What is the DOT 5 Brake Fluid ?

Motorcycle riders and enthusiasts alike love the feeling of the exhilarating adrenaline rush fueled by the thrust of a throttle. Though we may not want to ride to end, we all know that well maintained brakes are crucial.

Brake fluids transfer the force from the brake pedal by putting pressure on the caliper. This creates friction and over time can slow the vehicle down.The dissipation of heat means that the DOT ratings of brake fluids must be checked. These ratings indicate boiling points when wet or dry.

Most DOT 3 and DOT 4 have a glycol ether base and are hydrophilic, meaning they have a tendency to attract and absorb water.

What about less commonly used DOT 5?

DOT 5 is silicone-based and hydrophobic, which repels water instead of attracting it. DOT 5 will not absorb atmospheric moisture and extends the life of brakes.

DOT 5 is ideal in humid climates where moisture negatively impacts the braking system. It is also used by the US Military, for racing, and in situations when vehicles sit idle for extended periods of time.

It is important to know that DOT3 and DOT 4 should NEVER be mixed with DOT 5 fluid. Nor should DOT 5 be used on a vehicle with antilock brakes (ABS).

Though DOT 5 has a more expensive upfront cost than the DOT 3 and 4, it saves time and money in the long run because it lasts longer.


Whether you are a DIY motorcycle enthusiast that enjoys getting your hands dirty or a professional mechanic, you will value this article on the “Top 10 Tools You Must Have to Maintain Your Motorcycle”.

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