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Lincoln Forum: R134a vs R1234yf
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  1. #1

    R134a vs R1234yf

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    Visited dealer yesterday and while car was in Service (Steering Wheel Memory), I checked out a 2017 MKZ in the showroom. I saw that the refrigerant used is the new R1234yf. The Continental next to it uses R134a, like mine. The MKZ I test drove also had the R1234yf.
    I've heard of R1234yf and know it is flammable. Chrysler had been using it for a couple years now.

    I decided to google it. Found that a couple years ago, Mercedes refused to use it due to it being flammable, however the European Union is forcing Mercedes to use it in cars sold in the EU. Obviously, the US allows it.

    Both my cars use R134a.

    Back in 1995, all cars sold had to switch from the R12 that was being used to R134a. They said at that time that R134a would only be in use for twenty years. Well, twenty years is now. Many of us had to retrofit R134a to cars that had R12. Not a big problem to retrofit, but not so easy to change to R1234yf from R134a due to higher pressures and different compressors and evaporators.

    I'm not saying R1234yf is good, bad, or anything. Just different and costly to service once car out of warranty.

    Google it.

  2. #2
    Town's Avatar
    Town is offline Senior Member My Lincoln(s): 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 2.7 AWD; 2007 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited (sold)
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    Ottawa Ontario Canada
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    The 2017 Continental uses 20 ozs of the R134 in Canada, US and Mexico. The refrigerant cost would be about $5 per pound (16 ozs) so about $6.25 for a fill while the new R1234yf currently sells for about $50 per pound if you can get it so $62.50 per fill. So not a very significant part of an A/C repair that required a refill of the refrigerant. But you would not normally expect a refrigerant refill within the car's warranty period. The price will go down. The other negative is the requirement for a new refrigerant exchange machine at the dealer due to different fittings and fear of cross contamination of the two refrigerants. You may wait a while for that fill.

    On the positive side the new refrigerant is more efficient than R134a so the systems should work better in very hot climates. The other positive on the environment is that R134a is a factor of 1,430 more in depleting of the ozone layer than is Carbon dioxide while R1234yf is a factor of only 1, so very environment friendly.

    On the fence regarding its toxicity and flammability due to contradictory test results. Mercedes do not make mistakes, so when they tested the R1234yf refrigerant it caught fire and spewed toxic fumes then I believe that to be true. On the other hand the political powers had other tests conducted that showed all is well with the R1234yf product. So in Europe the R1234yf is mandatory in all new cars from 1 Jan 2017, so Mercedes is forced to disregard its concern for the well being of its customers and use the legislated product that it has no faith in.

    I am glad my Lincoln has the R134a that works well and will not kill me in an accident.

  3. #3
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    I see you are even more knowledgeable than I am.

    Except for the environment, I loved the R12 (Freon) that was in use before 1995. (Also R22 for home a/c). I guess we all must protect the environment.

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