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Car Brake Fluid & Clutch Fluid

Brake fluid and clutch fluid are important automotive fluids that need to be maintained to keep your car running smoothly. Brake fluid is used to stop your car, while clutch fluid helps the car's transmission work properly. It is important to check the levels of these fluids regularly and replace them when necessary. Low levels of either fluid can cause your car to malfunction or stop working completely. These fluids go in separate reservoirs in your car, but typically use the same type of fluid.

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Motul RBF 660 Factory Line Fully Synthetic DOT 4 Racing Brake & Clutch Fluid
 
Motul RBF 600 Factory Line Fully Synthetic DOT 4 Racing Brake & Clutch Fluid
Motul RBF 700 Factory Line Fully Synthetic DOT 4 Racing Brake & Clutch Fluid
Castrol React Performance Dot 4 Fully Synthetic Car Brake Fluid
Castrol React SRF Racing Dot 3 & 4 Car Brake Fluid
Motul DOT 4 LV (Low Viscosity) Brake Fluid
Comma DOT 4 Synthetic Brake & Clutch Fluid
Opie Price
£3.95
Price Beater
Castrol Dot 4 Fully Synthetic Car Brake Fluid
Millers Oils Motorsport Racing Brake Fluid 300 Plus
Motul DOT 5.1 Long Life Fully Synthetic Brake & Clutch Fluid
RRP £11.99
£7.99
Price Beater
Apec DOT 4 Low Viscosity Brake Fluid ESP
Opie Price
£8.95
Price Beater
Apec Dot 4 Brake Fluid
Opie Price
£3.95
Price Beater
Millers Oils ESP Brake Fluid -  DOT 4 LV Brake & Clutch Fluid
Comma LHM+ Plus Mineral Hydraulic Brake & Levelling Fluid
Opie Price
£6.95
Price Beater
Millers Oils Motorsport Racing Brake Fluid 320 Plus
Comma DOT 4 ESP Synthetic Brake & Clutch Fluid
Shell DOT4 ESL high performance brake and clutch fluid
Silkolene DOT 4 Universal Brake & Clutch Fluid (Fuchs)
RRP £10.18
£8.95
Price Beater
Motul DOT 3 & 4 Fully Synthetic Brake & Clutch Fluid
Opie Price
£6.95
Price Beater
Febi Bilstein DOT4 Fully Synthetic Brake Fluid
Opie Price
£7.99
Price Beater
Amsoil Synthetic V-Twin Primary Fluid
NAPA DOT 4 Fully Synthetic Brake & Clutch Fluid
Opie Price
£3.95
Price Beater
Valvoline Brake & Clutch Fluid Dot 4
Febi Bilstein DOT4 Plus Fully Synthetic Brake Fluid
Opie Price
£12.50
Price Beater
Comma DOT 5.1 Synthetic Brake & Clutch Fluid
Millers Oils Universal Brake Fluid DOT 4
RRP £8.99
£6.95
Price Beater
Red Line RL-600 DOT 4 Full Synthetic Brake Fluid
Fenwicks Dot 5.1 Brake Fluid
Motul LHM+ Mineral Hydraulic & Suspension Fluid - for Citroen Vehicles
Silkolene Pro Race 320 Brake Fluid Racing DOT4
Millers Oils Ginetta Tech Racing Brake Fluid 300+
Bosch DOT 4 HP Synthetic Brake Fluid
Opie Price
£10.50
Price Beater
ELF MOTO Motorcycle Brake Fluid Dot 5.1
Bosch ENV4 Synthetic Brake Fluid DOT4
Bosch ENV6 Synthetic Brake Fluid DOT3, DOT4, DOT5.1 Compatible
Opie Price
£8.99
Price Beater
Febi Bilstein DOT4 LV Brake Fluid
Opie Price
£24.95
Price Beater
NAPA DOT 4 ESP Fully Synthetic Brake & Clutch Fluid
Opie Price
£5.95
Price Beater
Fuchs Maintain DOT 514 LV Premium Performance Brake Fluid
EXOPRO LHM PLUS Brake Fluid
Opie Price
£33.95
Price Beater
Apec Dot 5.1 Brake Fluid
Opie Price
£12.95
Price Beater
NAPA DOT 5.1 Fully Synthetic Brake & Clutch Fluid
Opie Price
£8.95
Price Beater

Your car's brake fluid is an essential part of the braking system. When the brake pedal is pressed, the compressing effect builds pressure, forcing the fluid to press down to the brake calipers. The brake pads then squeeze the brake discs to bring your car to a stop. Without the pressure created by the brake fluid, the brakes won't work.
Clutch fluid helps to disengage the gears.

It is important to make sure that your car has enough brake fluid and clutch fluid, so that you can stop and change gears safely. You should check your owner's manual to find out how much brake fluid and clutch fluid your car needs, and then refill it as needed. We are always happy to advise!

When your car's brake fluid and clutch fluid are low, it can lead to decreased braking performance and difficulty in shifting gears. To avoid these problems, it's important to know how to check the levels of these fluids and to refill them when necessary.

Different Types of Brake Fluid

Every kind of brake fluid is given a DOT rating, which will classify the specifications of the fluid. This is assigned by the Department of Transportation who sets the safety regulations for the acceptable performance for different brake fluids.

The DOT ratings given to brake fluids are based on the liquid's dry and wet boiling points. The dry boiling point refers to the boiling point of the fresh fluid, whilst the wet boiling point refers to the boiling point of a fluid that has absorbed moisture.

There are two main types of brake fluids:

  • DOT 3, DOT 4, Super DOT 4, DOT 5.1, which are based on poly glycol compounds.
  • DOT 5, which are based on silicone.

It's vital to note these 2 types of fluid are not compatible with each other, and you should never mix them in a braking system.

Super DOT 4 is not an "official" rating, but it's used by some manufacturers to indicate that the performance is significantly above the DOT 4 standard, with a higher boiling point, for example.

Poly Glycol Brake Fluids (DOT 3, 4 AND 5.1)

Glycol-based DOT 4 Brake Fluid is the current mainstream brake fluid, and you will see that the specification is considerably better than the DOT 3 it replaces.

DOT 5.1 has higher specifications and is for fast road and occasional track day use. It has a similar specification to DOT 4 for the boiling point (>260) but is a lot lower viscosity at -40°C typically 900 centistokes (compared to 1500-1800 centistokes for DOT 4 and Super DOT 4).

Silicone Brake Fluid (DOT 5) (not to be confused with DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid)

Silicone-based DOT 5 was originally introduced to give higher temperature performance over Glycol-based DOT 4. Silicone fluid also has other advantages in that it does not damage paintwork and it doesn't absorb water.

However, silicone fluid is a poor lubricant and does not lubricate ABS pumps as well as PAG fluids. It is also more compressible than PAG fluids, which can result in a sluggish or spongy pedal.

Silicone-based Brake Fluid therefore requires special design considerations in braking systems. Because it does not absorb water, any water remains as globules, which can pool in low spots in the system and cause corrosion. This water can vaporise when heated under heavy braking, producing a disastrous effect on braking efficiency.

Opie Oils does not sell DOT 5 Brake Fluid; its use is not mainstream and there are few occasions when using DOT 5 Brake Fluid is advisable.

Brake Fluid Boiling Points

Listed below are the minimum dry/wet boiling point specifications for each DOT level.

Boiling Point:

  • DOT 3 - 205°C (dry) / 140°C (wet)
  • DOT 4 - 230°C (dry) / 155°C (wet)
  • DOT 5 (silicone) - 260°C (dry) / 185°C (wet)
  • DOT 5.1 (PAG) - 260°C (dry) / 185°C (wet)
  • Super Dot 4 - 300°C (dry) / 195°C (wet) - Racing Brake Fluid

Motorsport Brake Fluid

If you're going to be taking your vehicle on track, you need brake fluid that is suitable for racing. Racing Brake Fluid needs to have higher tolerances—specialist, high-quality DOT 4 Brake Fluids with a high boiling point are used to help deal with the increased demand on a vehicle at high speed.

If you spend long periods on track or you're in particularly demanding races, then for your own safety, we'd recommend a brake fluid that is specifically marketed for racing. You don't want to hit a corner, then realise that you've boiled your brakes.

Motorsport Brake Fluid FAQ

What is the best brake fluid for racing?

You can't have brake fluid that's "too good". If in doubt, trade up. Look for high boiling points and reputable manufacturers including Motul, Fuchs / Silkolene, Millers Oils, and Castrol.

Is Racing Brake Fluid Worth It?

Yes, due to increased safety, but you'll also get better track times. If you can brake later and more aggressively with a better-quality fluid, you'll be able to get around the track quicker.

Should You Change Brake Fluid After Every Track Day?

Yes, we recommend this because the brake fluid will have been pushed hard while you've been on the track. If you're after the best lap times on the day, then changing your fluid before you attend will be a good move too.

General Brake Fluid and Clutch Fluid FAQs

What Is The Difference Between Brake Fluid and Clutch Fluid?

Brake fluid and clutch fluid are both essential to the function of your car's braking system and transmission, but they serve different purposes. Brake fluid is used to create pressure in the brake system, while clutch fluid transmits power from the engine to the transmission.

Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that helps apply pressure to the brake pads in order to stop your car. Clutch fluid helps transmit power from the engine to the transmission so that you can shift gears. They both play an important role in your car's performance, so it's important to make sure that your car has enough of each type of fluid.

What Brake Fluid Do I Need?

There are a variety of brake fluids on the market, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. DOT 3 and DOT 4 Brake Fluids are the most common, and both are compatible with most vehicles. DOT 5 Silicone-based Brake Fluid is a specialist fluid that may be suitable for vehicles that are driven in very high-humidity environments. You probably don't want DOT 5 Brake Fluid (and we don't sell it). To see what type of brake fluid is recommended for your vehicle, refer to your vehicle handbook or ask us.

How Do I Check My Brake Fluid?

The first step is to remove the cap from the brake fluid reservoir. Wear gloves and be careful not to let any of the fluid spill on your clothes or skin. Use a rag to wipe up any spills.

Next, use a funnel to pour some new brake fluid into the reservoir. Make sure that you do not overfill it. The level should be just below the "MAX" line on the side of the reservoir.

How Much Brake Fluid Do I Need?

In general, you need up to 1 litre (35 UK fluid oz) of brake fluid to fill up your brake fluid reservoir from empty. In practice, you might need more or less than this.

What Is the Best Way to Change the Brake Fluid in a Vehicle?

Changing brake fluid can be tricky, but you can do it at home yourself with a few basic tools. The first step is to locate the brake fluid reservoir. It is usually located near the engine and will have a cap with a dipstick sticking out of it. Remove the cap and dipstick. Make note of the current brake fluid level.

Next, locate the bleeder valves on each wheel. They are typically located at the top of the calliper and will have a small screwdriver slot or hex nut head. Place a catch pan or drip tray under the bleeder valve and loosen the valve by turning it anti-clockwise with a screwdriver or spanner. Have some old rags on hand to catch any spilt brake fluid.

How Often Should I Change My Brake Fluid?

For Dot 4 or Dot 5.1 Brake Fluid, you should change your brake fluid every two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. For Dot 3 Brake Fluid, an annual change is recommended, but as Dot 4 Brake Fluid is backward compatible with Dot 3, there's no reason to use Dot 3 Brake Fluid these days.

Brake fluid is an important component of your car that helps you stop when you need to. It's crucial to keep your brake fluid in good condition to protect you and others on the road. It's also recommended to conduct visual inspections of your fluid frequently and monitor the condition.

Is Motorcycle Brake Fluid the Same As Car Brake Fluid?

Yes, you can use car brake fluid in a motorcycle. However, you just might not need as much as motorcycles are considerably smaller.

What Brake Fluid Does a Motorcycle Use?

For most motorcycles, Dot 4 or Dot 5.1 should be used.

How Long Does a Brake Fluid Change Take?

Changing your brake fluid takes around 30 minutes, depending on your experience. The more frequently you do it, the faster you will get!

What Colour Is Brake Fluid?

Healthy brake fluid should be translucent with a yellow tint—if your brake fluid is a different colour to begin with (e.g., blue) then the brake fluid in your vehicle should be as close to translucent with yellow tint as possible to be considered healthy.

Where Is the Brake Fluid Reservoir?

The brake fluid reservoir is on top of the master cylinder in your car, which is most likely located in one of the back corners of the engine compartment.

What Is a Brake Fluid Flush?

A brake fluid flush is another term for changing your brake fluid. It takes all the old, dirty brake fluid out of your car's system and replaces it with clean, fresh fluid.

How Do I Dispose of Brake Fluid?

When bleeding the brake fluid, catch it in a non-reactive container (like an empty jam jar). Don't throw this away down the toilet or into a drain, as this is a highly flammable and toxic substance. Instead, bring the brake fluid to your nearest household hazardous waste centre to have it recycled and disposed of safely.

What Happens If You Don't Change Brake Fluid?

When you don't change your brake fluid, it can greatly impact the braking capabilities of your car. A lack of brake fluid leads to poor braking performance. In most cases, you'll be able to tell if your brake fluid is low. If your brake pedal feels spongy, there is a good chance you need to change your brake fluid.

If My Owner's Manual Says I Need Dot 3 Brake Fluid, Can I Use Dot 4?

Yes, Dot 4 is backward compatible with Dot 3 Brake Fluid. A Dot 4 Brake Fluid will exceed the requirements of the Dot 3 standard. Some Dot 4 Brake Fluids are marketed as "Dot 3 and 4" to emphasise this, but any Dot 4 Brake Fluid will be fine for a vehicle that originally required Dot 3 Brake Fluid.

What Clutch Fluid Do I Need?

When it comes to clutch fluid, the answer will be inside your owner's manual. Make sure to check this for the correct type of fluid before purchasing any. If you're not sure which type of fluid your car needs, talk to us and we'll offer advice.

Where Is Clutch Fluid Located?

The clutch fluid reservoir can be found in your vehicle's engine bay, under the bonnet.

How Much Clutch Fluid Do I Need?

The amount of clutch fluid you need depends on the make and model of your car. Some vehicles may require only a small amount of fluid, while others may require more. It is important to consult your owner's manual to find out how much clutch fluid your car needs, or get in touch with us and we'll advise.

What Happens If You Run Out of Clutch Fluid?

Running out of clutch fluid can make it difficult to shift gears, as the inadequate fluid levels don't allow the clutch to release properly. This can cause a loud grinding sound when you try to shift.

What Does Clutch Fluid Look Like?

Clutch fluid is a clear, red liquid that is used in manual transmissions to help disengage the clutch. You can check the level of your clutch fluid by looking at the dipstick or reservoir.

Why Does Clutch Fluid Turn Black?

Clutch fluid eventually turns black because the dirty fluid that has been used can occasionally be dragged back up into the master cylinder reservoir. The rubber seal rubs against the bore, turning the fluid black from aluminium residue.

Do You Have to Change Transmission Fluid When Replacing Clutch Fluid?

Changing both fluids at the same time will help keep your car running smoothly. It is important to use the correct type of transmission fluid, as using the wrong type can damage your car's transmission. If you are not sure which type of fluid to use, consult your car owner's manual or get in touch with us.

How Do You Change the Clutch Fluid?

The process is very similar to how you change the brake fluid. You will need a few basic tools, such as a socket wrench and a funnel. Make sure that you have some replacement fluid on hand before you start.

The first step is to jack up the car and remove the wheel. Next, you will need to locate the clutch slave cylinder. It's usually located near the firewall and is easy to spot because it has a rubber hose coming out of it. Disconnect the hose and drain the old fluid into a container.

Next, use your socket wrench to remove the bolt that holds the slave cylinder in place. Slide the cylinder out and replace it with the new one. Make sure to apply some new brake fluid to the seal on the new cylinder before you bolt it in place.

How Often Should I Change My Clutch Fluid?

Clutch fluid is important for the function of a vehicle's clutch. It helps to lubricate and cool the clutch disc. This is why it's important to change the fluid on a regular basis. How often this needs to be done varies depending on the make and model of car, driving habits and other factors. However, most mechanics generally recommend changing the fluid every 30,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first.

How Do I Know If My Car Needs Clutch Fluid?

If you're unsure whether your car needs clutch fluid, there are a few key signs. One sign is your clutch pedal feels "spongy" when you press down on it. Another sign is your engine may start to rev up quicker than normal when shifting gears. If you notice either of these things happening, it's a good idea to have your car assessed by a mechanic to see if it needs clutch fluid.

What Is the Difference Between Brake Fluid and Engine Oil?

Engine oil is used to lubricate and cool the engine, while brake fluid is used to create friction between the brake pads and the brake discs. Brake fluid also helps keep moisture away from the braking system.

What Are the Different Types of Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is an important component in a car's braking system. It is used to transmit the force from the driver's foot to the brake pads, which then apply pressure to the brake discs, causing them to stop the car. There are different types of brake fluid available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Nowadays, the most common type of brake fluid is DOT 4. This is a mineral-based fluid that is relatively cheap and easy to find. It also has a high boiling point, meaning it can withstand high temperatures without boiling away. DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid is also mineral based, but it has a higher boiling point than DOT 3 & DOT 4. It may have a longer life span too.