Which brake fluid for my car?

Looking to change your brake fluid, but unsure which brake fluid you should use for your car? Is it DOT4, DOT3 or perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the different types of brake fluid? Learn what brake fluid is, how often it should be changed and how to work out which brake fluid to use for your own vehicle now from our helpful guide.

What is brake fluid?

Brake fluid, also known as hydraulic fluid, is vital for moving parts of your braking system. Brake fluid applies hydraulic pressure to the callipers in the system when you press your brake pedal, working under very high pressure. The pads then work with the brake discs, slowing your car down, and then brings it to a stop. Without brake fluid, you would not be able to use your car brakes at all – so it’s important your brake fluid is topped up in order for you to use your vehicle effectively.

How often to change brake fluid

Typically, it’s recommended by vehicle manufacturers that your brake fluid should be changed at least once every two years. This is to maintain both the quality and the lifespan of the brakes on your vehicle. However, the frequency of how often you change brake fluid can often vary between different vehicle manufacturers so, if you’re not sure, consult your manufacturer or your vehicle handbook.

So, which brake fluid should I use for my car?

There are multiple different types of brake fluid that can be used for your vehicle. However, these are grouped into two headings:

  • Glycol based - this includes brake fluids such as DOT3, DOT4 and Super DOT4.
  • Silicone based - an example of a silicone-based brake fluid is DOT5.

Typically, most vehicles use DOT4 – however, to find out which brake fluid you need to use for your vehicle, you will need to consult your vehicle handbook.

The reference to ‘dots’ in the different types of brake fluid refer to the fluid’s boiling point - typically, the lower the ‘DOT’ number (for example, DOT3), the lower the fluid’s boiling point. How you use your vehicle will then determine which level of ‘DOT’ you’ll need for your brake fluid. A high performance driven car; one used for race driving or driving around rural hilly areas, for example, will likely require a brake fluid with a higher ‘DOT rating, due to its lower boiling point.

For more information on what brake fluid is, or which brake fluid you should use for your vehicle, visit our car brakes page now. Alternatively, locate your nearest Setyres branch or contact a member of our team today.

Posted on: 13/05/2020

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