The Different Types of A/C Refrigerants

As summer is right around the corner, you need to make sure your car's air conditioning is ready to keep you cool on hot days. The refrigerant is one of the most critical parts of your car's A/C system, and it would simply not feel cool without it. Different types of refrigerants are used in car A/C systems, and you should know which one your vehicle requires. Below is a complete list of auto A/C refrigerants:

  1. R-12: R-12 is an old refrigerant that was used in car A/C systems before the 1990s. It's a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) that has been phased out due to its harmful environmental effects. It's no longer available, and if your car still uses an R-12, you'll need to convert it to a new refrigerant.
  2. R-134a: R-134a is today's most common refrigerant used in car A/C systems. It's a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) that doesn't harm the ozone layer. R-134a is a more efficient refrigerant than R-12 and is also less expensive. If your car was manufactured after 1995, it most likely uses R-134a.
  3. R-1234yf: R-1234yf is the new and improved refrigerant that is being phased in as a replacement for R-134a. It's a hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) with a lower global warming potential than R-134a. It's more expensive than R-134a but is expected to become more common in newer models of vehicles.

It's important to note that these refrigerants are not interchangeable. If your car was designed to use R-12, you can't simply switch to R-134a or R-1234yf without first retrofitting your A/C system. Using the wrong refrigerant can hurt your A/C system and may even cause it to fail.

If you need help finding what type of refrigerant your car uses, check your owner's manual or consult an experienced mechanic. If your A/C requires a check-up or maintenance, please bring your vehicle to TC Auto Service as soon as possible. We can keep you cool through the warmest months of the year!