Top 5: Whats The Best Brake Fluid?

Top 5: Whats The Best Brake Fluid?

Brake Fluid is easily one of the most neglected fluids in most vehicles around the world. Manufacturers recommend that you change your brake fluid every 3 years. The Brake Fluid posses life saving qualities yet people often check everything except the brake fluid.

So:

In order to help understand the importance  and to find the best brake fluid we will learn about the chemical properties and what is the purpose of brake fluid.

brake_system

All Brake fluid are synthetic hydraulic fluid that helps apply pressure to the brake components.

Hydraulic fluids are the mediums used to transfer power through out hydraulic components. Hydraulic fluids are known for transferring force into pressure which is how your foot applying pressure to your brakes stops your vehicle.

This is important because new brake fluid is incompressible, which helps apply quality pressure to the brake mechanism.

This is especially important for:

Those who commute long distances in warm weather. When brake fluid is overheated it puts your brake mechanism at risk. Once the brake fluid begins boiling the fluid turns into a gas and makes the gas compressible. Leaving your brakes very soft and will lead to “cadence braking”.

braking-comparison

Cadence braking is also referred to as stutter braking, meaning repeatedly pressing the brake to prevent the brakes from locking up.

Most modern vehicles have anti-lock brakes or “ABS” if there is no pressure in the brake lines this system will not provide to much assistance. There are a few braking techniques here.

 

You may also be interested in: How to Change Brake Pads and Rotors

Brake Fluid Types:

So as you may or may not notice there are 4 different types of brake fluids.

 

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Fluid Dry ERBP (°F) Wet ERBP (°F) Viscosity Limit Chemical
Fluid Dry ERBP (°F) Wet ERBP (°F) Viscosity Limit Chemical
Grade @ 0.0% H2O @ 3.7% H2O (Cp @-40°F) Composition
DOT 3 401 284 1500 mm2/s Glycol Ether Based
DOT 4 446 311 1800 mm2/s Glycol Ether / Borate Ester
DOT 5 (SSBF) 500 356 900 mm2/s Silicone Based
DOT 5.1 500 356 900 mm2/s Borate Ester/ Glycol Ether

Source: USDOT

* DOT refers to the Department of Transportation and the numbers refer to the different viscosity limit brake fluid is made of.

Viscosity Limit

The brake fluid grade comes from the different temperatures that the fluid maintains while its stable and the corrosion characteristics. There are more characteristics taken into consideration but we are going to just focus on those two.

Viscosity is important to those that have ABS systems because the pressure and volume of fluid is not transferred. This means manufacturer’s suggested viscosity is important to take into consideration.

DOT3

Is one of two brake fluids that are capable of absorbing water from the air. DOT3 is Glycol Ether Based. The benefit of using Glycol Ether is its high boiling point with a lower molecular weight. DOT3 is a very commonly used brake fluid because it is the most economical when it comes to meeting the government standards.

DOT4

Is the next brake fluid that can absorb water through the air, when handling both DOT3 & DOT4. it is important to limit the exposure to the air. Also you don’t to spill any of this on your car because of the chemical properties of the Glycol Ether.

Only open the brake fluid reservoir when necessary, make sure you seal the plastic bottle tightly. DOT4 has a high stability and a high boiling point when its new.

If, water is absorbed into DOT4 the boiling point drops rapidly, even more than DOT3. DOT4 is referred to as a race or performance brake fluid because of the viscosity limit. Therefore when it comes to performance vehicle it is important to change your brake fluid more frequently.

DOT5.1

Unlike DOT3 and DOT4, DOT5 fluid doesn’t absorb water.

DOT 5.1 is also hydrophobic which means non absorbing and is used because of the lower chances of corrosion. DOT 5.1 used to be exclusively in the high performance industry because it requires so much attention.

DOT 5 has its benefits of being silicon based, it won’t chip paint if you spill it on your car. When pouring DOT 5 you have to pour slowly. Pouring too fast will create air bubbles and this will put gas in your brake lines which will leave your vehicle at risk.

If your vehicle is use as a sunday driver it almost certainly will have to be bleed after every time you let it sit for a long time. The moisture in the brake lines pool at the lowest point which is normally in the caliper. This once again makes the fluid compressible and puts your vehicle at risk.


Best Race Brake Fluid

If you are a individual that likes making your own modifications to your vehicle you may find selecting the proper brake fluid a little tricky but it’s not.

Unless your vehicle is on a race track or a drift car your best option will still be a DOT3 or DOT4. This gives you an advantage of predictable gauge of how much your brakes can handle. You don’t have to change this fluid or bleed your lines as frequently as using any other brake fluid. In other words you have less chance of corrosion.


Best Brake Fluid

When it comes to brake fluid you have a very simple decision to make, but first you have to decide what your intentions are. If you are just looking for something for your daily commute DOT 3 is for you

Prestone AS400 DOT 3 Synthetic Brake Fluid

7060165_pst_as400_pri_larg

Is good for your light trucks and can be used on drum and disc brakes. Prestone as400 also has a high temperature stability which is a key factor when looking for a brake fluid. What helps to set this apart is the ability to flow at low temperatures and keep water from penetrating the hydraulic fluid.

HI-TEMP 570 Brake Fluid

hi-temp-brake-fluid_6Is best racing Dot 3 brake fluid and is engineered to be easy to use. HI-TEMP has a low viscosity which helps with the bleeding and the flowing of the hydraulic brake fluid.

This helps with braking and maintain a long smooth brake pedal.  HI-TEMP formula helps the elimination of aeration in case of cadence braking and helps maintains a functional system.

 

Best Brake Fluid for Vehicles using DOT4 is

Motul RBF600 DOT 4 Brake Fluid

rbf600

RBF600 some of has the highest dry and wet boiling points in the brake fluid industry. One things that helps it stand out is the presence of nitrogen in the bottle rather than air which helps increase its shelf life and eliminate contamination. RBF600 is a racing brake fluid but can also be used for light range hauling trucks and cars.

 

 

Castrol SRF Brake Fluid

CASTROL_SRF_brake_fluid_detail_1_psph__17551.1419387901.600.600Is a special european blend made for their temperate environment. This also has anti-vapor lock properties that helps keep the fluid dry. For those that live in a colder climate this may appeal to you to help with moisture in the air.


Dot 51. brake Fluids

Motul 100951 Brake Fluid DOT 5.1

dot_5_1_usa

Is a long life silicon based formula made for anti-lock brakes (ABS). This fluid has a lower viscosity so this enables it to travel easier through the micro-valves of anti-lock brake systems.


 

Braking (get it) It Down

Ultimately using the manufacturer’s recommended brake fluid is the way to go. If you’re a enthusiast driving a rare car around you will want to go with DOT5. You just have to keep in mind bleed your lines if it sat for a long time.

Nowadays most companies make a combination brake fluid. You can find DOT 3 and 4 anywhere. If you live in a very hot region and operate a military like vehicle DOT5.1 is for you.

 

 

 

How Often Should I Wax My Car? Old, New and In Between

How Often Should I Wax My Car? Old, New and In Between

You watch in an almost sinful awe as beads of moisture slowly roll off the glorious glistening body before you. You stall, spraying it again and watch pinpoints of sunlight kiss each and every droplet of water.

That’s right, it’s fresh car wax day, and enjoying the impeccable shine of your automotive beauty is just the beginning of the benefits that come with keeping your car waxed.

But

how often should i wax my car? Should it be done every couple of weeks or every year? Welcome back car enthusiasts, today we are going to answer the question: How often and when do you need to wax to keep the body of your vehicle to keep it looking it’s best?

How Often Should I Wax My Car

When To Wax Your Car?

Check almost any automotive site and they will all agree that for optimum shine you are going to want to wax your car every three months.

That’s around four times a year or once a new season begins if you want to think about it that way.

If you’re asking yourself: “Do I Really Need to Wax My Car?” The answer is, technologically you don’t NEED to, especially if you plan on riding around in a dusty, dull looking, scratched up car.

But, if you want a clean, shiny ride- you know, be one of those red cars on the road that you cant help but look at.

Related: Best Wax For Black Cars

Or ride around one of those all black Dodge Chargers that still look sharp in the dark; you’d want to keep the car waxed. You can do it yourself- get the best wax and do it by hand or you can buy a buffer to help the process along. And, of course, you can visit you nearest detailing shop.

The point is, a routine waxing is still one of the most important parts of your vehicle’s aesthetic maintenance.

If you want to enjoy the benefit of waxing, but aren’t particularly worried about a high shine, you can cut this regime down to twice a year. This will still provide the protection your car needs from outside elements and keep the resale price at a good number.

Related: Top Wax For White Cars 

Not Sure If “Shelly” NEEDS A Wax? Do A Wax Test

A quick way to know whether or not your car needs a waxing, is to pour a little water on the hood of your car and see whether or not it forms a good size bead on the paint.

Take a look at the video, “How to Tell if it Needs Wax” to see this process:

Enter your text here…

If the water beads, like you see in the picture above, then your wax levels are good

If the beads are smaller or nonexistent then it’s time to pull out the wax or hit your favorite detailer.

Its Not All About Looks. Its About Protection & Prevention!

When left outside for any amount of time cars become vulnerable to it’s surroundings. It could be the kids throwing a frisbee up and down the street, or that kid that thinks it’s cool to touch all the cars with his studded gloves.

Nothing causes more damage to an exterior of a car then the weather, and it is for all of these reason that wax is so important to your automobile.

Related: Whats the Best Paint Sealant?

When looking into the benefits of waxing your vehicle, paint protection is one of the many ways car wax helps to retain your car’s beauty (and value).

How Soon Can You Wax A New Car?

How Often Should I Wax My Car

So what about that new car you just took off the lot? It has clear protective coating and shouldn’t need wax for at least a year right?

Actually, this assumption is incorrect.

In the past when cars arrived at the dealerships from the factory, the top layers of paint were usually dry, but the layers beneath still needed time. Therefore dealerships suggested that your first wax not happen for a while to give the paint and clearcoat an appropriate time to completely set.

According to the article, “When to Wax a Brand New Car” on detailexperts.net, you can wax your new car as soon as a few weeks after its initial use.

So don’t be afraid to pull out the wax and get to work.

Related: Picking the Right Carnauba Wax

Wax vs Polish: Whats The Difference?

When you have decided that it is time to wax your car, you may come across two different items, Car Wax and Car Polish. So which do you choose? The answer to this questions lies in the condition of your car.

What is the Difference Between Polish and Wax:

Wax is used to protect the paint of your car, and polish is used to repair the paint. Simply put, if you have been giving your car a regularly scheduled waxing at least twice a year, then you can continue waxing.

If you have laxed on the routine then you may need to use a polish to first repair the damage that has been done to the exterior paint of your vehicle.

The video, “How to Clean, Polish and Wax Your Car” by Barry’s Auto Body will show you the polish and wax process to help you get started. 

Now You Know How Often You Should Wax Your Car!

And there you have it, everything you need to know about how often you need to wax your car. This along with your scheduled maintenance and detailing will ensure a high resale value and quality performance out of your vehicle.

Please let me know what you think of the information or links provided in the comments below and if you have any suggestion for the best car wax for you.

Thanks to all the new readers and especially all of my car enthusiasts.