Don’t fry the compressor!
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.”