The Best Brake Fluid (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Brake Fluid Guide FeaturedOwning a car is more than just making car payments, joyriding with friends, and getting from point A to point B. Owning a car is a responsibility. After all, you are depending on this vehicle to get you, your friends, and family from place to place safely. Part of car ownership is keeping your vehicle insured, driving safely, and of course, getting repairs and maintenance as needed.

Cars require regular maintenance to not only keep running as they should but also to stay safe out on the road. Part of your maintenance plan for your vehicle includes changing your brake fluid every two years, or as recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Brake Fluids of 2016

What is Brake Fluid?

Cars use lots of fluid, whether it’s gas and oil to keep the engine running smoothly, coolant to keep your car from overheating, and of course, brake fluid. As you brake, heat is generated. To prevent overheating and potential brake failure, this type of fluid is needed to keep everything cool and keep brakes working as they should. This also works to keep moving parts lubricated, which prevents corrosion and keeps everything running smoothly and safely.

What are the Advantages?

Over time, your brake fluid deteriorates, mostly because it becomes filled with moisture that affects the boiling point and makes it less effective. This puts you at risk for brake failure, which can be deadly. Most manufacturers require this fluid to be changed every two years, although there may be different considerations depending upon your vehicle.

With clean brake fluid that’s designed for your vehicle, you prevent unnecessary wear and tear on moving parts because they are lubricated, and you maintain the proper boiling point required when braking. This keeps your vehicle safe for driving on the road.

What are the Different Types?

To keep your vehicle running as it should, you have to make sure that you are using the proper fluids for proper maintenance. You can find out what type of fluids are needed from your service manual if you plan to change out the fluid for your brakes by yourself. There are three main types of fluid, and you should always make sure to purchase the proper type designed for use in your vehicle.

DOT3 – This is a glycol-based lubricant that attracts water. This has the lowest boiling point when compared to others on this list.

DOT4 – This is also glycol-based and attracts water because of that. This has a slightly higher boiling point than DOT3.

DOT5 – This is a silicon-based lubricant that does not attract water. It also has a higher boiling point than DOT3 and DOT4.

Which Brake Fluids are the Best on the Market in 2015?

Prestone AS400 DOT 3 Synthetic Brake Fluid – If you’re trying to save money by changing your fluids yourself at home, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune, and with this fluid, you won’t. This affordable fluid comes from a leading brand in the auto industry and is designed to provide protection for most modern brake systems.

ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4 Brake Fluid – This is a high-performance fluid that will keep your vehicle protected. It has a high boiling point, enough for most typical vehicles, and meets all DOT 4 standards. It’s not too expensive either, so it’s a good choice for those on a budget.

Motul RBF600 DOT 4 – If you don’t want anything less than the best for your vehicle, this is one of the best fluids on the market. It has a high boiling point, exceeds all DOT 3 and DOT 4 standards, and it has high thermal resistance and stability, making it a great choice for even the fastest vehicles on the road.

Features to Evaluate

Whether you own your own shop and just need to keep quality fluids in stock or you want to save time and money by performing your maintenance by yourself at home, you’ll want to make sure that you pick the right products for your vehicle. It’s important to note that if you don’t have experience with changing your fluids, you should take your car to a professional or speak with one regarding what type of fluid is best for your vehicle. Once you’ve made the decision to make a purchase, you need to evaluate several different very important features.

Price
Price is important to consider because you don’t want to spend too much for a product that you don’t need. For instance, fluids designed for high-performance racing vehicles are considerably more expensive, and if you have this type of vehicle, it is a necessity. However, putting this high-performance fluid in your old sedan just doesn’t make sense. You also don’t want to make a purchase solely based on the cheap price. Make sure it’s a high-quality product that is designed for your specific brake system.

Dry Boiling Point
This refers to the boiling point right out of the container when untainted by water. The higher the dry boiling point, typically, the longer it will last before having to be changed. Fluids with higher dry boiling points may last two years, while lower boiling points may just last one year before needing to be replaced.

Wet Boiling Point
The wet boiling point refers to the boiling point after water has been taken into the fluid over time. You want to make sure that the wet boiling point is sufficient to keep your brake system cool and working as it should.

Best Uses
Some fluids are designed for specific types of brake systems, like disc or drum brakes. You never want to use the incorrect fluid just because it’s cheaper or more convenient. Some fluids are designed for a multitude of systems. No matter what you purchase, make sure it’s designed to work with your brake system to prevent failure.

Price

Prestone AS400 DOT 3

This is a very affordable price, available for right around $2.50 per container.

ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4

At right around $17, this is one of the more expensive fluids on the market. However, it is a high-quality product designed to give you top performance.

Motul RBF600 DOT 4 Brake Fluid

This is one of the more expensive fluids you’ll find on the market, ringing in at right around $18. However, it is one of the highest-rated, top-performing products you’ll find on the market.

Dry Boiling Point

Prestone AS400 DOT 3

The minimum dry boiling point is 470 degrees Fahrenheit.

ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4

The minimum dry boiling point for this product is 536 degrees Fahrenheit.

Motul RBF600 DOT 4

The minimum dry boiling point for this fluid is 539 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wet Boiling Point

Prestone AS400 DOT 3

The minimum wet boiling point is 284 degrees Fahrenheit.

ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4

The minimum wet boiling for this product is 374 degrees Fahrenheit.

Motul RBF600 DOT 4

The minimum wet boiling point for this product is 420 degrees Fahrenheit.

Best Uses

Prestone AS400 DOT 3

This product is recommended for ABS, drum, and disc brake systems.

ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4

This DOT 4 product is compatible with most modern braking systems, including ABS, disc, and drum.

Motul RBF600 DOT 4

This can be used with most modern braking systems, and it’s specifically designed for racing and high-performance systems.

Our Brake Fluid Reviews

Best Cheap: Prestone AS400 DOT 3Prestone AS400 DOT 3 Synthetic Brake Fluid

You don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your car well-maintained, not when you rely on a high-quality product from a top name brand like Prestone. This fluid meets all DOT 3 standards, so you know you can rely on it. It has a higher boiling point, just to give you extra protection and safety when you drive. This fluid is designed to keep your system lubricated while not releasing harmful vapors into the air and preventing a spongy brake pedal.

This fluid is designed for use with anti-lock braking systems that utilize drum or disc brakes, so it’s an ideal choice for most cars. Wet and dry boiling points exceed the government standards, and this product meets safety regulations. Best of all, it’s very affordable, one of the lowest-priced fluids on the market today.

Pros:

It is very affordable. It can be used in most vehicles. It works with a variety of braking systems. It has a higher boiling point for added safety.

Cons:

It comes in a smaller size container than other fluids. It isn’t designed for higher performance vehicles.

Learn More

Best for the Money: ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4 Brake Fluid

Don’t take your vehicle out on the road in unsafe conditions. You won’t have to worry about your braking system when you use this product, which meets or exceeds all DOT 4 standards. This fluid is very affordable, and it can be used in most modern vehicles and is ideal for ABS, disc, or drum braking systems. It is a great choice for European and other foreign vehicles.

This product has great water-binding properties, so you don’t have to worry about a dramatic drop in your boiling point, giving your system the protection it needs, even over time. Each container is one liter in volume, providing you with plenty of replacement fluid for your vehicle.

Pros:

It is a top-rated product. It can be used with any modern braking system. It is one of the most affordable choices for foreign vehicles.

Cons:

It is a bit more expensive when compared to other DOT 4 fluids.

Learn More

Best Overall: Motul RBF600 DOT 4Motul RBF600 DOT 4

If your car is different from the rest when it comes to speed and performance, you can’t just put any old product in it and think it will last. Keep your car performing as it should with only the best fluids and automotive products designed for performance vehicles and that includes this brake fluid from Motul, which far exceeds the standards of DOT 3 and DOT 4 products.

There are many things that make this product stand out above the rest. It is filled with nitrogen, so it has a longer shelf life and is more resistant to contamination, so it’s designed to last. It has a very high boiling point both wet and dry, so it is ideal for racing and performance systems. It also has extreme thermal resistance and stability, making it one of the best performing products you’ll find. This product is formulated for use in hydraulic-actuated brake and clutch systems.

Pros:

It has very high wet and dry boiling points, so it is made for racing and performance braking systems. It has a longer shelf life than other products. It far exceeds the standards set forth by the Department of Transportation. It has extreme thermal resistance.

Cons:

This product is a bit more expensive than standard fluids. You may be required to purchase two bottles for a complete fluid change.

Learn More

When it comes to your vehicle and your safety while out on the road, it’s important to choose only the best products for your car. Your braking system is by far one of the most important systems in your vehicle, and if your brakes fail, it could be deadly. Instead of worrying about your safety and the safety of those in your vehicle and around you every time you drive, make sure that your car can stop safely in any condition by keeping your vehicle filled with high-quality, high-performing brake fluid like Motul RBF600 DOT 4.

The more expensive price may be off-putting. However, this far exceeds the standards of the DOT, has a higher boiling point than other similar products, and can be used in high-performance vehicles to keep your brakes system working exactly as it should, so you can be safe out on the road or on the racetrack.