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Brake fluid comparison chart


Gearhead_42
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I swear I remember there being a question on "best brake fluid" recently, but couldn't find it, so here's a new thread.

 

Found this handy chart with brake fluid boiling point comparisons, wanted to share!

 

https://www.lelandwest.com/brake-fluid-comparison-chart.cfm

 

Sortable by DBP, WBP, $/oz, $/bottle, etc etc...  The best bang for the buck seems to be right around the "Motul RBF 600" level of performance, but that will all depend just how hot your brakes run.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Gearhead_42 said:

I swear I remember there being a question on "best brake fluid" recently, but couldn't find it, so here's a new thread.

 

Found this handy chart with brake fluid boiling point comparisons, wanted to share!

 

https://www.lelandwest.com/brake-fluid-comparison-chart.cfm

 

Sortable by DBP, WBP, $/oz, $/bottle, etc etc...  The best bang for the buck seems to be right around the "Motul RBF 600" level of performance, but that will all depend just how hot your brakes run.

 

 

RBF 600 is what I have used in every car I take on track. It seems to strike a good balance, and I have never had an issue with it.  I have had cars where the rotors were severely blued and heat checked, but the fluid never gave up.

 

I have seen multiple cars boil the lesser fluids, and going higher than the RBF 600 climbs in price very quickly.

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I belong to an email list where one of the members tested various brake fluids by measuring their boiling points. The interesting thing was not brand comparisons, but environment comparisons. Brake fluid left in the car eventually ends up lowering its boiling point. No surprise there. But if you put the cap on the bottle, brake fluid doesn't degrade even after 5 years.

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Couple issues with this chart is that it seems to take manufacturer's stated WBP/DBP figures and those figures are often not 100% true (I'm sure Dr.Korf could verify that).  I've seen independent brake fluid testing that shows many of the claimed numbers aren't representative of the actual product.  Secondly, it doesn't list any other fluid performance factor.  Compressibility, viscosity, vapor resistance and recovery, etc all play a part in how a racing fluid performs inside the brake system, which they do state in the article underneath the chart.  Compressibility is a big factor and the differences can be pretty dramatic (I found out first hand after swapping fluids for something a little cheaper at one point).  Also, for those with ABS, viscosity is a factor that should be considered.

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10 minutes ago, red0 said:

also, bremsflüssigkeit is such a german looking word. 

 

I agree with you, up to the limits of a street vehicle, it's tough to beat the ATE.  the balance of wet/dry is amazing at the price, and I run it in all my self maintained street vehicles.

 

the RBF really does do just that much better in the racecar, even @ 3x the price. 

 

I'm curious to try the Wilwood EXP, specs look good and it's only about $5 more a pint vs the Motul.

 

Free samples @Wilwood ? :lol:

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18 minutes ago, Gearhead_42 said:

 

I agree with you, up to the limits of a street vehicle, it's tough to beat the ATE.  the balance of wet/dry is amazing at the price, and I run it in all my self maintained street vehicles.

 

the RBF really does do just that much better in the racecar, even @ 3x the price. 

 

I'm curious to try the Wilwood EXP, specs look good and it's only about $5 more a pint vs the Motul.

 

Free samples @Wilwood ? :lol:

 

When it comes to brakes, we go blue. 

 

Hawk blue pads with Ate blue fluid. I like the combination. 

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We run the Wilwood EXP, but I have nothing to compare it to really. I don't think we've had a brake fluid related issue, and we usually heat check rotors after one event (off-the-shelf rotors + a heavy car + aggressive pads + 14 hours = unhappy rotors). Bang for the buck the Wilwood seems to be good (~40% cheaper than SRF).

 

I think we had to use some Motul at the track once (in the Lincoln - hello brake heat) and did not notice any difference good or bad. 

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4 hours ago, Gearhead_42 said:

I agree with you, up to the limits of a street vehicle, it's tough to beat the ATE.  the balance of wet/dry is amazing at the price, and I run it in all my self maintained street vehicles.

 

the RBF really does do just that much better in the racecar, even @ 3x the price. 

 

I'm curious to try the Wilwood EXP, specs look good and it's only about $5 more a pint vs the Motul.

We ran Motul 600 in the e30 for a couple years, but tested the ATE recently and found it to have a "sufficiently high boiling point to be acceptable". So we switched fully to ATE since it is so much cheaper.

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This is a good topic to dicuss and on that note I just ran NAPA Dot 4 this past weekend and NCM and had no issues. I usually use Castrol SRF, but forgot to bleed the new fluid in for the race. I will be putting my Castrol SRF for the next race at BIR. It is expensive but it's the best brake fluid I have ever used.

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10 hours ago, Team Infiniti said:

We the only ones running this  $10-14 a quart , why, because on shelf @ parts store.

http://germanoem.ca/dot4-brake-fluid-pentosin-super-dot4-1l.html

 

We have used it before, but prefer brake fluid in the color blue. 

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Type 200 and Blue are the same fluid, different dye color (despite the chart showing different wet).  IIRC , there was some issue with toxicity of the blue dye or something like that.... ironic.

 

I used to run both since it made it so much easier to do a full flush of the fluid - pump until the color changed.  Decent fluid for lighter cars, attractive price point.

 

 

For those that do frequent brake bleeds, dry boiling point and Compressability are key.  Castrol SRF is incredible for response to pedal pressure changes, may be overkill for the fairly soft suspension setups and relatively low-grip tires that are run in Chump. Prospeed RS683 is up there as well for compressability - not to SRF level, but better than Type 200.  I have found Motul 600 to be an excellent balance and works well in this type of racing / OTDs / HPDEs

 

 

Those that like to only touch brakes 1-2 times per year, wet boiling point is most important, but the highest BP that you're cheap-ass budget allows.

 

 

 

What I have found is that the fluids with lower wet and larger delta between dry/wet boiling points are more likely to have more compressability (more pedal stroke needed), especially once fluid has been heated and/or it has been in the car longer.  Indication that that particular fluid pulls more moisture in or has more air mixed into the formula from the start.   This would be why some fluids can keep pedal feeling like a rock for a long time, vs. one that starts to get soft half-way through a race.

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, NigelStu said:

Type 200 and Blue are the same fluid, different dye color (despite the chart showing different wet).  IIRC , there was some issue with toxicity of the blue dye or something like that.... ironic.

Not toxic just confusing to the "average" car owner who might think blue means washer fluid.

 

"The specific color requirement for brake fluid in the standard is to permit easy differentiation of brake fluids from other types of motor vehicle fluids before they are placed in the vehicle. If an incompatible fluid is put into a motor vehicle system, it could lead to damage or failure of that system."

 

Code of Federal Regulations FMVSS 116, Effective 1-1-68, amended 3-1-72. S5.1.14 Fluid color. Brake fluid and hydraulic system mineral oil shall be of the color indicated: DOT 3, DOT 4, AND DOT 5.1 NON-SBBF—COLORLESS TO AMBER. DOT 5 SBBF—PURPLE. HYDRAULIC SYSTEM MINERAL OIL—GREEN.

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Wet boiling point is measure with 3.7% moisture which takes several years to reach in a sealed brake system.  Figure about 1% per year, in Florida, for a good DOT4.  If you flush the system annually WBP isn't a concern.

 

I do find it amusing that many of you don't think twice about spending all this money on tires, full synthetic oils, brake pads, etc that burn up in a race....but you bargain shop your brake fluid that costs about $50 (for the best fluid) and lasts an entire season.

Edited by Bremsen
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4 minutes ago, Bremsen said:

I do find it amusing that many of you don't think twice about spending all this money on tires, full synthetic oils, brake pads, etc that burn up in a race....but you bargain shop your brake fluid that costs about $50 (for the best fluid) and lasts an entire season.

 

Wait... you guys don't bleed/flush before every race weekend?  We at least give a bit of a flush to make sure the fluid still flows with no bubbles and such.

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12 minutes ago, thewheelerZ said:

Wait... you guys don't bleed/flush before every race weekend?  We at least give a bit of a flush to make sure the fluid still flows with no bubbles and such.

 

I do a quick bleed before each race and an annual flush.

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3 hours ago, Bremsen said:

I do find it amusing that many of you don't think twice about spending all this money on tires, full synthetic oils, brake pads, etc that burn up in a race....but you bargain shop your brake fluid that costs about $50 (for the best fluid) and lasts an entire season.

 

I "bargain shop" *everything*... which doesn't necessarily mean I just buy the cheapest stuff.  Weigh every aspect of every part and fluid for bang for the buck.

 

Bargain shopping is the only way I can afford to keep racing.

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