R12 vs. 134A

First, to correct a faulty rumor, there is an enormous inventory of R12 in the U.S. It's all legal because it is inventory that existed prior to the law preventing the manufacture of the product. It cools better than other
refrigerants because it cools faster. A driver doesn't have to arrive at where he is going to experience dry, cool air. Many A/C service providers shun R12 because they refuse to be ripped off when they buy it. Anyone who is reading this post, who has R12, could use R12 for the rest of their life, no problem. Converting to 134A makes obvious good sense. It also hurts the environment, but not as much as R12. It provides ice cold air but it takes a little longer to do that, especially if one's car has been sitting in the hot sun for several hours. Part of the problem is that cars who have retrofittted refrigerant don't have the same size a/c components as newer cars which come standard with 134A. The condenser in a newer car is much smaller than the one from an R12 system. It takes longer to cycle through the larger one. The plus side of 134A is the cost. It's cheap! It's available to anyone and found everywhere. When changing, total evacuation of the R12 system is imperative. These two refrigerants do not mix. Too many eager do-it-yourselfers have simply opened their system and charged it with 134A. They don't understand a few months later why the compressor just stopped working. R12 uses mineral oil. 134A uses PAG oil. These oils do not mix and can cause a premature death to the system if combined. When a good technician does the conversion, he will inject fluorescein dye into it at the same so he can identify where the leak is in the system and not guess. There is no mystery to an a/c system, it's a closed loop. When a leak develops, the refrigerant leaks out of the loop. Adding more refrigerant helps very briefly until it also escapes. In a Mercedes, with climate control, the a/c works all year long to keep the temperature where you set it, but that works only when the system is not set at "economy" allowing cold, winter, outside air to supply the cold instead of the refrigerant. I recently changed to 134A, and my friend who did the conversion and is a certified, trained a/c technician with excellent equipment to match his knowledge, was maintaining my Mercedes only on R12. None of his other customers used R12. He was buying it from where he could find a supplier but the cost became prohibitive. The 134A works fine and now that it is converted, it cannot be converted back to R12 without replacing almost the entire system. P.
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By how much?
I once sat next to some guy on an airplane; he said he used to be a saleman for Dupont and his take on the R12 R134 issue was that R12 is a CFC and that R134 is an HCFC and "only" 96% as harmful as R12.
Any idea how true this is?
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I just wish we could use R290 in the States Richard

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I think there is already another gas being developed for car AC that will replace R-134. Supposed to be better and cheaper. You should start to see it in the new models soon.
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