Brake fluid is undoubtedly one of the most important products that can be used to make the brakes of your vehicle work efficiently. With continuous usage, the brake system of your vehicle becomes obsolete over time and its brake fluid gets dried up. This happens due to the wear and tear that gets imposed on your vehicle’s brakes. Brake fluid is the life blood of any vehicle’s braking system. In its absence, the force which you apply to the brake pedal of your vehicle would not get transferred to the brake caliper, brake pads and consequently the brake disc. This further results in inefficient working of your vehicle’s brakes. If this problem gets ignored it might even cause your vehicle’s brakes to fail. To avoid these kinds of situations, a brake fluid is used. It gets the brakes to work like before. A brake fluid simply helps in transferring the action that happens when the brake pedal is pushed to the brake calipers or drums through a series of brake hoses and lines that aid to stop your vehicle.
There are different types of brake fluids. All the types of brake fluids are Poly-glycol ether based. However, it must be noted that DOT 5 brake fluid is an exception. DOT 5 brake fluid is silicon based. When it comes to the types of brake types they are primarily classified into three categories namely, DOT 3, DOT 4 and DOT 5.1. In a very general perspective, the lower the number of brake fluid, the lower will be its boiling point. Let’s have a look at various specifications of the different types of brake fluid.
DOT 3 brake fluids are characterized by the lowest dry boiling point. It implies that the boiling point of DOT 3 brake fluid is accompanied by a low wet boiling point. DOT 3 brake fluid is Amber in color and is glycol based. Being hygroscopic, DOT 3 brake fluid needs to be replaced after every few years in order to keep its efficiency intact. DOT 3 brake fluids are extremely popular in their use and application. Talking about fresh DOT 3 brake fluid it has a boiling point of 401 degrees Fahrenheit. When the DOT 3 brake fluid is fully degraded, its boiling point comes down to 284 degrees Fahrenheit. DOT 3 brake fluid is highly corrosive in nature and therefore it requires a great amount of care to be taken. It is able to remove paint and therefore it should be cleaned up immediately with the use of soap and water. Even a simple degreaser can work well in its removal.
DOT 4 brake fluid is characterized with a higher boiling point. This happens because it has borate-ester additives that help in reducing the acids that get formed by absorbed moisture. The boiling point of DOT 4 brake fluid tends to drop off rapidly in the long term. DOT 4 brake fluid is used by almost all vehicle manufacturers but primarily it is used by European car manufacturers. DOT 4 brake fluid has a higher boiling point as compared to DOT 3 brake fluid. Its boiling point starts at 446 degrees Fahrenheit. It has some additives that can reduce the acids that can get formed due to moisture.
The boiling point of DOT 5.1 brake fluid resembles the boiling point of DOT 4 racing fluids. The color of DOT 5.1 brake fluid ranges from lighter shades of amber to translucent. The most unique feature of DOT 5.1 brake fluid is that it can effectively be mixed with DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids but usually it is not recommended. DOT 5.1 brake fluid tends to be 14 times more expensive as compared to DOT 3 brake fluid.
You must take proper precautionary measures while using these brake fluids. They should be handled with care and you should make sure that they do not get in contact with your skin or eyes. Brake fluid tends to age with the passage of time and this leads to degradation in its performance. In order to keep your brake system updated in its performance, you should flush out the brake fluid as per the guidelines that have been specified in its OEM maintenance schedule. You should go out to choose the brake fluid that is being recommended by the manufacturer company.
That’s it! You must have acquired sufficient information about the various types of brake fluids and the differences amongst them. If you have any other queries regarding the matter, kindly let us know in the comments section. It would provide us with great pleasure to answer all your queries as soon as possible. Give your feedback on this article. We highly appreciate it. Thanks for reading.
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