’t harmful to the ozone layer, and that the whole thing was a conspiracy by DuPont because its patent on R12 was about to expire, you’ll find them. © 1996—2020 The Hagerty Group, LLC. Some sites say that R12 was used in residential HVAC systems prior to the introduction of R22, while others state that R12 was used exclusively for automotive HVAC systems. This week, we discuss the thing that’s actually boiling and cooling—the refrigerant itself.As you probably know, matter can exist in three states—solid, liquid, and gas. Find out how your vehicle's air conditioner works, from Firestone Complete Auto Care. By international agreement in 1987 (the Montreal Protocol), the use and production of CFCs such as R12 began to be phased out, with automobile manufacturers required to stop using it by the end of the 1994 model year. We'll take it from there. A. R 12 B. R 22 C. R 302 D. R 202. Because the two oils were different, R134a certainly wasn’t a “drop-in” replacement for R12.Initially, an invasive recipe was proposed: the system should be flushed to remove any traces of the old R12-specific mineral oil, the compressor and expansion valve should be replaced with R134a-specific versions to perform correctly, and the old hoses should be replaced with 134a-specific barrier hoses to forestall leakage. Select a recommended image. So the oil must be compatible with the refrigerant. CCI2F2 is its formula, which contains the chemicals that make it up. I can tell you that R12 is some seriously great refrigerant; it gets both of these cars meat-locker cold almost from the instant the A/C is turned on. Since you can’t vent Oil doesn’t stay in the compressor, however, it dissolves in the liquid refrigerant and gets carried through the system as a fine particulate mist when the refrigerant goes through its liquid/gaseous transition. However, it was found that when a car emits R-12 Freon, it depletes the ozone layer. But many European cars, such as the vintage BMWs I love, had A/C systems that never functioned all that well even when they were new and charged up with R12. You can save time in the store by pre-booking your maintenance service appointment online today. As part of doing that, you often wind up replacing major portions of the system—not because that’s strictly required in order to convert it to R134a, but because that’s what you need to do in order to get it functional again. Originally, R-12 Freon was used in car air conditioners. Anyone selling R12 is required to verify that the buyer has an EPA Section 609 certification to work with mobile vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) systems. Freon™ 409A carries an ASHRAE A1 safety classification and blends R-22, R-142b, and R-124. Small NOS cans of R12 are widely available on eBay and Craigslist for about $30 apiece. There are other EPA-approved refrigerants such as “Hot Shot” and “Freeze 12,” which you can findLastly, there are the flammable organic refrigerants (propane and its blends). R134a systems operate at higher discharge-side pressures than R12, which can cause compressor seals to leak. Sign up for the latest automotive news and videos—in short, everything for people who love carsWe’ve been talking about air conditioning for a couple of weeks now, so if you’re still feeling the heat then it’s time to wrap up the series so you can get out to your garage and put what you’ve learned to good use.First things first. Note that I am not advocating taking the exam and getting the EPA 609 certification simply so you can legally buy R12; I’m just stating what the law appears to be. For this reason, when a car is being sold these days, R12 is often seen as a liability, a looming conversion expense, Hopefully I’ve properly conveyed that, if the A/C in your precious vintage car is long-dead, the question isn’t whether you choose between buying a few NOS cans of R12 and shooting them in (seriously don’t do that) or “converting” to R134a. We'll take it from there. You I continue to use R12 in two of my cars—my 1972 BMW 2002tii and 1973 Bavaria. Hagerty. Bottom line, R134a simply doesn’t cool as well as R12.In addition, there was the lubricant issue. Originally, R-12 Freon was used in car air conditioners.

Hell, it’s possible that not all of the original A/C components are even The issue is that you need to reach the point where the system is functional and leak-free. Which is it?

It can be used in medium- and low-temperature positive displacement equipment. These are cars with poor A/C reputations, which is precisely why I continue to use R12 in them.

We’re most familiar with water, which we see as ice when it’s cold, liquid when it’s at room temperature, and steam when we boil it. When R12’s effects on the ozone layer became known and it was superseded by R134a, EPA came down hard with large fines “EPA performs random inspections, responds to tips, and pursues potential cases against violators of the Section 608 regulations. But if you live in a hot climate, want to daily-drive the car, and the car has a tiny-capacity A/C system which, even after modernization, may only perform marginally, you may want to consider sticking with R12. What kind of freon would you suggest for use in an apartment freezer? How does a car A/C work? That’s simply not true. However, there were—and are—some challenges to using it in an automotive A/C system designed for R12. However, it was found that when a car emits R-12 Freon, it depletes the ozone layer. For more information on what cookies we use and how to manage these cookies please visit our If you use anything other than R134a, you’ll likely create a situation where you must be the one servicing the system.