When Should I Use Dot 5 Brake Fluid?

DOT 5 brake fluid is a silicon-based fluid. This was developed to be used in cars where moisture was definitely going to be prevalent and unavoidable. That means things like high performance vehicles and military vehicles.

Should DOT 5 brake fluid be used in all vehicles?

Since DOT 4 and 5.1 are both glycol-based brake fluids they are compatible with each other, which means they can be readily mixed without harming your brake system. Here you can see that silicone based DOT 5 is the odd one out and is not compatible with any other DOT brake fluid.

What are the advantages of DOT 5 brake fluid?

Unlike polyethylene glycol based fluids, DOT 5 is hydrophobic. An advantage over other forms of brake fluid is that silicone has a more stable viscosity index over a wider temperature range. Another property is that it does not damage paint. DOT 5 brake fluid is not compatible with anti-lock braking systems.

What’s the difference between DOT 3 and DOT 5 brake fluid?

Most applications call for a DOT3 (401F dry/284F wet) or DOT4 (446F dry/311F wet) fluid, which is considered a higher performance fluid since it can handle more heat. While DOT5 has a higher boiling point (500F dry/356F wet) than DOT3 or DOT4, DOT5 exhibits more compressibility than glycol ether brake fluid.

Can you use DOT 5 in a DOT 4 system?

All DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 brake fluids are compatible with each other and with all systems. All polyethylene glycol-based fluids will not harm healthy rubber parts. If you have an older vehicle and are worried about boiling the fluid, use DOT 4 or 5.1 brake fluid.

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What is DOT 5 used for?

DOT 5 is silicone-based brake fluid and is used in most new cars today. DOT 5 is expensive, but it has a dry boiling point of 356 degrees. Newer brake rotors tend to be smaller and thinner, which means they disperse heat a lot less efficiently. Also, DOT 5 does not absorb any moisture.

Can DOT 5 be used in ABS?

As a rule, vehicles equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS) should not use DOT 5 brake fluid. DOT 5 brake fluid is silicone based. It can be distinguished from conventional brake fluids by its purple color (which comes from a dye). Silicone does not absorb moisture.

Who uses DOT 5 brake?

DOT 5 Silicone Brake Fluid Recommended for use in the hydraulic brake and clutch systems of all cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles for which non-petroleum based fluid is specified. Particularly recommended for classic cars or vehicles that are garaged for much of their life but must be usable at short notice.

Does DOT 5 brake fluid eat paint?

Silicone brake fluid — DOT 5 — is silicone-based with a high boiling point suitable for motorsports, isn’t sensitive to absorbing moisture and doesn’t damage paint.

Does DOT 5 brake fluid absorb water?

Unlike glycol based DOT 3,4 and 5.1 fluids, DOT 5 silicone brake fluid will not absorb water from the atmosphere or act like a paint remover. Silicone has very high dry and wet boiling points. It is also more compressible and can absorb more air than a conventional brake fluid. DOT 5 does have its applications.

Can DOT 5 be used universally?

Since DOT 4 and 5.1 are both glycol-based brake fluids they are compatible with each other, which means they can be readily mixed without harming your brake system.

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What is DOT 5.1 brake fluid used for?

DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid is recommended for re-fill or top-up of brake and clutch systems in passenger cars, 4WD’s, motorcycles, light and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, mining, construction, agricultural and all other moving vehicle types that require a non-petroleum based brake & clutch hydraulic fluid.

Is DOT 5.1 better than DOT 4?

As DOT 5.1 is more hygroscopic than DOT 4 and therefore absorbs more moisture, it will need to be changed more often. However, the benefit of 5.1 with its higher boiling point, is that it can experience higher temperatures than DOT 4 before it starts to affect braking efficiency.

Is DOT 5 and DOT 5.1 the same?

DOT 5 is silicone based. DOT 5.1 is glycol based.

What happens if you use the wrong DOT brake fluid?

If you notice that your brake fluid is low your vehicle needs a brake system service. Hooked up gears – Automatic transmissions should only use the fluid that is specified by the automaker. Using the wrong fluid can cause overheating, bad lubrication, and can permanently damage your vehicles transmission.

When did Harley stop using DOT 5?

DOT 5 brake fluid is stipulated for nearly all motorcycles from Harley-Davidson and Buell roughly from model years 1976 to 2004/2005 with original braking systems.