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#973920 - 08/25/07 08:14 AM What is "Honda DOT 3" vs. plain DOT 3 ?
Crusader Offline

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 328
Loc: North Idaho
I will be doing a brake fluid flush on my 2 Hondas shortly. Anyhow the Honda manual calls for "Honda specific DOT 3" brake fluid? Does Honda put some special ingredients in it?
2 Honda Civics, 3 Toyota 4x4's and a KLR650
Over 1 million miles combined
And many air cooled 2 and 4 stroke engines

#973921 - 08/25/07 10:11 AM Re: What is "Honda DOT 3" vs. plain DOT 3 ? [Re: Crusader]
ThirdeYe Offline

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8086
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Highly doubt it's anything different. I'm using Prestone Dot-3 synthetic brake fluid in my car. My manual just states to use DOT-3, doesn't specify using Honda's kind... weird.
07 Honda Accord - 585k - Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage 5W-20/Fram Ultra

#973922 - 08/25/07 05:48 PM Re: What is "Honda DOT 3" vs. plain DOT 3 ? [Re: Crusader]
'03 EB/B Corvette Z06 Offline

Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 121
Loc: Arlington, Texas

I will be doing a brake fluid flush on my 2 Hondas shortly. Anyhow the Honda manual calls for "Honda specific DOT 3" brake fluid? Does Honda put some special ingredients in it?

It's $$$$$ for Honda, that's all. You can use any DOT 3 fluid without a problem. Manufacturers and dealers are doing all they can to get customers to come back to them for service and parts because they have lost so much market share to third party maintenance providers and suppliers.
'03 EB/B Corvette Z06
EFI-101, EFI Advanced, EFILive-101
EFI University Evangelist

#973923 - 08/25/07 08:26 PM Re: What is "Honda DOT 3" vs. plain DOT 3 ? [Re: '03 EB/B Corvette Z06]
Bror Jace Offline

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 5064
Loc: Saratoga, NY
I have spoken to many people about this over the years. The factory techs that seem to have more than your average clue have told me that the Honda stuff is formulated specifically to be low-moisture absorption ... so it won't degrade like "lesser" DOT3 or DOT4 fluids. I think some of the DOT4 fluids out there give up some of this protection in favor of higher initial boiling points.

Why? I think Honda's afraid some folks don't maintain their cars well enough and are concerned about degradations in basic braking performance caused by very old, very degraded fluid ... a very real concern, IMHO.

I've used both Valvoline Synpower and Castrol LMA (both DOT4) in my Hondas and Sentra SpecV with terrific results. No leaks, loss in braking performance, corrosion issues ... no problems at all. As '03 EB Corvette Z06 states above, OEM branded stuff is overpriced and I am not into lining Honda's pockets when I can simply buy quality aftermarket parts and fluids elsewhere.

So, buy good aftermarket stuff and change it regularly (every year or two) and skip out on the OEM brands whenever possible.
--- Bror Jace
2015 Mazda 3 iSport
2005 Honda S2000

#973924 - 08/27/07 06:24 AM Re: What is "Honda DOT 3" vs. plain DOT 3 ? [Re: Bror Jace]
thrace Offline

Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 379
Loc: USA
I once tried to buy Honda brake fluid from an online Honda Dealer parts dept. They said Honda brake fluid was the same as other Dot 3 fluids and did not encourage me to buy Honda brake fluid. So I use generic Dot 3 since 2005 in a Honda. So far no issues. It is hard to know if people at the dealer really tell the truth. My experience has been in Honda sales, usually no. In Honda service, sometimes no.

#973925 - 08/27/07 08:06 AM Re: What is "Honda DOT 3" vs. plain DOT 3 ? [Re: thrace]
Big Jim Offline

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 1571
Loc: Thousand Oaks, CA
I'm cynical enough to believe that whatever minor alteration Honda makes in their brake fluid ingredients it is only to encourage owners to buy their product. Functionally I'm sure that there is no significant purpose.

#973926 - 08/27/07 12:35 PM Re: What is "Honda DOT 3" vs. plain DOT 3 ? [Re: Big Jim]
MonumentOiler Offline

Registered: 02/04/07
Posts: 442
Loc: Monument, CO, USA
There are possible formulation differences in fluids that can meet DOT 3 standards so I think that it makes sense for OEMs to recommend that you maintain the car with the same fluids it was built with. Yes, It turns them a buck but would it be wise for them to say "feel free to use any fluid that says DOT 3 on it" when they have perfectly good fluid ready for you.

I doubt there is anything special about the Honda fluid. But no surprises is good for some things.

#973927 - 08/27/07 06:29 PM Re: What is "Honda DOT 3" vs. plain DOT 3 ? [Re: MonumentOiler]
Schmoe Offline

Registered: 05/12/03
Posts: 6868
Loc: Oklahoma
Wouldn't sweat it. Even Honda says in the manual that you can use "plain" DOT 3. Brakes are about the same in all vehicles.
01 Supercrew Lariat 4X4
06 Accord EX V6
(traded 02 Accord EX V6 @ 208K miles for)
(traded 10 CRV for)