Which brake fluid

Submitted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:47
ThreadID: 107982 Views:2940 Replies:10 FollowUps:34
This Thread has been Archived
I am setting up a spares pool for the car. At the last service I asked what brake fluid to use. The reservoir lid states DOT 3. They said DOT 3. We have been to a few outlets like super..... and they don't have any. I was also told many moons ago not to mix fluids like break and steering unless you have an emergency. I have in the past used soapy water once and no damages either short or long term.

So I have two questions; namely
1. Will DOT 4 be fine as Super.... says it is a DOT 3 replacement and compatable? and
2. Is it okay to mix them or do I flush the old DOT 3 out first?

Phil
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Reply By: Athol W1 - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:13

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:13
PJR
It would help if you mentioned what make/model of vehicle that you are talking about, but as you are saying that the cap says DOT 3 then that is the only fluid that you should be using. There is a difference in the lubricity of the fluids, and the use of DOT 4 fluid in some Toyota vehicles can result in noisy brake master cylinder or booster operation. DOT 4 has less lubricating effect when compared to DOT 3. There is also a small difference in the boiling point of the two fluids.
Hope this helps
Regards
Athol, retired motor mechanic.
AnswerID: 533298

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:30

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:30
Hi Athol

Exactly what my mechanic said. He said to stick to what the cap said. And my gut said to also. It's a Toyota 2005 4.2 TD 100 series.

This just proves to me not to listen to sales staff with any real authority. I just need to find the correct shop to buy it from. The mechanic only has it in big drums and that is too big me. If I don't have any luck at the shops then I will find an empty bottle and see if he will fill it.

Thanks for your wise words my friend.

Phil
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FollowupID: 816625

Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:44

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:44
If it's DOT 3 you can use DOT 4 or DOT 5.1 (must be 5.1 and not 5).

DO NOT USE DOT 5.

They (DOT 3, DOT 4 DOT 5.1) are all made the same but the higher the number the higher the temp...... most old cars speced DOT 3 due to the simple fact DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 wasn't around. No need to flush but it is a good idea to do it every two - three years



Soapy water ?????????? for what!
AnswerID: 533300

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:49

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:49
Had a break line get ripped off in the Kingswood while we were chasing surf cross country (yeah I know that bloody car again) and we used soapy water to fill it. Worked a treat. Old trick mate. Learnt that back in the 50's from an old farming mate of Dads. He used it in his tractor for years. We were also told about it in the Army as one of those "things that may come handy" to get you home. It works.

Phil
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FollowupID: 816628

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:03

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:03
If it says DOT 3 use DOT 3, If it says DOT 4 use DOT 4.
Toyota specify DOT 3.

In an emergency soapy water even water with radiator additive will get you out of trouble in an emergency. Don't use any mineral based transmission fluid, engine or gearbox oil. The seals in the master cylinder and brake calipers will fail.

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 816632

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:09

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:09
Correct. The soapy water won't damage the seals.

One student driver once asked "Can it be from a bar of scented soap?". What did his mummy teach him? That cut the room up. Just remember that we are talking about draftees who were "allocated" as drivers and not volunteers who wanted to be drivers. You have to chuckle.

Phil
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FollowupID: 816633

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 21:45

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 21:45
DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 are all compatable up to the next number but it is not advisable to go down due to it being a lower spec.

Saying you should stay with DOT 3 is like saying you can only use the minimun spec oil they reconmend and nothing better.

It's harder finding a straight DOT 3 as it's more asseptable to use DOT 4 being backwards compatable.

Don't know what benifits soapy water has over plain jane water, proberly a bit of an urban myth that came about at the turn of last century by some back yard engineere with no clue on what they were doing..... Soap can be made up of many different elements.

The army gave free unlimited supply of cigarettes and said it was good for the body and sole too!

Soapy water may not destroy the seals but it will pit all alloy surfaces and the boiling point of 100 deg c might make it work for one small stop.... Plus when the water boils off it will turn to a gas making the pedal very very spongy.
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FollowupID: 816687

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:26

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:26
If you are stuck miles from nowhere and run out of brake fluid. I would, and did, use it. I gather that you would wait until Costco built a shop nearby that you can buy it from.

Not a lot of alloy apart from brake lines back in those old cars. We just flushed it out when we got home and replaced it with brake fluid. Absolutely no ill effect for another 15 years.

Phil
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FollowupID: 816703

Reply By: Wayne NSW - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:44

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:44
Phil,

I have just had a look at my brake fluid bottle that I take away as emergency use on a trip. It is Dot 4 but it can be used as a Dot 3 replacement.

The fluids that you take on a trip are there for an emergency and not intended to do a full workshop service.

If you did have to use the Dot 4 brake fluid on the trip, have the problem fixed and the system flushed out when you get home. Like you said you have used soapy water in an emergency before.

Wayne
AnswerID: 533301

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:53

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 09:53
That may be so mate but I may as well stick to the DOT 3 if I can get some. Can't hurt.

Not long now for the CSR. We also purchased a cheap ($2) set of port glasses for an old (30+ years) bottle that I have been saving for this trip for years. Don't worry, it won't leave my hands.

Thanks

Phil
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FollowupID: 816631

Follow Up By: 671 - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 19:36

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 19:36
Phil

Toyota specifies Dot 3 only for my car and in the seven years that I have owned it, I have never had any trouble buying it in my local Supercheap shop. It is just ordinary Castrol in a white 500 ml bottle with Brake Fluid Heavy Duty Dot 3 on the label.
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FollowupID: 816674

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 21:28

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 21:28
I am aware of that. Thanks, whatever your name is.

Both Super.... shops that I went to had it as "in stock" on their site but when I went there they told me that they didn't have any and that it was superceded and not to be restocked.

However I have been told on this thread, that I should check with repco and Toyota.

Thanks for the info

Phil
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FollowupID: 816684

Follow Up By: 671 - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 10:19

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 10:19
Thanks Phil, I will also check with Toyota the next time I need some. I have called their customer information number a few times and they were very helpful.

I also called Castrol when I bought the car about their LS 90 grade diff oil and had an amusing discussion. The label said suitable for cars up to 1992 but there was nothing else available for cars like mine that were built after that date. The man laughed and said the oil is suitable and not to worry about the label because that is put there by the marketing people. When I asked him how many sales they had lost because of it, there was silence for a few seconds.

A few weeks later Supercheap had a new bottle in stock with 1992 missing from the label. There was also a few of the old ones left. They looked them up on their computer and found both had the same part number. It was not long before the 1992 ones had been either sold or recalled never to be seen again.

I would always recommend ringing either the car or the product manufacturer whenever you are not sure of something. It is the only way to get the right answer.
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FollowupID: 816709

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 10:32

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 10:32
Got some DOT 3 waiting for me at Autopro. No idea of the price though. For such a small item it's not worth the time to worry about cost.

Cheers

Phil
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FollowupID: 816713

Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:32

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:32
Phil
Dmax have either Dot 3 or Dot 4 on the lid of the fluid reservoirs. Conventional systems.
I can't see how it can cause noisey operation of a master cylinder and since there is no fluid present in the booster it will have absolutely nothing to do with a booster.

If an electronic master/booster as some Toyotas have then different story as it is a combination of a ABS unit used to give/create brake pressure as a booster does. It boosts but has no booster as such. May require only Dot 3 for performance reasons.

A bit more info initially will define replies somewhat and more accurately tell you what you are asking..
AnswerID: 533303

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:52

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:52
What info do you need?

Just a quick cut and paste.

Phil

Vehicle Details
Vehicle Toyota Landcruiser HDJ100R GXL 2005
VIN JTEHC09J507016767
Kilometres 230,000+
Colour Silver
Transmission 5 speed Automatic
Body 4 doors 8 seat Wagon
Drive Type 4X4 Constant
Engine 6 cylinder Diesel Turbo Intercooled 4.2 L (4164 cc)


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FollowupID: 816635

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 14:34

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 14:34
I don't know what other information that you wanted but in the meantime I have found out that DOT 4 does not have as much lubrication as DOT 3.

Phil
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FollowupID: 816651

Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 19:15

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 19:15
Well Phil, you missed the point.
Some vehicles have a conventional system and some have a ABS based booster system which creates brake pressure.

Initially, and still as it stands you haven't said what is has.
Most people replying won't know by what you mentioned, what your vehicle has as it's brake boosting system, unless you say so.
Depending on which type of system it may require particular fluid and no other.
So that is why the info doesn't provide for anyone to determine what should be.

Your Jockette size and Blood group would also be unnecessary with much of the info now provided.
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FollowupID: 816671

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 21:22

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 21:22
I asked two questions with no real reference to my vehicle apart from the fact that the manufacturer has stipulated DOT 3.

I wanted to know a bit about brake fluids of today. Firstly if DOT 4 is a replacement for DOT 3 and then can the brake fluids of today be mixed.

In the back of my mind are my two sons 4WDs and the wife's quite expensive car. All three have DOT 3 on the brake reservoir lid.

Answering my two questions automatically gives me the info for all four cars which is really my aim.

Thanks

Phil
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FollowupID: 816683

Follow Up By: Ross M - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 19:28

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 19:28
PJR
"I am setting up a spares pool for the car".
No mention of the other cars or their involvement or how expensive they are.
Adding that info it like all the family peeing in a bottle and then testing for sugar. Doc says all OK, but what if someone didn't pee enough in the mix??

When I go for a drive the scenery changes then too.
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FollowupID: 816754

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 21:01

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 21:01
Do you guys go and look for arguments.

I just wanted to know about bloody brake fluids of today.

Phil
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FollowupID: 816760

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 21:57

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 21:57
Hi Phil, forget about Dot 3, 4, 5, etc, take nothing and in an emergency use soapy water as that is tried and tested.
Never though to take brake fluid and after reading the above I don't think I am about to start. If soapy water is good enough for you, then its good enough for me. Cheers
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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FollowupID: 816763

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 22:20

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 22:20
Hi Chris We travel alone so we need spares etc.

Some people just want to go beyond what is asked. Two simple questions and they couldn't even answer them. The type of car was irrelevant. Maybe I should have asked the question in the Friday Funnies thread. While others have given us all some good helpful information. I have now decided what to get and it's in the car already.

I believe I even thanked them a few hours back.

At least the blues won and I have some brake fluid. And people that is off topic!!!

You have a good one mate. Don't forget that you could always sell the soapy water as hair shampoo if you don't use it. Of course on Ebay. (that should start another argument) And don't forget the roses!

Phil
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FollowupID: 816766

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 16:35

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 16:35
Phil, you have just cost me $7.95. I was out and about an hour ago and saw a Burson's outlet. Given your troubles I thought I would see if they had any Dot 3. The answer was "sure mate what do you want, 4 litres or 500mls?" I was so suprised at the instantaneous response I just blurted out "I have the 500 mls thanks" did not even ask the price. At least I can now sleep at night never wondering if I should have or shouldn't have. And if Mr Murphy should drop in, I will be prepared. I hope the 500mls does not put me over my GVM.
Cheers
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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FollowupID: 816828

Reply By: Mikee5 - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 12:42

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 12:42
Hi Phil,
I have a HZJ105 which also needs Dot3.
Super..... in SA sells Bosch Yellow Dot 3 (which oddly is blue).
I have just done a fluid change and used 2 bottles at about $8 each.
Mike.
AnswerID: 533309

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 12:49

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 12:49
Hi Mike.

The two Super..... shops near me have it on their site, as available. But when you go to their store they claim they haven't got any and try to sell you DOT 4.

I have four weeks to decide so will wait.

Thanks mate

Phil
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FollowupID: 816640

Reply By: Doc - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 14:03

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 14:03
When I had a petrol 100 series (about 8 or 9 years ago) a mechanic flushed my brake fluid & replaced it with DOT4. A few weeks later the brake pedal starting sticking - I'd brake & the pedal wouldn't come up by itself. After a bit of reading I discovered this is common in this car if you use DOT4. I took it back, they drained & refilled with DOT3, and it was fine until I sold it. As I understand it the seals swell with DOT4, but this could be just BS.



AnswerID: 533314

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 14:32

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 14:32
I just got a response from LCOOOL and they say it is not compatable.

Thanks

Phil
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FollowupID: 816650

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 21:55

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 21:55
Phil have a read of this....

Penrite Technical Bulletin No 87 July 2005
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 08:32

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 08:32
olcoolone,
your Penrite quote is well out of date (from 2005) and is from a person with no qualifications, and no research to back the statement. Didn't even have the guts to write the word Toyota.

Perhaps this quote from VACC may change your mind. I personally would never go back to a workshop who put DOT4 into a Toyota, just because they didn't want to stock DOT 3.
My 2012 200series owners manual says only DOT 3, as does the cap.
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FollowupID: 816697

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:06

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:06
It seems like the jury is still out. I am happy that I was specific in asking my two questions. If we bother to search the internet there are arguments both ways.

So if there is any doubt at all we will use DOT 3 just to be safe. Lets face it the medical fraternity once said that milk wasn't any good for you, especially straight from the cow. Now they have a different view. Yeah! Milk is another matter but it shows that with the correct terms of reference you can prove things both ways.

Thanks Phil

I did intend to talk to one of the elderly and knowledgeable blokes at Toyota today. Seems that I was right in being curious.

Phil
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FollowupID: 816700

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:39

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:39
olcoolone

I messed one of yours. All emails with your user-id in them go to my junk folder so I missed it.

Yes I did read that reference and like you say things change here is another one: NBS Brake comments

As I said to be safe I will stick with DOT 3 and have a bottle on a counter waiting for me to pick up right now. Didn't even bother asking how much!

Phil
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FollowupID: 816704

Reply By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 17:48

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 17:48
PJR, Google NBS brake supplies, very enlightening about 100s cruiser. Safe travels, regards Keith
AnswerID: 533331

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 18:10

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 18:10
They are in Shepparton. I didn't think that fluids are allowed to b sent by mail. I will find some local thanks mate

Phil
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FollowupID: 816663

Reply By: Penchy - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 07:55

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 07:55
Why are you limiting yourself to just looking at SuperCheap? Bursons, AutoBarn, Repco and any other auto shop may be able to help you out. If worse comes to worse go to a brake shop and see if they will sell you some.
Like the others say, if it says use DOT3 then use that one. User manual should also specify which fluid to use. Its not hard.
AnswerID: 533361

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 08:34

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 08:34
DOT3 Brake Fluid costs $11 from any Toyota dealer.
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FollowupID: 816698

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 08:53

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 08:53
Penchy

I wasn't. I was asking two specific questions to learn something about brake fluids of today.

$11 is okay by me. Thanks Phil

Phil
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FollowupID: 816699

Follow Up By: Penchy - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 10:43

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 10:43
Apologies Phil, but
1) if you think the advice you get from a SuperCheap sales person is going to be knowledgeable and accurate, then you may be in for some costly repairs at some point.
2) why would you risk mixing them if DOT3 is readily available? Doesn't make sense to me.
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FollowupID: 816714

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 08:45

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 08:45
Already answered both these statements.
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FollowupID: 816786

Follow Up By: Penchy - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:55

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:55
wasting yours and others time again. Good work Phil.
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FollowupID: 816811

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 12:22

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 12:22
Another userid for the email junk folder
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FollowupID: 816814

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 12:26

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 12:26
Nope not me. POP answered the question at May 28, 2014 at 10:03. Others had done so also. You just like to find something very minor to pick an argument about.

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FollowupID: 816816

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:45

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:45
To all. Thanks for the constructive arguments on both sides on whether DOT 4 can be used in place of DOT 3. It seems from my viewpoint though, that the answer to my specific questions are no mixing and yes, they are different.

Thus to be on the safe side I will use DOT 3. I actually have a bottle sitting on a counter with my name on it to pick up today.

Only a few weeks to go!!!!!!!!!

GO THE BLUES.

Phil
AnswerID: 533368

Reply By: fisho64 - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 00:46

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 00:46
jeez what a kerfuffle for Phil trying to get a simple answer which he has finally
I have had many Toyotas including a similar HDJ to yours

1/ use DOT3
2/ dont listen to people who tell you not to
3/ easily obtainable
4/ DONT try and change it yourself, really need a flushing machine as the ABS can make it a real pain in the ass

Love how people want to try and FORCE you to use DOT4 in it-why???
AnswerID: 533420

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