Yes, you can mix DOT three and DOT four brake fluids without worrying. However, deciding the fluid can be challenging and confusing if you do not know it.
Brake fluid is one of the essential parts of your car’s braking system. It acts as a carrier for moisture, which helps stop the brake pads from dragging over the rotors, causing wear.
This means that it is essential to have quality brake fluids in your vehicle at all times, so it doesn’t break down or need replacing sooner than necessary.
For those who are not in the business of car repair, this question is likely not top-of-mind.
However, to answer this question, one must consider whether or not you should mix DOT 3 and DOT 4. In general, when it comes to auto fluids such as brake fluid or motor oil, they can be mixed with no harm done to either fluid.
However, certain vehicles require more caution in mixing different fluids due to incompatibility issues that may arise; for example, mixing antifreeze with gasoline would create vapors that could explode, which could cause serious injury or property damage.
Motor oils vary greatly between manufacturers and types of vehicles based on their intended use and compatibility requirements.
Table of Contents
- Tell Me The Difference Between DOT 3 And DOT 4 Brake Fluid?
- Which Is The Best Brake Fluid?
- Are DOT 3 And DOT 4 Brake Fluid Compatible?
- Can I Fill My Brake Fluid?
Tell Me The Difference Between DOT 3 And DOT 4 Brake Fluid?
Generally speaking, most automatic transmission fluids belong to one of two categories: DOT 3 or DOT 4. The difference between these two types of fluids is the freezing point.
A fluid with a lower freezing point will be designated as DOT 3, whereas a fluid with a higher freezing point will be designated as DOT 4.
DOT 4 Brake Fluid
DOT 4 brake fluids were designed to reduce the number of parts used in braking systems. This oil-based compound is used in all modern vehicles and is compatible with ABS and silicon antifreeze systems.
The substance also offers lower viscosity levels, which means it can flow more easily and doesn’t leave a deposit on the piston surfaces when it comes into contact with them.
Also, several additives are added to the DOT 4 fluid, which allows for a much faster release of moisture in the system. In addition to this, DOT 4 brake fluid will work with any wheel or tire combination and doesn’t require corrosion inhibitors added to its composition.
DOT 3 Brake Fluid
This type of fluid is metallic-based, which means that it has copper particles suspended in it to help improve braking performance by acting as a lubricant between the metal piston surfaces.
The fluid is also hygroscopic, meaning it attracts moisture. This helps stop the pads from friction-welding together when they contact the brake disks.
These fluids work well with aluminum, copper, steel, and iron-based wheels, but they are not designed for use in vehicles that have ABS.
In most cases, they are also compatible with Silicon antifreeze systems and are used in various industries, including aircraft, cars, and other vehicles where brake fluid is required. In addition, DOT 3 is relatively cheap compared to other types of fluids available in the market.
Which Is The Best Brake Fluid?
You will find many famous brands such as Castrol, Prestone, Bosch producing some of the best brake fluid.
Brake fluid is a chemical mixture of many additives that ensures that your car’s brakes function correctly. Common brake fluids are formulated to resist high temperatures, so they won’t turn into liquid sludge.
They tend to stay liquid even long after their manufacturers recommend changing the brake fluid. Brake fluids also contain anti-corrosive chemicals that keep metal parts in the braking system in good shape.
Common myths regarding brake fluids are applying too much pressure on brakes can cause rust on brake drums.
This myth is unfounded, and the mechanism behind brake action is the difference in air pressure. Therefore, any rust would only happen if you applied enough pressure for your car’s brake fluid to boil, which occurs when you go downhill too fast or apply the brakes hard.
Are DOT 3 And DOT 4 Brake Fluid Compatible?
Yes, DOT three and DOT four brake fluid are compatible, and you will notice that DOT four fluid will have a little higher boiling point than DOT 3. This compatibility is because DOT three and four fluids do not contain solvents.
This is because DOT three and DOT four brake fluids are synthetic and will not deteriorate the rubber seals in your master cylinder or brake pedal.
The most important claims made for DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluids are that they never rust and crack. But this is not true. Yes, DOT 4 brake fluid will not rust, but DOT 3 brake fluid will.
DOT 3 and DOT 4 fluids are compatible as long as you use them simultaneously. However, their boiling points differ, so it’s best to replace brake fluid once a year for optimal performance.
Can I Fill My Brake Fluid?
Most new brakes are sealed systems, aside from the wear and tear of constant driving. It should be safe to fill the brake fluid yourself if you have a newer vehicle.
You may need to bring your car back into a shop if there are any problems with the braking system or if you notice any leaks.
The fluids will need to be checked and refilled by professionals. In addition, different components within your vehicle may need fixing or replacing due to wear and tear or leaky lines within the system. The brake fluid within your car is an essential part of the braking system.
The brake fluid regulates the pressure between the piston and cylinder to stop or slow down your vehicle.
In addition, it keeps dry, clean, and free from rust or corrosion due to moisture build-up or leakage. But over time, any brake fluid will eventually dry up and need replacing.
It is best to avoid filling the brake fluid yourself for older vehicles. Brake fluid is not meant to be preserved in cans or bottles. It will deteriorate over time and lose its effectiveness. Older cars are more prone to rust and corrosion.
They may also have a greater risk of leaks. Brake fluid cannot be refrigerated, so if you have any spills or drips, it will not be saved or recycled like other fluids within your car can be.
Whether you fill your car’s brake fluid yourself or bring it into a shop, make sure that everything is cleaned up correctly and dried before you start your vehicle back up again.