Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1990 -> Repairs & Maintenance -> AC Refrigerant Note
Special AC Refrigerant Note
All Imperials got an AC system (as it was not optional equipment), however buyers will find Imperials with AC systems in different stages of condition. Neglected AC systems tend to have more problems then ones which are used on a common basis.
As a result the used Imperial buyer may get a 90's Imperial with a non-working AC system. This notice is for any and all Imperial owners wising to work with or around their AC system for whatever reason (be it repair or anything else).
The AC systems in these cars used R-12 refrigerant. This stuff is quite bad for the ozone, and in the US (and several other countries) it is illegal to purposely release R-12 into the atmosphere. Farther more, it is also illegal in many areas as well to improperly service any R-12 system, and/or to touch an R-12 system without the proper equipment and licenses. Some places (USA included) have federal laws against breaking these laws, with fines up to $25,000 dollars (US), and sometimes jail time.
R-12 is no longer made or sold legally in the USA. However it can be found in older cars still (when it hasn't yet leaked out) and can still be refilled at many AC certified shops. This can be expensive, so it may be wanted to convert the outdated R-12 systems to R-13a. This can cost up to a couple hundred dollars at a shop, however, R-13a is easier to get, much cheaper, and better then the environment.
A special note on R-13a. R-13a although better for the environment, is still not good for the environment, and will turn into a nerve gas if heated. Please do ***NOT*** work with R-13a unless you are trained to do so.
As with whenever working on a part of the car which can be dangerous, or important (brakes, etc.) please leave anything you are uncertain of being able to do for the professionals.
That said, have fun, keep it safe, and keep it legal.
This page was last updated on October 2, 2003. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club