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Car Air Conditioning

What Is R1234yf?
In 2011 (following a 2006 directive) European motor vehicle manufacturers began to switch air conditioning (AC) refrigerant to a newly developed substance, R1234yf. North American and Asian manufacturers have followed suit and are changing their vehicles over to R1234yf too.GT Auto Centre has all the equipment and personnel necessary to carry out your AC service for both R134a and R1234yf. Call now to make an appointment with us. 043237106 or email us atinfo@gtautocentre.comAlmost all vehicles purchased new today will have left their respective factory with R1234yf AC refrigerant!

Why Do We Need R1234yf?

AC systems in vehicles are unique in design and performance due to the conditions in which they must operate. The dynamic nature of the motor vehicle means that the AC system is constantly being moved within and around its confines of the structure of vehicle and due to this, the sympathetic construction of the system all but guarantees that the AC refrigerant will leak out and in to the atmosphere over a period. This is not desirable of course and, to reduce the effects this has on the atmosphere, the AC refrigerants are constantly being reviewed.

R1234yf replaces R134a. R134a replaced R12. If your vehicle has an old R12 system fitted it is now illegal to service this as the production of R12 is banned worldwide. Those with R12 must upgrade to R134a or R1234yf. Those vehicles with R134a AC systems do not need to upgrade to R1234yf and may continue to use R134a refrigerant. Call GT Auto Centre now to book a service for your AC system whether it is R134a or R1234yf. We can also upgrade the old R12 systems to R134a or R1234yf for classic and vintage car owners. 04323 7106 or email us at

R12 is a toxic refrigerant that has a hugely negative impact on The Ozone Layer in our atmosphere whilst also having a global warming potential (GWP) of 10900! The change from R12 to R134a was costly for manufacturers and vehicle owners. It involved an almost total system replacement, and this was a situation the automotive industry was keen to avoid repeating.

However, R134a, whilst being regarded as having negligible effects to The Ozone Layer, has a (still high) GWP of 1430. This situation was addressed with the development of R1234yf refrigerant. R1234yf has a GWP of 1! Further to its environmental attributes, R1234yf is also capable of being used in existing R134a AC systems with just the use of a different oil. This avoids the costly conversion scenarios experienced in the change to R134a from R12.

Some of the German manufacturers in the automotive industry had developed AC systems to use carbon dioxide (CO2) which would have even less environmental impact than R1234yf but would also require costly system replacements and upgrades. This was (and remains) pursued however for reasons explained later.

What is the differencebetween R134a and R1234yf AC systems?

As mentioned before, the AC systems using R134a were considered when developing R1234yf and this was to ensure R1234yf would be able to be used in the existing way (similar systems requiring little adaption) to the way R134a was being used. This leads some people to wrongly assume that the new R1234yf systems can be filled with R134a and still function properly. This is wrong for many reasons. First of which being the oil inside the AC system. Whilst the AC system may continue to work initially after refilling with R134a instead of R1234yf, it will not be long before the oil in the R1234yf system is broken down and becomes detrimental to the internal components of the AC system. Each refrigerant has an oil designed for use with it. This oil must remain in good condition to maintain proper functioning of the AC system. To try and prevent this happening R1234yf systems have different service ports at which the AC service equipment can be attached. If R134a equipment is attached to an AC system designed for R1234yf it will damage the system and lead to parts needing to be replaced immediately.

Why do I need to use a professional workshop for my AC servicing?
As with any system in or on a motor vehicle, GT Auto Centre always recommends that you let the experts work on it for you. R1234yf is no different, and there are some important characteristics to note when in contact with this refrigerant.

R1234yf has been described as “mildly flammable” in testing conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). R1234yf has been shown to ignite at temperatures over 900 centigrade and, whilst this kind of temperature is not common in a motor vehicle, it is reachable and can pose a risk to the inexperienced technician. GT Auto Centre has fully trained AC technicians as well as the latest equipment to properly and safely service your R134a and R1234yf AC system. Call now to make an appointment with us. 04323 7106 or email us at The flammability was and is the reason some of the biggest German automotive manufacturers continue to develop CO2 AC systems as they dispute the findings of safety tests due to the results of their own tests showing different results.

Further to the increased safety measures that must be employed when handling R1234yf, as mentioned above, the refrigerant itself is also very expensive. At approximately 10 times the cost of R134a, R1234yf requires careful handling to be sure not to waste any of this extremely expensive refrigerant. If the service on your AC is not carried out correctly it can and likely will cost you dearly in the near future.

GT Auto Centre recommends annual AC Servicing for all AC Systems otherwise to could be very expensive if left a long time. Call us now for details and to make a booking – 04 323 7106 or email us at

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