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Synthetic brake fluid

Old 02-19-2014, 01:53 AM
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Default Synthetic brake fluid

Make- Honda
Model- CR-V AWD
Year- 2002
Issue- Bought car from a family member who took very good care of the vehicle. Has over 200k on motor but still running very strong. This is a manual transmission. Started noticing something holding the car back while driving like the brakes seizing up. Found a caliper slightly stuck in the rear and the brake pad wore out. Though that was the problem. Fixed it and thought nothing further. Little did I know the previous owner loves new technology so he put synthetic brake fluid in the car. My mother drove it and it complete seized up. Basically now trying to bleed the brakes nothing will come out. The fluid in the brake cylinder looked like green snot rockets. I'm worried the synthetic tore up the cylinder inside not allowing it to leave the cylinder or even worse ruined the abs system. Any ideas, thinking about changing the cylinder and see what happens
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:01 AM
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Default Re: Synthetic brake fluid

Suck out the fluid from the reservoir. Afterwards, open the lines at the caliper and let all the old shit bleed out. Make sure to keep putting regular brake fluid in it
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: Synthetic brake fluid

This is a common problem if DOT5 (silicone) fluid was used in the system that previously had DOT3/4/5.1 (glycol ether-based) fluid. I'm not sure if this can be fixed, because it usually fucks the ABS system pretty well. If this is the case, have a great time replacing all/most of the brake system components. AFAIK, DOT 5 isn't actually supposed to be used in ABS systems at all. I've also heard that the DOT 5 tends to clean out the DOT 3/4/5.1 crap and sludge in the brake system, and that's what actually makes the snot-like jelly. Don't really know what to think, but the compatibility problem remains.

Make sure to kick the previous owner in the nuts really, really hard if he put DOT 5 fluid in the car. Really hard.

As a side note, all brake fluids are synthetic. DOT 5 is silicone, and is the only one that can't be mixed with the others. Saying "synthetic brake fluid" really isn't saying anything at all....

I guess one problem is that you don't really know what was put in there, so it's hard to make assumptions. Maybe the fluid was topped off with something that wasn't brake fluid (topping off fluid is another minor sin)... When you go over there for the nut kicking, grab the bottle of whatever was put in there.

Last edited by Fabrik8; 02-19-2014 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Synthetic brake fluid

Originally Posted by Fabrik8 View Post
This is a common problem if DOT5 (silicone) fluid was used in the system that previously had DOT3/4/5.1 (glycol ether-based) fluid. I'm not sure if this can be fixed, because it usually fucks the ABS system pretty well. If this is the case, have a great time replacing all/most of the brake system components. AFAIK, DOT 5 isn't actually supposed to be used in ABS systems at all. .
This is completely accurate. I've read many-a-horror stories of (particularly not in the case but in general) people (honda-fags) doing this and completely ruining their entire braking system.

Also, I believe DOT 5 brake fluid is for vehicles under extensive hard driving and brake use due to the fact that the Silicone mixture transfers heat a lot better than other mixtures. It really has no benefit being in a CR-V or any car that's not being tracked really.

Ultimately, you can try cleaning your braking system out, it's more than fucked and going to be replaced.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Synthetic brake fluid

The confusion between the base formulations of the similarly-named DOT 5 and DOT 5.1 doesn't help things at all, that's for sure.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Synthetic brake fluid

Good DOT 4 like ATE is enough for most cars that only see occasional track time. Why anyone would want to step up to DOT 5 for a street driven car doesn't make much sense to me, especially something like a CR-V.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Synthetic brake fluid

Originally Posted by Fabrik8 View Post
The confusion between the base formulations of the similarly-named DOT 5 and DOT 5.1 doesn't help things at all, that's for sure.
yeah, this is true. The fact is practically DOT 5 and 5.1 are neither good choices for a daily driven vehicle, even though 5.1 isn't silicone based it still is. It just falls under 70% silicone.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Synthetic brake fluid

Originally Posted by Yep4doors View Post
even though 5.1 isn't silicone based it still is. It just falls under 70% silicone.
That's a very interesting interpretation of the DOT 5 and DOT 5.1 FMVSS standard.

How can a polyethylene glycol base fluid be silicone base? Either it's diorgano polysiloxane (silicone) base, or it's polyethylene glycol / borate esther base, but it can't be both. What you're allowed to call it according to the standard doesn't change what type of base it is. DOT 5.1 is polyethylene glycol base with borate esters to change the properties to be almost identical to the existing DOT 5 standard. DOT 5.1 is not a sub-70% silicone base fluid.

If you want to market a silicone fluid as DOT 5, it has to be silicone base and contain at least 70% by weight of diorgano polysiloxane (a form of silicone). That doesn't mean you can make a silicone base fluid that's 69% by weight of diorgano polysiloxane and call it DOT 5.1, because that specifically violates the standard. If you want to make a DOT 5.1 fluid, the standard states it has to be non-silicone base.

Last edited by Fabrik8; 02-21-2014 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Synthetic brake fluid

Isn't DOT 5 brake fluid purple?
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Synthetic brake fluid

Originally Posted by PicovAndropov View Post
Isn't DOT 5 brake fluid purple?
Yes, it has to be purple according to the standard. DOT3/4/5.1 has to be clear or amber, which is why Continental can't make ATE Super Blue any more. Stupid reason to stop making something. Someone should make brake fluid dye, because then you could add it yourself after the sale and do the same color contrast during flush/bleed.
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