New vehicle Air Conditioning Gas Requirements and it's impact.
To comply with the latest European Union environmental requirements motor manufacturers are having to transition the gas used in vehicle air conditioning units for new vehicles with type approval after January 1st 2011. The new gas, snapily named HFO 1234yf, replaces the older and non compliant HFC R-134a.
With the type approval process (the process by which new vehicle designs are approved for use on the roads) taking so long, this change has not immediately effected vehicles being manufacfured and purchased but is expected to become more apparant from 2015 into 2016 as more vehicles are released and existing on the road vehicles using the new gas come up to requiring air conditioning service and recharging.
All new vehicles manufactured after January 1st 2017 will be required to use the new gas although there are no current plans (note current) to require existing vehicles using the HFc R-134a gas to change to the newer type.
What does this mean to you ?
From a vehicle owners point of view the main impact resulting from the new regulations will become apparant at service time when either the air conditioning unit requires servicing or regassing (recommending at least every 2 years).
To accomodate the new gas and ensure correct identification during servicing, vehicles with the new gas feature different connection types to access the air conditioning loop and therefore new equipment capable of recharging these systems is required. Main franchise dealers will have these systems considered as part of their routine replacement cycle. However independents and body shops that have not allowed for the change and upgraded their equipment will be unable to perform an air conditioning service or regas. The new equipment is more than simply a connector change.
More importantly, the cost of the new gas is considerably higher than that of the existing gas (some ten times the price) and therefore the charging mechanism for regassing is likely to be different. Rather than providing a fixed recharge figure, it is likely a new charging structure whereby a fixed price for the air conditioning service and recharge is quoting excluding any replacement gas, with the gas used will be charged as used and measured by the machine.
Which gas is your car using ?
The change effects vehicles type approved after January 2011 and any vehicle manufactured after 1st January 2017. The number of actual cars on the road using the new gas is currently limited due to the time taken from type approval to manufacturing vehicles. However there are a number of major manufacturer vehicles on the road today using the new gas systems. The only current way for us to determine if your car is affected is to identify the type of connectors.
The following list identifies major vehicles already using the new HFO 1234yf type gas as of 2016
(U.S. vehicles are in bold.)
- BMW i3 Electric
- Cadillac XTS
- Chevrolet Malibu, Spark EV, Trax
- Chrysler 200C, 200S, 300, 300C
- Citroën C4, Elysëe
- Dodge Challenger, Charger, Dart, Ram 1500
- Fiat 500
- Ford Transit
- Great Wall Motor Company Limited – Voleex C30
- Honda Fit EV
- Hyundai Santa Fe, i30
- Infinity Q50
- Jaguar F Type
- Jeep Cherokee, Renegade
- Kia Sorento, Optima, Carenz, Cee’d2
- Lexus GS450h
- Mazda CX-5
- Mitsubishi Mirage
- Opel Mokka
- Peugeot 301, 308
- Range Rover and Range Rover Sport
- Renault Zoe 3
- SAIC Motor Corporation Limited MG350/Rover 350
- Subaru BRZ, Forrester, Impreza, XV
- Tesla Model S
- Toyota Yaris HSD, Prius Plus, GT86
HFO 1234yf and Advanced Motorcare
At Advanced Motorcare we have already taken delivery and currently undergoing training on our new air conditioning maintenance station to enable us to stay ahead of this change. Our new machine, the Texa model KONFORT 780R BI-GAS, replaces our previous model and is capable of servicing both HFC R-134a and the newer HFO-1234yf based air conditioning systems.
In addition the new equipment handles the non-conductive and digitally signed carrier oils used in the latest hybrid vehicles. This enables Advanced Motorcare to offer a wider service to our customers driving the latest generation Hybrid vehicles.