Consider these recent statements from refrigerant manufacturers: “We have no specific information yet as to what the European automakers are doing regarding R134a service,” shares Coll.“But we do know that the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) members — Audi, VW, Porsche, Opel, Ford, BMW, and Daimler — are requiring refrigerant analyzers that will be used on their new R-1234yf cars must detect 1.5 percent R40 and reject any higher concentration.”Requiring that identifiers be able to detect R-40 suggests that automakers believe the contamination problem necessitates that precautionary steps be taken now.
With this in mind, TEXA has produced the KONFORT 710R, specially designed to satisfy the needs of garages who want an “entry level” system only for R134a which, after all, is still the most common refrigerant in vehicle A/C systems.
Peter Coll, vice president of Neutronics Refrigerant Analysis, also affirms that R-40 contamination cases involving passenger cars, trucks and military vehicles have also been reported in India, Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Both parties agree that taking immediate precautionary measures to protect the industry, participants and its customers is a warranted first step.“Customs, port authorities, the Coast Guard and other federal agencies are aware of the problem and are looking more closely at the documentation and physical packaging of the materials coming into the country,” explains Coll.
Until then, stay informed about progress towards solutions that reputable industry bodies are making, commit to being quality conscious and verify refrigerant purity both at purchase and before servicing any vehicle a/c system.
After all, no one needs to turn a risk into a liability.
Their aim is to inform shops and technicians about what preventive measures can be employed to ensure that they do not receive and use counterfeit products contaminated with R-40 or R-40/R-22 blends.