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Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get #4490966
08/17/17 11:48 AM
08/17/17 11:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,815
Wisconsin
wallyuwl Offline OP
wallyuwl  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,815
Wisconsin
I'm bleeding my brakes today because I can tell there is some air in the lines. What type of fluid should I get? All are about the same price. The vehicle is a 2003 GMC Envoy that requires DOT 3.

FVP (DOT 4) from Menards
Motor Medic or Resolute from Fleet Farm (both DOT 4)
Prestone (synthetic DOT 4) from Walmart (but then I have to go into Walmart)
Valvoline DOT 3/4 synthetic from Advance

These are also in order, from top to bottom, of most convenient to go and purchase. The FVP has the best specs as far as boiling points go from what I've seen (thought I've had a hard time finding the dry boiling point for Prestone).

I do have a 5 year old 32 oz bottle of the Valvoline that is unopened, but I'm guessing I still shouldn't use it being that old (it has been in the garage through winters and summers)? I will probably need more than one bottle anyway.

Thoughts?

Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4490978
08/17/17 12:03 PM
08/17/17 12:03 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,976
Chicago, IL
Brybo86 Offline
Brybo86  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,976
Chicago, IL
I would use the one you already have, sealed? Should be perfectly fine.
Also I like the Valvoline quarts from advance and autozone on sale.


08 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4L M1 EP 0w20 145k
01 Kymco People 50
95 Lexus LS400 M1 AFE 0w30 193k
95 Yamaha Jog
Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4490980
08/17/17 12:03 PM
08/17/17 12:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,057
Warner Robins, GA
nwjones18 Offline
nwjones18  Offline
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,057
Warner Robins, GA
If it was me I'd use the 5yr old unopened bottle then whatever is easiest to get after that.


1988 F-150. 4.9 I6 247k. 10w-40 Castrol Syn-blend ACDelco UPF2.
2005 Cadillac STS N* 108k. 5w-30 Castrol Magnatec ACDelco Classic PF61
Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4491060
08/17/17 01:17 PM
08/17/17 01:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,868
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,868
Connecticut
I'd use the 5 yr old bottle too. Just think of all the people out there running around just fine on factory fill brake fluid that HAS been exposed to air, moisture, and heat over 75K miles/5-10 yrs.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4491131
08/17/17 02:24 PM
08/17/17 02:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,366
Illinois
mrsilv04 Offline
mrsilv04  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,366
Illinois
When I bled the brakes in my 2004 Silverado, I used the *specified* DOT 3 fluid, and bought 3 quarts.

To do what I thought was a complete and thorough job, I used 2 quarts.

If the vehicle specifies DOT 3, *PLEASE* use DOT 3 or something directly compatible with DOT 3. Incompatible fluids will do evil (and expensive) things to a braking system.

Here's what happened to my boss... a Valvoline Speedy Lube in Kansas put the wrong fluid in his brake reservoir (proven by analysis of the fluid). After he drove back home to Illinois, all four brakes locked up, and it was a $3000 bill at the GM dealer to rebuild his entire brake system.


2004 Silverado - on its 3rd Jasper engine in less than one year.
Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4491141
08/17/17 02:35 PM
08/17/17 02:35 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 3,667
Columbus,Nebraska
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline
Yah-Tah-Hey  Offline
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 3,667
Columbus,Nebraska
Anything with DOT 3 on it will work. DOT 3

Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4491174
08/17/17 03:12 PM
08/17/17 03:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 2,730
NC
BigD1 Offline
BigD1  Offline
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 2,730
NC
Originally Posted By: wallyuwl
I do have a 5 year old 32 oz bottle of the Valvoline that is unopened, but I'm guessing I still shouldn't use it being that old (it has been in the garage through winters and summers)? I will probably need more than one bottle anyway.

Thoughts?


Just changed a rear caliper on my Oldsmobile the other day, and I used a bottle of STP Heavy Duty Dot 3 brake fluid that was at least five years old. It was sealed, and the fluid looked fine to me.


1992 Toyota Pickup--Formula Shell 10W-30--Fram PH3614
Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4491189
08/17/17 03:35 PM
08/17/17 03:35 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,480
Ontario, Canada
mightymousetech Offline
mightymousetech  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,480
Ontario, Canada
Agree with above, if it is sealed, it is fine.

But why do you think you have air in the lines? Unless something has been opened or changed recently, I doubt it. Air does not enter on its own.


Mighty Mouse Tech
BMW Tech, Former Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4491240
08/17/17 04:28 PM
08/17/17 04:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,834
USA
slacktide_bitog Offline
slacktide_bitog  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,834
USA
Use any DOT 4 smile

Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4491439
08/17/17 08:56 PM
08/17/17 08:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,406
USA
SOHCman Offline
SOHCman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,406
USA
Dot 3 or Dot 4, its all mixable, and all Synthetic.


I urge people not to wait 100K to change out the fluid in their transfer case units. -Kestas
Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4491520
08/17/17 11:57 PM
08/17/17 11:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,815
Wisconsin
wallyuwl Offline OP
wallyuwl  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,815
Wisconsin
I ended up getting a new bottle of the Valvoline, and used it along with the old unopened bottle. I ended up using about a quart and a half, which I think was way more than necessary. The old stuff came out very dark, and had a little greenish tint to it. There was brownish colored fluid that came out of a few of the calipers. It makes me wonder if the fluid was original (2003!). It was only the second time I've bled brakes but it seemed to go OK, and the pedal feel is improved (thought not as firm as my Ford Edge, but our Equinox and Chevy truck had a similar pedal feel so maybe GMs just have a little more travel).

In the future I probably will use a colored fluid to more easily tell when the new fluid is being run through the system. I also need a different piece of tubing, as the one I have is more translucent than clear. I bought a magnetic bottle for bleeding brakes a few years ago and that is the tubing it came with. I also have a pressure bleeder from before and might use that instead of doing the pedal method. The pedal method is pretty easy, though.

Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4495024
08/22/17 08:55 AM
08/22/17 08:55 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,406
USA
SOHCman Offline
SOHCman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,406
USA
Originally Posted By: wallyuwl
I ended up getting a new bottle of the Valvoline, and used it along with the old unopened bottle. I ended up using about a quart and a half, which I think was way more than necessary. The old stuff came out very dark, and had a little greenish tint to it. There was brownish colored fluid that came out of a few of the calipers. It makes me wonder if the fluid was original (2003!). It was only the second time I've bled brakes but it seemed to go OK, and the pedal feel is improved (thought not as firm as my Ford Edge, but our Equinox and Chevy truck had a similar pedal feel so maybe GMs just have a little more travel).

In the future I probably will use a colored fluid to more easily tell when the new fluid is being run through the system. I also need a different piece of tubing, as the one I have is more translucent than clear. I bought a magnetic bottle for bleeding brakes a few years ago and that is the tubing it came with. I also have a pressure bleeder from before and might use that instead of doing the pedal method. The pedal method is pretty easy, though.


I would recommend changing the fluid again after an oil change intervals worth of driving. You will be surprised how dark your new fluid has become.

This is basically because not all the old fluid can escape with a flush due to the low pockets in the calipers where gunk settles, and anywhere else like ABS mechanisms where fluid can get hung up.

I bet the pedal feel will get even better after a second flush.

Good luck!


I urge people not to wait 100K to change out the fluid in their transfer case units. -Kestas
Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4522150
09/21/17 11:32 AM
09/21/17 11:32 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 130
Rochelle Park, NJ
nolesfan Offline
nolesfan  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 130
Rochelle Park, NJ
Good luck on finding a different colored brake fluid. The US government decided a couple years ago to ban blue brake fluid for street applications. The same day that article came out, I could no longer find ATE Super Blue frown I finally used my last new container of it last year on a flush for both my cars.


2013.5 VW GLI
2013 Nissan Xterra Pro-4X
Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl] #4522240
09/21/17 01:13 PM
09/21/17 01:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 173
Vancouver, Canada
dubber09 Offline
dubber09  Offline
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 173
Vancouver, Canada
I used Ravenol DOT 5.1 while changing brake fluid on two 2014 Kia and 2008 Acura CSX family cars this summer, all good...
The cars called for DOT 3/4 but DOT 5.1 is compatible and is great with ABS in low winter temps.

Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: dubber09] #4522251
09/21/17 01:32 PM
09/21/17 01:32 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
cadfaeltex Offline
cadfaeltex  Offline
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
Originally Posted By: dubber09
I used Ravenol DOT 5.1 while changing brake fluid on two 2014 Kia and 2008 Acura CSX family cars this summer, all good...
The cars called for DOT 3/4 but DOT 5.1 is compatible and is great with ABS in low winter temps.


I thought DOT 5 was NOT compatible as 3&4 are.

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