Modern Tire Dealer

APR 2017

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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Page 36 of 77

35 Contaminated refrigerant If the refrigerant in the system is less than 98% pure R1234yf, the service machine will not recover it. At this point you will need to connect a recovery-only machine and collect the refrigerant for disposal. Since the refrigerant is flammable, using the proper equipment that meets SAE J2851 standards is important, but there's also another reason to use one of these machines. At this point we haven't found any real- world examples of contamination to report. However, just as with R134a systems, the DIYer will cause problems. Consumer-size cans of R1234yf refrigerant will be available later this year, but it will cost about five times more than R134a. Some will contain the same sealers, dyes and lubricant addi- tives found in consumer-size cans of other refrigerants. While there may be situations when these additives are appropriate, they are not recommended or approved by the OEM, and they may cause the machine to abort the service procedure. Because there is no plan to retrofit existing A/C systems to use R1234yf, production of R134a will continue indefinitely for service. Because fiing adapters are available to connect R134a service hoses to R1234yf systems, some consumers or even technicians might decide to fill a system with other refrigerants that costs less than R1234yf. While this is legal and most of the alternative refrigerants will work well enough, some are known to be highly flammable, easy to ignite, and produce extremely toxic gases when burned. It's still early, but because the refrigerant is so expensive and the equipment needed to service the system is so specialized, we think improper service techniques (pro and DIY) will make refrigerant contamination a much bigger issue that it has been in the past. So as your shop prepares to service cars with R1234yf, make sure the equipment list includes at least one refrigerant identifier and a recovery-only machine. Otherwise, experienced A/C techs have found noth- ing different when it comes to servicing these systems, and that's exactly what the manufacturers intended. ■ Jacques Gordon has worked in the automo- tive industry for 40 years as a service techni- cian, lab technician, trainer and technical writer. His began his writing career writing service manuals at Chilton Book Co. He currently holds ASE Master Technician and L1 certifications and has participated in ASE test writing workshops. Consumer-size cans of R1234yf will be available later this year. Quik-Link: 800-687-1557 ext. 14118

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