New refrigerant that replaces both R12 and R134A?

Messages
755
Location
Oshkosh, WI
Tell me what you think of this stuff... http://www.maxifrig.com/ It looks too good to be true, and I just want to find out if it is. Also, there's no MSDS listed on the site, so I really can't see what it is to determine if it's going to work. Any input is appreciated.
 
Messages
1,909
Location
Tracy, CA
The only thing that I can say is once this stuff is introduced into (not necessarily) your AC system, you're going to have a real hard time finding someone that will work on it in the future. Basically it becomes a contaminant for any refrigerant recovery system. I know of no reputable shop that does AC work that will introduce something other than R12 or R134a into any automotive AC system.
 
Messages
423
Location
Illinois
I used DuraCool for several years in an old Thermo King Super reefer unit off a semi that we used to cool/heat our shop. It mixed readily with R12, cooled awesome, and we never once had any problems with the unit's cooling system. The diesel motor finally became unreliable with 36,000 hours on it and I got rid of it, but pulled the still good compressor, starter, etc. off of it and sold them to a guy with the same model. I did the charging myself and saved me a lot of money over the course of running that machine, since it held 15# of R12 and needed about 2-5# added every spring.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,942
Location
The Motor City
You can bet that anyone who won't share the composition of such a fluid or give a decent MSDS is selling snake oil. From what I've read I'm guessing this product is a blend of many different refrigerants to make it compatible with r12, r134, mineral oil, and the oils used for r134. It is very difficult - if not impossible -to come up with a fluid that is compatible to all four fluids. If you don't want the hassle of procuring r12 or the expense of converting to r134, I agree with considering Duracool.
 

GT Mike

Thread starter
Messages
755
Location
Oshkosh, WI
One of my mechanics at work was wondering about it, since they mailed us a little postcard advertising it, and it's considerably cheaper than R134A, and supposedly performs like R12. He has a couple older vehicles, and claims that a R134A retro will not be as cold as R12. I tend to agree...I've not been all that impressed with most R134A systems. In WI, you need to be licensed to purchase automotive refrigerant. AFAIK, we're the only state in the country that's this way. I get around the law by taking a run to Illinois and just buying my cans of R134A at Wal-Mart or wherever. I feel like a modern-day moonshine bootlegger! [Big Grin] I'll look into that Duracool though.
 
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
Most of these are either blends or something based on isobutane. All have problems including Duracool: If there is a leak on a blend, the lighter component leaks out first, and you have something in the system of unknown composition. Anything containing isobutane or other hydrocarbons is going to be highly flammable or outright explosive. If you got in an accident you could be incinerated. Any non-approved refrigerant is going to be hard to get serviced. Nobody will want it in their recovery system. Many of these products claim to be compatible with various oils, but they usually offer limited miscibility and can lead to compressor failures. Everything I have read from A/C professionals has said to use R12 or R134a and forget the snake oils. If you are interested in finding out good information on A/C and refrigerants, I recommend you visit the forum run by Arizona Mobil Air: http://www.autoacforum.com/ I have installed one of the in-dash A/C kits they sell in a pickup, and have used them for parts. They are first class people and really know their stuff. They only sell top quality parts. They also have some very competent techs who contribute to their forum.
 
Messages
22,299
Location
Apple Valley, California
It's Propane! My boss bought a jug of it to mess with. The tag on the bottle has a UN# 1075 and says it's classified as LPG. It does work (in his car). You don't vacuum the system either. Just dump it in.
 
Beware! Various hydrocarbon blends have been sold to replace chlorofluorocarbons (Freon) in car A/C systems for several years. They "work", but as BigAl says, they are potentially explosive and dangerous. A/C systems are notorious for leaking over time, and all you need is a nice red-hot exhaust manifold nearby . . . And that comes to the problem with the snake oil replacements that no one has mentioned so far. In many areas using propane or other flammable hydrocarbons in an automotive A/C system is illegal. Check your state and local laws before putting in that stuff.
 
Messages
14
Location
Iowa
Whatever the merits and legality of using hydrocarbons as a moble refrigerant, I think the warnings of flamibility and explosive potential are overrated. The last time I checked, my car was chock full of pressurized gasoline, crankcase oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and plastic. If you've ever seen a car fire you'll realize that cars without HC will burn very well indeed. Also remember 45,000 people a year die in auto accidents in the USA and as far as I know none were killed by HC in the AC system. Cars and trucks are EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, but people for good and bad reasons have decided that they are an acceptible risk.
 
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
quote:
Originally posted by iowanbrick: Whatever the merits and legality of using hydrocarbons as a moble refrigerant, I think the warnings of flamibility and explosive potential are overrated. The last time I checked, my car was chock full of pressurized gasoline, crankcase oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and plastic. If you've ever seen a car fire you'll realize that cars without HC will burn very well indeed. Also remember 45,000 people a year die in auto accidents in the USA and as far as I know none were killed by HC in the AC system. Cars and trucks are EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, but people for good and bad reasons have decided that they are an acceptible risk.
Iowanbrick has a point, but keep two things in mind. First, there are very few cars on the road with hydrocarbon refrigerants, so their potential for problems are relatively untested. Second, the only other explosive fluid, gasoline, is not routed through the passenger compartment as is refrigerant. Also, dumping a second refrigerant into a system without evacuating the other can cause higher system pressures than either gas alone. It is a very bad idea and can lead to system failure. If you don't remember your high school chemistry, do a web search on Dalton's law.
 
Messages
2,077
Location
Cordelia, CA
I honestly don't see the point. R134A can be bought anywhere. R12 can be bought by anyone with a 609 Cert for $20 a pound on ebay. Even with older systems, the cost of the 609 cert and R12 is still less than most of the other major components in the system. Want a 609 cert? www.epatest.com
 
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
The point is that some people want to buy something cheap that they can dump into their leaky R12 systems without spending the time or money to fix them properly or do a legitimate R134a conversion. Others believe that R134a doesn't cool well . . . and on some retrofits it doesn't. They are again looking for a cheap fix. There is no cheap fix . . . at least not a good one.
 

GT Mike

Thread starter
Messages
755
Location
Oshkosh, WI
quote:
Originally posted by VaderSS: I honestly don't see the point. R134A can be bought anywhere.
Not in WI it can't. We're the only state that requires you to be licensed to use R134A. You can't just buy it at the parts store like you can in every other state in the union. You only can buy it in 30# kegs, and have to be licensed by the state and have the proper recovery equipment. So a while back, I just said F.T.S., and took a drive to Rockford, IL, and bought a couple cases of 12 ounce cans at Wal-Mart. Don't ask, don't tell...That's my attitude when it comes to something like that.
 
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
Mike: Have you ever noticed that the Illinois stores near the Wisconsin border are almost always sold out of R134a? Don't ask me how I know . . .
 
Messages
165
Location
australia
quote:
Originally posted by GT Mike:
quote:
Originally posted by VaderSS: I honestly don't see the point. R134A can be bought anywhere.
Not in WI it can't. We're the only state that requires you to be licensed to use R134A. You can't just buy it at the parts store like you can in every other state in the union. You only can buy it in 30# kegs, and have to be licensed by the state and have the proper recovery equipment. So a while back, I just said F.T.S., and took a drive to Rockford, IL, and bought a couple cases of 12 ounce cans at Wal-Mart. Don't ask, don't tell...That's my attitude when it comes to something like that.

the sooner this is outlawed, the better!!! the refrigeration and airconditioning industries are heavily regulated as to refrigerant usage (eg repairing a leak BEFORE recharging) and refrigerant reclaiming. this is done for good reason. it should stop the danger to the public of propane/ butane top ups. it IS helping the protection of the ozone layer. before i knew any better, we used to blow clean condensors with an upended R12 bottle when i was apprenticed in the early '70s. d.i.y. has no place in responsible a/c servicing. but hey, what do i know
 
Messages
4,872
Location
MN
quote:
Originally posted by BigAl: The point is that some people want to buy something cheap that they can dump into their leaky R12 systems without spending the time or money to fix them properly or do a legitimate R134a conversion. Others believe that R134a doesn't cool well . . . and on some retrofits it doesn't. They are again looking for a cheap fix. There is no cheap fix . . . at least not a good one.
I agree, I have successfully retrofited some systems and not-so-successfully retrofited others. It's easy if the old stuff is gone and leak is obvious. My current car has a working system.(although weak) Originally it had R12, who knows what it has now. I'd like to retrofit it and be done with it, but I have no clue as to what it has now. I called around to AC shops and no one wants to take the freon out because they say it will wreck their machine if it's R134. My only option if I want to "do it right" is to vent it to the atmosphere. [I dont know]
 
Messages
22,299
Location
Apple Valley, California
quote:
Originally posted by T-Keith: My current car has a working system.(although weak) Originally it had R12, who knows what it has now. I'd like to retrofit it and be done with it, but I have no clue as to what it has now. I called around to AC shops and no one wants to take the freon out because they say it will wreck their machine if it's R134. My only option if I want to "do it right" is to vent it to the atmosphere. [I dont know]
Find a shop that has a refrigerant identifier. They are the law in the US that any shop doing AC work must have one.........But few do. The identifier will tell them whats in your car and you can go from there.
 
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
quote:
Originally posted by T-Keith:
My current car has a working system.(although weak) Originally it had R12, who knows what it has now. I'd like to retrofit it and be done with it, but I have no clue as to what it has now. I called around to AC shops and no one wants to take the freon out because they say it will wreck their machine if it's R134. My only option if I want to "do it right" is to vent it to the atmosphere. [I dont know] By law, If the system has been converted there should be unique and correct fittings installed on the system and a label applied under the hood. This should prevent mix-ups. Do you have these? Of course, the folks who sell hydrocarbon refrigerants don't have unique fittings to go with them. Another bane of A/C shops is the stop-leak products sold by some companies. They do work in some cases, but they can really mess up a refrigerant recovery machine, especially the moisture cure epoxy types.
 
Messages
143
Location
DC
Iowanbrick writes:
quote:
"I think the warnings of flammability and explosive potential are overrated."
The problem is that refrigerant actually passes through the firewall and enters the passenger compartment as it circulates through the evaporator. A very tiny leak could allow the buildup an explosive mixture of air and refrigerant in the passenger compartment. Static electricity, a cigarette, a frayed wire could all trigger an unexpected explosion in such circumstances. Talk to someone who has survived serious burn injuries. Ask them if they'd like to ride in your car with isobutane powered A/C. It's not worth the risk. A can of R134a costs about the same a six-pack of good beer.
 
Messages
4,872
Location
MN
quote:
Originally posted by Chris142:
quote:
Originally posted by T-Keith: My current car has a working system.(although weak) Originally it had R12, who knows what it has now. I'd like to retrofit it and be done with it, but I have no clue as to what it has now. I called around to AC shops and no one wants to take the freon out because they say it will wreck their machine if it's R134. My only option if I want to "do it right" is to vent it to the atmosphere. [I dont know]
Find a shop that has a refrigerant identifier. They are the law in the US that any shop doing AC work must have one.........But few do. The identifier will tell them whats in your car and you can go from there.

I asked them, half said they don't have one, the other half said they don't exist. There are no stickers, but that doesn't mean someone didn't convert it.
 
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