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What type of brake fluid.

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' at netrider.net.au started by aaace, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. I recently bought my first bike 2006 Kawasaki GPX250 and i'm not sure what brake fluid to use.

    After reading the service manual it only mentions using DOT3 brake fluid so I went out and bought some and as i was about to drain the old fluids I notice on the front brake resovior it says use only DOT4 fluid...

    So now im unsure of what fluid to use. Is there any harm in putting DOT3 in?

    All the information I have found from google has been that they are interchangable and DOT4 just has a higher boiling point over DOT3.
  2. Can you still get DOT3? I don't recall seeing anything but DOT4 in decades.

    Using DOT3 is unlikely to kill you. Plenty of bikes run around with old DOT4 fluid so contaminated with water that it is going to be markedly inferior to fresh DOT3 anyway. That's not a recommendation, just an illustration of how much it's possible to get away with.

    Unless you're doing track days, it's very unlikely you will be hammering the brakes hard enough for the difference in boiling poit to be significant.

    Given that your manual specifies it (probably grandfathered in from the GPX's birth in 1988), it should be fine.
  3. I'd go Dot4 regardless...............my 14's an 07 and the manual states use nothing BUT Dot4
  4. Yes, but a GSX14, that weighs as much as two buses welded together and goes like a Saturn V with a wasp up its bum, will give its brakes a substantially harder time than a GPX250 :D.

    Besides the GSX is relatively recent and its manual will have been written around the widespread availability of DOT4 whereas, as I alluded to above, the GPX is a 25 year old design and I'll bet that its manual hasn't been updated from the common, plain vanilla requirements of 1988. DOT3 stopped it OK in 1988, it'll stop it OK now.

    That said, given the easy availability of DOT4 and the minimal cost of 1/4 litre of fluid, it might be easier to write off the bottle of DOT3, get some 4 and stop worrying about it.
  5. Ditto Dot4
  6. Isn't it that dot 3 can lift paint where dot 4's cant ???? Dot 4 being more environmentally friendly ???? I dunno ???
    I use Penrite Sin. Good stuff. 600f boiling point and very very light.
    It changes the way your bike brakes though!!!!!
    The brakes are very light. Very easy to lock up !!!!!
    Highly recommend in the rear for noobs. But the front ??? mmm I would practice lots of hard front brake stops before you hit the road :)
  7. Nah. DOT3 and DOT4 are both glycol based and so are equally lethal to your paintwork (although used or time expired brake fluid makes cheap pait stripper :D). It's DOT5 that's silicone based and just acts like a polish.
  8. Ah :0
    Oooops. So I guess by ignorance I have found you can use a dot 5 in a 4's place. Pretty sure my old 998 and ZX were 4sies. But also ran the Sin which is a five.....Oooops it's not. Just checked. A four. Mmm might have to be more careful with it. I had the bottle resting on the tank lol
  9. ;);) Patb ...... I will admit, the 14 could easily squish small children and the odd kitten if it decided to have a lay down......8-[
  10. If there is DOT 4 in it now, it would be better to use DOT 4 this time. If you change to DOT 3 you should really give it a thorough flush and change ALL the fluid. If you are just topping up the fluid or bleeding it you should use what is in it now.

    Brett, you can't use DOT 5 in place of DOT 4. Totally incompatible. DOT 5 will ruin a braking system designed for DOT 4. You can, however, use DOT 5.1, which is compatible with DOT 4 systems. Same recommendations as above though, if changing fluid types.
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  12. I think Dot 3 is just an earlier version of Dot 4. Dot 5 is definitely different.

    My BMW uses Dot 3 or 4 and specifically warns against using Dot 5 which as RoderickGI said is incompatible with Dot 4 and will damage systems (specifically hoses I think) which are not designed for Dot 5.

    People may have there favourites but I suspect any reputable brand is as good as any other.
  13. im pretty sure you can use dot 5.1 if you have braided lines
  14. It is nothing to do with braided lines. As I said above, you can use DOT 5.1 in any DOT 3 or 4 system.

    However DOT 5 will destroy the seals and synthetic rubber components in a DOT 3/4 system, including the linings of the brake lines.

    But you only really need to consider DOT 5.1 if you are racing or doing lots of track days. Even then, if you do use it, you may not like spending the money on it. Most racers change their fluids regularly, and this can get expensive with DOT 5.1.
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