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Discussion Starter #1
The rear brake cap on my 2005 says to use DOT 4 fluid. The Clymer's manual only goes to 2002 & says DOT 3. While Googling around for info I found these sites-

Brake fluids + tabs to brake system topics:
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question451.htm

http://www.xs11.com/tips/maintenance/maint1.shtml
Part of it says...
DOT 4 glycol based fluid has a higher boiling point (446F) than DOT 3 (401F), and both fluids will exhibit a reduced boiling point as water content increases. DOT 5 in its pure state offers a higher boiling point (500F) however if water got into the system, and a big globule found its way into a caliper, the water would start to boil at 212F causing a vapor lock condition [possible brake failure -ed.]. By contrast, DOT 3 fluid with 3% water content would still exhibit a boiling point of 300F. Silicone fluids also exhibit a 3 times greater propensity to dissolve air and other gasses which can lead to a "spongy pedal" and reduced braking at high altitudes.

DOT 3 and DOT 4 fluids are mutually compatible, the major disadvantage of such a mix being a lowered boiling point. In an emergency, it'll do. Silicone fluid will not mix, but will float on top. From a lubricity standpoint, neither fluids are outstanding, though silicones will exhibit a more stable viscosity index in extreme temperatures, which is why the US Army likes silicone fluids. Since few of us ride at temperatures very much below freezing, let alone at 40 below zero, silicone's low temperature advantage won't be apparent. Neither fluids will reduce stopping distances."


Emphasizes racing:
http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_brakefluid_1a.shtml
 

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which year DOT 4 standard was implemented ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well then...

I have some 3 yr old DOT 3 brake fluid in a tightly sealed can.
Dump it, or use it to top off my "DOT 4" labeled 2005?
 

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For the lousey 2 bucks, dump it. Sealed means , never opened.

FOG
 
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You can use dot3, 4, or 5.2 in your system. But you should always use a new bottle!
 

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smithmax said:
You can use dot3, 4, or 5.2 in your system. But you should always use a new bottle!
I would underscore the fact that 5.2 means 5.2 and not 5.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
smithmax said:
You can use dot3, 4, or 5.2 in your system. But you should always use a new bottle!
For those of us non-racers who don't push braking limits over & over in a brief period (racing in hot weather) I think the "new bottle" is hype. A tightly sealed older container of the proper stuff is fine.


What do you guys do with the rest of the fluid you buy when you only needed 3 tablespoons?

From: http://www.epa.state.oh.us/pic/facts/hhwauto.html
Brake fluid is a flammable product which contains solvents in the form of glycols. Brake fluid is a poison and, if ingested, may cause central nervous system depression and kidney failure. Used brake fluid contains lead and other heavy metals in addition to solvents. These heavy metals can pose an environmental danger if disposed of improperly.

Brake fluid should be disposed of by a licensed hazardous waste handler or saved until a professional household hazardous waste collection is available. Contact your local solid waste management district office (listed under county government) for information.

Storage of Brake Fluid-
Store out of reach of children.
Store away from flames and sources of ignition.
If the metal can in which the brake fluid is stored begins to rust, place the metal container inside a plastic container and label the outside container.


From: http://www.nsc.org/ehc/mobile/recyclin.htm
"Always take antifreeze and brake fluid to a service station, or household hazardous waste location for recycling. Never pour them down the sink, into septic tanks or storm drain, or on the ground. Keep all automotive fluids separate from each other. Recycling antifreeze and brake fluid prevents children and animals from being poisoned (they are attracted to the sweet taste) and prevents soil and water contamination. Antifreeze is toxic but can still be regenerated and reused. Brake fluid is toxic and corrosive and can sometimes be regenerated."
 

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Me personally , I use it until it's gone ! Also I buy several bottles of each at a time . I live on the lake and the closest convinence store is 8 miles , the closest auto store 25 miles , and the closest dealership 45 miles . I leave the foil in the top and use it . Besides when you buy it new who knows how long it's been on the shelf or in stock !
 

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The point is not it's shelf life but the time it's exposed to the atmosphere. IE: the time is has had to absorb moisture from that atmosphere. Boiling is not the only issue from absorbed water but corrosion of certain components plus even slight amounts of moistere can cause a jelling of brake fluid enough to block the small orifices in the Master cylinder.
All that said, I too re use an opened can , because I know the circumstances of it's storage, (a warm heated garage). My reiteration of the label warnings was addressed to the general populace of this forum, who generally are young inexperienced OK newbees that don't have adequate facilities. and may expose their fluid to bad conditions.

FOG
 

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FOG said:
The point is not it's shelf life but the time it's exposed to the atmosphere. IE: the time is has had to absorb moisture from that atmosphere. Boiling is not the only issue from absorbed water but corrosion of certain components plus even slight amounts of moistere can cause a jelling of brake fluid enough to block the small orifices in the Master cylinder.
All that said, I too re use an opened can , because I know the circumstances of it's storage, (a warm heated garage). My reiteration of the label warnings was addressed to the general populace of this forum, who generally are young inexperienced OK newbees that don't have adequate facilities. and may expose their fluid to bad conditions.

FOG
And it's a very good point for newbs ! If you don't know what your doing or looking at with most fluids it's best to err on the safe side and use new fluids .
 

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Brake fluid absorbs moisture in a "closed" braking system so it will do so from a "closed" container. Common sense is a useful guide. If you are running hard and regularly cooking your brake fluid and live in, say, Florida, you may want to think twice about using that 10 year old container of brake fluid.
 

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FOG said:
For the lousey 2 bucks, dump it. Sealed means , never opened.

FOG
So which brake fluid is better to use in my 02? DOT 4 or DOT 3? Rear brake cap says 4.

No track riding here and not a lot of hard stuff in the twisties. Just good ole around town riding mostly. However, I do like stopping power. oh yeah, I'll have SS lines too, if that makes a difference.
 
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Rear brake cap says 4.
[/quote]

So why would you not use what the the manufacturer designed the system for and even took the time to add that info. to the cap?
 

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FOG said:
For the lousey 2 bucks, dump it. Sealed means , never opened.

FOG
Moisture gets in containers that have been opened, due to condensation.
Like FOG says, get rid of half used brake fluid containers. That's why I don't buy large ones, unless I am doing several bikes, flushing the complete system, etc....
 

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FOG said:
For the lousey 2 bucks, dump it. Sealed means , never opened.

FOG
I agree. I don't even save the stuff since I know (at least with my car) I'm not going to need it again very soon. I would fix my brakes if they were leaking and I don't mind buying a small bottle and only using a little bit.
 
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