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Air Conditioning Freon Update

In an effort to slow down the human factor in global warming, car manufacturers in the USA will now receive substantial CO2 credits which means more miles to the gallon if they comply with the plan to phase out R-134a refrigerant. Europe has already ramped up in this area.

The new EPA regulation states that R-134a cannot be installed in new cars and light trucks built for domestic sale after 2021. Similar regulations for medium and heavy-duty trucks are coming this year, so the 2021 deadline may affect all domestic vehicles by that time. Vehicles for export will still be able to use R-134a systems until 2025.

In the meantime, Daimler, which had charged that the alternative refrigerant R-1234yf posed potential fire safety dangers, has finally agreed to use R-1234yf systems in its Mercedes vehicles for markets where the refrigerant either is mandated or is effectively pressed for by regulatory bodies (as in the U.S.). There has not been a set rollout schedule, however. Daimler stated that it will add an under the hood argon gas canister with spray lines directed at all parts that its engineers say might become hot enough for a leaking refrigerant to ignite. It will be a fire-extinguisher of sorts.

R-1234yf cannot be retrofitted to R-134a systems so production of R-134a will continue indefinitely for service. The R-1234yf CAFE credits are 13.8 g/mi for cars, 17.2 g/mi for trucks. (GWP, a metric used by environmental regulatory agencies worldwide, is a measure of how much a given mass of a gas contributes to global warming. It is a relative scale which compares the amount of heat trapped by greenhouse gas to the amount of heat trapped in an equal mass of CO2.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles began transitioning its changeover in 2014MY. General Motors has had just one entry in that period, the Cadillac XTS, but GM will be virtually across the board by the end of this year. Ford says it will begin its changeover in April with the Escape, but no details of its rollout are available. Sending vehicles with either refrigerant down the same assembly line is not a difficult process.

The price of R-1234yf is reported to me much higher that R-134a.  We at Fairway Auto Repair wanted Phoenix drivers to know what is coming!  To find out more about air conditioning and Freon (refrigerant) visit our website at www.fairwayautorepair.com!

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