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Jul 27 2021

How To Choose the Right Brake Fluid?

 

Which brake fluid should I choose for my car? Can brake fluids be mixed, and what are the risks if the wrong fluid is used? We take stock of the different standards and their use.

Absolutely essential for the proper functioning of your brakes, brake fluid is a consumable that should not be neglected during the maintenance of your car, as well as periodic checks since it contributes to the safety of your vehicle. However, there are several types, each more precisely responding to a DOT standard (for Department Of Transportation). This corresponds to a class of brake fluid, which must always be the one used during the construction of your vehicle, and recommended by the manufacturer. Here are the three major DOT standards, each of which corresponds to the boiling temperature of the brake fluid in question.

DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5… Don't mix them!

Because brake fluid is essential to your safety and that of your passengers during braking phases, you must obviously be careful not to go there at random when the time has come to bleed, or simply top-up. Regardless of the DOT standard of your brake fluid, it should especially not be mixed with another under the pretext that you have some on hand at the time. Not only do liquids not boil at the same temperature (which causes your brakes to malfunction), their very design - based on silicone or glycol - will also tend to deteriorate one of the two in case of mixture. Always refer to your vehicle's manual, but also to the inscriptions on the cap of your brake fluid reservoir, under the hood. Here are the different types of brake fluids and the characteristics of the DOT standards:

  • DOT 3: it reaches its boiling point at 205 ° C dry, and 140 ° wet.
  • DOT 4: it is the most common liquid, based on glycol. It reaches its boiling point at 230 ° C dry, and 155 ° C wet.
  • DOT 5: it is more suitable for sporty driving, based on silicone. It reaches its boiling point at 260 ° C dry, and 185 ° C wet.
  • DOT 5.1: it reaches its boiling point at 270 ° C dry, and 191 ° C wet.
  • Super DOT 4: it reaches its boiling point at 300 ° C dry, and 195 ° C wet.

Always choose the correct brake fluid, and inquire about its compatibility with your vehicle from your dealer if in doubt. Go, have a good trip!

To Summarize:

Which brake fluid should I choose for my car? Can brake fluids be mixed, and what are the risks if the wrong fluid is used? We take stock of the different standards and their use.




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