Air Conditioning Maintenance: What is air con gas?

Vehicle Air conditioning re-gassing
Two-thirds of vehicle owners experience the benefits of air con on days like we have been experiencing. However, as like all parts of your car, over time the system begins deteriorating and requires maintenance. For your air con, this comes in the form of recharging the system with gas and lubricant.

You can identify an air con that is in need of a recharge when you notice a reduction in the potency of cool air. This service is not included in an MOT, and it is recommended that this maintenance is carried out every two years. This way you won’t find yourself trapped in a traffic jam suffering from sweltering summer temperatures!

What is R1234yf?

Under new laws to improve emissions produced by vehicles, a new refrigerant gas called R1234yf has been developed to replace R134a, the current gas used in today’s air conditioning systems. R134a has been used across the automotive industry for over 20 years as the conventional refrigerant. However, it has been found that it has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1,430, making it significantly more toxic than carbon dioxide (CO2). The new alternative, R1234yf, has a GWP of just 4, making it the obvious refrigerant for future air con systems.

Many garages across the country are now equipped with R1234yf. However, only a select number of vehicles are retrofitted with the capabilities of managing this gas. Despite this, cars that meet the relevant Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards, are eligible to have the new, more economically environmental air con system installed. Your local Vasstech garage will be able to inform as to whether your car model can be fitted with the R1234yf compatible system.


Why do cars use R1234yf as opposed to other gas?

New economic car models such as the Audi Q7 SUV and BMW i3 have already introduced the new R1234yf air con system. In the coming years, it will become the industry standard, now that it has been found that R134a is a key contributor to global warming. European car brands have had the option to fit cars with the new system since 2011, however, the new refrigerant is soon to become compulsory in European and US car models, as manufacturers appeal to stricter emissions laws.

What cars use R1234yf refrigerant gas?

50% of European and US cars manufactured in 2018 are fitted with R1234yf capabilities, by brands including BMW, Citroen, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen. VW ,in particular, has introduced R1234yf to the majority of its models, such as the Beetle, Golf and Passat. However, brands such as Audi are adopting R1234yf much slower than other car manufacturers, initially introducing it into the A4 and the Q5 SUV, before making a more significant commitment.

How much does a gas recharge cost?

Currently, 1lb of R1234yf will cost a car owner £90, as opposed to £50 for the environmentally damaging R134a refrigerant. However, the price is expected to reduce significantly in the next few years as manufacturing plants increase their production of R1234yf car models.


At Vasstech, we aim to provide the best motoring knowledge for our customers, so that you can confidently embark on your journeys. Our Vasstech garages can now recharge vehicles that require R1234yf refrigerant for as little as £180, compared to £300 you pay at the main dealer. If you would like to know more about this new, environmentally friendly air con coolant, or to book in your air con recharge, contact us today.

Written by
Vasstech Garage Manager
Scott Doughty


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