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93 BMW 525i
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395 Posts
Any DOT4 stuff will be fine. DOT3 mabye, I dunno what it calls for in the book, but its not like DOT4 is more expensive or hard to find.

It shouldn't need to be topped off, well, ever. The fluid level should go down very slowly with brake pad wear, but we're not talking a whole lot here. If you have a leak, you need to look into it. If you don't have a leak, and the fluid is rather low, might want to take a look at those brake pads.
 

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Registered
98 Camry XLE V6
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3,116 Posts
hooRAH said:
Any DOT4 stuff will be fine. DOT3 mabye, I dunno what it calls for in the book, but its not like DOT4 is more expensive or hard to find.

It shouldn't need to be topped off, well, ever. The fluid level should go down very slowly with brake pad wear, but we're not talking a whole lot here. If you have a leak, you need to look into it. If you don't have a leak, and the fluid is rather low, might want to take a look at those brake pads.
^^^

you shouldnt need to add fluid in the car ever unless you have a leak. Once the level reaches 'low' it means you're due in for some brake pads. If you top off the fluid, you'll have fun removing the fluid later when you change your brake pads (or i guess the shop will have fun with that).
 

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93 BMW 525i
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395 Posts
nodrogkam said:
dont mix regular brake fluid with synthetic brake fluids.
Eh, I dunno about that. I'm pretty sure you can mix Valvoline's new synpower brake fluid with anything else thats out there now.

I think what you're thinking of is silocone brake fluid, which should not be mixed with conventional.
 

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Lex Zues!
95 Camry
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4,900 Posts
i use prestone syntehtic dot 3 in my resovoir. it probably wasnt synthetic in there before. nothign happened on both of my cars.
 

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Camry
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6,925 Posts
Any DOT 3 or 4 fluid will work be it synthetic or regular. Do not under any circumstances use DOT 5 in your Camry.

Valvoline SynPower will work just as well as the store brand. The SynPower stuff supposedly works better though. The other fluid that I've heard about is Castrol LMA or something like that. I know it's Castrol LM* - I don't know the last letter.

The fluid will go down as the pads wear out. On my 2000 I noticed that the fluid went down to where it was triggering the brake light even though I couldn't find any leaks. Topped off the fluid and had no problems.
 

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Toyota-Lexus Fanatic
95 Camry LE
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805 Posts
When all else fails, refer to the Manual and actually read the warning on the cover of the Brake Fluid canister.
 

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98 Camry XLE V6
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3,116 Posts
woah dot 5.1....WOAHHHHH lol

what's the diff between all these fluids anyways? Just the temps?

I know using dot 3 valvoline synpower in my car with SS brake lines gives me like zero fade after repeated hard stops.
 

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Dealer Tech..not Toyota
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540 Posts
DO NOT USE DOT 5!
dot 3 and 4 are mixable, but DOT 5 is a different chemical base, so it will react with the 3, or 4 and funky up your brakes.

and yes, go check your pads, prolly very worn.
 

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The 6"4 Viking
Toyota Hilux 3.0D4D
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464 Posts
nodrogkam said:
woah dot 5.1....WOAHHHHH lol

what's the diff between all these fluids anyways? Just the temps?

I know using dot 3 valvoline synpower in my car with SS brake lines gives me like zero fade after repeated hard stops.
Humor me....


You say use DOT3 Valvoline Synpower, when new it has a boiling point of 503°F witch is very good, but after a year of use it has droped to 343°F, that`s a 160°F drop in boiling pont after one year. The viscosity at -40°C is 1800cp.

I use DOT5.1 Toyota OEM brake fluid, the boiling point when new is 518F, not that much better you think but after one year of use the boiling point has droped to 375°F, that`s a 143°F drop in one year. The viscosity at -40°C is 820cp.

To sum it up:

DOT 5.1 has a higher boiling point wet and dry, has under half the viscosity of DOT 3/4 (820cp Vs 1800pc in this case), is based on better chemicals (more friendly to rubber seals and brake lines) and the decay rate is considerably lower than DOT 3/4 (143°F Vs 160°F in this case) I really don't see the snake oil factor here.

Axel Kain: DOT5 is Silicone based. DOT5.1 is Polyethylene glycol based like DOT3/4 so mixing DOT 3/4 with DOT5.1 is no problem at all.


Brake fluid A1 @ StopTech.com

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

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98 Camry XLE V6
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3,116 Posts
now that is what i call a reply filled with research and citation to support claims. :thumbsup:

thanks.
 

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Toyota-Lexus Fanatic
95 Camry LE
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805 Posts
Thanks you for our resident pros! That's the reason why I am here/
 

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Dealer Tech..not Toyota
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540 Posts
i didnt realize the chemical difference in 5.1, thanks for the update! i just remembered that standard dot 5 was a different chemical base, from 3, and 4. but i did know that 3, and 4 are mixable, and that you should periodicly flush the fluid.
 

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2002 Camry
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2,231 Posts
Interesting brake fluid info, dot 3 4 5 - ? Dont mix 5 with any other kind, thats really good to know.
Every so often too, i suck out the dirty brake fluid reservoir with a turkey baster (99 cents store). Then top up with new. Gets dirt out, puts additives in, seems to help.
 

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Registered
98 Contour SVT
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28 Posts
I know this is an older post, but it might be helpful for future viewers like myself who are searching the topic.

"As a trailing note on the DOT ratings, if your car was designed for a particular type of fluid (especially prior to the development of DOT 4 fluids), you should make every attempt to stick with that fluid! For example, if your car was delivered with DOT 3 fluid, the internal components of the system (seals, brake hoses, and fittings for example) were specifically designed and tested for compatibility with DOT 3. Because DOT 4 fluids contain a different chemical composition, the system may not necessarily react in a positive fashion to the borate esters floating around in the mix.

In other cases, just the difference in viscosity of the two different fluids may cause the seals to wear at different rates. What starts as an annoying squeak might eventually become a torn seal or worse. The examples could go on and on, but the message here is this: it’s fine to upgrade from DOT 3 fluid A to DOT 3 fluid B, but you should think twice (maybe even three times) before switching from DOT 3 fluid A to DOT 4 fluid of any sort."

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