Major Problems that Occur When You Skip Your Oil Change Service

As a car owner, you know your vehicle requires routine maintenance to function properly and last as long as possible.

You’re probably aware that you should change your oil regularly, but you’re probably unaware of why. An oil change is an essential thing that you can do for your car because it protects other engine components.

Car manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan, and General Motors advise car owners to have the oil changed every 5,000 miles. Yes, the frequency may vary from one car manufacturer to another, but the message remains the same.

If you’re unfamiliar with oil changes or why they’re so important, this article will explain what they are, why they’re so important, and the problems you can expect if you choose to skimp on your oil change.

What Is An Engine Oil Change Service?

Highline Car Care filling the antifreeze tank in Gilbert, AZ

An oil change replaces old motor oil in a car’s engine with new oil. This is done because engine oil degrades and becomes less effective over time, increasing the risk of engine damage.

While new engines are built to last longer and run more efficiently, they still require routine maintenance, such as oil changes.

However, most people don’t consider how significant oil changes are to the overall health of their car until something goes wrong. Let’s look at why oil changes are essential and what problems you can avoid by changing your oil regularly.

Engine Damage

An oil change helps to prevent engine damage by removing oil buildup.

The oil in your engine will degrade over time due to heat, friction, and pressure. This oil collects contaminants that can damage critical engine parts as it powers your engine. A regular oil change will remove this buildup, extending the life of engine components.

An oil change can also help prevent engine damage caused by low oil levels. If your engine runs out of oil, it can severely damage internal components. This is particularly true in modern engines that run on synthetic oils. These oils are more expensive than conventional ones, but they better protect against engine wear and tear.

If your vehicle’s engine is equipped with a low oil sensor, you may receive an alert when the oil level is low. However, it is best to check your oil level regularly and get an oil change when necessary.

Limited Engine Performance and Fuel Inefficiency

Neglected oil changes can cause a vehicle to be inefficient in fuel consumption.

Oil over six months old tends to break down and thicken, a process known as viscosity breakdown. This impairs your engine’s ability to efficiently regulate internal temperatures and causes your vehicle to become sluggish.

If you change your car’s oil regularly, you can avoid problems with viscosity breakdown and improve the oil’s ability to transfer heat away from critical components. It can also remove air bubbles, which can cause your engine to struggle when running at full power.

Oil changes can also help your engine run at a cooler temperature. An overheated engine can cause severe damage and reduce the lifespan of critical parts.

Protection Against Sludge And Deposits

An oil change can protect your engine from sludge and deposits, which can cause damage.

Oil can collect tiny particles of dirt and debris as it degrades. These particles can build up and cause deposits in your engine. Sludge and deposits can reduce oil flow and cause critical parts to fail.

On the other hand, changing your oil can remove larger particles from your engines, such as grit and dirt, that would otherwise accumulate in deposits.

Compromised Driving Experience

Driving with a clogged engine or low oil levels can result in severe internal component damage and, as a result, unsafe driving conditions.

For example, we’ve discussed how not changing your oil can cause your engine to run at high temperatures. Temperatures in the engine that are too low or too high can jeopardize the structural integrity of various components.

An oil change, on the other hand, can help remove sludge and deposits and protect against engine damage or failure caused by low oil levels.

How Often Should You Change Your Car’s Oil, and Can I DIY?

when to have oil change service

As previously stated, you should change the oil according to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle. However, if you don’t have the owner’s or vehicle’s manual, there are methods to determine the recommended oil change schedule, including how to DIY.

Various online guides, for example, will provide this information based on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.

However, if you want to do it yourself, ensure your car is parked on a level surface and that you have the correct amount of oil for your vehicle. This will help prevent oil from spilling out of the engine while removing the old oil filter. Wear protective clothing because oil changes can be messy.

Finally, make sure to use a high-quality filter. You don’t want to skimp on the filter because it will affect your vehicle’s performance.

Need Help With Oil Change in Gilbert, AZ for Your Car? Contact Us Today

best oil change service in gilbert

An oil change is much more than a quick trip to the gas station. It’s a necessary part of car maintenance that helps protect and extend the life of your engine. This is especially important if you have an older vehicle.

Why not contact Highline Car Care for more information on how to keep your car healthy and happy for many miles to come? We provide the best auto repair and maintenance services in Gilbert, AZ, and the surrounding areas.

Call us at (480) 933-5255 to speak with one of our automotive experts today.

Toyota Supra Performance and Tuning

Routine engine tuning can enhance your Toyota Supra’s power and performance when you’re on the road. Tune-ups can give your engine an increase in efficiency, which can lead to lower fuel emission levels and a better fuel economy. When you follow the guidelines specified by Toyota for your vehicle’s tune-up schedule, you can rest assured that you’re investing in your Supra’s long-term engine performance. This goes for whether you’re driving an Mk2, Mk4, or even an Mk5—tuning your engine will always get you further in the long run. We here at Highline Car Care can offer you a variety of engine tuning options to ensure your Toyota Supra gets the maximum performance it’s capable of. We’re here to help you get the extra power you need while also allowing you to be conscious of your fuel consumption and fuel economy—the essential components that will ensure your Supra outruns the competition, not only in terms of performance but also longevity.

Toyota Supra Engine Tune-Up Services

The type of engine tuning options your Supra might require can depend on a variety of factors, including your vehicle’s age, mileage, or model. New spark plugs installation, a thorough inspection of engine components, and also comprehensive engine diagnostics are only a few of the services we offer here at Highline Car Care that can help to guarantee that no matter the age or mileage of your vehicle, it’s getting the care it needs and deserves. We can also offer the option to replace the air and fuel filter in your Supra. The third tune-up option is a complete, comprehensive fuel system cleaning service, which is a patented three-step process that removes dirt, varnish, and carbon build-up on your Supra’s fuel injectors, throttle body, and throttle plate. This will improve your Supra’s acceleration and will go a long way with boosting your fuel system’s overall performance.

Toyota Supra Service and Repair

Over the years, Highline Car Care has earned the trust of countless Supra owners in and around the Mesa, Gilbert, and Phoenix areas. Whether you’re driving an Mk1, Mk2, or Mk4 Supra, our Licensed Toyota Supra Performance Experts have years of experience working

A few of our repair services include:

  • Valve seal replacement
  • Rear main seal replacement
  • Oil pan reseal
  • Front crank and cam seal replacement
  • Turbo replacement
  • Brake and suspension repair
  • Power steering rack replacement
  • Power steering hose replacement
  • Differential bushing replacement
  • Control arm bushing replacement
  • Complete engine overhaul or replacement
  • Timing belt service
  • Spark plug replacement
  • Radiator repair

Whether your Toyota Supra’s service needs are big or small, rest assured our experienced Highline Car Care Toyota technicians will treat your Supra with the care that it deserves.

Tip: Don’t Skip Scheduled Car Maintenance Services

Schedule Your Toyota Supra Tune-Up

If you’re located in or around Maricopa County and want to maximize the performance of your Toyota Supra, come to Highline Car Care for your next engine tune-up. If you’re unsure when you’re due for a tune-up, use Toyota’s recommended maintenance schedule as a reference point, or talk to one of our licensed experts to make an appointment. Our easy-to-use online scheduling system makes it easy to arrange for your next appointment.

Featured Image: Sergio Yoneda/Shutterstock

How to Save Time and Money with Apresto

What You’ll Learn

As you read this blog post about the Apresto vehicle maintenance app, you’ll learn:

  • Leveraging modern technology like apps can make it a lot easier to keep up with your vehicle’s regular maintenance schedule.
  • Keeping up with the vehicle maintenance schedule for your car will help it last longer, run more efficiently, and hold its resale value.

Apresto – Your Vehicle Maintenance App

Here at Highline Car Care, we’re delighted to announce the Apresto app. Anyone with a smartphone can download this app because it’s available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. It’s an easy solution to take care of your vehicle maintenance needs with no hassle, and it’s giving drivers more convenient service and scheduling options.

If you have a busy lifestyle, you’ll appreciate the ability to open this app and quickly schedule an appointment with an approved shop. From there, you can either drop your vehicle off or use the Apresto concierge service. It’s really as easy as that.

While anyone can use Apresto, many drivers like to sign up for annual membership to unlock the full potential of this vehicle maintenance app. When you do that, you’ll get access to all of the following:

  • A year’s worth of oil changes
  • Vehicle concierge service or loaner vehicle when you get service
  • Lifetime warranty on qualifying repairs
  • Up to two qualifying roadside assistance incidents per year

This membership helps remove almost all of the stress from taking care of your vehicle. People who already have the app have said it makes their lives a lot easier.

How Can I Track My Car Maintenance?

The old ways to track car maintenance are ineffective. People would have to save receipts, put stickers on their windshield, and consult their calendars just to figure out when their vehicle was serviced in the past and when it was due for its next tune-up. Thanks to modern technology, we don’t have to worry about that anymore. Instead, you can use the Apresto app to view your vehicle’s service history and schedule the next service in advance. 

Should You Follow the Maintenance Schedule for Your Car?

Some people think they’re saving money by skipping vehicle service appointments. The truth is, though, that failing to keep up with the car maintenance schedule is likely to lead to bigger problems that cost you more money in the long run. When you take good care of your car, it will take good care of you. The benefits of sticking to the maintenance schedule include all of the following:

  • Your vehicle will probably last longer.
  • Your vehicle will run more efficiently, saving you money on gas.
  • You can find problems quickly before they turn into expensive repairs.
  • Your vehicle will hold its value, so you’ll get more money for it if you eventually decide to sell.

How Do You Keep Track of Oil Changes?

One of the most important parts of regular maintenance is getting your oil changed regularly. Failure to do so can cause the engine to become less efficient and ultimately lead to other problems. In the past, people had to remember when they were due for their next oil change, and the best tool for that was a sticker on the inside of a windshield. Now, thanks to Apresto, it’s incredibly easy to keep track of oil changes and get them on time.

Routine Vehicle Maintenance in Gilbert, AZ

Here at Highline Car Care in Gilbert, we believe in making life easier for our customers. That’s why we’re introducing this app. Download it today!

Maserati Gran Turismo and Ghibli Discount Brake Replacement in Gilbert Arizona

Your Maserati was designed not only to go, but to STOP like a Supercar. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that your local Maserati dealership brake replacement is going to cost $3,000 to $6,000! At Highline Car Care in Gilbert, Arizona we have a better option for you. We can source brake components that are of the same, or even better quality as OEM. But what’s even better? We can do so many times at HALF the price your dealership wants to charge.

Our carefully sourced Maserati Gran Turismo, Quattroporte, or Ghibi brake pads, rotors, and sensors will provide a long and flawless service life, and at a fraction of the price you might expect. Looking for better performance for your exotic brakes? Let us know ahead of time, and we may be able to supply upgraded brake components to provide even BETTER performance on and off the track.

Since we supply our parts from out of state, please plan to give us 3-4 days with your vehicle. We recommend you bring your Maserati in for inspection ASAP. We can then order the required brake components and get you back on the road right away. Brake repairs take days, and not weeks like some of the dealerships.

Want to take your experience to the next level? Join our Apresto VIP program to receive complimentary vehicle pick up, drop off, and premium loaner vehicle. Our Diamond plan includes your annual oil change, AND a lifetime warranty on qualifying repairs (excludes wear components such as brakes). The future of Auto Repair is HERE Sign up and schedule for service directly through our app today.

We May Have Moved, But We Still Serve Our East Valley Customers

There’s been an exciting change recently at Highline Car Care, as we moved to our new address on Marvin Street in Gilbert. The really good news here is that there are even more things that haven’t changed at Highline Car Care. We’re still conveniently located for residents of Gilbert, Mesa, and all of the East Valley, and we’re still committed to offering “The Right Service at the Right Time.” We may have completed a slight change of scenery, but we haven’t forgotten who our neighbors are or how to serve them.

In other words, you can come to visit us at our new home whenever you need any of the following.


When that check engine light comes on, car owners get a sinking feeling. That’s when you know you need to take your car to a repair shop as soon as you possibly can. The good news is that you don’t have to panic– our team will get to the bottom of the issue with the state of the art automotive diagnostics technology. Once we find the problem, we’ll get you back on the road as soon as possible.

Preventative Maintenance

Keeping up with car maintenance is one of the best investments you can make for a vehicle. Regular tune-ups will prevent minor issues from becoming big problems, which saves you money and prevents stressful situations down the road. We use two different inspection checklists to ensure we’re providing the right service at the right time. Our team has you covered from oil changes and tire rotations to belt replacements and brake repairs.

Cooling System Repair

Multiple components have to function to keep your engine from overheating:

  • Cooling Fan
  • Coolant Reservoir
  • Pressure Cap
  • Radiator
  • Thermostat
  • Water Pump

No matter which part is acting up, we can nurse your vehicle back to health.

Air Conditioning Repair

Keeping the engine from overheating is the cooling system’s job, and keeping you from overheating is the air conditioner’s job. Driving without a functioning air conditioner for any amount of time can be brutal during the summer in Arizona. If your car simply isn’t cooling down like it used to, come visit us at our new location in Gilbert.

Electrical Repair

Modern cars are loaded with different electrical components. We understand how electricity moves through the vehicle, which allows us to correct issues when your car isn’t getting the electrical power it needs. We can service the battery, alternator, starter, and even your state of the art navigation system.

Steering and Suspension

Responsive steering gets you where you’re going, and the suspension makes the ride smooth. We’ll help maintain the vehicle’s complex system of bearings, shocks, springs, and struts. Come see us if you’ve been noticing problems ever since you hit a pothole.

Drivetrain Repair

Your vehicle may need drivetrain repair if you notice any of the following:

  • Shaking during acceleration
  • Clunking noises when the vehicle is in gear
  • Slipping between gears while driving
  • Shaking at any speed

Repair Shop Near Gilbert, AZ

Here at Highline Car Care, we’re as committed as ever to providing excellent vehicle maintenance from our new location in Gilbert. In many cases, you’ll even be able to get your car back on the same day. If we have to wait for parts or if your vehicle needs an especially long repair project, we’ll make sure you can get where you need to go with our valet service. When you need the type of car repair that gets you back on the road quickly, we’ll be waiting on Marvin Street.

Hybrid Vs. Electric Cars: Pros and Cons

Going green is in style, and it’s easy to see why. Driving a hybrid or electric vehicle means you’ll spend less time stopping at gas stations, which translates to saving money at the pump. Even better, choosing an electric vehicle helps you reduce your environmental footprint since you won’t be consuming as many fossil fuels. The question is, are hybrid vehicles or electric vehicles better? While that ultimately depends on your lifestyle and personal preferences, both hybrid and electric cars have their strengths. 

Pros and Cons of Hybrid Cars

Hybrid vehicles get their power from both electricity and traditional gas engines. You can choose between plug-in hybrid vehicles and vehicles that don’t even need to be plugged in. The types of hybrids that don’t need to be plugged in recharge the hybrid battery by running the gas engine and by the energy generated by braking. Either kind of hybrid will come with some pros and cons.

Benefits of Hybrid Vehicles

There are five main benefits of choosing a hybrid vehicle:

  1. They create less pollution than traditional cars since they run on electricity as well as gas.
  2. You’ll also spend less money on gas since you’re using less.
  3. Since these vehicles can still run on gas, you don’t have to worry about getting stranded if you run out of the charge in your hybrid battery.
  4. Since the gas engine is getting help from a hybrid battery, it can be smaller and more efficient.
  5. You may even get a discount or tax break from your local government.

Drawbacks of Hybrid Vehicles

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks as well:

  1. Since these vehicles are designed with efficiency in mind, you may not get a very sporty or powerful performance.
  2. If you regularly travel outside of your vehicle’s electric range, you’ll still use a lot of fuel.
  3. Hybrid vehicles are often more expensive than the most affordable traditional cars.
  4. Since you’re still using fuel, they still do create some environmentally harmful emissions.

 Pros and Cons of Electric Cars

All-electric vehicles are becoming more available than they were even a few years ago. More car companies are offering electric options, which means drivers have more choices. The key benefit of electric cars is that they don’t use any gasoline whatsoever. In other words, you’re not consuming fossil fuels, and you’re not creating a lot of emissions that could harm the environment.

Benefits of Electric Vehicles

Consider the following to get a complete understanding of the benefits of electric cars:

  1. Electric vehicles are incredibly energy-efficient, meaning they’re able to translate a higher amount of energy into actual vehicle movement.
  2. Compared to traditional vehicles, electric vehicles can travel much further per dollar spent on energy.
  3. There are no tailpipe emissions from electric vehicles.
  4. These vehicles can be charged with renewable resources like solar power.
  5. Electric vehicles perform exceptionally well. Their motors are quiet and smooth, while also reacting quickly and providing excellent torque.
  6. Electric motors often require less maintenance than combustion engines.

Drawbacks of Electric Vehicles

The drawbacks of electric vehicles are primarily related to the fact that they don’t offer the option to run on fuel at all.

  1. Electric cars may take a long time to recharge. Even fast-charging stations can take over 30 minutes to refill a battery, which is less than ideal when you’re in the middle of a long drive.
  2. Electric cars often have a short-range. While some offer longer driving ranges, many of them can only travel about 100 miles or less per charge.
  3. Like hybrids, electric vehicles are often more expensive than gas-powered cars of the same quality. While fuel savings plus potential tax breaks or incentives may help, the upfront cost is prohibitive for some people. It can also be expensive to replace the battery pack.

Thoughts about Electric Cars to think about before purchasing

As electric vehicles become more and more prevalent our infrastructure is going to become strained. Charging vehicles may end up taking excessively long due to lines at charging stations. Local cities, states, etc may end up short on electricity and be subject to rolling blackouts etc. If you buy an electric vehicle you are completely at the mercy of our infrastructure. Additional solar farms and power stations and charging stations will be required, Currently the system is not set up for more than 5-10% or more of vehicles to be electric.

Choosing Hybrid Vs. Electric

After looking at the list of pros and cons above, you may have more of a clear idea about which type of vehicle is more appropriate for you. If you occasionally need to take long road trips, you may need a hybrid that can run on gas. For people who only need a daily driver for a short commute, an electric vehicle may be enough.

Hybrid and Electric Car Service in Gilbert, AZ

Whether you ultimately choose a hybrid or electric car, the good news is that you can get either of them serviced here at Highline Car Care. Our team of experts has experience with all makes and models of vehicles, including those with hybrid engines and all-electric engines. These vehicles are produced differently, so don’t trust their service to anyone who only has experience with gas-powered cars. Stop by our location in Gilbert, or schedule your appointment online today.

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Matej Kastelic

5 Signs Your Car Needs a Brake Service

Brake repair is critically important because faulty brakes can make your car excessively dangerous to drive. If your brake pads, rotors, or something else in your brake system is malfunctioning, it’s important to take action as soon as possible.

The first step toward a solution is in realizing that there’s a problem in the first place, so drivers should always know some of the signs that there’s a problem with their vehicle’s brakes. Here are a few things you should be aware of when you think about whether or not the brakes are working properly.

1 – Squealing Noise From Brakes

The good news here is that brakes are made in a way that they’re supposed to squeal sometimes. The bad news is that they only start squealing when they get low.

This noise is there to let you know that you should go get your brake pads replaced as soon as possible because waiting too long can lead to unresponsive brakes or even brake failure. Simply take your car into a trusted Gilbert mechanic, explain what you heard, and they’ll know to replace the brake pads in your vehicle.

2 – Car Leaking Fluid

It’s never a good sign when your car is leaking fluid, so we always recommend taking your car to a mechanic if you start to see wet puddles under your spot in the garage. The leak could be from a variety of different things (like the air conditioner or the engine oil), but none of those things are good.

One potential cause for the wet spot under your car is that you’re leaking brake fluid. If that’s the case, you could start to lose braking power if you ignore the problem. Take your car to a mechanic in Gilbert right away to get it checked out.

3 – Car Swerves When Braking

You don’t need an experienced auto mechanic to tell you that it’s not good when your car veers unexpectedly to one side or the other. This is dangerous because it can take you out of your lane and cause an accident.

Aside from being a major concern as it relates to the safety of yourself and others on the road, this is a sign that your brake caliper may be sticking. If your car starts to swerve when you apply the brakes, take it to a mechanic as soon as possible and tell them about what’s been going on.

4 – Grinding Noise While Braking

The squealing noise mentioned above is a sign that your brake pads are starting to get worn out, while this grinding or howling noise is a sign that they’re almost entirely gone.

At this point, you have metal grinding against other metal, and you may even need to replace your brake rotors or drums in addition to the brake pads.

5 – Brake Pedal Feels Soft

If you have to push the brakes harder or further than before, it could be one of these three things:
1. Your brakes are worn down.
2. Your brake fluid is low.
3. You have air in the brake lines. Take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to get to the bottom of things.

Brake Repair in Gilbert AZ

Here at Highline Car Care, we value your time, money, and safety. We’ll always find the fastest and most affordable way to repair brake problems and get you back on the road. Come see us at our Gilbert auto repair shop, or schedule an appointment for maximum convenience.

Image Credit: Shutterstock By CC7

Why Your Hybrid Battery Should Be Replaced, Not Reconditioned

“Should I repair or replace my hybrid battery?” It’s a question we hear all the time from drivers here in Gilbert. Typically, these drivers are presented with two options– you can either replace or recondition your hybrid battery. The truth is that reconditioned batteries rarely (if ever) get back to “good as new” condition. Before you make your final decision, though, it’s important to understand your hybrid battery and what the options are.

How Do I Know if My Hybrid Battery Is Bad?

The first question in this process is really, “is my hybrid battery still working?” If so, you don’t need any work whatsoever, but we’re guessing there’s a reason you’re reading. Here are some of the most common ways drivers can tell their hybrid battery is dying:

  • The engine is making unusual noises. Whether or not it’s related to the battery, strange noises definitely warrant an immediate trip to your local auto repair shop.
  • The battery bars drop unexpectedly. If you’ve had your vehicle for a while, you should have a general feel for how long the battery normally lasts. Just like with your phone, it’s a sign when your hybrid needs to be recharged more frequently. Similarly, you should find a mechanic in Gilbert if your battery level seems to be going up and down.
  • Your MPG isn’t what it used to be. One of the great things about hybrid vehicles is that they allow drivers to visit the pump less frequently. If you’re noticing that your car burns more gas than it used to, it’s time to investigate the hybrid battery.
  • Your engine engages more frequently. Does it seem like your hybrid has become more of a traditional gas-powered car because the combustion engine is running all the time? If so, your battery is almost definitely to blame.

Hybrid Battery Repair

Most mechanics that “repair” hybrid batteries are doing something called reconditioning. Basically, they’re only changing out the battery cells that are especially depleted. This is the equivalent of changing one battery in your TV remote instead of both, and is a good way to set yourself up for another repair bill in the near future.

Hybrid Battery Replacement

In almost every case, the best option is to get your hybrid battery replaced completely. A mechanic will already remove the battery completely to “recondition” it, so it’s more cost-effective to just get a completely new hybrid battery. Doing so will save you time, frustration, and money, especially when you consider the entire life of your vehicle.

How Do You Know When Your Hybrid Battery Needs to Be Replaced?

If you’re even looking into whether or not you need a new hybrid battery, it’s probably time to get a professional opinion. Take your hybrid to a trustworthy mechanic so they can run some diagnostics. It’s important, at this stage, to make sure you pick someone with hybrid car experience.

Hybrid Battery Service Gilbert AZ

Here at Highline Car Care, we treat every single vehicle that enters our shop as if it’s our own daily driver. That means we’ll perform a complimentary multi-point inspection to pinpoint the root of your problem and make sure we’re responding appropriately. Once we’ve completed that, our experienced mechanics will give you their honest professional opinion about your best course of action.

We’re committed to offering the right service at the right time, and that promise extends to hybrid vehicles. Schedule an appointment today, and we’ll get to work on your hybrid car battery.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/ metamorworks

New refrigerant HFO 1234yf service for cars

What is HFO-1234yf Refrigerant?

Scientifically speaking HFO-1234yf is 2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoropropene.  But we’re not scientists here at Highline, we are mechanics.  So let’s talk about what R1234yf is to the rest of us.  If you’ve been around the car industry for anyHFO-1234yf-AC-Service-Mesa-AZ-Highline-Car-Care length of time here in Mesa AZ, you may remember 1994 when refrigerant R12 ceased production and R134a became the standard automotive refrigerant.  Scientists had found that R12 depleted our ozone layer and was bad for the environment.  R134a was significantly safer, and has a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 1,430, compared to R12’s GWP of 10,900.

While refrigerant R134a was significantly safer than it’s predecessor, it still has a considerable global warming potential of 1430.  In 2006 The European Union implemented directive 2006/40/EC that required all newly manufactured automotive AC systems to have a GWP below 150 by 2011.  It turns out that HFO-1234yf has a GWP of less than 1 and fit the bill.  As far as commercially produced refrigerants go, this is likely THE safest for our atmosphere that will ever be developed.

HFO-1234yf does have one nasty little character trait though – It is mildly flammable.  Automotive refrigerants are constantly exposed to high temperatures, and car AC systems can spring a leak in many common circumstances.   A front end collision will likely puncture your car’s AC condenser which will release refrigerant.  A failed AC component can do the same.  Road debris may also create system leaks.  All of these scenarios make scientists nervous – All it takes is a heat source to cause a fire and furthermore, create very toxic by-products.  This being said the European Union performed real world tests, as did several other manufacturers (Mercedes and Chrysler), along with Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority.  Results varied between tests, but generally speaking it was found that HFO-1234yf will not ignite without a heat source greater than 1650 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is significant because at 1650 degrees every single fluid in your vehicle would be on fire as well, in which case it would not really matter if your refrigerant was flammable or not.  This being said, auto manufacturers have unanimously agreed HFO-1234yf is safe for use in automotive AC.


Which Vehicle Manufacturers use HFO-1234yf Refrigerant?

If you are living in the European Union, any vehicle that was made in 2011 or newer contains HFO-1234yf.  But what about back here in Mesa AZ, and the US?  General Motors started using this refrigerant in 2013 in certain Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC models – All models will be converted by 2018.  Chrysler, Honda, and Subaru began switching over in 2017.  One key difference with the switch over of HFO-1234yf vs the previous switch to r134a is that there is currently NO deadline for manufacturers to make the switch.  While we have no factual data, we at Highline Car Care believe most vehicles will contain HFO-1234yf by 2025.


How Do I Refill, Service, or Add this new refrigerant HFO-1234yf to my car or truck?

We’ll spare you the lecture for now, as to why you should not service your own car air conditioner.  But if you’d like to read exactly why, click here

That being said, we recommend you visit a 609 MACS certified AC shop whenever having your air conditioning serviced or repaired.  HFO-1234yf machines are specific to this refrigerant and you cannot use a r134a machine to service your new style system.  At Highline Car Care in Mesa, AZ we have done our homework.  We invested in a dedicated HFO-1234yf machine even though 95% of the shops in the Valley do not own one.  We pride ourselves in being leaders in our industry.

HFO-1234yf service is very similar to the old system.  Refrigerant must first be evacuated, the system will be pulled into a vacuum to remove any air or moisture, and the proper amount of refrigerant will be added to the system.  Remember, a discrepancy of +/- .5 ounces can cause system malfunction or failure.


Is HFO-1234yf AC service expensive?

Short answer – You bet!  This new refrigerant is currently over $150 per pound – Most new vehicles take 1-1.5 pounds.  Previous r134a refrigerant averages about $20 per pound.  We expect the cost to head downwards once availability grows, but in the meantime expect to pay a bit over double what your old system costed to service.


Need an AC quick check?

Let the Pros at Highline perform a 5 point AC quick check to pinpoint any issues with your car's air conditioning.