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Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid. The job of a hydraulic fluid is to apply force while under pressure. On a car or truck, this means brake fluid distributes the force needed to apply the brakes and bring the vehicle to a stop.
Brake Fluid Must Have The Following Properties:
Brake fluid must operate in a sealed system. It is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb any moisture that enters the brake system. Contamination in brake fluid will reduce its effectiveness when stopping a vehicle.
How A Hydraulic Brake System Works:
Brake fluid is commonly sold in 500ml (1.05 US pint) or 1L (1.06 US quart) bottles. Performing a complete brake flush requires a minimum of 1 Liter of brake fluid. This will provide plenty of fluid to bleed out the lines completely. If you suspect the old brake fluid is contaminated, more fluid may be needed.
DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1 are the only types of brake fluid that can be mixed together. DOT 5.0 cannot be mixed with other brake fluids. All brake fluids are labeled with DOT (for the Department of Transportation) and a number that represents the boiling point. There are some differences in boiling point, viscosity (thickness), and the ability to absorb moisture. Using the wrong brake fluid may cause corrosion to brake lines and fittings, or reduce braking performance. Always use brake fluid that is compatible with your vehicle.
What you'll need to have:
What you’ll need to do:
There are a few different types of brake fluid. The most common are DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5. The higher the number, the higher the performance and boiling point.