Originally Posted by matthews2001
R 22 is no longer available in 2020, manufacture or import.
I remember last summer my non working dash AC was charged up by a friendly mechanic I happened across with R22(I believe) (on july 4th!) and all summer it worked great. He charged like $70.(In ND I think).
Am I correct that all older rooftop and dash AC units are R22? Is recharging gonna be an issue, or can other refrigerants be used? Anyone stocking up R22?
Are you sure that he used r22? r22 is more of a household or appliance refrigerant. It might have been used in an RV roof ac unit if it's old enough, but most of the stuff made in the last 20 years or so would have been r134a.
As far as the dash system is concerned, R12 and r134a were the primary refrigerants used in vehicles. r12 being phased out in the mid 90's to r134a. R134a currently being phased out of use now to the new r1234yf. R134a is still being manufactured, I believe it's no longer legal to use it in new vehicles.
As far as recharging is concerned for any refrigerant, they'll still have it available for a while, it just will no longer be virgin refrigerant. So the price will steadily go up until the supply of it is no longer available. We've had R12 no longer made for over a decade and it's still available, it's just at a premium price.
I've done retrofits of R12 to R134A. Yes the pressures are different, but most of the time the physical components are okay with the difference in pressures. The issue is that the refrigerants are different and certain hoses, o-rings, and seals aren't compatible. The oil used in the system is also one of the things that isn't compatible, but they have retrofit kits that you can use and get somewhat decent service out of an older system.
As far as alternatives go, some are using R290(propane mix) with success and it's less harmful to the environment. The issue is it's flammable, so use it at your own risk.