Complete Brake Flush question.

Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
173
Location
On the Lake, Ohio
This weekend I'll be doing a complete brake fluid flush on my 2012 Toyota Tacoma with 93,000 miles. I've already purchased a Motive Products bleeder tool and catch bottles. My owners manual says (along with cap on brake fluid reservoir) to only use DOT 3 fluid. My question is: Is there a preferred DOT 3 I should use, or will any quality name brand work? I have a Walmart, Advance Auto and NAPA store within a mile of one another. Thx!
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
27,991
Location
Near the beach in Delaware
As long as you do not get a no-name from the Dollar Store you will be fine. Only get what you need and a little more. Opened containers should not be used after a couple of months. I would get out there ahead of time with PB Blaster and be soaking the bleeder screws. Hopefully you have a 6-point box end or socket. And have a plan if you snap a bleeder screw.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
501
Location
MN
In my younger years, I used the stuff that gave me the butterflies because RACE CAR! Now, Supertech. I'm happy. Wallet is happy. Car doesn't care.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
2,058
Location
America's Dairyland
Any will work. You'll find a lot that are both DOT3 & 4 and those are fine too. I've always just bought a quart of Valvoline since it's readily available.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2017
Messages
3,646
Location
Worst Case, Ontario
Although 2012 isn't that old, you might want to change the bleeders. I would get some and then return them if they are not needed, they are a cheap part that can cause major headaches.
Originally Posted by Donald
I would get out there ahead of time with PB Blaster and be soaking the bleeder screws. Hopefully you have a 6-point box end or socket.
I skip right to the acetone/atf and use the Trav method of putting tension on a box end wrench while whacking the top of the bleeder with a hammer. Works like a charm.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
3,969
Location
pa
a little overdue but better late than never! use any quality dot 3 or 4 fluid, skip the OE as your throwing $$ away! the motive is a great one man unit as thru many years i used mine on many vehicles with the proper adapters.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
13,462
Location
MA
Originally Posted by LotI
Any will work. You'll find a lot that are both DOT3 & 4 and those are fine too. I've always just bought a quart of Valvoline since it's readily available.
Supertech DOT 3 is probably the cheapest unless the Valvoline was on sale. Supertech now has DOT 4 which isn't much more than DOT 3. Used to be a lot more so not worth it if you just needed DOT 3.
 

cos

Joined
Nov 21, 2004
Messages
1,503
Location
Metro Detroit
I prefer <span style="font-style: italic">Prestone DOT 3</span> which has a 460°F (238°C) Dry Boiling Point which is better then minimum spec DOT 4 fluids. Quite a bargain for the price and available at Walmart.
 

wagsrk08

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
173
Location
On the Lake, Ohio
Originally Posted by cos
I prefer Prestone DOT 3 which has a 460°F (238°C) Dry Boiling Point which is better then minimum spec DOT 4 fluids. Quite a bargain for the price and available at Walmart.
Yes, I saw this on the Wally World website. Competitive prices also. I'm trying to figure out how many ounces/quarts I'll need to do this flush? A gallon container or 128 ounces seems like overkill and only $11.97 but a 2 day delivery wait.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
2,566
Location
Franklin County, PA
Originally Posted by wagsrk08
Originally Posted by cos
I prefer Prestone DOT 3 which has a 460°F (238°C) Dry Boiling Point which is better then minimum spec DOT 4 fluids. Quite a bargain for the price and available at Walmart.
Yes, I saw this on the Wally World website. Competitive prices also. I'm trying to figure out how many ounces/quarts I'll need to do this flush? A gallon container or 128 ounces seems like overkill and only $11.97 but a 2 day delivery wait.
Non-TRD braking systems have a somewhat small reservoir, so you could get by with just a quart bottle.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
20,857
Location
NH
I buy the smaller bottles at Walmart, that way I never have a "big" bottle open. I kinda like pulling fluid every spring. A little but often should keep the system with fresh fluid. Rather than trying to do a full exchange every 2 or 3 years. I'm lazy like that. I should go stock up on bleeders though, and maybe just replace them after 2 years or so. Or after any time they give grief on loosening. Last time I did this I put a bit of sil-glyde on the threads, just a hair, to see if they would break free easier next time. Next time hasn't happened yet so it remains yet to be seen if it matters.
 

wagsrk08

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
173
Location
On the Lake, Ohio
Today I flushed my brake system. I appreciate all the tips here. And I learned a few things if I need to do this again the future. Hard to believe the Toyota Dealer, Advance Auto Parts or NAPA did not have bleeders in stock for my 2012 Tacoma? Luckily all 4 broke loose smoothly after soaking them with Loctite penetrating oil. My Motive Products bleeder cap uses two J-hooks and a chain to secure to the top of my brake fluid reservoir filler since my Toyota cap is not threaded on but snaps on. And I learned once you have the perfect tight air seal DO NOT TIGHTEN AGAIN since it will break your seal and leak fluid all over the floor since it's under pressure. And yes, buy more fluid than you'll need (I did) since you can take back what you don't use. Glad I bought an extra after the leak issue. And last but not least next time I'll buy a brake fluid that's a different color than the original clear color. Would make it easier to know once the new fluid has made it's way completely through system. The small mess was cleaned up quickly and nothing contacted paint. And yes, I do feel as if my brakes are a little better responsive now with no pulling to right/left. Again, appreciate the tips/help.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
8,385
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted by wagsrk08
And last but not least next time I'll buy a brake fluid that's a different color than the original clear color. Would make it easier to know once the new fluid has made it's way completely through system.
I know someone will post a link to colored brake fluid but generally it's not something you'll find on the shelf at parts stores. Last fluid exchange I did, while the old fluid was amber-ish in color, it was still darker than the new amber fluid or the new fluid was almost clear. It wasn't that difficult to see the difference in the plastic tubing as it came through.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Messages
2,813
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted by supton
I buy the smaller bottles at Walmart, that way I never have a "big" bottle open. I kinda like pulling fluid every spring. A little but often should keep the system with fresh fluid. Rather than trying to do a full exchange every 2 or 3 years. I'm lazy like that. I should go stock up on bleeders though, and maybe just replace them after 2 years or so. Or after any time they give grief on loosening. Last time I did this I put a bit of sil-glyde on the threads, just a hair, to see if they would break free easier next time. Next time hasn't happened yet so it remains yet to be seen if it matters.
This is what I am doing now, just draining and filling the res. annually to 18 months. It keeps the fluid fresh enough and way easier than bleeding every three years. I bled the brakes on a new-to-us used car today and look forward to not doing it again until the next car purchase! RE: Sil-Glyde - Good idea. Spreading some (or another grease) around the thread base can also keep air from intruding when opening the threads.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
8,385
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted by Oro_O
This is what I am doing now, just draining and filling the res. annually to 18 months. It keeps the fluid fresh enough and way easier than bleeding every three years.
I'm not sure that brake fluid circulates that much so I think you just have clean fluid mostly in the reservoir and not so much in the lines or more importantly, the calipers.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Messages
2,813
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted by hallstevenson
I'm not sure that brake fluid circulates that much so I think you just have clean fluid mostly in the reservoir and not so much in the lines or more importantly, the calipers.
A lot of people are under that mis-perception. But it does. Immediately, no. But over a period of use it will mix fully and become homogeneous. Brownian motion guarantees it.
 
Top