Choosing the Best Brake Fluid
Choosing the best brake fluid for your car is a critical decision. The right fluid can mean the difference between an accident and a total loss. Choosing the right fluid can be difficult, however, as there are a number of different options available. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your brake fluid.
DOT 3 vs DOT 4
DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids are both glycol-based brake fluids. However, they are different in several key aspects. The most noticeable difference is the boiling point.
The higher the DOT, the higher the boiling point. The higher the boiling point, the more heat resistance the brake fluid will provide.
The higher the boiling point, the less moisture the brake fluid will absorb. Therefore, it is important to change your brake fluid regularly. A good rule of thumb is to change your brake fluid every two years. If you do not change your brake fluid, your brakes will wear out faster.
The dry and wet boiling points of DOT 3 and DOT 4 are fairly similar. The dry boiling point is 401 degrees Fahrenheit while the wet boiling point is 284 degrees Fahrenheit. However, DOT 3 has a higher dry boiling point.
DOT 4 is an upgraded version of DOT 3 and is a heavy duty glycol-based brake fluid. DOT 4 contains borate and glycol as its ingredients. The borate and glycol make it very heat resistant. The glycol ether base helps with water absorption.
It is not recommended to use DOT 3 fluid from the factory. This is because DOT 3 will lose its braking power when it boils.
DOT 5 brake fluid
DOT 5 brake fluid has a number of advantages over other brake fluids. One of the advantages of DOT 5 is that it is a silicon-based fluid. Silicone based brake fluid is not susceptible to moisture, unlike glycol-based fluids. It can also withstand temperatures higher than its glycol counterparts.
Silicone-based brake fluid is also a good choice for vehicles with thin brake rotors. Because it does not absorb moisture, it is less likely to damage painted surfaces.
In terms of technology, DOT 5 brake fluid’s wet boiling point is 356 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is more than DOT 3, it is not as high as DOT 4’s dry boiling point. It is also more expensive than DOT 3. However, DOT 5 does have the best brake fluid smear, and is a good choice for a classic car or a race car.
DOT 5 is also a good choice for those who do not want to risk rust in their brake lines. It is also a good choice for those who are planning to store their car for a long period of time. Its purple color does not attract bugs or rust.
If you do decide to switch from DOT 3 to DOT 5 brake fluid, you will need to bleed your brakes before you drive. You will also need to install a new silicone based brake fluid to your vehicle. It is recommended to check the owner’s manual to learn more about the proper way to do this.
Silicone brake fluid
Unlike glycol based brake fluids, silicone brake fluid is non-hygroscopic and does not absorb moisture from the air. This helps prevent corrosion on metal brake system components. It is also less harmful to paint work.
Silicone brake fluids are usually recommended for European vehicles and heavy duty vehicles. They are also recommended for Japanese and domestic vehicles.
Silicone brake fluid is a special formulation of high-temperature fluid. It provides even braking performance in temperatures from -75F to +600F. The fluid is compatible with all standard brake components. It is also a good choice for trailer units.
Silicone brake fluids have twice the viscosity of glycol based fluids. This makes them thicker and causes slower fill rates. This can cause bleeding difficulties. They are also more expensive.
Silicone brake fluids are not recommended for racing applications. They also do not mix well with other brake fluids. They are not compatible with ABS systems.
Silicone brake fluids are usually marketed as “lifetime” brake fluids. They are used extensively in Finland and Russia, but do not replace conventional brake fluids. They are recommended for vehicles that are unused for a long period of time, or to preserve antique vehicles.
Silicone brake fluid is considered a DOT 5 fluid. It should not be used with glycol based brake fluid.