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What’s the difference between R12 and 134a Air Conditioning Systems

R12 and 134a are refrigerants used in car air conditioning systems. R12 was used in most cars and trucks until 1995 when it was replaced with 134a. The main difference between the two is that R12 is the amount of time they remain in earth’s atmosphere, with the newer 134a significantly less than the old R12.

Why was the manufacturing of R12 banned? R12 contains CFCs like hairspray once did, that is potentially damaging to the ozone layer. It was banned because of this potential environmental risk and replaced by 134a because 134a, using synthetic oil over mineral oil, does not have as much of a negative environmental impact that R12 does. 


The original OE compressors have a strong tendency to leak at the shaft seal if the air-conditioning is not used on a regular basis sometimes in as little as two weeks of non-use. This will not be a problem with the Sanden-style rotary compressor.

Converting to 134a Depending upon the type of kit you purchase, you get all or most everything needed to convert to 134a except the refrigerant itself

Modern condenser  Our highly efficient direct replacement parallel flow, piccolo-tube or serpentine condenser significantly improves system performance with better heat exchange.  Better heat-exchange means colder a/c.

Modernize the appearance of your engine compartment  The smaller & cleaner look of the Sanden-style compressor combined with Original Air’s parallel flow condenser and pre-formed tubes are designed specifically to fit your stock application. Not only does it fit properly, but it looks good too.

Save Horsepower  Rotary compressors draw significantly less horsepower of stock OE compressor; approximately 2-4 horsepower compared with 15-20 horsepower.

Increase Fuel Economy  Less horsepower draw means better gas-mileage.

Save Weight  The compressor is less than half the weight of stock OE compressor.

Running engine at high RPM The compressor can handle 6,000 continuous RPM.

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