A major transition is under way in the automotive and heavy vehicle industry. The transition from R134a to R1234yf as the refrigerant of choice in vehicle A/C system is driven by the need to protect our planet. What drives the change and where are we at?.

R1234yf has an ultra-low global warming potential (GWP), less than 1 compared to 1430 for R134a. It is highly reactive and reacts with other gases in the atmosphere. This helps it breaking down quickly within a couple of weeks, as compared to R134a, which remains stable for over a decade. That’s a huge difference!

Governments across the world have been working on regulations to encourage the changes on many levels. Australia has a quota om R134a imports, which has been coming down over a number of years and now reduces rapidly. The effect of this can be felt in, at this stage, local shortages which we predict to increase and become more wide spread. Price increases for R134a are also to be expected. Side note: refrigerant recycling is more important than ever! Vehicle and machinery manufacturers have been transitioning over their model lines to the new gas system including differently shaped access valves. In Australia, the change over can be described as somewhat slower than in some other parts of the world, due to less stringent regulations on vehicle imports.

There are implications to be aware of but it is a scenario of the benefits outweighing the negatives. The problem with a highly reactive refrigerant is that it can also be aggressive toward the lubricants used A/C system. This leads to oil degradation which causes excessive wear and eventually compressor failure. Luckily, the Hi-Cool A/C system additive can help counteract this effect.

Also, R1234yf is mildly flammable which has implications on workplace health and safety procedures and Dangerous Goods rules apply to the storage, transport and handling. Another thing to be aware of is, that servicing tools and equipment need to be specific and any R134a equipment you may already have, is not compliant

The general requirement for R1234f compliant tools is to be A2L compliant and ignition proof. In most cases, tools are specific to one gas type with the exemption of some. Some leak detectors, such as the Refco Tritector-R, can detect multiple gases and the Texa Konfort 780 Touch Bi-Gas 4-in-1 machine is able to service and switch between both gases, R134a and R1234yf.

To get your R1234yf gear sorted, click here:    View current Specials


#Prediction by Expert Group as published in Cold Hard Facts 2022, released Feb 2023.