• Automotive a/c systems are sealed units. Barring leaks, they can run almost indefinitely. Refrigerant doesn't "wear out" as a rule.
  • I am pretty sure R/12 is illegal to use, unless yo are a certified dealer. They come in 30, 125 and 1000 pound containers, I am not sure how long it would stay charged.
  • The freon leaks out of the shaft seal at different rates, depending on how good the seal is. Of course there are a few other mechanical couplings that may leak also.
  • A vehicle's A/C unit doesn't use refrigerant the way and engine uses fuel. If there are no leaks in the system it would last indefinitely. The reason it would need to be recharged (refilled) is that the system has developed a leak and the freon has escaped. The system needs to be checked for leaks before being recharged. If it is simply recharged without repairing the leak then it will all come out again and you'll be right back where you started from.

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