HFO-1234YF Tools Buyer’s Guide

1234yf is coming. If you haven’t come across a 1234yf unit either in your garage, your shop, or your neighbors garage then I can assure you that the time will come shortly. The number of vehicles using YF refrigerant is expanding rapidly. As I write this article in October of 2017 there are an estimated thirty-five million cars on the road using YF refrigerant and that number is only growing. Are you ready? I hope so.

One step in getting ready is preparing your garage with the right tools needed to service a 1234yf vehicle. Here at RefrigerantHQ we have built a list of recommended tools for you so that you can be one-hundred percent ready when a vehicle rolls into your shop.

The Tools

Like with most new technology comes new tools. Let’s take a look:

  • Gauges – This first one is optional and truth be told a lot of you may not even need it as a good recovery unit should have gauges built in. But, if you want to have them as a backup or just like do things the old fashioned way then a good set of gauges will never let you down.
    We here at RefrigerantHQ recommend you buy the Robinair 41234 Manifold Gauge Set.
  • Refrigerant Leak Detector –The next essential tool is a electronic refrigerant leak detector. For an HFO detector you want to make sure that it meets SAE spec J2913.
    Our pick here at RefrigerantHQ is INFICON’s Tek-Mate Refrigerant Leak Detector.
    We did a review on this detector just last month. Click here to view.AC1234-6 Robinair 1234YF Recover, Recycle, Recharge Machine
  • Refrigerant Identifier – A refrigerant identifier is also a must. Now some guys prefer to have a stand alone identifier while others prefer to just use the one that is built into their recovery machine. It’s up to you. Just be aware that if you do go with the stand alone that it should meet SAE spec J2912. (I’d recommend you go with the recovery machine, skip the identifier, and save some money.)
  • Recovery Machine – Lastly, and most importantly you’re going to need to purchase a whole new recovery/recharge machine in order to service HFO-1234yf. Yes, I know. It’s an expensive switch but like it or not every shop in town and across the industry is going to have purchase one of these. You’ll either bite the bullet now or a few years from now.
    We recommend purchasing the Robinair AC1234-4 recovery machine.
    Like I mentioned before this unit comes with a refrigerant identifier built right in so you don’t have to worry about buying one of those as well. This unit was the first commercially available recovery machine to meet the new SAE standards J2843 for a 1234yf recovery machine.
    Click here to purchase on Amazon.


The tool listing that we built above will serve you well over the next few years as more and more 1234yf cars come in. Remember folks that the United States’ deadline on R-134a refrigerant for automobiles is the year 2020. (2021 Model Years.) That means that we have three years left of R-134a and then EVERYONE has to be ready for the wave of 1234yf demand.