I own a 1992 Civic VX and I believe my car has the original AC in it, which I'm told is the R134. My friend says his was converted to an R12. But, he says I should not convert mine to R12 because R134 is better. So my question is, which is better, and if the R134 blows colder and is better, then why would anyone do a conversion to the R12 AC anyway?
Anybody know the answer to this stuff? I was wondering because I thought if there were a better AC for my car I might put one in because it gets really hot down here in the summer!
You convert to R134 when your R12 system needs a recharge. (You had it backwards, btw)
The reason to not use R12 vs R134 is the fact that R12 requires a license to purchase and goes for $200-300 per pound. R134 you can buy at wal-mart for 10 bucks a can.
I thought I had the R12, but my friend said I have the R134. Is the R12 colder? My friend says the one that I had that was originally in my car is colder. I can see the reason for why you would convert being that it would save a whole lot of money. My AC works fine so I guess there's no reason for a conversion. Just thought the other AC model might actually blow colder. My friend says mine blows colder though.
R12 is the old refrigerant used prior to 1995 when it was banned for allegedly melting Antarctica.
R12 is more efficient than R134, and will blow colder with less strain on your compressor and therefore less of a hit on your MPG when you are using it.
You can easily tell if you have R12 or R134 by looking at the service ports. R12 systems use conventional Schrader valve service ports (like your tire valve stems). R134 uses those bulky quick connect service ports.
There should also be a tag under hood or a sticker on the compressor that tells you what system you have.
I've owned a couple of older civics in the past that originally had R12 systems.
One was simply recharged with R134a instead of R12. There are adapters you can buy from the autoparts store. It wasn't quite as cold, but not too bad. Obviously the older systems were not designed for it, and had to be recharged more often.
The other we did a new R134a compressor, seals, etc - basically everything other than the condenser, evaporator, and hard lines. I didn't want to spend the extra money for custom hoses, but I still turned out well. You get what you pay for when buying a compressor - I believe I paid just over $300 for that part alone.