Brake Fluid Does Matter

Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff
My Harley started to develope a mushy-front-brake symptom. I did what I always do in these cases, absolutely nothing. Should the next owner be anal enough to worry about such irrelevant little details he could just as well take care of the problem. But then I had couple of hairy experiences, and as I am keen to keep my limbs attached to my body also in the near future, I decided to change the fluid.



But… the reservoir claimed DOT 5 fluid. In Buenos Aires that is about as common as Argentinians eating vegetarian diet. Four gas stations all had only DOT 3.

Could they be mixed? At home a quick internet check revealed no. Millions of people-in-the-know were repeating “do not under any circumstances mix DOT 3 and DOT 5”. The massive response was convincing, at first. But why can´t you mix these two? Are they going to turn into KY Jelly? Does KY Jelly mix with hand lotion? Also, when regulating the DOT 5 the officials knew perfectly well that it is just a matter of time before somebody in Boise, Idaho, will mess things up. Probably somebody named Wayne. So would they have agreed on a formula that would surely turn many cars into death traps?

Nobody seemed to know so I kept searching. Until I came to this site:

http://zhome.com/ZCMnL/tech/brakes.html (skip the first 30 lines and go to point 2.)

Basically it boils down to two simple scientific facts:

1) Anyone who says you can´t mix DOT 3 and DOT 5 is a complete freeking idiot.
2) Anyone who does not immediately change the brake fluid of all his keeper bikes to DOT 5 is a complete freeking idiot.

I hope we can all agree on this.

- cruiz-euro
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Motorcycle.com Staff
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