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#4490966 - 08/17/17 11:48 AM Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get
wallyuwl Offline


Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 1777
Loc: 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?

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#4490978 - 08/17/17 12:03 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
Brybo86 Offline


Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 2949
Loc: 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

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#4490980 - 08/17/17 12:03 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
nwjones18 Offline


Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1052
Loc: 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

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#4491060 - 08/17/17 01:17 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: 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

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#4491131 - 08/17/17 02:24 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
mrsilv04 Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 8270
Loc: 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.

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#4491141 - 08/17/17 02:35 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline


Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 3408
Loc: Columbus,Nebraska
Anything with DOT 3 on it will work. DOT 3

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#4491174 - 08/17/17 03:12 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
BigD1 Offline


Registered: 08/12/15
Posts: 2575
Loc: 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--Havoline HM 10W-30--Motorcraft FL-910S

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#4491189 - 08/17/17 03:35 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: 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
Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL

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#4491240 - 08/17/17 04:28 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
slacktide_bitog Online   content


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6169
Loc: USA
Use any DOT 4 smile

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#4491439 - 08/17/17 08:56 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
SOHCman Offline


Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 1286
Loc: USA
Dot 3 or Dot 4, its all mixable, and all Synthetic.
_________________________
If you want to do the whole "I'm a complete drop-kick" thing properly, they're the cars you drive, complete with the "doof-doof" sound system, loud exhaust, low profile tires and so on. -B320i

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#4491520 - 08/17/17 11:57 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
wallyuwl Offline


Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 1777
Loc: 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.

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#4495024 - 08/22/17 08:55 AM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
SOHCman Offline


Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 1286
Loc: 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!
_________________________
If you want to do the whole "I'm a complete drop-kick" thing properly, they're the cars you drive, complete with the "doof-doof" sound system, loud exhaust, low profile tires and so on. -B320i

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#4522150 - 09/21/17 11:32 AM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
nolesfan Offline


Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 126
Loc: 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

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#4522240 - 09/21/17 01:13 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: wallyuwl]
dubber09 Offline


Registered: 02/09/17
Posts: 142
Loc: 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.

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#4522251 - 09/21/17 01:32 PM Re: Bleeding brakes today... what type of fluid to get [Re: dubber09]
cadfaeltex Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 672
Loc: 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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