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Tech Talk with Master Power Brakes

Expensive Brake Fluid: Worth The Extra Cost

Posted by mpbrakes1 on May 25, 2016 2:38:34 PM

Let’s be clear up front – if your brake fluid has not been changed in over a year, you are past-due to replace it. Brake fluid is hygroscopic- it naturally absorbs water from humidity present in the air. Therefore, it requires regular maintenance.

This article is meant to help you make an informed choice when you hit the parts store.

A lot of technical innovations in automotive chemicals have been linked to better performance, increased engine or component life or a less toxic, more earth-friendly disposal for spent fluids. Brake fluid – the hydraulic liquid that is used to “push” your brakes when pressure is applied – has similarly gone through evolutionary development.

Very much like engine oil or power steering fluid, there are dozens of brake fluid choices at your local parts store. They carry everything from the store brand DOT 3 fluid costing a buck, to very high end synthetic fluids that may cost twenty dollars per can. Keep in mind, the same rules that apply to selecting engine oil apply to brake fluid:  the more expensive option is not always the best option.

Some of the brake fluids available for racing applications might perform well when used in those conditions but might not be right for the street.

So, what is the difference between DOT 3, DOT4, DOT5 and most recently DOT5.1?

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Topics: brake fluid

Can I Use DOT 5 Brake Fluid With My New Brake Kit?

Posted by toby on Jun 24, 2015 9:31:48 AM

The owner of a 55’ Ford Sedan just sent us a note asking why we don’t recommend using DOT 5 brake fluid with our brake kits.  Chances are good some of you are asking the same question, so this post is designed to clear up confusion about the different types of brake fluid.

If you cruise over to the local auto parts store, you’ll see all kinds of brake fluids in the aisle.  DOT 3 is always the cheapest option—DOT 4 is about 50% more expensive than DOT 3 and DOT 5 is about two times more expensive than DOT 4.  Some owners mistakenly assume that the higher cost of DOT 5 equates to better performance, but this is not always the case.  In fact, sometimes the exact opposite is true.  To get a better handle on why we don’t recommend DOT 5 for our brake kits, we need to take a crash course in chemistry.

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Topics: brake fluid, brakes, classic cars, DOT 4, DOT 5.1, muscle cars, Vintage Cars, DOT 3, DOT 5

More Expensive Is Not Always The Best Option: Choosing the Right Brake Pads and Brake Fluid For Your Classic Car

Posted by toby on Aug 25, 2014 4:51:11 PM

Brake pads and brake fluid are two important yet often overlooked components of every braking system. Neither of these items has the same wow factor as a fancy rotor upgrade, but just like rotors, brake pads are wear parts that need proper attention so you can get the most out of your classic ride’s brake system.  We can make the same case for your brake fluid too.  Brake fluid is not a wear part in the traditional sense of the word, but over time, brake fluid goes bad.

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Topics: brake fluid, Brake Pads, Brake System Maintenance, classic car, How To Series

Upgrading Your Brakes? S. Kellie Colf Helps You Match the Right System Components to the Job

Posted by toby on Sep 9, 2013 10:28:51 AM

S. Kelli Kolf’s “ Stop It:  Information You Need to Know About Automotive Braking Systems”, which appears in September’s issue of Hot Rod and Restoration is an excellent go-to source for diagnosing common brake problems and making effective upgrades.  Whether you are a garage rat with years of brake repair and upgrade experience or you are working up the courage to take a first shot at your classic’s brakes, you should check out this article.  In case you are looking for a sneak preview, we’ll use this post to cover some of the most important information found in the article below.

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Topics: bench bleeding, brake fluid, Brake Pads, drum brakes, How To Series, power brakes, upgrading brake systems, master cylinder, repairing classic car brakes

Winterizing Tips for Your Classic Car’s Brake System

Posted by rick on Dec 21, 2012 10:18:45 AM

We have reached that time of year to put our toys away because winter is upon us. Much of the country has experienced unseasonably warm temperatures this year allowing us to enjoy our classic rides a little longer but the clock is ticking and winter storage is right around the corner.

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Topics: bleed brake system, brake fluid, how to, How To Series, Pentosin, winterizing. brakes system

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