Honda Break Fluid

My Honda Civic 2002 owner's manual states that the break fluid MUST be replaced every 3 years. Furthermore, it states that ONLY Dot 3 Heavy Duty Honda break fluid must be used. The manual states that the use of
other break fluids apart from Honda's will result in system corrosion. My mechanic tells me that I should not bother about only using Honda break fluid, and that he is using Dot 4 in his shop. He says that what the owner's manual says about only using Honda break fluid is nonsense. Should I believe him and use his Dot 4 fluid?
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worried user wrote:

DOT 4 has a higher boiling point and is superior to DOT 3.
DOT specs are universal across brands...
JT
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Right! But, is the manual right if you use other fulids it results in system corrosion?
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worried user wrote:

All conventional (DOT 3/4) brake fluids are hydroscopic. All will absorb moisture and eventually corrode brake systems. Flushing (by bleeding) the system every two to four years will take care of this issue.
DOT 5 brake fluids are silicon based and do not absorb moisture. However, other issues must be addressed when using these fluids.
HINT: Dealership service is a big profit operation, much more so than the sale of the original vehicle. Sorta like the ink jet printers where the real profit is made on replacement cartridges when the original printer was sold for little or no profit...
JT
(Dealers are generally NOT your friend..)
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"Dealers are generally NOT your friend" I agree!
Not knowing about break systems in cars, I can only trust the owner's manual or people with intimate knowledge of what is going on that might corrode break system. Your answer defiantly helped me to understand a bit more. Thank you!
However, I think I am going to pay a bit more and take my car to the dealer for this particular service.
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It's spelt BRAKE, not "break".
The primary reason Honda specifies their own branded brake fluid is that this way they can avoid the variability in quality of aftermarket fluids.
All brake fluids contain anti-corrosion additives, some more and better, and some less and worse, than others. The use of low-quality fluids will result in accelerated corrosion on account of poor quality corrosion inhibitors.
Such parts as ABS modulators will suffer extremely expensive damage over time from the use of fluids with poor corrosion protection.

Excellent idea. An extra fifty bucks here will save you thousands later.
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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Hondas don't have break fluid. American cars do--they break every couple of weeks.
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Stick with Honda brake fluid. I don't know for sure about Honda brakes, but the risks of not using Honda fluid when the owner's manual calls for it are unacceptable.
When I had a Lotus in the early 70s I bought a parts man's story that any DOT 3 brake fluid would work, and it did... for a while. One morning I went out to drive and when I stepped on the brakes the pedal went straight to the floor. The DOT 3 had destroyed the secondary seal in the master cylinder (which had the bad fluid on both sides) so the warning light never came on, then destroyed the primary seal (which had bad fluid on only one side.) When I tried to rebuild the master cylinder I found it had pitted inside and was scrap. Sound like fun to you? Anyway, if I had used Girling fluid as I should have I would have been spared.
The DOT spec is a minimum performance spec and has nothing to do with special properties that may be required. You will be money ahead to pay for the Honda fluid if the manual calls for that.
Mike
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Thank you Mike for sharing your insight! Knowing what you went through, I am going to stick to Honda break fluid for sure now! Cheers
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I change my BRAKE fluid every YEAR. This way I prevent my BRAKES from breaking.

And I'll bet he uses ATF in Honda power steering systems too.

Honda is quite specific with some of their fluids. The BRAKE fluid in your car is one of them. Excerpt from your car's factory shop manual: "Always use Honda DOT 3 brake fluid. Non-Honda brake fluid can cause corrosion and shorten the life of the system."
You can listen to your mechanic if you like, but is he going to pay you for any BRAKE system damage that may occur?
Don't be a cheapskate, do the job right. Have you prices ABS parts lately?
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