R1234yf – the latest refrigerant
17 November 2015
This latest refrigerant has been mandated by the EU to be used in all new models of cars built since 2013 and every new car built after January 1, 2017.Originally called HFO1234yf it is now usually referred to as R1234yf.
It works very similarly to systems using R134a but is supposed to be kinder to the environment as it has a lower Global Warming Potential (GWP). At the moment (November 2015) it is the only refrigerant authorised to be used in the EU for cars in the future but the German manufacturers, principally Daimler-Benz, are looking to utilise CO2 as a refrigerant which would meet the tighter regulations but would avoid the disadvantages of R1234yf.
R1234yf is slightly flammable but is classified in the UK as Class 2.1 which carries the classification of an “Extremely Flammable Gas”. To the best of my knowledge there are no restrictions on driving a car with this refrigerant through any road tunnels including the Channel Tunnel (Tunnel sous la Manche).
It is a very expensive refrigerant and as the equipment and expertise is still fairly rare we travel to dealerships slightly beyond our normal range.