The Best Brake Fluid for Cars – Best Types & Top Choices!

When it comes to driving your vehicle, braking is obviously a crucial part of its overall functionality and operation. If you own a vehicle that does not have a well-rounded and working brake system, you can be in significant jeopardy every time that you get behind the wheel. While there are many working components in car braking systems, one of the most important components about making sure that your brake system works properly is brake fluid.

Brake fluid essentially provides the medium by which your car is able to enact responsive and effective stopping power whenever you’re in motion. You can have a perfectly good set of brakes however without fresh brake fluid, your vehicle won’t be able to enact the correct amount of stopping power. That’s why it’s really important for you to select the right type of brake fluid for your vehicle, however, if you don’t know what to look for when selecting the best brake fluid for your vehicle, the process can be very difficult.

brakes

There are several factors to consider when deciding on which brake fluid is best for your vehicle. These factors include things like the make and model of your vehicle, it’s brake system, brake type, and more. Before you make a final purchase decision about which brake fluid is right for your car or truck, you need to do some research about the types of brake fluids that are compatible with your vehicle in addition to other sorts of important information. You want to make sure that you purchase the right type of brake fluid to avoid any operational issues while out on the road.

If you’re trying to find the right brake fluid for your vehicle but haven’t been having any luck, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to go into detail about all of the various brake fluid types that are out there and how you can go about choosing which one is right for you. There are several different types of brake fluids available on the market and all of them offer unique benefits depending on the type of vehicle you have.

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Continue reading this guide in order to learn more about the various types of brake fluid options out there and how you can go about figuring out which option is the best selection for your vehicle model. In the next section, we’re going to detail the various types of brake fluids out on the market so that you can have a basic understanding of what to look for when deciding on which brake fluid is right for your vehicle.

Read this article on our website in order to learn more about how you can properly maintain your vehicle in all aspects.

Types of Brake Fluid

There are four main types of brake fluids that are available on the market, each of them is formulated to provide specific benefits to certain vehicle types and models. They all consist of different chemical makeups and formulas that can help you preserve the quality and functionality of your brake system easily and conveniently. You’ll want to read the description of each brake fluid type in detail to ensure that you make the right decision when it comes to which brake fluid choice is best for your vehicle.

DOT 3 Brake Fluid

DOT 3 brake fluid is composed out of a poly glycol substance that has a maximum wet boiling point of 140 degrees and a dry boiling point of 205 degrees Celsius. DOT 3 brake fluid will absorb 2% of the total moisture volume in your vehicle’s braking system each year which can substantially prolong the life of your brakes overall.

DOT 3 brake fluid is commonly used in regular vehicles that don’t use any special brakes or braking mechanisms which require more finely tuned brake fluid. DOT 3 brake fluid has a very high corrosive rating and has even been known to wear down the paint of your vehicle if on diluted before injected into your braking system. It is recommended that you mix your DOT 3 brake fluid with DOT 5.1 or DOT 4 brake fluid before putting it into your vehicle to maximize performance and longevity.

DOT 4 Brake Fluid

DOT 4 brake fluid is also made out of poly glycol however it has a wet boiling point of 155 degrees and a dry boiling point of 230 degrees Celsius. DOT 4 brake fluid also absorbs moisture at a rate of 2% the total volume of your vehicle however the difference in boiling points makes DOT 4 brake fluid more optimized for vehicles that are larger in size and performance output. DOT 4 brake fluid is also very corrosive and will damage your car paint so mix it with DOT 5.1 or DOT 3 brake fluid before you actually put it into your vehicle.

DOT 5 Brake Fluid

DOT 5 brake fluid is completely synthesized using silicone and other synthetic material which gives it a wet boiling point of 180 degrees with a dry boiling point of 260 degrees Celsius. DOT 5 brake fluid does not absorb moisture very well which can make it very corrosive to your brake line. You should NEVER mix DOT 5 brake fluid with any other type of brake fluid because it can cause some very serious operational issues. DOT 5 brake fluid is typically used in vehicles that have anti-lock braking systems so many sports cars and other high-performance vehicles use DOT 5 brake fluid.

DOT 5.1

DOT 5.1 brake fluid is chemically formulated out of poly glycol and has a wet boiling point of 180 degrees with a dry boiling point of 260 degrees Celsius. DOT 5.1 brake fluid also absorbs moisture at a rate of 2% of the total volume and is commonly used in vehicles that have ABS braking systems or racing vehicles. You should mix DOT 5.1 brake fluid with either DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid in order to reduce its corrosiveness on your car’s paint.

This is a great article you can read about choosing the right brake fluid for your vehicle.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Brake Fluid for your vehicle

changing break fluid

There are a lot of factors to consider when purchasing brake fluid for your vehicle, brake fluids are formulated for a variety of different brake performance and handling reasons. Before deciding on a final brake fluid option, you need to make sure that you’re clear about what benefits you want your selected brake fluid to provide and how it will affect the performance of your vehicle.

These various factors and conditions will play a very important role in how well your vehicle accepts the brake fluid that you decide to put inside of it. In the following section, we’re going to cover all of the most important aspects that you need to consider when choosing the right brake fluid for your vehicle. Read the section carefully and pay attention to all of the information listed to make sure that the brake fluid you select will compatible with your vehicle.

Intended Benefits

All brake fluids are created with an intended performance benefit in mind whether that be prolonging the life of high-mileage vehicles or increasing your braking traction while out on the road. Commonly, these performance benefits will be directly correlated to the type of vehicle that you have.

The differences between each brake fluid type affect its ability to handle temperature and heat so it’s important that you consider the formula of your brake fluid before making a final purchase decision. Not all brake fluids are made for regular vehicles, some are specifically formulated to be injected into racing vehicles so you need to pay attention to information like this before putting any type of brake fluid into your vehicle.

Chemical Makeup

The chemical composition of the brake fluid that you choose will play a huge part in its overall performance and ability to aid your main braking system. Without brake fluid in your car, you will not be able to enact proper stopping power. You can have a fully functioning brake system with no brake fluid and you won’t be able to stop, it’s as simple as that. Below, we’re going to go more in-depth about the most commonly used chemicals in brake fluid option that are out on the market.

  • Lubricants– Lubricants make up about 5-30% of the total composition of any given brake fluid, lubricant serves the purpose of reducing the amount of raw friction that your brakes experience when activated. Lubricants also reduce the amount of resistance that your brakes endure while in action so it’s important that you check the lubricant contents of your selected brake fluid. The best brake fluid for your vehicle will provide the most fluidity in terms of the amount of force that it takes to enact your braking system. Brake fluid lubricants are typically made using a reactionary process between aklylene oxides and diols or water.

  • Polyglycol– Polyglycol makes up about 60-90% of the total material in brake fluid, Polyglycol is the main substance that allows brake fluid to aid your car in the stopping process. Polyglycol contains elements of ether which helps to increase the dissolvable properties of the brake fluid that you decide. This allows your brake fluid to remain effective throughout various seasons and conditions without a hassle.

  • Additives– additives only makeup about 2-3% of the total chemical composition of brake fluid and contain mostly corrosion inhibitors and antioxidants. These substances help reduce the rate of oxidative decay of the poly glycols contained in your brake fluid. Additives also help to prevent the acidic deterioration of your braking system. Additives even help eliminate the threat of gum in your brake fluid so that you can rest assured while driving.

Read this article to learn a little bit more about how the chemicals used in your brake fluid affect your car.

Boiling Points of your chosen brake fluid

Every brake fluid out on the market has a maximum wet boiling point and a dry boiling point which will basically determine how well your brake fluid lasts over prolonged periods of time. If you are an individual that changes your brake fluid on a regular basis, you probably want to be more concerned more with the dry boiling point of your brake fluid as opposed to its wet boiling point. Brake fluids with high dry boiling points are optimal for racer cars and other high-performance vehicles. Brake fluids with high wet boiling points are great for standard vehicle owners who want to get the most out of their brake fluid as possible. It’s important to know the boiling point of your selected brake fluid choice before buying so that you can ensure that it provides your vehicle’s brakes with the stopping power that you want and deserve.

Water absorption rate

Rubber is a commonly used material in the production of vehicle braking systems and is the main material used in the construction of the tubes which direct your brake fluid throughout the necessary places to enact stopping power. Rubber also happens to be a very porous material which means that it has very small holes in which fluids are able to penetrate its a material barrier and infiltrate the material itself, which can lead to more serious issues over time when left unmonitored.

Due to the difference in boiling points, your brake fluid will instantly convert itself into steam once in contact with high temperatures. This chemical reaction can lead to severe rust formation and corrosion over time, the best way to avoid damage to your brake system is by ensuring that you purchase a brake fluid that has a high water absorption rate in order to preserve the quality of your brake system over extended periods of time.

Cost Value/ Size Ratio

When purchasing brake fluid, it’s important to consider the price of the brake fluid when compared to the actual size or liquid volume. Attempting to replace your brake fluid with insufficient amounts of new fluid can potentially damage your brakes even further, that’s why it’s so important to make sure that you’re buying enough brake fluid to facilitate your entire system. Pay attention to the maximum capacity of your brake line prior to making a final decision about which brake fluid to buy so that you can ensure you’re getting enough brake fluid to inject into your vehicle.

This is a great article you can read about how to determine which brake fluid meets all of the above-mentioned criteria for your vehicle’s brake system.

The basics of brake fluid

mechanic checking break fluid

Many people may not fully understand exactly how brake fluid works so we’re going to help you figure out the mechanics of exactly how brake fluid affects your vehicle and its ability to enact proper stopping power. Brake fluid works by assisting in your vehicle’s hydraulic braking system functionality so it’s vitally important that you regularly change and replace your brake fluid on a regular basis.

In essence, your brake lines should maintain a certain amount of brake fluid in them at all times in order to sustain proper performance. When you begin enacting your brake system, it causes a mechanical reaction that puts pressure on your brake line allowing it to completely stop the weight of your vehicle in motion. Without brake fluid, you wouldn’t be able to stop your car because the force necessary to apply pressure to your brake line would be non-existent.

How often should you change your brake fluid?

Much like your engine oil reservoir and windshield washer fluid, your brake fluid needs to be checked and changed on a rather regular basis. You can check your brake fluid reservoir by simply opening your vehicle hood and looking for the latch that reads “brake fluid” or “brake fluid reservoir.” Brake fluid is different from car engine oil because you can’t tell when to change it by simply looking at its color.

Brake fluid is especially vulnerable to a process known as a hygroscopic fluid which basically reduced its ability to absorb water over time. Water is one of the most detrimental elements that will affect your brake system’s performance over time. Without a professional analysis, the best way for you to figure out how often your brake fluid should be changed will be by reading the owner’s manual that came with your vehicle. Most car manufacturers will list the frequency at which you should change and replace your brake fluid according to mileage or by a specific maintenance schedule set by them.

Changing your brake fluid

Although the exact process required to change your brake fluid will vary from vehicle to vehicle, they all require a fairly simple process. One of the most important things to remember when replacing or changing your brake fluid Is that only DOT 4, DOT 3, and DOT 5.1 brake fluid are compatible with each other. DOT 5 brake fluid should ONLY be used as a single fluid insert when replacing your brake fluid.

Do not mix DOT 5 brake with any other types of brake fluid unless you want to pay a very hefty repair bill for your vehicle. The entire process is very simple, all you need to do is remove the current brake fluid from your brake lines then refill the reservoir with your new brake fluid. Make sure that you also check the level indicator inside of your brake fluid reservoir to ensure that putting enough inside of your braking system to last a rather long time. If you don’t feel comfortable changing your brake fluid, you can always seek the help of a professional mechanic as brake fluid changes generally aren’t that expensive.

Here is a great article that you can read about replacing vital fluids in your vehicle.

Top Brake Fluid Recommendations

Now that you know a little bit more about the various factors to look for when choosing a brake fluid, it’s time to give you some of our top brake fluid recommendations all sorted by brake fluid type and specific brake system performance benefits. All of the brake fluid recommendations listed below will provide your vehicle with the performance and braking ability that you want. Make sure that you read each brake fluid recommendation in full so that you can ensure you make the right purchase decision when it comes to deciding on which brake fluid option is perfect for your vehicle.

1. Castrol 12614 DOT 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid

Castrol 12614 DOT 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid

Castrol has built a reputation for being one of the leading brake fluid producers out on the market. Castrol 12614 DOT 4 brake fluid uses a chemical composition of DOT 4 and DOT 3 brake fluid which makes it a really good brake fluid choice for high-performance vehicles.

Castrol 12614 DOT 4 is compatible with various vehicle types and can sustain itself under very harsh and high-temperature conditions which is what makes it an optimal brake fluid choice. Castrol 12614 DOT 4 brake fluid helps amplify the amount of force applied to your brakes when they’re engaged.

Due to the high-quality chemical composition of Castrol 12614 DOT 4 brake fluid, it works as a very good brake fluid option for those individuals who want a premium brake fluid for their vehicle. Castrol 12614 DOT 4 brake fluid exceeds DOT 4 and DOT 3 brake fluid expectations which make it the ideal option for virtually any vehicle.

2. ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4 Brake Fluid

ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4 Brake Fluid

ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4 brake fluid was formulated with military grade braking performance in mind. ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4 brake fluid comes in a 1-liter bottle capacity so you can reuse the product only having to purchase it one time. ATE 706202 is a very stable brake fluid that performs well under very hot conditions, the product is also very fluid and streamlined so you won’t have to worry about clogs in your internal brake lines or anything else.

ATE 706202 brake fluid is a very reliable brake fluid option for anyone who wants ensured performance capability and responsiveness when it comes to their braking system. ATE 706202 uses specially formulated additives that provide perfect lubrication for your brake lines and system in general.

With ATE 706202 brake fluid in your vehicle, you won’t have to worry about corrosion build-up or anything of the sorts because of Its premium formula. If you want to inject brake fluid into your vehicle that will provide the ultimate boost to your car’s hydraulic braking capabilities, ATE 706202 original TYP 200 DOT 4 brake fluid is the perfect choice for you.

3. Wilwood 290-6209 EXP 600 Plus Brake Fluid

wilwoodWilwood 290-6209 EXP 600 Plus brake fluid is unlike any other brake fluid option available on the market. Wilwood 290-6209 EXP 600 Plus brake fluid does not conform to the traditional DOT classifications of normal brake fluids, instead, it uses a specially formulated solution that provides maximum braking power for technologically advanced high-performance vehicles.

Wilwood 290-6209 EXP 600 Plus brake fluid has a wet boiling point of 417 degrees Fahrenheit and a dry boiling point of 500 degrees Fahrenheit which makes this brake fluid high temperature and long run time situations. Wilwood 290-6209 EXP 600 Plus brake fluid has a high resistance rate to water absorption in addition to air accumulation which helps your braking system run smoothly and uninterrupted free form any worries about corrosion or other damage.

The premium lubrication properties of this brake fluid provide a reliable ride that stops nearly on command for a very responsive hydraulic braking mechanism.

4. Mag1 120 Premium DOT 3 Brake Fluid

Mag1 120 Premium DOT 3 Brake Fluid

 Mag1 120 Premium DOT 3 brake fluid is one of the best DOT 3 brake fluid options out on the market. Mag1 120 premium DOT 3 brake fluid has a very fluid consistency which helps your brakes perform at their optimal capacity without the issue of clogging or things of that nature.

Mag1 120 Premium DOT 3 brake fluid can handle virtually all-weather conditions and has a very high heat stability rating. Mag1 120 Premium DOT 3 brake fluid is also completely exempt from any corrosion or deterioration due to water retention. Mag1 120 Premium DOT 3 brake fluid is unique because it can be used in regular vehicles in addition to more high-powered racing vehicles which makes it the ideal brake fluid.

All of these brake fluid options are great for different types of vehicles, before deciding on which one is best for your vehicle, reference some of the above content so that you can ensure that you make the right decision when it comes to which brake fluid option is right for you.

Conclusion

Now that you know everything you need to know about brake fluid types and how to choose the right brake fluid for your vehicle, you can confidently replace or refill your brake fluid in no time. As long as you use all of the information in this article, you’ll be able to sustain the performance of your vehicle’s brake system without any issues. There are so many options to choose from on the market so don’t just limit yourself to our recommendations.

There are several factors to consider when deciding on which brake fluid is best for your vehicle. These factors include things like the make and model of your vehicle, it’s brake system, brake type, and more. Before you make a final purchase decision about which brake fluid is right for your car or truck, you need to do some research about the types of brake fluids that are compatible with your vehicle in addition to other sorts of important information.

You want to make sure that you purchase the right type of brake fluid to avoid any operational issues while out on the road. All brake fluids are created with an intended performance benefit in mind whether that be prolonging the life of high-mileage vehicles or increasing your braking traction while out on the road. Commonly, these performance benefits will be directly correlated to the type of vehicle that you have.

The differences between each brake fluid type affect its ability to handle temperature and heat so it’s important that you consider the formula of your brake fluid before making a final purchase decision.

When it comes to driving your vehicle, braking is a very important part of its overall functionality and operation. If you own a vehicle that does not have a working brake system, your life can be in significant danger and jeopardy every time that you get behind the wheel.

Much like your engine oil reservoir and windshield washer fluid, your brake fluid needs to be checked and changed on a rather regular basis. You can check your brake fluid reservoir by simply opening your vehicle hood and looking for the latch that reads “brake fluid” or “brake fluid reservoir.” Brake fluid is different from car engine oil because you can’t tell when to change it by simply looking at its color. Brake fluid is especially vulnerable to a process known as a hygroscopic fluid which basically reduced its ability to absorb water over time.

While there are many working components in car braking systems, one of the most important components about making sure that your brake system works properly is brake fluid. Brake fluid essentially provides the medium by which your car is able to enact responsive and effective stopping power whenever you’re in motion.

You can have a perfectly good set of brakes however without fresh brake fluid, your vehicle won’t be able to enact the correct amount of stopping power. Water is one of the most detrimental elements that will affect your brake system’s performance over time. Without a professional analysis, the best way for you to figure out how often your brake fluid should be changed will be by reading the owner’s manual that came with your vehicle.

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