Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/24/23 1:10 p.m.

Mom and dad have a GMC Acadia. 2016 or 2017. It was the one year-only experimental R1234 which is now coming back in the 2024 cars. He has been quoted $700 for an evac and recharge with dye to diagnose a leak, and there is only one dealer in a 40-mile radius with the equipment.

....or so he's told. I call BS.

Fitting look the same as R134. Talk to me about helping him not pay through the nose. Possible to use R134?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/24/23 1:40 p.m.

There may have been a bulletin for the very early GM R-1234yf cars to extract the gaseous gold and insert R-134a, along with fittings etc.  If it was done it was generally done before the vehicle was even sold.

If not, it is a federal violation to change the refrigerant, and if you have an EPA license to work on mobile A/C you might lose it.

You have automotive background...  prices are coming down but the last time we bought R-1234yf, a ten (!) pound canister was close to $1000, our cost.  The equipment to evac and recharge is not a simple suck-n-blow like Freon or R-134a, it has a mandatory evacuate, vacuum, vacuum test, partial fill and manual sniffer test period, then the machine berks up and you have to do it all over again from the beginning, and takes anywhere from about 50 minutes if all goes well to 3 hours if not.  And the machines, the ones that work anyway, are flippin' expensive and have a poor amortization because the majority of A/C service is still R-134a.

 

$700 seems high but is not terribly out of line, depending on how thoroughly they are getting into it.  (Are they doing a complete sniffer and black light check, or just tossing you the keys and saying "come back if it stops working")

 

Byrneon27
Byrneon27 HalfDork
7/24/23 1:45 p.m.

NO! 

While mechanically compatible (unless one component isn't then you torched the whole system.) its a federal ass pounding jail violation of the clean air act to do so. If you find a mechanic ghetto/trailer park enough to agree to do it they ARE NOT the person you want inside your R1234YF system. 

 

 

1kris06
1kris06 HalfDork
7/24/23 3:51 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Sounds about right. R1234yf (at least at my dealer) is almost $9/ounce. Up to $120 for freon only if it needs a full charge

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP Dork
7/24/23 6:46 p.m.

Up here we are selling the 10lb tanks to certified shops for a sale price (basically a booking sale) for $1239.00 CAD, so it's not cheap stuff. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
7/24/23 6:58 p.m.

I think the last can we got was $800. 

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
7/25/23 7:24 a.m.

That would not be an unusual price we pay in the insurance world for the 1234a crap.

RevRico
RevRico MegaDork
7/25/23 7:27 a.m.

What's so special about this blend of unicorn farts that makes it so expensive? Particularly if a 6-7 year old car already needs it replaced?

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/25/23 7:45 a.m.

In reply to RevRico 
from what i read of it before, its environmental. R-12 was eating the dinosaurs so they went to r-134a due to it NOT eating the dinosaurs. Except r-134a was still eating dino's like r-12. So the r-1234yf is actually supposed to save the dinosaurs so the industry is switching to it. 
 

IIRC, its not legal, but it is a thing to just run r-134a in the 1234yf system. Supposedly its compatable. They sell adapters for the ports which is nice, not having to buy a new set of gauges to check out a 1234yf system, but they can be used to put in r-134a. 

 

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE UltraDork
7/25/23 10:09 a.m.

In reply to RevRico :

R-12 eats ozone if it escapes to atmo, and R-134a is a magnitude better than it in ozone damage. R-1234yf is supposed to be nearly/completely safe for atmo if it leaks with no added need for lubricants or other things.

The EU is trying instead to just go CO2 for a refrigerant, but it demands a lubricant be added.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
7/25/23 10:34 a.m.

After R12 was found to be punching holes in the ozone layer R134A was found to be an ultra-powerful greenhouse gas, which is why R-1234yf was brought in, which only punches holes in your bank account. I'm surprised they've gone back to 1234yf now (mandatory as of 2021) instead of switching to CO2 (which is the greenhouse gas poster boy but very weak compared to R134a).

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
7/25/23 11:04 a.m.

Funny how refrigerant companies come out with a new be-all, end-all, super-safe refrigerant every time the previous refrigerant becomes commonplace and inexpensive. And then spend millions lobbying the EPA to mandate a change to the new substance. 

I'm sure they are being altruistic. Yeah, that's got to be it. That's why the new stuff is always so inexpensive. I'm sure money has nothing to do with it. 

 

 

 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/25/23 8:05 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I'll look for that bulletin, thanks.  I don't have a license.  This would be shadetree, and I dad and I would be sure to not let a shop touch it.  Nothing worse than taking an R134 system to a shop marked with R1234 and causing confusion.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/25/23 8:30 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Oh, one of the things an R-1234yf machine has to do, by regulation, is take a sample and analyze it before you can do anything else.  That is part of why they are so expensive and why a service takes so much longer.  (I mean, technically all systems need to be sampled before service, but I have seen exactly zero shops do this)

Thus far, all systems I have connected to were 100% R-1234yf, or 98% and 2% air, something like that.  So I have no idea what the machine does when it detects a contaminated system, but my guess is that it tells you to close the valves and disconnect the machine, then nopes the hell out and refuses to go further.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
6/13/24 2:02 p.m.

Dragging this back to the top..  

My wife's 2020 Chrysler Voyager Minivan isn't cooling us down in the cabin this season, also uses 1234yf.  Although this thing does have ~85k on it, I'm dissappointed that it's low on refrigerant already.   Obviously, the previous weapons are useless as I only have r134a equipment (done a bunch of AC rebuilds and such over the years).

Is the best bet to try something like one of these from the FLAPS? https://www.autozone.com/a-c-charging-and-refrigerant/r1234yf-refrigerant/p/a-c-pro-r1234yf-kit-14oz/1072034_0_0

Obviously not thrilled about it being $130!  But if it's just a "typical Chrysler" quality slow leak that takes another few years to bleed out again, it's not so bad...

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
6/13/24 3:02 p.m.

Thanks for the reminder. I needed a couple of cases of R134 for the shelf before the EPA bans it. 

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/13/24 3:23 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

Mom and dad have a GMC Acadia. 2016 or 2017. It was the one year-only experimental R1234 which is now coming back in the 2024 cars.

Definitely not experimental or one-year only. I work for GM and they have used it across their entire product line since 2017. You also can't clip an R134a fitting onto a 1234yf fitting. I've had a moment where I haven't been paying attention and grabbed the wrong machine and went to hook the hoses up on it and they wouldn't fit.

My bet is, since it's an Acadia, the aluminum rear AC lines rotted out. Like they do on everything that GM equips with rear AC. I just replaced a set of those lines this week, after waiting months for them to arrive. They're on intergalactic backorder.

Yes, it's very pricey. And the machine take for-berkeleying-ever to do it's dealio. And the systems seem far more leak-prone. For a while we had new vehicles coming from the factory that were completely empty and leaked out. At first we just thought they forgot to fill them at the factory and we were just refilling them, and then a bulletin was issued that, no, they had leaks and you had to find them.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa MegaDork
6/13/24 3:51 p.m.
TJL (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to RevRico 
from what i read of it before, its environmental. R-12 was eating the dinosaurs so they went to r-134a due to it NOT eating the dinosaurs. Except r-134a was still eating dino's like r-12. So the r-1234yf is actually supposed to save the dinosaurs so the industry is switching to it. 
 

IIRC, its not legal, but it is a thing to just run r-134a in the 1234yf system. Supposedly its compatable. They sell adapters for the ports which is nice, not having to buy a new set of gauges to check out a 1234yf system, but they can be used to put in r-134a. 

 

You are correct, but it doesn't really express the scale.

These gases are rated in (amongst other things) GWP, or Global Warming Potential.  GWP is how much energy 1 ton of whatever gas will absorb over a given amount of time (usually 100 years) relative to the emissions of 1 ton of CO2.

R12 was somewhere around 11,000

R134 about 1450

R1234abcde is single digits.  Under 5?

So, yeah.  Really upsetting the dinosaurs 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/13/24 4:45 p.m.
WonkoTheSane said:

Dragging this back to the top..  

My wife's 2020 Chrysler Voyager Minivan isn't cooling us down in the cabin this season, also uses 1234yf.  Although this thing does have ~85k on it, I'm dissappointed that it's low on refrigerant already.   Obviously, the previous weapons are useless as I only have r134a equipment (done a bunch of AC rebuilds and such over the years).

Is the best bet to try something like one of these from the FLAPS? https://www.autozone.com/a-c-charging-and-refrigerant/r1234yf-refrigerant/p/a-c-pro-r1234yf-kit-14oz/1072034_0_0

Obviously not thrilled about it being $130!  But if it's just a "typical Chrysler" quality slow leak that takes another few years to bleed out again, it's not so bad...

If you use that, make sure to inform anybody who has to repair it that connecting their A/C machine to your vehicle may damage it.

Sealers kill A/C machines.

 

That said, what is "not cooling"?  It may be a control issue, cabin air temp sensor out of range, sunload sensor covered with last week's mail (I see this a LOT), etc.

 

On a day like today, here in the sunny southernmost north coast, you can expect 54-59°F from the vents, low side pressure 30-55psi, high side pressure 225-325psi.  If you have a scan tool you can read the high side pressure, no gauge set needed.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
6/13/24 4:53 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
WonkoTheSane said:

Dragging this back to the top..  

My wife's 2020 Chrysler Voyager Minivan isn't cooling us down in the cabin this season, also uses 1234yf.  Although this thing does have ~85k on it, I'm dissappointed that it's low on refrigerant already.   Obviously, the previous weapons are useless as I only have r134a equipment (done a bunch of AC rebuilds and such over the years).

Is the best bet to try something like one of these from the FLAPS? https://www.autozone.com/a-c-charging-and-refrigerant/r1234yf-refrigerant/p/a-c-pro-r1234yf-kit-14oz/1072034_0_0

Obviously not thrilled about it being $130!  But if it's just a "typical Chrysler" quality slow leak that takes another few years to bleed out again, it's not so bad...

If you use that, make sure to inform anybody who has to repair it that connecting their A/C machine to your vehicle may damage it.

Sealers kill A/C machines.

 

That said, what is "not cooling"?  It may be a control issue, cabin air temp sensor out of range, sunload sensor covered with last week's mail (I see this a LOT), etc.

 

On a day like today, here in the sunny southernmost north coast, you can expect 54-59°F from the vents, low side pressure 30-55psi, high side pressure 225-325psi.  If you have a scan tool you can read the high side pressure, no gauge set needed.

Copy that.  I'll see if I can find one without the sealers in it.. That's the sort that I always used for my 134 vehicles, but those cans are $7.99...  This was just the first hit I got for 1234yf refill.

Not cooling is exactly what it sounds like.  This van has manual controls (well, touchscreen of course, but no climate control).  With the temp set to the coldest setting, fan set to 60%ish with recirc turned on, in the sun with air temps in the ~85° range, I would guess that the air out of the vents is maybe 70?  It's definitely cooler than ambient air, but not cold enough to lower the temp in the cabin appreciably. 

Is torque good enough to view the high side pressure? 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/13/24 7:01 p.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane :

If it will give you "enhanced" data (have to enter in year/make/model/engine when connecting) then it should.  I am 90% sure that the pressure is in the PCM data and not the HVAC data.

I have never used Torque so I don't know what its capabilities are.

I realize that I may have come across as a sourpuss over sealant, but where I work we had to get a new A/C machine because of that stuff, so I have Strong Opinions about it.  

 

That IS one of the nice things about R1234yf... the vehicles that use it have pressure data right there in the scan tool, no need to connect gauges.  The hoses in a gauge set might hold 3oz of refrigerant, so connecting the gauges might reduce a car's refrigerant load by 25% or so.  Testing that alters the information is a bad way to test.

Slippery
Slippery UltimaDork
6/13/24 7:12 p.m.
Toyman! said:

Thanks for the reminder. I needed a couple of cases of R134 for the shelf before the EPA bans it. 

I need to do the same and put them next to my R12 stash. 

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
6/13/24 7:17 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

No worries, totally understandable.  Apologies for not putting more leg work before posting a link.

Torque is just generic OBD II info, so I didn't know that it'll have that, then. 

I'm just trying to avoid a $700+ service on a < 5 year old van if I can avoid it.

J_D
J_D New Reader
6/13/24 10:51 p.m.

It's going to leak again but maybe you can survive summer:

https://www.refrigerantdepot.com/product/honeywell-r1234yf-three-8-ounce-cans-service-hose-gauge/

 

I've had good luck with A/C Pro on R134a systems. Essentially it is R134a along side a seal conditioner. If your leak is caused by a dried seal it can help revive it without gumming up the system and ruining A/C machines in future. They have a R1234YF kit too, but I haven't tested it. 

https://www.autozone.com/a-c-charging-and-refrigerant/r1234yf-refrigerant/p/a-c-pro-r1234yf-kit-14oz/1072034_0_0

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/a-c-pro-ultra-synthetic-r-1234yf-refrigerant-kit-includes-hose-with-gauge-seals-extends-a-c-life-14-oz-acpyf100-6/12401294-P

 

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
6/15/24 3:35 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Since the study's that put out those numbers, happened to have been paid for by the company, as their patents ran out, it has to be a coincidence. I'm not a chemist by trade, but knowing some at DuPont, they are not allowed to tell anyone that 134 is very little different than 12 - with additives to make it incompatible. But if they did tell anyone, they would be fired, probably sued, and possible jail time. But no big deal. The company study's are probably honest, since they care more about people than profit. 

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