The 10 Best Dot 4 Brake Fluid – 2021 (Review & Guide)

bet dot 4 brake fluid

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What’s the best dot 4 brake fluid for your car?

Our choice for the Best DOT 4 Brake Fluid is Castrol 12509.

It’s an affordable brake fluid option that offers a cost-effective solution for motorists looking for a high-quality product but who wants to spend less, making it the best DOT 4 brake fluid on the market and still suitable for high-performance cars.

It’s suitable for use on any non-mineral braking system since its compressibility matches that of the best DOT 5.1 brake fluid and exceeds DOT 3 & DOT 4 specifications.

Did you know that the DOT in brake fluid classifications stands for Department of Transportation? The DOT is the government body that classifies brake fluid and the DOT National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) sets the standards and determines what testing brake fluid must pass.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR BEST DOT 4 BRAKE FLUID

What DOT 4 brake fluid is best for your vehicle? We’ve done the research to make it easier for you to figure out.

IN THIS GUIDE


At A Glance: Best DOT Brake Fluid

BRAKE FLUID
Best DOT 4 Racing Cars Brake FluidCastrol SRF Racing 12512
Runner Up Racing Cars Brake FluideFLUID ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 Racing Quality DOT 4 Brake Fluid – 1 Liter
Best Overall DOT 4 Brake FluidCastrol 12614
Runner Up DOT 4 Brake FluidPentosin 1204116
Most Versatile DOT Brake FluidBosch ES16-32N
BEST Dot 4 Brake Fluid BUNDLECastrol 12509

Best Racing Brake Fluid

Castrol SRF Racing Brake Fluid 12512

  • Ingredient: Silicone ester-based
  • Compatibility: DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1
  • Dry Boiling Point: 590 deg. F
  • Wet Boiling Point: 516 deg. F

What We Like

  • Superior anti-vapor lock features
  • Compatible with DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1
  • Highest wet and dry boiling points
  • Meets safety standards

What We Don’t Like

  • Quite expensive

Summary: The Castrol SRF Racing Brake Fluid 12512 is a high-performance product that has an advanced European formulation.

With the advanced formulation, this braking fluid is loved by many motorsports competitors as they have extreme braking needs.

It has a wet boiling point of 270 deg.C and a dry boiling point of 310 deg.C., which makes it ideal for use in strenuous braking conditions.

The manufacturer recommends that this fluid should be changed after about 18 months of continuous use.

It’s suitable for use on any non-mineral braking system since its compressibility matches that of the best DOT 5.1 brake fluid.


Runner Up – Racing Brake Fluid

FLUID ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 Racing Quality DOT 4 Brake Fluid – 1 Liter

  • Ingredient: High-Performance formula
  • Compatibility: DOT 4
  • Dry Boiling System: 536 deg. F
  • Wet Boiling Point: 374 deg. F

What We Like

  • Incredible water-binding properties
  • Doesn’t foam when filling
  • Excellent corrosion protection
  • Ideal for any high-performance car

What We Don’t Like

Need to be bled too soon

Summary: If you are looking for a reliable brake fluid option that guarantees high-performance capability and responsiveness in your braking system, this one’s for you.

The ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4 is a first-class braking fluid formulated with military-grade braking performance in mind.

This brake fluid is a stable brake fluid that performs well under hot conditions and is very streamlined to prevent clogs in your internal brake lines. 

It uses unique formulated additives that provide excellent lubrication for your brake lines and the braking system in general.

ATE 706202 Original TYP 200 DOT 4 is specifically made to handle most European-made vehicles’ brake fluid needs. But it also works nicely with any car that uses DOT 4 fluid in its brake lines.


Runner Up – Best Racing Brake Fluid

Motul Dot-4 Synthetic Racing Brake Fluid-500

  • Ingredient: 100% synthetic
  • Compatibility: DOT 3 and DOT 4
  • Dry Boiling Point: 594 deg. F
    Wet Boiling Point: 399 deg. F

What We Like

  • Withstands extremely high temperatures
  • Lubricates the brake system
  • Unlimited brake shell life

What We Don’t Like

  • Poor bottle design

Summary: The Motul MTL 100949 is a non-silicone synthetic fluid designed for hydraulic-actuated brake systems.

This brake fluid offers a combination of great value and high-performance for all types of vehicles. It’s formulated to improve your pedal feel.

It ensures more protection against water penetration and has a boiling point of 594 degrees Celsius. 

The Motul MTL 100949 is a DOT 4 type brake fluid, meaning it’s compatible with DOT 3 and DOT 5.1. It can withstand too high temperatures.


BEST Dot 4 Brake Fluid BUNDLE

Castrol 12509 Dot 4 Brake Fluid (12 Oz) + Bleeder Bottle

  • Ingredient: Synthetic formulation
  • Compatibility: DOT 3 and DOT 4
  • Dry Boiling Point: 509 deg. F
  • Wet Boiling Point: 329 deg. F

What We Like

  • Provides optimum braking response
  • Outstanding performance
  • More affordable
  • Mixes well with conventional brake fluids
  • Prevent unwanted air from entering the system during bleeding

What We Don’t Like

  • Poor bottle design

Castrol 12509 is an affordable brake fluid option that offers a cost-effective solution for motorists looking for a high-quality product but who wants to spend less.

This is the best inexpensive DOT 4 brake fluid you can find in the market and is suitable for high-performance cars.

Castrol 12509 brake fluid works efficiently with high-temperature braking systems. It offers an optimum braking response.

Some users complain about the bottle, but this should not be a big deal since this is a cheaper option. Besides, you can easily buy several bottles without encountering this issue.


Best Overall Dot 4 Brake Fluid

Castrol 12614

  • Ingredients: Unique LMA formulation
  • Compatibility: DOT 3 and DOT 4
  • Dry Boiling Point: 509 deg. F
  • Wet Boiling Point: 311 deg. F

What We Like

  • Exceeds DOT 3 and 4 expectations
  • Mixes with other brake fluids
  • Works for different brake systems
  • Superior high-temperature

What We Don’t Like

  • Not ideal for routine cars

Summary: Castrol 12614 is a leading brake fluid that uses a chemical composition of DOT 4 and DOT 3 for high-performance and optimum braking response.

It’s compatible with various vehicle types and works effectively under harsh and high-temperature conditions.

This brake fluid helps amplify the amount of force applied to the brake when they are engaged.

With its high-quality chemical composition, Castrol 12614 brake fluid is a perfect choice for those who want a premium brake fluid for their vehicle.

It exceeds the DOT 3 and DOT brake fluids expectations, making it ideal for virtually any vehicle.


Runner Up – DOT 4 Brake Fluid

Pentosin 1204116 Super DOT 4

  • Ingredients: Polyglycol
  • Compatibility: DOT 3 and DOT 5.1
  • Dry Boiling Point: 509 deg. F
  • Wet Boiling Point: 392 deg. F

What We Like

  • Larger container that can be used several times
  • Compatible with mainstream brake system
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Can be mixed with DOT 3 and DOT 5.1

What We Don’t Like

  • The container is a bit soft and prone to denting.

Summary: Pentosin 1204116 is a high-quality brake fluid specifically made to be used in ABS brake systems. It’s formulated to have superior corrosion resistance.

Along with unmatched corrosion resistance, Pentosin 1204116 has a built-in resistance to retaining water.

Resistance to retaining water feature makes this brake fluid last for long without being drained or replaced.

Since it has a high boiling point, Pentosin is ideal for use in a range of high-performance formats.


Runner Up – DOT 4 Brake Fluid

Brembo Premium Brake Fluid

  • Ingredients: Polyglycol
  • Compatibility: DOT 4 and DOT 5.1
  • Boiling Point: 500 deg. F

What We Like

  • Excellent price-quality ratio
  • Improves ABS performance
  • Ideal for ideal performance vehicles
  • Vapor lock-resistant

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for some vehicles

Summary: The Brembo Premium DOT 4 has a very low viscosity. It’s recommended for cars equipped with modern electronic braking control systems and other functions.

This premium brake fluid is formulated to have a higher boiling point to protect against vapor lock in your braking system.

It’s a perfect brake fluid that complements most vehicles’ rating and is well suited to improve ABS performance and cold weather stability.

After using this brake fluid, you may notice that your brakes become more aggressive. Before buying this fluid, you’ll want to ensure that it’s compatible with your vehicle.


Prestone AS401 DOT 3 Synthetic Brake System 

  • Ingredients: Polyglycol ethers
  • Compatibility: DOT 4 and DOT 5.1
  • Dry Boiling Point: 460 deg. F
    Wet Boiling Point: 284 deg. F

What We Like

  • Fairly priced
  • Doesn’t produce dangerous vapors
  • Easy to use
  • Prevents spongy pedal

What We Don’t Like

  • Poor packaging

Summary: The Prestone AS401 is a top-quality brake fluid that comes at a very affordable price.

It comes in an adequate capacity of 32oz. and is formulated with the properties of DOT 3. It’s dry and wet boiling points exceed the expectations of the conventional brake fluids.

This brake fluid is easy to use as it pours and bleeds easily without foaming. Its formula offers you maximum brake power whenever you need it.

Another fantastic thing about Prestone AS401 is that it uses a mix of polyglycol ethers to prevent the formation of dangerous vapors.

While its packaging could be better, it’s not a deal-breaker as it doesn’t affect the fluid’s quality.


Most Versatile

Bosch ES16-32N Brake Fluid

  • Ingredients: Glycols
  • Compatibility: DOT 3, 4, and 5.1
  • Wet Boiling Point: 365 deg. F

What We Like

  • High compatibility
  • Extended service interval
  • Excellent lubricity properties

What We Don’t Like

  • Metal container dents easily

Summary: This is the most compatible brake fluid you can find in the market. Whether you have DOT 3, 4, or 5.1 in your vehicle, the Bosch ES16-32N will be an excellent choice for you.

The most fascinating thing about this brake fluid is that it meets and exceeds all the DOT standards for DOT 3, 4, and 5.1.

It’s formulated to provide a long-lasting performance as it can last up to 10% longer than DOT 5.1 and 100% longer than DOT 3 brake fluids. This brake fluid can serve you for at least three years.

Bosch ES16-32N offers perfect lubrication to your brake components to minimize wear while also reducing noise.


The metal bottle is not very ergonomic, but is relatively better than most plastic containers and is still easy to pour.


Runner Up – Most Versatile

Valvoline 601458 Brake Fluid

  • Ingredients: Glycols and glycol ethers
  • Compatibility: DOT 3 and DOT 4
  • Boiling Point: 482 deg. F

What We Like

  • Excellent resistance to vapor lock
  • Minimizes brake failure
  • Versatile

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the best fluid for tracked vehicles

Summary: This premium grade brake is designed for all ABS, drum, or disc brake systems that require DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid.

Valvoline 601458 features a high dry boiling point to reduce the risk of fluid evaporation and possible brake failure.

Its low moisture formula offers excellent vapor lock protection for optimum braking performance while still preventing corrosion. 

This hydraulic brake fluid is a versatile option as it’s compatible with common brake fluids.


What is Dot 4 Brake Fluid and Why Do You Need It?

best dot 4 brake fluid

DOT 4 brake fluid is a vital catalyst that activates your brakes and helps you stop your car whenever you need to. You need it to prevent brake failure, remain safe, and increase your brake system performance.


5 Signs You Need To Change Your Brake Fluid

best dot 4 brake fluid

Here are 5 signs that you need to change your brake fluid:

ABS Light Comes On

If the ABS light comes on, this is a good indication that your brake fluid either needs to be changed or needs more fluid added.

Pedal Problems

If you find that you’ve been having a harder time pushing down on your brake pedal, or the brake pedal is low or feeling spongy or it’s high and harder to push down, you probably need more fluid or need to change the brake fluid.

A Burning Smell

If you smell something burning or a chemical smell when braking, this is a sign that you need new brake fluid. If you do smell something, it’s an indication that you have a major problem which could lead to brake failure. Stop the car in a safe place and allow the brakes to cool and then get the brake fluid replaced right away.

Strange Noises

If your brakes start to make noise, this can be an indication that you need to change the brake fluid.

Brake Pads Squeaking or Grinding

If you hear squeaking or grinding sounds when using your brakes, this could be an indication that the brake fluid needs to be changed.


4 Benefits of Using Dot 4 Brake Fluid

best dot 4 brake fluid
  1. Dot 4 brake fluids have a high boiling point compared to other types of oils. This is the main reason it gives consistent and safe results, even under high braking pressure and temperatures.
  2. It increases the durability and reliability of the braking components. Unlike DOT 3 brake fluids, DOT 4 is barely hygroscopic.
  3. Moreover, it does not leak easily. This makes it very efficient and cost-saving.
  4. Another good thing about the DOT 4 brake fluid is its ability to mix well with DOT 5.1 brake fluid.

4 Different Types of Brake Fluid and How They Differ

bet dot 4 brake fluid

1. DOT 3

DOT 3 is a poly glycol-based brake fluid that is intended for vehicles under normal driving conditions.

This brake is the likeliest to boil due to its wet boiling point of 284°F and a dry boiling point of 401°F. It’s among the most common brake fluid found anywhere.

2. DOT 4

The DOT 4 brake fluid has a wet boiling point of 155 ° C and a dry boiling point of 230 °C. Just like DOT 3, this fluid is poly glycol-based, best for high altitude vehicles.

DOT 4 and DOT 3 brake fluid can be mixed. However, if you’ve been using DOT 4, it’s not good to switch back to DOT 3.

3. DOT 5

DOT 5 is silicon-based and has a very high dry boiling point of up 500°F and a wet boiling point of 356°F. It absorbs very little moisture from the air but can foam bubbles that are not easy to remove.

It can be mixed with DOT 3. However, it’s not the best idea since DOT 5 is four times the cost of DOT 5.

4. DOT 5.1

This is a glycol-based brake fluid with a high boiling point of 500 deg. F. It usually has a purple color to differentiate from DOT 3 and 4.

While it doesn’t absorb water like most glycol-based brake fluids, it does become foamy. It’s not recommended for ABS systems.


8 Things to Consider When Buying Dot 4 Brake Fluid

best dot 4 brake fluid

1. Purpose

Different brake fluids are made of different formulas meant to match certain conditions experienced by different vehicle types. For instance;

A racing car’s braking requirements cannot be the same as that of a personal vehicle.

Understanding your car’s type, how, and where you want to use it will help you buy brake fluid that matches your needs.

2. Composition

Brake fluids are made up of different components, with each component performing a specific function.

Some components ensure that the brake fluid withstands high temperatures, and some help maintain good braking even under high pressure.

It is always good to understand the composition of the components making up a brake fluid before buying.

3. Dry/Wet Boiling Points

The braking system of a vehicle generates a lot of heat. Some conditions like driving downhill or at high speed may generate a lot of heat.

High temperature may heat the brake fluid, introducing vapor into the brake, which may hinder its performance.

Always buy a brake fluid that will favor your driving conditions.

4. Water Absorption

Braking system tubes are made of rubber. Rubber may allow in moisture after some time into the brake fluid.

Water in the brake fluid will easily convert to steam under high temperatures, lowering the braking system’s effectiveness.

A brake with a better hygroscopic rate will ensure your braking system is clear of this problem.

5. Size

It’s always good to evaluate the size of a product before buying it. You may purchase a smaller product due to its lower cost, only to learn that it doesn’t fit your vehicle.

A product with more fluid will be enough for your vehicle and help you get the best value for your money.

6. Corrosion Resistance

Some brake fluid manufacturers use additives in their oil that prevents corrosion in other parts of the vehicle.

Corrosion will lead to problems in your braking system and more repair cost.

Fluids made of glycol-ether are more corrosive compared to silicone-based ones.

7. Viscosity

A good type of oil can maintain its viscosity in a wide range of temperatures of operation.

Always buy brake fluid with a viscosity that is outlined by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

8. Compatibility 

Not all brake fluids are compatible with your vehicle. Some fluids are meant for all brake systems, while others are for a specific brake system.

Instead of buying a brake fluid because it has good qualities, you should ensure it is compatible with your braking system.


How To Replace The Brake Fluid In Your Car In 4 Easy Steps

How To Replace The Brake Fluid In Your Car In 4 Easy Steps

Step 1: Preparation of the Oil Change Material

Before you start doing the oil change, ensure you are all set with whatever you need throughout the process.

Make sure you have a new bottle of brake fluid, a wrench set, fend cover, plastic air hose, jack, engine degreaser, and any other necessary material.

Park the vehicle safely on level ground, and use the jacks to raise it from the ground.

If you prefer, you can remove all four wheels before you start bleeding the brakes. But many people prefer removing and bleeding brakes one by one.

Step 2: Remove the Old Brake Fluid

Before pouring the new oil into the cylinder, you will first remove the old one.

Start by cleaning the area surrounding the cylinder cap. This will ensure no dirt particles find their way into the cylinder.

Open the reservoir cylinder cap and extract the old brake fluid. For safety purposes, you can wear gloves as you work with brake fluids.

Extracting the old oil can be done either through pressure or vacuum bleeding. Whatever way you choose is okay as long as you accomplish the task.

Step 3: Pour the New Brake Fluid

Ensure you are using the right brake fluid that is recommended for your car. You can refer to the manufacturer’s manual for this information.

Pouring the brake fluid through the reservoir hole is very easy. You only have to be careful not to spill some to your car.

Brake fluids are corrosive and may mess with your car paint. You can use a funnel in this case for more precision.

Step 4: Bleeding the Brakes

Start bleeding the car from the side near to the master cylinder. Find the bleeding screws and loosen them using the wrench.

Insert one end of the air horse into the bleed screw and the other end into a transparent bottle.

You can pump on the brake pedal until you notice the new fluid going into the bottle. Return and tighten the bleed screw. Repeat this process for all the other wheels.

Once you are done bleeding, you can pour more fluid into the reservoir up to the maximum marked level.

Step 4: Bleeding the Brakes

Start bleeding the car from the side near to the master cylinder. Find the bleeding screws and loosen them using the wrench.

Insert one end of the air horse into the bleed screw and the other end into a transparent bottle.

You can pump on the brake pedal until you notice the new fluid going into the bottle. Return and tighten the bleed screw. Repeat this process for all the other wheels.

Once you are done bleeding, you can pour another fluid into the reservoir up to the maximum marked level.


FAQs for Best Dot 4 Brake Fluid

How Does Brake Fluid Work?

Brake fluid works when the hydraulic brake system transmits pressure applied on the foot pedal to other parts of the system.

Pressure on the pedal is transmitted into the master cylinder and to the rest of the braking system like pads, which stops the wheel.

Why is Brake Fluid Important?

Brake fluid is important because it’s incompressible and hygroscopic. These properties make the fluid reliable in transmitting pressure applied on the foot pedal to the brake pads effectively. They contribute to the stopping of cars.

How Often Do I Need to Change My Vehicle’s Brake Fluid?

How often you need to change my vehicle’s brake fluid depends on the vehicle type because there isn’t a specific time or mileage that’s the same for all vehicles.

The best way to know when to change the brake fluid is by referring to the manufacturer’s manual.

You can also change the brake fluid when the current one is bad. You can figure this out by doing a brake fluid check.

What Type of Brake Fluid Do I Need?

There are different types of brake fluids, each for a specific purpose. There is no particular fluid type that is best for all vehicles. It depends on the type of vehicle and also the manufacturer’s preference.

Why Does the Brake Fluid Need to Be Changed?

The brake fluid needs to be changed because it loses its effectiveness over time after absorbing moisture and water. Keep in mind that too much moisture or water can decrease stopping power.

How Do I Check My Brake Fluid?

To check your brake fluid, position the brake fluid reservoir under your vehicle’s hood. Then remove the top from the container and check at the marker on the inside to see the fluid’s level. Ensure there are no contaminants or staining on the container.

Which is Better DOT 3 or DOT 4 Brake Fluid?

DOT 4 is better than DOT 3 when it comes to performance. This is because it contains a certain amount of borate ester that enables it to handle more heat.

What does DOT stand for?

DOT stands for the Department of Transportation, the government body that sets the standards for the classification of brake fluids.


Video on How To Change Your Brake Fluid


Summary of Best DOT 4 Brake Fluids

It’s important to check your owner’s manual to determine how often to change the brake fluid in your vehicle but you will also need to verify what type of brake fluid is recommended.

Here’s a list of our top picks:

BRAKE FLUID
Best Overall DOT 4 Brake FluidCastrol 12614
Runner Up DOT 4 Brake FluidPentosin 1204116
Best DOT 4 Racing Cars Brake FluidCastrol SRF Racing 12512
Most Versatile DOT Brake FluidBosch ES16-32N
BEST Dot 4 Brake Fluid BUNDLECastrol 12509

Our top pick for DOT 4 brake fluid, Castrol 12614 is a great option but the runner-up brake fluids on our list are also great options for replacing the brake fluid in your vehicle.


References for DOT 4 Brake Fluid

  1. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards – Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids

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