ACtion Magazine - March/April 2012 - (Page 10)
Inside the buzz
supply and transport can be solidified as well. Restricting the number(s) of first-out models also makes best use of the limited present supply of the refrigerant. For reasons that are not clear (see speculation and rumors, above) the suppliers’ plants are not cranking out enough R-1234yf to supply Europe, North American and Asian markets at once. Nobody would speak on the record to attribute the cause to anything –production, politics or puffery. Regardless, there’s not a lot being made right now and a sudden, industry-wide changeover isn’t in the cards. Look for that rolling phase-in as availability builds. The buzz had a harmonic overtone as well. After all these years, many of the regulations and specifications that affect the aftermarket still aren’t locked down. As one example, at this writing the chosen threaded fitting for a refrigerant cylinder is still not approved, and that of course holds up the service machine providers and others in the supply chain. There are still other chunks of unfinished business as well, and all contribute to delays. The shop owners and technicians I encountered seemed to be taking a wait and see position. One said he would decide in “two or three years” if he wanted to spend the money to get in the game. But another said he felt compelled to step up as soon as possible because his metro-area shop had many “in warranty but serviced here” cars. One message did cut through the buzz clearly, and it was emphasized by many and varied names from our industry: no retrofits. If your wellintentioned customer wants the newest and greenest refrigerant installed in their present car, explain to them that using R-1234yf requires, at minimum, a different and beefier evaporator as well as the new chemical. The cost of that job, including the anticipated higher cost of the refrigerant, will probably add up to a down payment on a new car instead. Correction: Yeah, we’re embarrassed. In the last issue (Jan-Feb ‘12), page 30 should have shown two results tables, one for a Ranger and one for a Caravan. However, the Caravan never made the page and the Ranger ran twice. The correct Table 2 is below. We apologize to everyone for the omission. ❆
he biggest buzz at the 2012 MACS Convention and Trade show was of course all about the new refrigerant, R-1234yf. When’s it coming out? Who’ll be first? What will my shop have to do? What’s it going to cost? After collecting answers (few), speculation (much), and rumors (many), the immediate word can be summed up in short form—the revolution will be delayed. Speculation still swirls around which nameplate will be first on the street with the new product, but one may be out by the time you read this. However, two things have become clear. Auto makers will initially release systems with the new chemical on limited models and in small numbers. Look for the product to appear in greater amounts as models go through their three, four or five year refresh or remodel cycle. Also rest assured that all the OEM names you know will begin using it (if only not to be out-greened by the competition) and within five years almost every new car will have it. Such a schedule makes a lot of sense, and for more than one reason. First, the makers can keep track of the relatively low number of first-use cars and watch warranty claims for any faults in the new system. They can also gauge how accident cars are repaired and recharged, and how their dealers handle the new products. Lines of
Won “Best use of Technology in a New Product” at the 2012 MACS show!
You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - March/April 2012
ACtion Magazine - March/April 2012
Under the Southern Cross
News & Updates
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!
MACS Convention Technical Sessions
New Products & Services
ACtion Magazine - March/April 2012