Choosing the correct grade and quality of brake fluid is essential for the consistent operation of a vehicle’s brake lines.
Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid used to transfer force into pressure and amplify braking force. When you apply your foot to the brake pedal, fluid transfers that force into pressure and brings the vehicle to a stop. Brake fluid liquids are incompressible and this is an essential part in the modern braking system as brake fluid must maintain a low level of compressibility, across differing environmental conditions. This consistency in pressure as the brake pedal is applied is what the average car or truck driver recognises as a consistent brake feel when compressing the brake pedal.
Any inconsistency in pressure can be fatal to hydraulic brake systems.
Usually, inconsistencies in pressure is what we identify as ‘vapour lock’. Many factors can lead to vapour lock, all of which mechanics should be aware of. Vaporisation of the brake fluid is a problem, as vapour is compressible, unlike liquid. These compressible vapour pockets deny the transfer of braking force which will likely result in the brake system failing. With the introduction of modern braking systems with ABS, traction and stability control, using correct and high-quality brake fluid is crucial.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture during its life through joints and hoses it lubricates. As the water content in the fluid increases, the boiling point of the liquid decreases, therefore leaving it vulnerable to vapour lock as the brake fluid heats when in use.
The boiling point of brake fluid is one the key factors in determining the quality of the fluid. The lower the boiling point, the more susceptible the brake fluid is to boiling, which will introduce air and cause vapour lock. A brake fluid with high temperate resistance and low moisture absorption properties enables brake lines to function, greatly reducing and preventing inconsistencies in brake pedal response. Brake fluids that inhibit metal corrosion from absorbed moisture can reduce the costs in maintaining hydraulic brake systems. DBA Brake Fluid has anti corrosion properties in every grade of fluid.
Due to the severity of brake fluid in safety, meeting the relevant standards are statutory requirements in the manufacturing of brake fluid. Such standards include: Australian Standard AS 1960-1976, FMVSS and SAE. Conforming to these standards ensures a standard of performance in brake fluids, however using high quality brake fluid guarantees performance, increases the life of the braking system and reduces maintenance costs. As important, using the correct brake fluid is essential for the consistent operation of a vehicle’s brake lines. This is because some vehicle’s braking systems can sustain more severe temperature conditions than others. As a result, different grades of brake fluids are manufactured specific to certain types of hydraulic braking systems.
DO3, DOT4 and DOT 5.1 brake fluids are polyglycol fluids which are suitable in most vehicles. Dot 5 Brake Fluid is a silicone-based fluid only suitable for compatible systems, which are uncommon. DBA Brake Fluid is high temperature resistant with low water absorption properties.
DBA Brake Fluid ensures that corrosion, condensation and locking, which lead to loss of pedal response, is avoided. Using the correct grade and quality brake fluid ensures the safest operation of hydraulic braking systems. DBA Brake Fluid is a premium grade, Australian manufactured brake fluid. Available fluids include DOT3, DOT4, Super DOT 4 and DOT5.1, which covers most domestic and commercial vehicles. Super DOT 4 is a performance brake fluid, used in European and performance vehicles. Super DOT 4 can be used in a DOT 4 vehicles. The main difference between DOT 4 and Super DOT 4 is the boiling point, where Super DOT 4 is higher.
The importance of using quality brake fluid in hydraulic braking systems should never be taken lightly. Always consider the environmental conditions the vehicle is exposed to and where appropriate, use the highest quality of brake fluid possible. This will save on maintenance costs later in the vehicles life as well as ensuring safety and the highest performance in the vehicles braking system.