Dot 5 Brake Fluid Compatibility & Comparison

We all know that brakes are essential for safe driving. Which is best for dot three vs. Dot 4 vs. Dot 5 brake fluid? It can be hard to say. Picking the best one for your vehicle is tough. Dot 3, Dot 4, and Dot 5 all brake fluids come to do various things. Even they are best than other brake fluids for particular types of cars.

However, here we are, trying to help you to clear up the confusion. In this article, we have discussed Dot 3, Dot 4, and Dot 5 brake fluid. So, if you want to know the difference between the three brake fluids, stay with us.

dot 5 brake fluid

What Is Dot Brake Fluid?

Before going into the Dot 5 brake fluid topic, look first at the brake fluid basics. Also, from here, you can learn the meaning of the DOT abbreviation. Knowing its purpose can be a good starting point for those who want to learn the basics.

So generally, what is brake fluid? This is a hydraulic fluid used for brake system applications. That means this hydraulic fluid is different and known as transmission fluid or ATF.

But this type of fluid core is the same. Color is the main difference, and it can tolerate extreme pressure.

Dot 5 brake fluid color is different from other brake fluids. Even it delivers better performance under maximum heat. Because under heavy braking, the brakes get hot even in regular use.

What’s The Meaning Of DOT?

Now coming to the point, what does DOT mean? Well, it’s only a short form of the Department of Transmission. An institution generally values these fluid types and creates a vehicle standard.

The noticeable fact is that though it’s an American institution, it’s known globally and utilized worldwide. Nevertheless, in most countries, you will see the uses of Dot 3, Dot 4, and Dot 5 brake fluid. It’s because below, we will discuss more in-depth all of these fluids. Another thing you should know is that all types of fluids are the same by structure except the DOT 5.

Explanations of Dot 3, Dot 4, and Dot 5 Brake Fluids

For general cars, three brake fluids in the market are available. In terms of performance, the range enhances in the rising order. That means Dot 3 is the most fundamental, whereas Dot 5 is the most impure with higher substances. On the contrary, Dot 4 is the general choice in ordinary cars.

Dot 3 Brake Fluid

The most common brake fluid is Dot 3, which is available in the market. Additionally, this brake fluid contains 80% Glycol and other substances. Generally, this brake fluid color is yellow, so you can easily find this brake fluid. Similarly, Dot 3 and any other brake fluid do not contain short standards. Even so, every brake fluid comes with a different boiling point.

To summarize, Dot 3 brake fluid contains 250° dry and 140° wet boiling points. When this fluid has acquired moisture with time, you can consider the damp boiling point. Nevertheless, Dot 3 gains low moist humidity than Dot 4 brake fluid.

Dot 4 Brake Fluid

Dot 4 brake fluid is now utilized in most cars. Correspondingly, it fulfills the gap between Dot 3 and 4 by providing qualities of both fluids at an achievable price. Regarding substances used, Dot 4 contains Glycol ether base of around 50-65% with Borate Ester base of approximately 30-40%.

Specifically, Dot 4 brake fluid has higher boiling points than Dot 3, 230° for dry and 155° for wet. Hence, Dot 4 properties are that Dot 4 brake fluid became quicker moisture than Dot 3 brake fluid. Moreover, it provides more dependable braking power but claims rapid fluid change.

Dot 5 Brake Fluid

Adequately, Dot 5 brake fluid is suitable for high-grade cars built to handle high-intensity situations. Most importantly, this fluid is a full synthetic silicone-based fluid and, with time, doesn’t have any moisture.

Besides, it provides extra compressibility than Dot 3 and 4 brake fluid. Furthermore, Dot 5 brake fluid comes with a higher boiling point of 260° in dry and 180° in wet. Because of no moisture, Dot 5 brake fluid is the most dependable and provides fantastic performance with a longer life cycle.

Nonetheless, now some brands provide full synthetic Dot 4 brake fluid that offers higher boiling points than Dot 5. Thus, both of these fluids are more suitable for on-road use.

Difference between Dot3, Dot4, and Dot5 Brake Fluid

The OEMs of brake fluid have shown many developments, and the competition bar is higher. In particular, brake fluid has no short formula or predetermined standards. Generally speaking, there are general differences between the three brake fluids.

If you use Dot 3 brake fluid in your car, you should replace your brake fluid less frequently. It’s because it has low moisture with time. On the other hand, Dot 4 brake fluid contains moisture more quickly than Dot 3.

That’s why you should need to replace the fluid very early. Likewise, many car owners usually use the high boiling point of Dot 4 brake fluid. It’s because, in low temperatures, this Dot 4 brake fluid doesn’t affect your braking.

Besides, you can use Dot 3, Dot 4, and Dot 5 brake fluid for standard brake systems. On the contrary, if you want to avoid exposure to maximum moisture or heat, Dot 5 is the best option. Remember to always use the best Dot 5 brake fluid in your vehicles.

Note that Dot 5 isn’t compatible with power steering and BNS systems always because it helps to swell plastics.

Comparison Between Dot 3 vs. Dot 4 vs. Dot 5 Brake Fluid:

We have given the following table that will briefly discuss everything.

Options Dot 3 Dot 4Dot 5
Dry Boiling Point 205°c 230°c270°c
Wet Boiling Point 140°c155°c180°c
Chemical structure ether and polyalkylene glycol.Borate and glycol.Hydrophobic Polydimethyl siloxane and Tributyl Phosphate.
Colors Colorless to amberColorless to amberPurple
Boiling capacityIt contains exceptional dry and wet boiling capacity.This fluid’s dry boiling capacity is excellent, but the wet boiling capacity is pretty bad.Wet and dry boiling capacities are both great. 
PriceIts price range starts from $13 to $16.The price is between $15 and $19.It costs between $18 and $45.
Meets Requirements ofFMVSS 116, SAE J1703   ISO 4925 Class 3FMVSS 116, SAE J1704   ISO 4925, Class 4FMVSS 116, SAE J 1705   ISO 4925, Class 5
5 dot brake fluid

DOT 5 Brake Fluid Compatibility:

Whether bleeding your brakes, you need to choose the proper brake fluid for your vehicle. If you think the expensive option will be best for you, it’s not true.

Keep reading this guide to know the compatibility of Dot 5 fluid. From the compatibility of Dot 5 fluid to its chemical makeup, we’ve covered it for you.

Characteristics DOT 5 Brake Fluids

Boiling Point

Usually, Dot 5 contains a higher boiling point than Dot 4 or Dot 3. At 500°, this fluid is 50° higher than Dot 4 and 100° higher than Dot 3. Nevertheless, driving a Formula 1 performance vehicle requires a higher boiling point.

Chemical Makeup:

Eventually, this Dot 5 is different and silicon-based because others are glycol-based. The most noticeable impact is that silicone-based brake fluid doesn’t absorb moisture.

That’s because Dot 3 and Dot 4 can absorb moisture and prevent some water from making you and rusting the brake elements. Everything will be fine if you don’t use enough water in this system.


Dot 5 brake fluid color is purple, and Dot 3 and Dot 4 color is yellowish-brown. For that reason, you can know what brake fluid your car uses. And it helps to determine the compatibility of Dot 5. Specifically, it’s important because you only can mix Dot 5 with particular brake fluids.


Surprisingly, Dot 5 is more costly than Dot 3 and Dot 4. Typically, for most brake systems, the actual upgrade is Dot 4 or Dot 5.1. Consequently, Dot 5 offers performance benefits compared to conventional brake fluids. In fact, this brake fluid’s troubles outweigh the advantages for many applications.

Pros and Cons of Dot 5 Brake Fluid:

Now let’s discuss Dot 5 brake fluid’s pros and cons. Learning about these fluids is really essential to determine if you want this fluid on your car.


Accordingly, Dot 5 fluid outperforms anything and can tolerate any temperature. More importantly, it contains a high boiling point of up to 500°. That means you can use this Dot 5 in your racing and other applications that run at high temperatures.


The biggest cons of Dot 5 are it cannot run on all types of brake systems. Likewise, you can only use it when brake systems need Dot 5 brake fluid. Another con is that you cannot use this brake fluid with glycol-based.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q. Can I mix DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5 brake fluids?

Usually, you can mix Dot 3 with Dot 4 brake fluid. But mainly to prevent cross-contamination, mixing brake fluid isn’t good. In contrast, Dot 5 is one kind of silicone-based brake fluid. That’s why you don’t mix Dot 5 with Dot 3 and Dot 4 brake fluid. Unfortunately, if you do it, you can face diminished braking performance.

Q. What vehicles use DOT 5 brake fluid?

For vehicles that come for traveling, you can use Dot 5 on these vehicles. Manufactured from silicone-based products, you can often use it on your high-braking systems racing cars. Undoubtedly, it can save your braking system’s tools for the highest boiling points and offer protective stopping control during driving.

Q. Can I use DOT 5 brake fluid in DOT 3 system?

You can use Dot 5 brake fluid in Dot 3 systems but not mix it with Dot 3 brake fluids. The reason is that Dot 5 is silicone-based and Dot 3 is glycol-based brake fluid.

Final Word

Every vehicle needs brake fluid, whether you drive a large commercial truck, motorbike, or economy vehicle. This is the article where we have a little bit discussed Dot 5 brake fluid. From here, you can learn about brake fluid, the difference between Dot-3, Dot-4, and Dot-5 brake fluid, and more. Furthermore,

Contact us if you want to know DOT 5 brake fluid near me. At last, from the Dot 5 brake fluid Amazon you can pick the best one for your car.


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I am Engr. Z Eusuf graduated in Mechanical Engineering & has been working with engine lubricants for a long time and knows what makes them work best. I can help you find the right oil for your needs, and I have tips on how to keep your engine running at its best.