Brake fluid is an important attribute of the braking system, allowing it to perform its primary function. It must have corrosion resistance properties to protect brake line elements from rust, and a high boiling point to obtain better brake pedal responsiveness.
Since this technical composition is necessary for all cars, and the question of its choice in the current state of the market is very difficult, the magazine has prepared a rating of the 11 best brake fluids of silicone and glycol types, selected based on the evaluation of users and experts.
- How to choose brake fluid
- Rating of the best brake fluids
- Best Silicone Brake Fluids
- Eurol Brakefluid DOT 5 silicone (1 l)
- TRW / Lucas PFB125 DOT 5 (0.25 L)
- Best glycolic brake fluids
- Castrol React Performance DOT 4
- TOTAL HBF DOT 4
- MOTUL DOT 3&4 Brake Fluid
- Liqui Moly Bremsenflussigkeit SL6 DOT-4
- TCL DOT4
- Valvoline BRAKEFLUID DOT 4
- MOBIL Brake Fluid DOT 4
- RosDOT 4
- Sintec SUPER DOT 4
How to choose brake fluid
When choosing a brake fluid, it is extremely important to be guided by its classification as defined by the DOT regulations. The category of norms includes the following indicators:
- boiling point – the point at which the brake fluid begins to actively evaporate, creating a vapor lock and reducing braking efficiency. There are two boiling points: “dry” liquid, without water content, and “moist”, in which water is at the level of 3.5%;
- seal compatibility is a parameter that depends on the acid-base balance of the brake fluid. If this indicator is below 7, then the liquid will aggressively affect steel, if more than 12 – on non-ferrous metals. Therefore, ideal values are between 7 and 11.5 pH – always pay attention to this.
- frost resistance is a very important indicator of the performance of a brake fluid, determining whether to use it in low temperatures. It is worth looking at the viscosity parameter, which is measured at -40 ° C: the response of the anti-lock braking system (ABS), and the control of tractive effort on wheels (TSC), and the smooth operation of the electronic control system (ESP) depend on it.
- anti-corrosion properties are a parameter that is practically impossible to quantitatively track at the level of a common buyer. Inhibitors are added to each brake fluid, which suppress its oxidative activity throughout the entire service life. Inhibitors come together with active additives, whose task is to ensure the stability of the composition under various influences: from temperature to impurity. If there are not enough such elements in the fluid, the brake system will deteriorate faster.
Having dealt with the main provisions of the standards, we will designate 5 main classifications of brake fluids available on the market:
- DOT 3 is a glycol-based, highly oxidizing liquid. Differs in boiling point at 220 ° С and 150 ° С for “dry” and “moist” liquid, respectively. Recommended for use on slow-moving vehicles with drum brakes, or with a front pair of disc brakes.
- DOT 4 is the most common brake fluid and is widely used in modern high-speed vehicles with disc brakes. It has a standard package of additives and corrosion inhibitors, thanks to which it lasts a long time and boils at 240 and 160 ° С (for “dry” and “moist” liquids). Average service life: 2 years.
- DOT 4+ is a modified “four” with higher temperature indicators (260 and 180 ° С). For the rest of the standards, the differences are minimal.
- DOT 5 – silicone brake fluids, mainly used in sports vehicles, where the brakes work under increased loads. They are characterized by very high corrosion stability and boil at 2800 and 1800 ° C. Replacement intervals are rumored to be up to 5 years.
- DOT 5.1 – despite the promising name, these brake fluids have nothing to do with the “five”. They are a modified modification of DOT 4+ with higher temperature performance and stability. Serves for 2 years.
Rating of the best brake fluids
|Nomination||a place||Name of product||price|
|Best Silicone Brake Fluids||1||Eurol Brakefluid DOT 5 silicone (1 l)||RUB 2,972|
|2||TRW / Lucas PFB125 DOT 5 (0.25 L)||RUB 1,011|
|Best glycolic brake fluids||1||Castrol React Performance DOT 4||774 RUB|
|2||TOTAL HBF DOT 4||270 RUB|
|3||MOTUL DOT 3&4 Brake Fluid||RUB 520|
|4||Liqui Moly Bremsenflussigkeit SL6 DOT-4||648 r|
|5||TCL DOT4||450 RUB|
|6||Valvoline BRAKEFLUID DOT 4||634 RUB|
|7||MOBIL Brake Fluid DOT 4||RUB 319|
|8||RosDOT 4||RUB 350|
|9||Sintec SUPER DOT 4||255 RUB|
Best Silicone Brake Fluids
Eurol Brakefluid DOT 5 silicone (1 l)
The main difference between Eurol Brakefluid DOT 5 and its direct competitor lies in the abundance of supported vehicles, as well as in the longer preservation of working functions as the main resource is depleted. The operating temperature range at the start of operation varies from -40 to 260 ° C, and every year it gradually narrows to -30 and 180 ° C, respectively. For the first two seasons, the silicone base is completely immune to moisture accumulation, but subsequent thermal decomposition mechanisms of the matter allow water to be absorbed.
Eurol Brakefluid DOT 5 is highly recommended for use not only in cars, but also in sports bikes, and even choppers like Harley Davidson. At the same time, the fact of introducing restrictions on the braking systems of cars from Citroen is even a little shocking … therefore, the drivers of “Christmas trees”, you are warned in advance. The cost of one liter can of brake fluid is extremely high (especially compared to glycol formulations), but protection for the next 5 years is definitely guaranteed to your vehicle.
- duration of use (5 years);
- standard set of characteristics for DOT 5 (except for the “dry” boiling point);
- versatility: the ability to fill the braking systems of sports cars, sport bikes and choppers Harley Davidson.
- extremely high price.
TRW / Lucas PFB125 DOT 5 (0.25 L)
Silicone based brake fluid available on the market in very small quantities. TRW / Lucas PFB125 DOT 5 is not very common in Russia, which is why many users order trains from catalogs with international deliveries. The dry boiling point here is 280 ° C, which is the best in the category and meets the requirements of DOT 5 standards.
Why is the second place, you ask? The fact is that TRW / Lucas PFB125 DOT 5 is not stable during resource development. The indicators begin to fall seriously after the first half of the year from the start of use, and it is good if, according to its results (4 years), the liquid boils at 160 ° C. Most likely, the reason for this is falsification – cheap counterfeit goods are imported in small quantities from China. It is not always possible to distinguish a fake from the original on site, and, alas, Lucas is not famous for the protection of containers.
- the ratings are exactly in accordance with the standards;
- can be used in all passenger cars (without exception).
- mediocre stability of work (may strongly depend on the place of purchase).
Best glycolic brake fluids
Castrol React Performance DOT 4
The first place in the rating goes to Castrol React Performance DOT 4 – a brake fluid based on polyalkylene glycol ethers with the addition of boron. This unique choice is due to the fact that boron helps to maintain a sufficiently high boiling point even after water absorption over time – the “humidified” liquid boils at 180 ° C. This is the best indicator among all glycol samples, which makes it possible to use one fill for a long period of time (more than 2 years).
Otherwise, Castrol React Performance DOT 4 acts as a standard composition, the viscosity of which “out of the box” is 1200 mm2 / s – exactly as much as established by the standards. The acid-alkaline environment also favors safe use, with a pH of 7.2. Of the shortcomings, one can only note the high cost, which is characteristic of all Castrol products.
- optimal kinematic viscosity of the composition at low temperatures (in accordance with the standard);
- an additive in the form of boron, which increases the protective functions of the liquid, and also prevents a critical decrease in the boiling point;
- favorable hydrogen number – chemically neutral composition.
- high price.
TOTAL HBF DOT 4
Полностью синтетический состав жидкости TOTAL HBF DOT 4 во многом походит на MOTUL DOT 3&4 Brake Fluid, однако результативная разница заключается всего в двух рабочих аспектах. Firstly, we are talking about the quantitative reserve of the additive package: in this case, it is designed to withstand high loads on the braking system, which cause both increased heating and difficulties in maintaining the stability of the composition. This conclusion was made not only on the basis of the results of laboratory examination, but also after the expiry of the control periods of testing by users in practice.
Secondly, TOTAL HBF DOT 4 is best suited for use in cold regions, since its freezing point was -51 ° C. At the same time, the boiling index remained in the region of 260 ° С “dry” and 160 ° С with water absorption. The last and main criterion from consumers: this liquid is simply cheaper than the French MOTUL. So, in the aggregate of the price and quality of competitors, it simply does not exist.
- The optimum ratio of price and quality;
- boiling and viscosity indicators are included in the tolerance standards;
- freezing temperature: -51 ° С;
- increased package of synthetic additives.
- not found.
MOTUL DOT 3&4 Brake Fluid
The third line of the rating goes to the MOTUL DOT 3 & 4 Brake Fluid, made on a synthetic polyglycol base. It is completely neutral to seals used in brake systems, and also has a pronounced anti-corrosion component due to the presence of special molecular inhibitors in the composition. On the first pour, the boiling point reaches 245 ° C – only 5 ° C higher than the standard prescribes. After a year of use and moisture absorption, the boiling point drops to 165 ° C, also remaining within the acceptable value.
As users note, MOTUL DOT 3 & 4 Brake Fluid shows good performance at low temperatures, which is especially valuable for the northern regions of the country. The kinematic viscosity at -40 ° C here is 1350 mm2 / s, which is why complete freezing is possible only in the case of even more severe frosts. The cost of the composition on the market is not the smallest (in comparison with other analogues), but it is leveled by high French quality and the absence of fakes.
- very high quality and compliance with the smallest aspects of standards;
- flat performance indicators throughout the work;
- optimal for the northern regions of the country.
- high price.
Liqui Moly Bremsenflussigkeit SL6 DOT-4
Behind an extremely complex name is a top-end representative of brake fluids from Europe, going directly to the conveyors of the most famous German car manufacturers (Volkswagen, BMW, etc.). The main “feature” of Bremsenflussigkeit SL6 DOT-4 is miscibility with any other brake fluids, since there is no rejection at the component level. The boiling point “dry” and “humid” is at least 265 and 175 ° C, respectively, which means there is a large margin relative to the standard figures.
It is noteworthy that the pH value within the Liqui Moly Bremsenflussigkeit SL6 DOT-4 series can vary from 7.0 to 8.5 – the spread is quite large, but still fits within the norm. However, of greater interest are the reasons associated with such fluctuations in values: either there is no clear set of the quantitative content of inhibitors, or there are some failures on the line. For the rest, the brake fluid manifests itself extremely well, to the extent that replacement periods can reach up to 3 years.
- overestimated boiling values in “dry” and “wet” states;
- acceptable acid-base level;
- availability of a stock of additives in case of intensification of the use of a car;
- 1800 mm2 / s kinematic viscosity at -40 ° C.
- quite high price.
One line above is the Japanese TCL DOT4 brake fluid, which showed excellent results in intensive driving modes. Despite the lowered “dry” boiling rates – 230 ° C at the normalized 240 – it interacts perfectly with the brake system, keeping it intact for several years.
It is best to use TCL DOT4 in conjunction with disc brakes, since only in this case maximum efficiency is achieved without any nuances and disadvantages. Small errors in numbers are certified and approved by a number of international standards, such as Japanese JIS K 2233 and American BF-4, SAE J 1704 FMVSS. It is noteworthy that Europe did not let the liquid pass, however, in Russia, especially in its Asian part, original tin cans can be obtained.
- very high stability of the composition;
- high quality, leading to a fairly high price;
- the possibility of purchasing in two volumes: 0.33 and 1.0 liter;
- perfect performance in disc braking systems.
- the boiling point is lower than the standard dictates.
Valvoline BRAKEFLUID DOT 4
The Dutch company Valvoline cannot boast of great popularity in Russia, however, BRAKEFLUID DOT 4 brake fluid has earned a portion of praise and recognition even from the most demanding domestic users. The secret of its success is extremely simple: precisely following the requirements of the standard without a special desire to “jump” the bar for a beautiful figure. The boiling point “out of the box” was 252 ° C, and the viscosity was limited to 1100 mm2 / s. It is noteworthy that the complete crystallization of the liquid occurs at -41 ° C – the Dutch managed to maintain the bar at which the technical liquid can be successfully used in the cold climatic zones of the country.
When making a purchase of Valvoline BRAKEFLUID DOT 4, it should be understood that this brake fluid is focused on heavy duty operation – this is precisely what is reflected in the slightly increased price. In other words, the braking system of a car with moderate use will be reliably protected for all 2 years, which are recommended as a replacement interval.
- excellent temperature and viscosity indicators;
- complete crystallization occurs only at -41 ° C, which makes it possible to use the liquid in cold climates;
- high content of active additives and corrosion inhibitors – the fluid is prepared for intensive use;
- acceptable level of cost;
- no counterfeiting on the market.
- not found.
MOBIL Brake Fluid DOT 4
On the domestic Russian market, MOBIL Brake Fluid DOT 4 has proven itself quite well, and, if it were not for the problems with falsification, it could have risen to the top places of our rating. Its main indicators are very good: out of the box, the boiling point is 265 ° C, and at 3.5% water content – 160 ° C. Great, especially considering that the original qualities last for a very long time. The viscosity of MOBIL Brake Fluid DOT 4 at -40 ° C is 1300 mm2 / s, and according to this indicator, the fluid is excellent for use in cold regions.
However, the key positive characteristic of this composition is the ideal balance of neutrality – the acid-base index is 9.1 pH, which falls right in the middle of the acceptable range. In the end, we get an excellent brake fluid with very good performance parameters, with high stability and a guaranteed service life of 2 years.
- quite low price;
- high temperature performance, significantly exceeding the requirements of the DOT 4 standard;
- ideal acid-base balance;
- good viscosity conditions – the liquid is suitable for use in cold regions;
- “Honestly” works for 2 years.
- there is a counterfeit on the market.
Against the background of its rivals in the category, RosDOT – another domestic product – looks very worthy, having high operating temperatures and viscosity. The “dry” liquid boils at 255 ° C (which exceeds the norm by 15 ° C), and the viscosity at low temperatures does not drop below 1600 mm2 / s. During the year, the operating parameters, of course, decrease, but they also fit into the framework of generally accepted standards.
An extremely pleasant moment in buying RosDOT 4 is the low price factor, which is why users often prefer it to expensive foreign counterparts. And what, in the system works well, requires replacement every couple of years, and if you want to play it safe, you can always fill in new brake fluid when overcoming half the operational life.
- excellent protection against corrosive processes in the brake system;
- satisfactory compatibility with ferrous and non-ferrous metals;
- boiling points in “dry” and “wet” states exceed the requirements of the standard;
- optimal viscosity at low temperatures;
- very favorable price.
- not found.
Sintec SUPER DOT 4
The ninth line of the rating goes to the cheapest glycol-based brake fluid produced by the Russian company Obninskorgsintez. Despite the low price Sintec SUPER DOT 4 shows acceptable characteristics, only slightly inferior to the leaders of the rating. So, the temperature of “dry” boiling is at the optimal level of 240 ° С, and if water is present in the composition, boiling occurs at 155 ° С. The viscosity parameter also manifests itself well: at -40 ° C it is 1360 mm2 / s, providing timely brake operation.
The main disadvantage of Sintec SUPER DOT 4 lies in the reduced stability of the fluid throughout the entire service life: the lack of a sufficient amount of additives and inhibitors affects. This leads to reduced intervals between replacements, or, if ignored, to more serious consequences.
- the cheapest train in the segment;
- good parameters of temperature and viscosity at fresh filling;
- prevalence in the domestic Russian market.
- low stability in operation.