By Steve Schaeber, MACS Manager of Service Training
If you were Section 609 certified before 2015 and you’re scrambling to find your card to buy refrigerant this Spring that’s fine, but after you calm down and get a shiny new copy of your old 609 card, think about this…the first R-1234yf cars are coming out of warranty and may find their way into your service shop.
R-1234yf and the motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) systems using it are different from CFC-12 and HFC-134a systems. Vehicles using this refrigerant require different service procedures and shop equipment. A technician will need the skills to recognize the differences between refrigerants and how to service or repair each system properly and safely.
This chemical is NOT a “drop-in” refrigerant or one that should be used in other systems. Systems designed for R-1234yf should only be charged with that refrigerant. Systems designed for other refrigerants should only use those correct products.
Are you R-1234yf service ready? Do you have the proper equipment and do you know the proper service procedures?
MACS has been explaining the differences between working on R-134a cars and R-1234yf cars for the last five years and we find as we answer calls and hold training clinics that there are still people who refer to themselves as service professionals who have not received any training on R-1234yf mobile A/C systems.
The current MACS Section 609 program contains comprehensive training information on R-1234yf systems including best service practices and SAE J-standards, as well as specific safety procedures to protect you, your shop and your customer’s car. This MACS technician training program conforms to and complies with the SAE International Standard J2845 “HFO-1234yf Technician Training for Service and Containment of Refrigerants Used in Mobile A/C Systems.”
Information is provided on tanks, labels and fittings identifying R-1234yf, finding leaks, using recovery, recycling and recharging equipment, servicing procedures and what you need to know about U.S. EPA SNAP rules. What’s a SNAP rule? SNAP is an acronym for Significant New Alternatives Policy Program and discusses acceptable refrigerants for use in mobile A/C systems. Check out http://www.epa.gov/snap
While it is true that you don’t have to take the Section 609 test again to fulfill current Section 609 requirements, if you are going to work on R-1234yf mobile A/C systems you owe it to yourself and your customers to have the best and most current information and training to make smart and efficient repairs.