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HFO-1234yf deemed toxic and dangerous by Daimler

Kestas on Wed March 20, 2013 12:02 PM User is offline

I'm not sure if this has been posted before.

"The substance caught fire as soon as it hit the hot surface, releasing a toxic, corrosive gas as it burned. The car’s windshield turned milky white as lethal hydrogen fluoride began eating its way into the glass.

“We were frozen in shock, I am not going to deny it. We needed a day to comprehend what we had just seen,” said Stefan Geyer, a senior Daimler engineer who ran the tests.”

How far does this nonsense have to go before people stand up to DuPont and make them impotent? They dominate too much of how we use refrigerants.

NickD on Wed March 20, 2013 12:25 PM User is offline

Could always go back to R-12, biodegradable, even NASA backed off on claims it was depleting the ozone layers. And back to mineral oil without fears of corrosion and sludge. Less than 2% of it was used for MVAC applications and it can be recycled. Plus its safe for humans.

AutoCool on Wed March 20, 2013 3:03 PM User is offline

NickD, I think you just want to be able to use your Ronco beer mug froster again.

TRB on Wed March 20, 2013 3:11 PM User is offlineView users profile

I don't seeing them ever going back to R12 no matter now much sense it makes. EU will never do it, and manufactures are not going to cater to a specific market per refrigerant type.

Nick can always use propane to cool his beer mug.


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NickD on Wed March 20, 2013 4:42 PM User is offline

R-134a was very environmentally friendly, now causing global warming, so we are told. Trichloroethane was banned by the EPA back in around 1976, but the EPA let DuPont manufacture it again to make R-134a. Just one insignificant example of a decision reversal, but what the heck, a major corporation and not an individual.

Also having a bit of difficulty accepting global warming, first day of spring and 8*F outside, wind chill is a hell of a lot colder. But I know for a fact this cold air is not coming from the Arctic, because Gore said the ice is melting up there. Must be coming from Arizona.

But still object to our high use of HC's for powering our vehicles, are better ways to doing this, burning the air we need to breathe is not wise. But if burning our air is not bad enough, now the government has us burning our food as well.

Last I heard, is around 2,200 bucks for a cylinder of R-1234yf, wonder if we could get a loan from China to buy it.

mk378 on Wed March 20, 2013 5:34 PM User is offline

Almost any chemical can be manufactured as an intermediate step toward some other product. The point is that the chemical never (intentionally) leaves the plant. Some current processes even depend on phosgene, a deadly gas used in WWI (almost, unfortunately only almost, killing the young Adolf Hitler) which is now banned by international treaties. It still exists, but only under very tight controls.

R-12 is also considered a global warming agent, much more potent than 134a. It is not "biodegradable", unless it reaches the ozone layer. No one is going back to it.

The global warming resulting from crashing a car and releasing a full charge of R-134a from a broken condenser is about the same as that from the CO2 of using 3 tanks of gasoline. It seems nothing to be concerned with. Today's smaller systems don't contain as much to release by accident. And the relatively high price of 134a discourages abuse such as constantly recharging a leaky system.

The Chinese already know how to make unsaturated refrigerant cheaply, they were selling it in jugs of "R-134a", causing major damage to systems that were not suited for it.

Edited: Wed March 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM by mk378

AutoCool on Thu March 21, 2013 10:46 AM User is offline

I was called out by a Hyundai dealer about evac and recharging a collision damaged i30 that bent the condenser (no release). Recovered the r1234yf to my junk tank and they said to just recharge with R-134a.. The oil is regular Double end capped PAG 46.

The GM part number for r1234yf in a 4,5kg cylinder is 19260234. Looks like around $725 per cylinder. Hyundai had nothing in stock here.

Here's the compressor label from the Hyundai.

Edited: Thu March 21, 2013 at 10:48 AM by AutoCool

HECAT on Sat March 23, 2013 2:47 PM User is offline

To be fair in counter to the "blow yourself up" propaganda; maybe its just one German car maker that cannot enginneer a system capable of passing their own internal QC tests.


HECAT: You support the Forum when you consider for your a/c parts.


NickD on Sun March 24, 2013 6:19 AM User is offline

Did read somewhere certain models of the 2013 Cadillac are suppose to come out with R-1234yf, but due to shortages, may come out with R-134a. What I didn't read is differences in performance between these two refrigerants.

Is their incompatibility issues like with R-12 to R-134a, will we go to jail if we put R-134a into a R-1234yf system? Will aftermarket people come out with all kinds of different blends? Sure was a big mess when R-134a came out overnight, are we in for another big mess? Was very little information available, some of us had to learn the hard way.

Certainly debate going on about the safety aspects of R-1234yf between the big guys, read this article:

crracer on Tue June 17, 2014 12:20 PM User is offline

Some Cadillac ATS and XTS models use the 1234yf. I recently repaired an elderly mans Xts (a second time in one month, he's old and probably should hang up the driving, hit his garage twice). The second repair required a condenser replacement. At the time, I was unaware of 1234yf, and at that time wasn't getting in to my own in house A/C work. I called the local GM dealer (who sold the car, small town, knew the guy). They said bring it out, we'll charge it up. Got a call that afternoon saying there was a problem. Explained it had this new type Freon, they had the equipment, but not the Freon. Cadillac had told their dealers they would be using 1234yf, then apparently backed off that statement. The dealer even went as far as to return this new RRR machine to no avail.

They bought a 9lb bottle which cost them ~600.00 bucks to recharge this guys car. During the first accident, I had to replace the site shield, the site shield had the 1234yf sticker on it, the replacement site shield had 134a on it. Fortunately, I still had the original site shield as the GM dealer had no information on how much to put in. I asked if they had any other Xts on the lot, they had two, but both had the 134a systems.... I believe the Freon they added to that Cadillac cost me ~111.00.

pippo on Tue June 17, 2014 6:41 PM User is offline

yeah, r12 would be nice to have again, but yes, doubt the lawyers will ever allow it. It is not without its hazards- it is not 100% safe- no refrigerant is. It can decompose to deadly phosgene gas in the right situation. But, it doesnt compare with driving hazards we all accept every day whenever we climb into our cars to drive to work.......

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