I have a 1993 ford taurus 3.8L V6 automatic GL. My freon level is getting low and I need to determine what kind of a/c system I have in my car. Do I have a R-12 a/c system or a R-134a a/c system. I bought the car used in 1998 and have never had the a/c system serviced. Assuming it has the same a/c system in it when it was built, how do I determine if it is a R-12 or R-134a a/c system?
R12 was phased out starting with the 1976 Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to get rid of R-12. By 1993 almost very car had R-134a. I had one of the last units with the old R-12, a 1984 Caprice.
Your OWNER’S MANUAL has a page on Specifications; it lists all the dimensions and the fluids required for your car.
A 1993 might still have R12, 1993-1994 was the year when most of the switchover seemed to happen. My friend has a 1993 Buick Skylark with R12 and another friend has a 1994 Chevrolet Corsica with R134a. There is sometimes a sticker under the hood that specifies which refrigerant the system was designed for.
Most Fords were R-12 in 93. I know that my 93 T-bird was. In 94, Ford was completely or almost completely switched to R-134.
I would guess that your Taurus has R-12, but why guess. There should be a label under the hood that indicates how much and what kind of refrigerant your car takes.
"I had one of the last units with the old R-12, a 1984 Caprice. "
Wrong - R12 was still the refrigerant of choice right up to the early 90s.
Open your hood and look around at the messages written there, it probably tells you that you have 134a.
Open the hood. Look along any of the refrigerant lines and see if you can find anything that looks like the cap you would see on a tire stem valve. If you see this type of cap, it’s an R12 system. If you see larger blue/red caps, it’s R134a system.
My 93 Caprice has R12, I believe 93 was the last year for R12 in domestic vehicles.