This bulletin provides information regarding the recommendation of air conditioning refrigerant recovery and recharge (RRR) machines for 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid vehicles.
The Optima Hybrid vehicle uses an A/C compressor that is a scroll type rather than a piston type and is driven by a high-voltage electric motor rather than by a belt.
Both the motor and compressor are in one housing with a mix of refrigerant and oil flowing through both sections. Because the oil flows through the motor windings, the oil cannot conduct electricity. To achieve this, the electric A/C compressor uses a special, low-conductive lubricant called Polyvinyl Ether (PVE) oil, purchased through Kia Chemicals (P/N UT011-CH049). Conventional PAG oil cannot be mixed with this PVE oil in this compressor. PAG oil is conductive and would permanently damage the electric A/C compressor.
For this reason, KMA strongly recommends using a dedicated RRR machine for Optima Hybrids with a clear label such as “PVE Hybrids only.”