Questions tagged [brake-fluid]

Fluid used in the brake system to transfer pedal pressure to the caliper to stop or slow a vehicle. Commonly used types of brake fluid include DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5, and DOT 5.1. A higher "DOT" number indicates a higher boiling point of the fluid.

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40
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7answers
621k views

what is the difference between DOT3 and DOT4 brake fluids?

What is the difference between DOT3 and DOT4 brake fluids? What could possibly go wrong if I use a (4 times cheaper) DOT3 brake fluid instead of the DOT4 which manufacturer recommends (but allows ...
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2answers
5k views

Brake flush vs. Replacing the brake fluid

Is a brake flush the exact same thing as replacing the brake fluid? Or is there a difference?
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1answer
27k views

Cleaning brake fluid (general tips)

There are some other threads on other websites about cleaning up brake fluid. But I just wanted to get a more organized, concise answer here on SE. Wanted to confirm that cleaning up brake fluid just ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Brake fluid doesn't move in the master cylinder container

I have done a clutch bleed on my Toyota Corolla e120 2006 because I had some difficulties shifting out of 1st gear, I bled it through the slave cylinder and I noticed the fluid was dark black, I was ...
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5answers
35k views

Mixing DOT 4 with DOT 4 synthetic

I couldn't see an existing question about this but please link to it if you know of one ... I should point out I'm English and the products described are bought in the UK, in case it makes a ...
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3answers
18k views

My brake fluid all left on short notice. What gives?

During the very cold weather (here in Ohio) recently, I noticed the brakes on my 2000 Chevy Malibu were a little soft, and made a mental note to attend to them promptly. Then, over the course of 24 ...
10
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3answers
42k views

Using DOT4+ in clutch/brakes when DOT3 is recommended?

Looking at Wikipedia's DOT 3 page, it looks like it's been effectively superseded by DOT 4 fluid, but it's still sold and is still recommended on many forums. This question has an answer saying DOT 4 ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Brake fade and spongy brakes at high speeds

I was driving my girlfriends Ford Fiesta last week and it started to experience brake fade. It always happened after driving the car at higher speeds over 100kmh (60 MPH). The brake pedal became ...
10
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1answer
908 views

Are resistance/capacitance based brake fluid testers reliable?

I would like to test my brake fluid to see whether it needs replacing rather than spend the time and money on it unnecessarily. I've seen inexpensive brake fluid testers on the market which work on ...
9
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1answer
610 views

How can I dispose of the waste products I get from working on my car more effectively?

I have some real challenges disposing of various fluids and consumable objects from working on vehicles at home in my small workshop. Some of the more common things that I want to be able to dispose ...
8
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2answers
13k views

What is the difference between DOT4 and DOT5 brake fluid?

I've been going to a lot of muscle car websites the last few days and have seen quite a few recommendations to switch over a brake system from DOT4 to DOT5. The work that's required seems to revolve ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How do disk brake pistons retract?

If drum brakes consist of a several springs inside and outside the fluid cylinder to retract the brake shoes after braking, how disk brakes piston, that dont have any springs, can retract alone ...
8
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1answer
70k views

What actually happens when there is no brake fluid in the brake fluid reservoir?

I was curious, given that fact that a lack of engine oil can completely destroy your engine, can a lack of brake fluid completely destroy your brakes? I can imagine how that could be even worst than a ...
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2answers
26k views

What are all the different types of fluid in a car and a short summary of their use?

A fluid is defined as anything that flows, hence for our purposes a gas or a liquid. I know that there is fuel, engine oil, engine coolant and brake fluid. Also air is normally taken in through a ...
7
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1answer
345 views

What to do if you don't know if you have DOT 3 or DOT in your brake lines?

The brake fluid on my 98 Mada 626 is black and nasty looking, and I'm planning on bleeding the brakes to change it. However, I don't know what's currently in it because the Workshop Service Manual ...
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2answers
22k views

Mixing brands of DOT4 brake fluid

I have changed my DOT3 brake fluid to DOT4 brake fluid. Will it hurt to mix DOT4 fluid with another brand of DOT4 fluid?
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2answers
3k views

Changing fluids (power steering and rear differential): when and why

A few months ago I've bought a 2009 Honda CR-V and took it to the official dealer for a check. They told me that some fluids (power steering, brake and rear differential) are "dis-color" and need to ...
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2answers
7k views

Brake pedal soft after changing pads

I have a 2003 Ford Focus. I decided to change the brake pads myself, as they were worn out (especially on the left side). I replaced the pads on the left side and drove a little to test them out (1&...
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5answers
81k views

Spongy brakes after brake pad swap - moisture or bubbles?

I changed the rear brake pads on my BMW last week, following the steps outlined in this video. Unfortunately the brake pedal now feels spongy. The pedal feel was firm prior to the brake swap, so it ...
6
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3answers
961 views

Is there a reason vacuum bleeding can't be done with a syringe?

So, I was looking through the auto store while picking up a mightyvac break bleeder vacuum kit. I noticed there was a syringe meant for mixing two cycle gas with a clear hose, and I thought "why am I ...
6
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1answer
2k views

How toxic is brake fluid?

Is brake fluid especially toxic or is it about the same as dirty oil (not very toxic in trace amounts or just occasional human exposure). I'm trying to figure out how much effort I should put in ...
5
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2answers
3k views

Brake fluid heat

When reading the excellent answer to the question Is failing to change brake fluid a life safety issue? I started to think about the physics of brake fluid heating up. The brake lines are fairly long ...
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2answers
4k views

Clutch sticking, wait until engine's warm

I drive a 96 Honda Del sol it's got about 200k on the engine. So lately my clutch hasn't been going into first or neutral when I try to start it. There is often very little resistance in the clutch at ...
5
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1answer
559 views

Motorcycle front brake lever too close to grip

The front brake lever on my 1998 Honda VFR is coming back way too close to the grip. This is since it came out of winter storage in April. It's an adjustable lever and I've changed it from 3 or so to ...
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3answers
6k views

Is it possible to tell if brake fluid needs to be flushed just by looking at it?

I've got spongy brake feel. This situation has me wondering if it is at all possible to tell that brake fluid needs changing just by looking at the fluid in the reservoir, similar to how you can tell ...
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1answer
3k views

Did I toast my caliper?

While compressing the front brake caliper piston on my 93 miata fluid seemed to be getting out of the piston. It only did it on the driver's side. I test drove the car several times and braked hard a ...
4
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2answers
245 views

Is failing to change brake fluid a life safety issue?

While I recognise the the brake system in my car is redundant, is it possible that failure to replace brake fluid could result in a fatal accident? or is there sufficient redundancy and warning ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Does brake fluid require topping-up as brake pads wear out?

The other day I was watching a video of a guy changing brake pads, and the first thing he suggested was opening the brake fluid container to remove some fluid with a syringe. This is to avoid ...
4
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1answer
316 views

Specifics about changing a brake caliper on 2000 Toyota Camry

I went to change the brake fluid in my 2000 Toyota Camry and when I tried to unscrew the bleeder nipple on a front caliper it broke in half rather than unscrewed. So, I need to replace the caliper ...
4
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1answer
14k views

How to bleed Toyota Tacoma clutch system?

Vehicle: 2007 Toyota Tacoma 4WD v6 6 speed I found this tutorial on pre-bleeding but it is generic (not vehicle specific) and I think there are differences between the cylinder it uses and Tacoma's, ...
4
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2answers
277 views

Is it necessary to bleed brakes if the system is never opened?

Just wondering if there is a point to bleeding the brakes if the system is never opened, since it's effectively a closed system. For example, does the chemical change should the fluid reach boiling ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Brake fluid reservoir level drops fast to minimum but not below

The brake fluid reservoir level drops very fast in my 2007 4WD V6 Toyota Tacoma, probably within 3-5 days of filling it up. The funny thing is, it drops to just below where it says minimum but not ...
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2answers
15k views

When should brake fluid be changed in a Honda 2016 CRV?

I have an automatic 2016 Honda CRV. I brought my car into the dealership to be serviced (30k). The new Hondas now just show a code (A1, B1, etc.) to tell me what to service/fix. The advisor just ...
3
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2answers
4k views

Is it sufficient to cycle out brake fluid as opposed to “replacing” or “flushing” it?

Let's assume I have a car with 30k miles whose service manual does not specify any interval for changing brake fluid, and the fluid is still transparent with no visible contaminants. Is it feasible ...
3
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2answers
394 views

Brake caliper leak while pushing piston back

I'm a bit worried about my front brake calipers on my MX5 MK1. I was replacing the front brake pads, and I had to push the caliper piston back in order to fit with the new pads. I used a C clamp to ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Does power steering fluid go bad quickly?

I've always heard that brake fluid goes bad real fast (IIRC, it absorbs the moisture in the air). What about power steering fluid? Can you buy a large container and use it over the years? Or, like ...
3
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3answers
178 views

Brake fluid Differences

I need to add brake fluid to a 1929 ford pickup. I don't know if it has dot 3 or dot 5 brake fluid. Is there some kind of test I can do the will tell me what is in the pickup. How do I tell if a ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Brake fluid gone, rear brakes out. '99 pathfinder

The other day I started my car and the e-brake light stayed on after releasing it and I figured it was electrical at first. When I started using the brakes I realized I had to push about twice as far ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Can I use DOT 4 brake fluid when DOT 4+ is recommended?

My Chevrolet Lumina SS calls for use of "Heavy Duty Brake Fluid (DOT-4 Plus)". The brake fluid bottle I have readily available is DOT 4; the label claims to be compatible with DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 ...
3
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1answer
93 views

Is vehicle's fluid level monitoring the best way to detect all leaks?

I did an oil change for my friend's car and the mechanic was trying to convince me that it is leaking oil and brake fluid. He suggested that the car needs a costly repair (~$1400). While I don't have ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Purpose of brake-fluid filter?

What is the purpose of the small filter-mesh inside the brake-fluid reservoir of a car? What is it supposed to keep out? A mechanic was changing the brake-fluid in my car and to get this small filter ...
3
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1answer
2k views

BMW 3 series 320D 2010 brake light and inspection light

Today the trip computer went over the service due milage. After a short period the red inspection light came on and what appears to be the red brake fluid light? Below is the closest picture I could ...
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2answers
2k views

Brake pedal is hard to push even after new brakes

The brake pedal in my 06 Pontiac g6 seems harder to push than normal. Since the issue started, I've had the rear rotors and pads replaced, along with a control arm. For the first 10-15 minutes of city ...
2
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4answers
745 views

Brakes don't work

I have a 98 Chevy Blazer 4.3 liter I was driving down the road coming home when I went to apply the brakes the pedal went to the floor but I did not slow down nor stop I had to use a hill in order to ...
2
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1answer
882 views

Could my brake problems be caused by a wrong kind of brake fluid?

The brake light is on in my 2007 Toyota Tacoma 4WD v6. The recurring pattern has been that I would fill up the brake fluid but then it would drop below the minimum mark after just a few days. It ...
2
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1answer
326 views

Do cars have a specific brake and power steering fluid or are they universal?

I am servicing my standard hyundai coupe 2006. Things like the engine oil, air filter and coolant have to be the specific ones for your car. However what about power steering and brake fluid, I can'...
2
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1answer
2k views

Is it ok to mix different clutch fluid color?

Needed to top up my clutch fluid. Is it ok to mix different clutch fluid color? One I currently have on the reservoir is blue. I will try to look for blue but what if I cannot find one. I really need ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Hydraulic fluid reservoir caps

Hydraulic fluid needs to be kept clean of foreign debris to avoid damaging/destroying hydraulic fluid lines. It is also known to be hydrophillic; Absorbing water leads to a lower boiling point, which ...
2
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1answer
3k views

How to clean brake fluid spillage from vehicle floor?

I had a leak out of my clutch master cylinder for quite a long time (until I figured what it was causing it). The floor mat is pretty soaked in brake fluid (and I am replacing it) but there are also ...
2
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2answers
43k views

Vaxhall Astra H clutch problem

A couple of months ago I noticed some problems starting with the clutch; the pedal became extremely spongy and the biting point was right down at the bottom, expecially on cold starts first thing in ...