Does Brake Fluid Expire?

Does Brake Fluid Expire?
Your brake system is quite important. Your bracken organization ’ sulfur functionality is the stopping power that allows you to slow down your vehicle to a stop whenever needed. even in situations when a driver needs to promptly react, the brakes ( when properly working ) are your fail-safe to stop adenine cursorily as possible to prevent any accidents. The brake fluid, which allows your brakes to work correctly, is an crucial part of the equality .
But does brake fluid run out ? If you have a sealed bottle
of brake fluid that has never been opened, your brake fluid has an infinite
shelf life. An opened bottle is different, having a shelf life of about a year.

Brake fluid needs to stay at its graded boil point, hence the cause for disposing of fluid that ends up retaining any moisture. An open bottle will absorb moisture over time, which is damaging to its effectiveness. Once it enters the fluent, the boil point is brought down, consequently decreasing the fluid ’ s ability to perform its caper. After a class, toss it. With the pressures that the brake organization is creating, there is a long ton of heating system created through friction. The fluid needs to stay at that specific boiling bespeak, so the brakes remain a effective as possible, and the brake pedal does not become spongy .

When to
Dispose of Old Fluid

Brake fluid is a bang-up item to have on-hand, but if the container ends up needing to have its seal broken to be used in your car, then the clock starts ticking. After we hit that class mark, it ’ sulfur better to toss it than use it for your car. When your fomite needs brake fluent, the fluid for your vehicle sits in a reservoir under the hood and is distributed through the brake lines to be used in the brake system.

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Under normal circumstances, your brake fluid will not be consumed and does not evaporate ; it ’ s only used over time as the brake pads wear. so, when the pads get replaced, the fluid gets topped off. If you have an unopened container, never hesitate to use it for your car a long as it is compatible fluid. But if you have an opened bottle that ’ mho been shelved for an unknown period of time, it ’ second safe to just buy the newly bottle .
As a side note, if your fomite ’ s brake system seems like it may have a leak, this can be a dangerous return and should be handled accordingly .

Types of
Brake Fluid

not all brake fluids are made alike. With the different types that exist, specific car manufacturers require that a bracken fluid that is compatible with their cars be used. Some brake fluids absorb water, as mentioned, which hinders the functionality of the brake fluid. These types of fluids are glycol-based, and this gives them their water-absorbing properties .
other types of brake fluid are silicon-based. When it comes to vintage cars and military vehicles, you are typically going to find silicone-based brake fluent in their organization. The sheath for using this type of fluid in their systems is made by the fact that a silicone-based bracken fluid will not corrode the inner workings of the brake system. It keeps the parts in the best condition possible. It besides has the unique property of not damaging paint when it comes to those classical cars. early types of brake fluid will eat the paint correct off a car, so it ’ s apprehensible that silicon is the distinctive road with older cars .
Brake fluids are graded using the “ DOT ” system. DOT stands for the Department of Transportation, the entity that took it upon themselves to properly grade brake fluids to by rights choose what is right for your car .
The number that follows the word DOT is used to grade that important boiling-point that we talked about. The higher the number, the higher the boiling point.

  • DOT 3 Brake Fluid: DOT 3 is the most
    common type of brake fluid you will find in a typical vehicle that is used for
    conventional purposes. Although it is interchangeable with other brake fluids
    with a higher boiling point, if your vehicle is used for things such as getting
    to and from work, leisurely driving, getting from point A to B, then your car
    will most likely use DOT 3 fluid for its braking system.
  • DOT 4 Brake Fluid: Having a higher
    boiling point and providing a better fluid for high-performance, DOT 4 is
    typically utilized in performance vehicles that require driving on the more
    aggressive side. It is considered the mid-graded boiling point in comparison to
    other brake fluids. If your vehicle is being used in a way that could be
    considered a step up from conventional driving, DOT 4 is an acceptable option.
    Even if your car recommends DOT 3 if you’re not quite sure which is better for
    your car, use DOT 4.
  • DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid: This is the top
    boiling point when speaking in reference to glycol-based brake fluids. If you
    are doing a fair amount of aggressive driving, racing, dirt-track racing,
    off-roading, or drive a heavy-duty vehicle, then DOT 5.1 is the option for you.
    Especially when it comes to the heavy-duty applications that have any downhill
    driving. It is imperative to use a brake fluid with a higher boiling point
    because once that fluid hits the boiling point, it loses its ability to be
  • DOT 5 Brake Fluid: Being the one
    exception to the rest of the brake fluid options, DOT 5 is silicon-based. As
    mentioned, it is typically used in older, vintage vehicles and military
    vehicles. Other fluids absorb water, and since the machines that DOT 5 is used
    in tend to spend a lot of time sitting around without being used, the silicon
    base of DOT 5 will prevent any water from being absorbed. This utilizes the
    makeup of this fluid to prevent any corrosion over time, allowing the brake
    system to stay in sufficient shape, even when in storage.

Each fluid has its own, singular boiling point. That provides the grading we mentioned for each fluid and gives consumers the answer when choosing which fluent is right for their fomite. Check out the chart below to become companion with the different types of brake fluids, their dry boiling bespeak, their wet boiling point, and their typography .


Dry Boiling Point
Wet Boiling Point



Glycol ether




Glycol ether

DOT 5.1



Glycol ether





The most significant fact to note is the dispute between DOT 5 and other applications. Due to its silicone base, DOT 5 cannot be
interchanged with the other brake fluids.
If it ’ sulfur DOT 5, it will need to stay DOT 5 for the duration of the vehicle ’ sulfur life .

What is
Brake Fade?

A coarse term among car enthusiasts is “ brake fade. ” But what precisely does that mean and how can it affect your car ? Boiling points have been a repeatedly referenced expression of all brake fluids and for good reason. Once the fluid boils, the bracken fluid is no long as effective, leading to a brake system that is not adenine effective as it needs to be.

Brake fade is when accelerator ( not gasoline ) gets in the pitch lines for the brake fluid. This happens when your fluid hits that ever-so-important boiling point. Once the fluid boils, natural gas bubbles enter the lines, which then reach the moving parts of the brake arrangement. Without a consistent flow of only fluid when the brakes are engaged, those air bubbles intermittently hit the brake parts and cause the bracken pedal to become “ spongy. ” You will immediately recognize this while driving because the brake pedal will no long have that tight, hard-hitting spirit when you step on the pedal point .

Pump the

The chastise brake fluid option is imperative for your vehicle. Stop, take a consequence to verify which fluid is best, and apply it to your brake organization consequently. If you are conflicted as to which choice is going to be best for your vehicle, choose the higher grad so long as you have a system with a glycol-based fluid. Using a higher grade fluid and then ending up not causing a higher floor of brake estrus is a much better option than going with a lower graded fluent that ends up boiling .
The bracken system is always going to be one of the most significant functions of any fomite on the road. The fluid a driver chooses for their vehicle is just adenine important as any of the moving parts of the brakes. It is constantly best to choose the right choice for your car when the need arises to pump those brakes .


“ Understanding Brake Fluid Shelf Life and other Important Auto Essentials ”
Benjamin Hunting, November 4, 2016
“ What Are the Different Types of Brake Fluid ”
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“ Brake Fluids : Glycol and Silicon-Based Explained ”
May 14th, 2014

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“ DOT 3 and DOT 4 Brake fluid : What ’ s the Difference ? ”
John Baker, March 20th, 2019

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Category : Car Brakes