5 Things to Know About Automotive Refrigerant in Olympia, WA

Air conditioning refrigerants are nothing to mess around with unless you're properly trained and certified. These are compounds of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon that are known to be harmful to the environment. Below, we discuss 5 things that are important to know about automotive refrigerant and some of the limitations of DIY car AC recharge. Ultimately, this is something that even hobby mechanics often leave to the experts, and no one is better than our factory-trained technicians at Hanson Subaru.

5. Car AC Refrigerant in Old Vehicles

Prior to 1994, automotive AC systems in the US typically used a refrigerant called R-12. You may better recognize it by the brand name that rhymes with neon. As it became clear that this substance was especially harmful to the environment, it was phased out. Today, special licensing is required to get R-12 refrigerant. Even then, it is exceedingly rare.

Things to know about automotive refrigerant in Olympia, WA
We'll help you meet Washington's laws for automotive refrigerant

4. Automotive AC Refrigerant Used Today

The old R-12 AC refrigerant was banned for automobiles starting in 1994. It was largely replaced with R-134A. While this new substance has been deemed safer, it is still tightly regulated due to its own dangers. You can still purchase less than 2 pounds of this automotive AC refrigerant for DIY AC recharging, but any more will require special training and licensing.

3. How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Work?

It makes sense that the AC system in your ride simply makes cold air, but there's more to it. You see, AC refrigerant will absorb heat from the air as it expands from a liquid to a gas. It then takes this heat to a condenser in the front of the vehicle that looks like another radiator. There, the refrigerant dissipates the heat and is compressed into a liquid that will again be ready to expand in an evaporator core. A fan pushes air across the evaporator core to provide that cold air coming from your car's vents when the system is working properly.

Schedule service for professional repaires for your Subaru's refrigerant

2. Best to Trust Licensed Experts

For any air conditioning system to work properly, there are a lot of things that must be just right. If the refrigerant pressure is off by only a little, the system won't work. In fact, professional shops often see vehicles with AC systems that have been overcharged, which means the repair is more involved than a simple recharge. Ultimately, your best bet is to leave any service or repair of your vehicle's AC system to licensed experts like the technicians in an authorized service center like ours.

1. Safety

Air conditioning refrigerant is a dangerous substance that should be handled with the utmost care. Always wear goggles if you're working with it, and never discharge AC refrigerant into the air. In fact, it's illegal to do so. If your AC system must be discharged, then it needs to be done by a licensed professional with equipment that collects it for recycling. Keep in mind that AC lines can be extremely hot or cold, so you certainly don't want to touch them. If you have any doubt, always defer to a licensed AC professional.

Schedule service online at Hanson Subaru located in Olympia, WA
Order parts online at Hanson Subaru located in Olympia, WA

Hanson Subaru

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Call or Text Sales: 360 943 2120
  • Service: (360)943-8531
  • Parts: (360)943-2120
  1. Hanson Subaru

    2300 Carriage Loop SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales : (888) 490-9863