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RamRoddin'
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Discussion Starter #1
Aside from mopar? I need some dot 3. Is synthetic ok and is it beneficial as a brake fluid?
I've done all my own mantenance pretty much up to 50k except the brake fluid. Had fun, had some headaches and learned a lelluva lot. Glad I chose to do it all. Couldn't have done any of it without this site so thanks guys.
So suggestions? Dot 3 what's the best conventional n what's the best synthetic out there?
 

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Devil's Advocate
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not to hijack but dosen't it mean when it says DOT 3 that you have to use at least DOT 3. meaning that DOT 4 would be okay, if not better?
 

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DOT 3 and DOT 4 are both glycol-ether based. The only difference chemically speaking between the two is that DOT 4 has some borate esters thrown into the mix to raise its boiling point. There is also a difference in viscosity between the two.

My recommendation, is using the fluid that your brake system came with and/or is rated for. Using DOT 4 in a DOT 3 system may cause premature wear on the seals.

Also, DOT 5 and DOT 5.1 is not the same thing! DOT 5 is a silicone based, non-hydrophobic and non-corrosive brake fluid, but it is not designed to be used on any street car I know. DOT 5.1, is again a glycol ether brake fluid, much like DOT 4, but with the boiling point of the silicone DOT 5. Think of DOT 5.1 as a Super DOT 4.


The brake fluids I have used for years, including racing, are Castrol SRF (the best of the best) and Motorex DOT 4 and Motorex DOT 5.1
 

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Devil's Advocate
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is there really that much risk with running DOT 4 or 5.1 in a DOt 3 system?
 

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is there really that much risk with running DOT 4 or 5.1 in a DOt 3 system?

If by risk we assume brake failure, then no.

If by risk we assume that our brake seals might wear out a bit quicker, than yes.

EDIT: Cracked open my 2008 Dodge RAM 1500 user manual:

Brake Master Cylinder:

MOPAR DOT 3 and SAE J1703 should be used or equivalent. If DOT 3 brake fluid is not available, then DOT 4 is acceptable. Use only recommended brake fluids.



Another thing to take into consideration is not only the DOT rating of the fluid, but its quality. A high quality brake fluid will last longer and be more heat resistant than a cheap one of the same rating. Since glycol ether based brake fluids are hygroscopic, you should never leave a brake fluid container open long, and in high humidity environments, you should replace the fluid max every 2 years.
 

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Devil's Advocate
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okay I think that when I flush my system here soon I will go with the DOT 4. I think using DOT 5 would be pushing it I guess
 

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Castrol SRF is the best brake fluid you can buy for money. But, unless you are going to heavily track your car, you will waste alot of money. Its about 80bucks for 1litre.

As to the synthetic vs. mineral, Im not sure what the price difference between the two is in the States. But again, you should change your fluid every 2 years max anyways, so I dont see the need in buying synthetic brake fluid for normal street applications. Especially when a quality, tested fluid such as ATE or Motorex is only $14 for 1litre.
 

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Devil's Advocate
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how much do you need for a complete replacement?
 

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Not sure how much you need for a Ram, have yet to do it. For smaller sports cars I have worked on, a 1L can was enough.
 

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My truck takes a full 32oz Bottle for a complete Brake fluid exchange. I know, I just had it done a week ago. I used the Valvoline Synthetic dot 3-4. The fluid exchange does an incredible job, most shops charge an hour labor plus Materials...money very well spent when it comes to ABS systems.
 

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I know I need one after my rear brake fiasco. Plus it's been 4 years since my last one
 
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