Can I Use Automotive r134a in a Refrigerator | An Expert Guide

R134a is a non-toxic refrigerant. It is usually non-flammable and, at the same time, non-corrosive. Therefore, this refrigerant is perfect for air conditioning. This is the most common refrigerant which is used widely in the air condition of new automotive vehicles. They usually manufacture pieces of advice to use it in the foam blowing nature; however various pharmaceutical companies use it in fuel. This refrigerant exists in the form of gas with a temperature sustaining from -14.9F to -26.6F. There are many queries related to this refrigerant that need to meet a proper solution. So, today we will try to cover the main questions: Can I use automotive r134a in a refrigerator.

In short, NO! R 134A is designed for the high demands of an automobile AC and cannot be used on refrigerators due to pressure differences. Refrigerators generally utilize R22, R32 or 410A-based coolants as their cooling agent.

We will also discuss what the leak detection of this refrigerant is and elaborate on various types of it and the latest development in this refrigerant.

Leak Detection Methods

As the r134a is a refrigerant in gas, there are possibilities of the gas getting leaked so, how to detect an r134a leakage and the best methods to detect the leakage. The following techniques will help you detect leakage of r134 in case it is leaking from the air conditioner.

  • The soup solution is best to detect gas leakage. Just apply soup resin mix with water on the pipe, and the part where there is a gas leakage will itself pop up in bubbles, and you will identify the leakage.
  • The fluorescent dyes are also preferred to detect the r134a leakage.
  • Many types of Electronic Leak detectors are available in the market. You can use any of them.
  • There are selective detectors like the halogen selective detector to detect gas leakage.
  • The most authentic way to detect gas leakage is by using ultrasonic leak detectors.

Can I Use Automotive r134a in a Refrigerator?

Can I Use Automotive r134a in a Refrigerator

The standard answer to this question will be no because you cannot use a car or AC refrigerant in a refrigerator compressor due to the difference in the pressure. The refrigerant that the refrigerator uses is R12, R22, R32, and R410.

But, that answer is not a proper solution to your complication. Some ways or an authentic researched guide from EPA guidelines makes it possible for us to use this r134a refrigerant in an automobile usually, the temperature of outdoor increases from 32.5 to 37.5 degrees. You can use r134a refrigerant in this condition in the refrigerator.

The only thing that you will have to bother with is the label and packaging of the gas. If there is written on the label that there is nothing added in r134a, it is suitable for the refrigerator. The reason behind this is that the refrigerant mixed with something can damage the compressor of the fridge. So, just using r134a will be favorable. Still using this refrigerant in the refrigerator is possible if the following two issues are solved;

  • The r134a refrigerant in AC and automobiles contains a tap that fits on the Can. The issue that needs a solution is that the following tap does not work on the refrigerator’s compressor. You will need the desired adapter to meet the need.
  • The pressure difference is yet another reason due to which you should avoid using r134a in the refrigerator. The charge pressor that is suitable for the compressor is 4.25OHZ to 6.25OHZ. Anything above or below will damage the compressor. So, the refrigerant must be according to the charge. But, r134a is not according to the circumstances. Its pressure can increase or decrease accordingly. 

Latest Development

The latest discovery regarding r134a is that the European Union has banned the use of R134a due to its significant part in global warming. So, you cannot use this refrigerant in the upper model cars. Other countries are also bound to follow.

Performance Character of Air Conditions Using R134a/R123yf

The experimental analysis shows the outdoor air temperature and the compressor’s speed using r134a and r134a/r123yf. In the outdoor temperature, it lies from 32.5 and 37.5 degrees. The overall exergy destruction rate of the refrigeration that uses Mix30 almost decreases up to 5.19% and 25.1% averagely compared to that system using r134a. The exergy efficiency of the system was 21.8% better than that of using the r134a system.

As the rotating speed of the compressor increases from 1000 to 2000rpm, the cooling also increases. As a result, the exergy destruction rate of the refrigeration system using Mix30 usually decreases up to 4.82% and 19.8% compared to the system using r134a.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is car Freon the same as refrigerator Freon?

No, the car Freon is not the same as the refrigerator Freon because some properties of the car Freon make it different from the refrigerator Freon. The car’s refrigerant cannot be used in the refrigerator as the pressure difference makes it difficult for the compressor to work upon.

What pressure does r134a run in a refrigerator?

The operating pressure in r134a is measured in pounds per square. However, at the lowest temperature, the coil running pressure is almost 22 pounds per square inch. But when the temperature is high, the pressure exceeds up to 57 pounds per square inch. So, that is two alternative pressure conditions and values.

Are all R134a refrigerants the same?

Yes, almost all the r134a refrigerants are the same. However, the properties of leak detection sometimes change in the refrigerant. So, you can use the leak detector. There is no problem with using the leak detector.

How do I add R134a to my refrigerator?

First of all, check whether your refrigerator is eligible for the r134a. Once you confirm it, then you can add Freon by yourself. However, Freon is toxic, so you need to be careful while adding. Most refrigerators also do not use Freon, so there are many consequences related to it. Inspect the coil of your freezer, and then spray in case to observe the leakage of pipe. Then add the Freon to solve the problem.

Can you put a car refrigerant in a refrigerator?

No, you cannot put the car refrigerant in the car because the AC and Car use the refrigerant that differs in pressure from the refrigerators, so it isn’t easy to use the car refrigerant in the refrigerator. The refrigerant that the refrigerator uses typically is R12, R22, R32, and R410. So, try to pick any of them instead of car refrigerant. Some unique car refrigerants can be used but with a lot of conditions to keep in mind.

How can you tell if your refrigerator needs Freon?

To check the requirement of Freon, you need to unplug the refrigerator and turn the temperature controller off. Then bring your ear near to the side of the refrigerator. If you hear a hissing and normal gurgling sound, your refrigerator is full of the Freon.

What should gauges read on 134a?

You need to read the following instructions that can be used to recharge the refrigerant and, at the same time, the process of securing the a/c system. The guide will be based on pressure readings from gauges.

How do you know if your refrigerator is overcharged?

The following symptoms will tell you that the refrigerator is overcharged;

  • The high discharge temperature.
  • High Sub-cooling
  • The high ratio of compression
  • The normal superheat.
  • Normal to high evaporator ratio.
  • The high splits of the condenser

What happens if you overcharge a refrigerator?

The overcharge refrigerator means the high head pressure, which can cause a tendency of high to overfeed in the evaporation, which would decrease the superheat. In addition, the overcharge system of up to 10 percent can cause the liquid to enter the line of suction valves. Thus it can damage the compressor and cause failure.

Is there a difference between R134 and R134a?

R134 and R134a have the same chemical formula, and the atomic weight of both is also the same. But, the structural formula is different among both. For example, R134 has an NBP of -16degree; however, R134a has an NBP of -26degree.

Do all 134a refrigerants have oil in them?

Yes, almost all the 134a refrigerants have oil in them. The oil is used to keep the compressor lubricated. In addition, it is utilized throughout the system. The oil is usually added when the system is charged.


The refrigerants have their properties. The refrigerants that are used in cars differ from those that are used in refrigerators. But, with the common use of refrigerants like R134a, the question arises: Can I use automotive r134a in a refrigerator also as it is specific for cars. This question is No, normally because due to pressure differences among the refrigerants, this gas cannot be used.

But, some refrigerator allows this gas without any other addition. The only issue of pressure, if solved, can make this thing happen. If you still question the same, you can get the proper answer by reading the whole article. Then, try to figure out your problem and tell us in feedback if you are satisfied with the knowledge.

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