What if my vehicle still uses R-12 freon?
If your car was built before model year 1995, the air conditioning system was filled with a refrigerant called R-12 or CFC-12. Freon, as it is more commonly known, has been shown to cause damage to the Earth’s ozone layer.
Because of this, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA for short, has banned its use and production was ceased. The R-12 refrigerant is expensive to buy and a special license is needed by the repair shop to purchase and use it. These obstacles have made the conversion of an R-12 system over to an R-134a system more commonplace in repair shops around the country.
Here at GIC Car Clinic in San Jose, California, we offer a retrofit service that will enable your car’s air conditioning system to use the less expensive, and more environmentally friendly, R-134a refrigerant. The money you will save using the new refrigerant more than makes up for the cost of the retrofit service.
What does our retrofit service include?
- All retrofits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Different vehicles may require slightly different procedures.
- We will evacuate the old R-12 refrigerant into an EPA-approved recovery machine. It will never be released into the atmosphere.
- We will evacuate the refrigerant oil from the air conditioning system. The old R-12 mineral oil is not compatible with the new R-134a PAG oils.
- A/C system flush may be required.
- If necessary, we may need to replace the accumulator (receiver/dryer) and any O-rings. This is to update the system for the new refrigerant.
- We will install R-134a fittings at the low and high side service ports.
- Add the appropriate PAG oil or ester oil.
- Inject fluorescent leak detection dye into system.
- We will fully recharge the system with R-134a refrigerant.
- We will check the A/C pressure readings and check for any obvious, large refrigerant leaks.
- Labels will be installed on the vehicle identifying that the system has been retrofitted to R-134a.