Tech Tip: Getting shops ready for A/C season

May 2, 2022
With the increasing use of R-1234yf refrigerant, there are changes to the recovery, recycle, and recharge process.

Warm weather brings the need for updated air conditioning service for vehicles. With the increasing use of R-1234yf refrigerant, there are changes to the recovery, recycle, and recharge process. Technicians are now required by SAE Standard J2845 to be trained to recognize which refrigerant is being handled and how to handle it safely, while being equipped with the essential information, proper equipment, and tools that are unique to these refrigerants.

Starting in 2012 with 2013 model year vehicles, vehicle manufacturers began introducing vehicles that used R-1234yf. This new refrigerant is different from R134a, and new service equipment requirements were created to ensure the refrigerant is handled properly and service is performed correctly. New A/C machines were introduced to work on these new vehicles with unique couplers that only allow a connection to an R-1234yf system.

One of the requirements for R-1234yf service equipment is refrigerant identification anytime refrigerant is brought into the A/C machine.

The refrigerant is continuing to become more and more common and technicians will continue to see more vehicles using it. Automakers receive emissions credits for using environmentally friendly refrigerants such as R-1234yf, acting as a further motivation to comply with new standards. While not required, it is recommended that technicians retake the EPA-approved Section 609 certification course to learn about the new refrigerant recovery, recycling, and charging equipment and procedures in accordance with SAE Standards and regulatory requirements.

In response to the introduction of this new line of vehicles that are using the new refrigerant, new equipment had to be designed to service the systems.

  • The Robinair AC1234-4 is a premier R-1234yf recover, recycle and recharge fully automatic ACS machine that meets or exceeds SAE J2927 and J2843 standards for 1234yf recovery.
  • The AC1234-4 machine comes with a built-in internal refrigerant identifier that samples refrigerant prior to recovery to ensure the refrigerant is good before it is brought into the A/C machine.
  • AC1234-4 is a highly accurate and reliable machine capable of servicing both standard and high-voltage vehicle A/C systems. To further aid technicians, the machine is fully automatic, which allows it to be programmed for service, returning when the job is complete. The programmable vacuum function helps to get the necessary vacuum level in any condition quickly. The machine includes an automatic internal tank refill so there is no stopping to fill it during or before service. Refrigerant must be at least 98% pure prior to recovery and recharging.

Servicing R-1234yf systems also requires technicians to manually inject oil into the system. Before injecting oil into the system, technicians should review OEM requirements and use the manufacturer-recommended oil.

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