Where can you get R12 freon?

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R-12 can be purchased at a VERY FEW refrigeration supply houses (old stock, not yet depleted) but you need EPA certification and the price is ASTRONOMICAL. A better solution would be to use R-414B, or "hot shot", as it is a drop in replacement for R-12, and actually runs a little lower pressure for the same cooling. Good for compressor longevity. But you still need the EPA cert... DON'T just drop in 134a as the expansion valve does not have sufficient adjustment range to meter it correctly and it will eat the rubber seals in the system over time. Best bet? Buy a local refrigeration dude a cold one, crack your wallet and tell him to hook you up with some "hotshot". It works.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You don't need R12 for anything anymore. The last cars to use it were about 1994. If you are driving something that old, I would just put in R134. Contrary to popular belief, nothing bad will happen, it just won't put out as much cool air.

In reference to the first answer, you cannot just charge your system with R-134a, the O-rings in the system are designed to withhold the chlorine in the R-12. the hydrogen in R-134a eats away in at the seals in those systems. Retrofitting is the best way to get around an empty R-12 system. You have to get a new accumulator for an orifice system or a receiver/dryer for a thermo expansion valve (TXV) system. replace any sources of leaks. add PAG oil for lubrication of the O-rings and the compressor, you should have 2 oz. of oil for every component in the system. example the components in an orifice system; compressor, condenser, orifice, evaporator, accumulator, and lines. 16 oz of oil. you should fill your retrofitted system with only 80% of the manufacture's spec for R-12. example: In a 3 pound system, fill your car with 2.4 pounds of refrigerant. this ensures generically the coldest your new R-134a system will blow. If your R-12 system works perfectly fine and is just a pound short of a full charge, ask a local professional if they could track some down for you, it's going to be more expensive but there's a lot less work to be had.
Due to federal law, only licenced repair shops can possess r-12. Might as well go to the pros for a recharge. I got lucky and found a few cans in a friend's basement. John In Montana

  Go to Walmart and spend 33.00 for a kit. Have a vacuum pulled on your system and changge the high side fitting with the correct one in your kit. Put the new can of refrigerant oil in and the freon while running your a/c on max. Stop adding freon when the compressor kicks on a 25 and kicks out at 40. There is a gauge on the filler apparatus that comes in the kit. It is a very simple procedure.

  The kit mentioned will not have R-12. It will have R-134a, or worse, an "R-12 substitute." If your system is designed for R-12, it may not work well with R-134a, and the R-12-compatible oil in it will not mix with the R-134a. There is a possibility of damaging the system. Using an "R-12 substitute" often has an even greater risk of causing damage. If you want a safe, reliable repair, have a competent shop service the system with R-12 or do a proper, complete conversion to R-1343a for you.

  You can get cans in Mexico


  You can't buy R12 anymore unless you go to a professional. The best thing to do is get the car retrofitted.

  It is against the law to buy or sell R-12 unless you are a qualified mechanic.Then scarcity of R-12 has driven the price so high,it is better to get retrofitted.The price you would pay from the black market isn't worth it.

  Ebay...the catch is you have to email the seller certifying you are buying the R12 for your certified auto tech to insyall!

Got mine from the trunk of some guys car at a garage sale....1 lb R-12 originally $1.29 at K-Mart ...now a bargain of three cans for $45!!! Works great for my 1989 BMW...needs about 1/2 a can each year...to keep er freezing cold...figure I have enough to finish er off!! :0)

If you are not certified to handle R 12 I recommend you don't, because the fines can be severe, they claim the emissions of refridgerant into the atmosphere is adding to the damage of the ozone layers if you have an older vehicle and insist on using the R 12 freon then take it to a certified A/C shop the repair/charge will be costly.
If you want the cheaper route to go with(R134A) then go the alternate route and have a certified shop discharge your system by means of an evacuation pump to remove any and all contaminants if the system was empty, you should replace the receiver drier when doing this type of work and after that is done refill the system with R 134a refridgerant, have the system leak tetsed and if all is good you are done!!

Ebay in small single lb cans. No license required for Ebay small purchases


DO NOT USE Hot Shot for any refrigeration unit whether automotive, home, or commercial. The unit will never work well again. There is a great R-12 alternative that does work as well as R-12 in an R-12 system and has been proven over years of use in cars and commercial refrigeration units by many contractors. you will not have to worry about seals, O-rings, valves, or expansion devices needing to be changed. R-420a (previously RB276) is the absolute closest thing to R-12 but still needs certification to purchase or handle.
Also do not use any refrigerant that says it is "environmentally safe". It contains hydrocarbons (HC's) which are flammable and will ruin the internal parts do to lowering the viscosity of the mineral oils. Find a refrigeration contractor that uses R-420a in older refrigeration equipment and ice machines. Google R-420a or RB276 for more information.
I am an HVAC refrigeration contractor in SC that discovered R-420a over 12 years ago and am still using it in refrigeration and autos with great success. R-134a,as stated before will not work well in an R-12 system for many reasons including incompatibilities of oils. R-12 can still be purchased by certified contractors/mechanics from sources like e-bay.
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