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Which Type of Brake Fluid Do I Need?

Your brakes are essential for your vehicle and your safety. However, most people neglect their brake system when it comes to proper maintenance. For example, you should always make sure you have enough brake fluid in your car. Without brake fluid, your vehicle will not be able to come to a complete stop. In other words, your brakes depend on this particular solution to perform their job correctly in many conditions. There are several types of brake fluid you should know. Here are the five different types of brake fluid and their characteristics:

  • DOT 3 - This type of brake fluid is glycol-based and has been used for a very long time. It is a rich amber color, and it is known to have the lowest boiling point.
  • DOT 4 -  DOT 4 has become more widely used by vehicle manufacturers, but it is used mostly by European car manufacturers currently. It is a glycol-based solution but has a higher boiling point than DOT 3. It also costs more than DOT 3.
  • DOT 5 - This type of brake fluid is different in formulation than DOT 3 & 4 since it is silicone-based brake fluid. It is also purple in color to differentiate itself. DOT 5 has a very high boiling point, but it doesn't absorb water like the other types. It can get foamy and the air bubbles are more challenging to bleed out.
  • DOT 5.1 - DOT 5.1 is glycol-based, and its appearance can range from light amber to transparent. It's essentially the same composition as DOT 4 with DOT 5 regulations.
  • DOT 2 - This type of brake fluid isn't used in the automotive industry. DOT 2 is a mineral oil-based brake fluid, and it has low wet and dry boiling points.

Out of the various types of brake fluid, DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1 brake fluids are the most commonly used in today's vehicles. Each time you take your vehicle to the repair shop for a fluid exchange, it would be beneficial to mention which brake fluid your vehicle requires. If you don't know which type of brake fluid your vehicle takes, please go to your owner's manual for more information. If you need brake fluid services, please give Community Auto a call or visit soon!

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