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Discussion Starter #1
A small bottle of Prestone DOT 4 fluid at Wal-Mart is about $3. The same size bottle of DOT 4 fluid by Motoul at the Kawasaki stealership is $9 and a little change.

Is there any real difference?
Is there any reason to spend 3X as much for the Motoul?
:feedback:
 

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Prestone DOT 4 synthetic brake fluid has a minimum dry boiling point of 500°F (260°C), and a minimum wet boiling point of 311°F (155°C). It's relatively cheap and also darker colored than higher quality fluids like Valvoline's SynPower synthetic DOT 4.
Motul RBF 600 DOT 4's dry boiling point: 593°F (312°C), wet boiling point 420°F / 216°C.
Motul RBF 660 DOT 4 dry boiling point: 617°F (325°C), wet boiling point: 400°F (204°C).
Motul's excellent DOT 5.1 (NOT DOT 5) long life synthetic brake fluid like I use isn't as expensive as the other two. Dry boiling point: 518 °F (270°C), wet boiling point: 365 °F (185°C). Its viscosity of 820 centipoises at -40°C (-40°F) is lower than DOT 4 (up to 1800 cp) and DOT 3 (up to 1500 cp), allowing an easier fluid circulation in micro-valves of anti-locking systems.

http://www.motul-canada.com/en/products/products_brakefluid.shtml?panel=0

http://www.motul-canada.com/en/products/products_info/Brake_fluid/DOT_5_1/DOT_5_1_TDS.pdf
 

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I didn't realize you needed to change your brake fluid every year? Whats the reason behind that?
 

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It draws moisture out of the air.
The moisture causes two problems, one is corrosion, the other is that when you heat up the brakes the water turns to steam.
As a gas is compressible, the brakes then get spongy losing braking effectiveness.
 

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DOT 4/ Glycol-ether fluids.

Most brake fluid are based on glycol-ether componds. These generally consist of monoethers of low polyethelene glycols. Although these components can be used to produce a brake fluid which conforms to DOT3 requirements their undesirable hygroscopic properties cause this fluid to absorb moisture at a relatively rapid rate, withn an attendant swift reduction in the boling point.

If the free OG (hydroxyl) groups are partially esterfied with boric acid, the result is a superior DOT 4 or super DOT 4 brake fluid capable of reacting with moisture to neatralize its effects. As DOT 4 brake fluid boling point drops much more slowly than of DOT 3 fluid, its service life is longer.

Its is always advisable to service and replace brake fluid yearly.

:cheers:
 

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Are 4.0 and 5.1 interchangeable?
Can I replace DOT 4.0 brake fluid with new 5.1 without having any problems?
Yes, do a complete change. Brake fluid is hygroscopic. It is supposed to absorb moisture which is getting into you system anyway.
 

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You can go from DOT 4 to DOT 5.1, should not be a problem. Also see/refer Invader's write up above.
:cheers:
 

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Kawasaki recommends replacing brake fluid every two years, as does most of the motorcycle and automotive industry. Some recommend replacing it every year. It is advisable for better protection and optimum braking performance, and it takes very little fluid to completely replace it.
Recommended every year: Brake fluid leak (brake hose and pipe) damage, installation condition, and brakes' operation (effectiveness, play, no drag) inspections. Brake fluid levels check every 6 months. Brake pad wear and brake light switch operation inspection at every 6000 Kms (4500, 7500, 12000, 15000, 20000, 24000 miles).

DOT 5.1 is compatible with DOT 3 and DOT 4. Do not mix with silicone (DOT 5 silicone base) or mineral base fluids (LHM).

http://www.motul-canada.com/en/products/products_info/Brake_fluid/DOT_5_1/DOT_5_1_TDS.pdf
 

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Who knew. thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I looked into the Valvoline SynPower fluid, and it looks really, really good. The only problem is that it has been discontinued. Are they still selling it in Canada?
 

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Uh oh...I think I learned something. And it disturbs me that I think I actually understood what Fastoman wrote.
 

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I looked into the Valvoline SynPower fluid, and it looks really, really good. The only problem is that it has been discontinued. Are they still selling it in Canada?
Valvoline's excellent SynPower synthetic DOT4 was unfortunately discontinued some time ago. Valvoline has the same product range in USA and Canada... That's why Canadian Tire switched to Prestone's 'synthetic' DOT 4, like many USA distibutors have.

Amsoil now offers Series 600 DOT4 polyglycol ether-based brake fluid (not available in Canada). Dry ERBP: 304°C (580°F). Wet ERBP: 210°C (410°F). Over 20% off $13.50 per 12-Oz, with promo code from: http://www.woodsbrosracing.com/amsoil/bf4.htm
 
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