4 Different Types of Brake Fluid?

Maintaining the performance of your car is highly essential for a lot of us. While most of us tend to spend our time on breaks repair, tire changes, and motor oil checks, we tend to miss out on some of the most important yet neglected areas of our vehicles. Brake fluid, for instance, is a common example. You would think, ‘Why spend time and money on the brakes if they’re fully functional?’ Well, to begin with, it fulfills the purpose of transferring foot pressure to the hydraulic clutch system or to the brakes. In other words, a hydraulic clutch is responsible for one thing, and that’s to bring your vehicle to a halt. 

Proper care for your vehicle and all its components is necessary if you’re willing to maintain its high performance. Brake fluids are just as necessary as any other fluid that goes into your car. However, while you are caring for your car, you may come across some concerns for the car. You will have to decide which break oil will be the best for you based on the fluids that are compatible and what its boiling point should be. 

This article will go over the four different types of brake fluid to help you choose the one you need.

Note: ‘DOT’ in brake fluids stands for Department of Transportation, each number varying in boiling points. 


Of all the brake fluids out there, DOT3 happens to be the most popular and has been used for quite some time. Fresh DOT3 has a 401 degrees Fahrenheit boiling point where after being degraded fully, it drops down to 284 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows your fluid to boil much more likely. Going downhill, racing, towing or braking hard for extended periods can accelerate this process. 

DOT 3 must be dealt with care as it is highly corrosive. It must be cleaned up immediately with a degreaser or soap and water as it will remove paint. 


This brake fluid is gaining attention widely by vehicle manufacturers, though it is preferred and used widely by mainly European car manufacturers as of now. DOT 5 has several types of brake fluid but happens to have a higher boiling point than 3, starting at 446 degrees Fahrenheit. The additional ingredients in DOT 4 help in reducing acid that can be formed from moisture. DOT 4 is twice the cost of DOT 3, and make sure you get the one suited to your vehicle. 


This brake fluid is silicone-based, achieving a boiling point of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It mostly has a purple hue to make it distinct from the amber-coloured DOT 4 and 3. Unlike glycol-based brake fluids, it does not absorb water, but it does turn foamy, which makes it difficult to bleed out due to air bubbles. DOT 5 is more on the pricey side, must not be mixed with other fluids and is not recommended for ABS systems

DOT 5.1

DOT 5.1 is similar to DOT 4 racing brake fluids with a boiling point of DOT 5. This brake fluid is glycol-based. The colour differs from amber to clear, and though it can be interminable with DOT 4 or 3, it is not suggested. It is also quite expensive than other brake fluids. 

Keep these types in mind the next time you are choosing the right brake fluid for your car during maintenance. 


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