Brake fluid Ford Focus 2

general information

The brake substance is the main element of the vehicle stopping system. Only thanks to this substance does the process of brake pads and calipers work, which regulate the speed of the car. During operation of this liquid, moisture is gradually absorbed from the atmosphere. As a result, after a certain period of time, the boiling point changes and the viscosity of the above-mentioned auto fluid decreases.

Such negative processes disrupt the normal operation of the entire system and can cause its complete failure. Therefore, you should always know the expiration date of a given liquid and monitor its correct storage.

Purpose of brake fluid

Brake fluid is one of the most important consumables for vehicles with a hydraulic braking system. TJ is used in closed loop systems and is under the highest pressure.

The requirements for manufacturers have been increased not only because ride comfort depends on the quality of the composition. A vehicle that does not meet standards has a negative impact on the safety of movement. The use of such liquid can lead to an emergency on the road.

The fuel fluid is poured into the contour brake system. Due to it, a force is created that allows the pistons on the rear and front brake calipers to work smoothly.

The main reasons for the decline in quality

Due to the fact that the chemical composition includes polyglycols and borate esters, there is a gradual accumulation of moisture in the working solution. And as mentioned earlier, the substance in the brake pads heats up until a vapor lock forms.

Shelf life of DOT-4 brake fluid in packaging

When the moisture in the fluid reaches more than 3.5%, such a substance is considered old, and if the moisture is more than 5%, it is urgently necessary to replace it. The technical characteristics of the liquid depend largely on the weather and climatic conditions of the environment. The higher the air temperature and ambient humidity, the faster the service life of the working fluid decreases.

How to check the brake fluid in a car?

The services use a brake fluid tester; it can be purchased at an auto store. It is necessary to make a small sampling of material, or lower the device into the expansion tank on the master brake cylinder. It determines the main quality indicator - boiling point. Externally, it is difficult to estimate how much moisture is in the brake fluid. The color practically does not change, clouding does not occur.

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The normal value is 175 °C and above. If the liquid boils at a lower temperature, it is dangerous to continue operating the car.

Another way is to visually check the brake fluid. Even if the color remains the same, the worn-out liquid becomes cloudy and a suspension appears in it. These could be wear products from the system or flakes from additives that have lost their effectiveness. It's good to have a small amount of fresh brake fluid of the same brand for comparison.

When should replacement be done?

This issue is quite relevant and important for the safe use of a car. Each manufacturer indicates on the surface of the canister the exact date of production and duration of storage in the container.

The shelf life of DOT 4 brake fluid, due to the presence of boric acid glycols in its composition, can be up to 24 months. It is necessary to replace the above-mentioned substance immediately after the first signs of a decrease in the performance of the car brake. On average, depending on operating conditions, replacement must be carried out every 60 thousand km.

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If necessary, you can check the condition of the liquid using a special tester. This device is a compact marker with a sensitive indicator that is lowered into the brake system reservoir. After a few seconds, the indicator is removed and the presence of water in the brake fluid can be seen on its sensor.

Features of using brake fluid DOT 4

It is noteworthy that a huge number of modern hydraulic brake systems currently used on cars and bicycles use brake fluid labeled DOT. Moreover, it differs by class, from DOT 1 to DOT 5 and even DOT 5.1. The only exceptions to this statement are hydraulic brakes manufactured by Shimano and Tektro. The latter sell mineral oils of their own production as brake fluid.

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Going somewhat deeper into the specifics of the designation “DOT” itself, it is worth saying that it is a kind of truncated version of the English abbreviation, made up of capital letters of the words “United States Department of Transportation”. As you can probably understand, the first two words were never included in the bunker.

How long can liquid be stored in its original packaging?

In a hermetically sealed canister, the working fluid does not come into contact with air and therefore can retain its original properties for a long time.

But, nevertheless, even under such ideal storage conditions, the inhibitory substance is also capable of losing its technical properties. According to existing recommendations, the shelf life of DOT 4 brake fluid when stored in original containers can be no longer than 26-30 months.

Recommendations for proper storage

In order for the brake substance to retain its chemical properties for the maximum possible period, the following recommendations must be followed:

  1. the importance of indoor air should not exceed 70-75%;
  2. ensure that there is optimal circulation in the room;
  3. keep containers as airtight as possible and always on a dry floor.

Brake fluid selection

The type of working fluid directly affects the efficiency of the brake system, since the quality of the components in the composition varies.

Types of brake fluids differ in viscosity and maximum boiling point. The viscosity of the composition depends on the system in which it will be used. It is important that the composition meets the basic established standards. That is why before purchasing, do not forget to read the manufacturer's requirements.

For example:

  • For Ford Focus 2 models produced before 2007, glycol-based formulations are used. These include Ford SA-M6C9103-A DOT-4, as well as Ford ESD-M6C57-A DOT-4 super.
  • For cars produced from the spring of 2007 to the summer of 2011 (restyled), fluids were used, the factory specification of which is designated as WSS-M6C65-A2, DOT 4 LV.

In total, a complete replacement will require about 1.5 liters of brake fluid. Please note that before purchasing a TJ, you must carefully check its packaging. Protect yourself from buying counterfeits:

  • Carefully inspect the packaging and make sure that it has the factory marking (part number), brand name, and composition.
  • Check the sticker on the canister with images on the Internet. Its color, as well as the arrangement of elements on it, must correspond to the original. The label should not contain any extraneous inscriptions or images.

Original liquids are often counterfeited. Unfortunately, it is not possible to guarantee that a fake TZ will function correctly in the vehicle system.


The shelf life of DOT-4 brake fluid in packaging depends on the operating conditions of the vehicle. Therefore, for the safety of driving a car, you should monitor the condition of this fluid and at the first signs of a decrease in technical properties, you must immediately replace the fluid.

Good to know: How often should you change the brake fluid in your car?

There are recommendations that the working fluid should be replaced every 60 thousand km. mileage The shelf life of DOT 4 brake fluid when stored in a container also has a warranty period of 26-30 months.

Brake fluid expiration date

What do we change in a car during operation? It’s clear - oil, antifreeze, but another fluid - brake fluid, as practice has shown, we often do not change throughout the entire period of use of the car. In principle, this is not fatal, but old brake fluid can cause certain negative consequences.

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Not long ago, a group of experts, as a result of a survey of about 30 ordinary car owners, found out that not everyone knows when and why to change the brake fluid. At the same time, experts checked the condition of the brake fluid in the cars of the respondents, and in most cases it turned out to be unsatisfactory. To the question: “When was the last time the brake fluid was changed?” many car owners responded that they had not changed them even once since purchasing the car.

Some automakers recommend changing the brake fluid every two years or after 40 thousand kilometers: by this time its characteristics change significantly because it absorbs moisture. A moisture content of 3.5% is considered the maximum permissible - at the same time, the boiling point of the brake fluid drops from 250 to 155 ° C, however, in most tested cars, the moisture content in the brake fluid reached 7%. What this gives is that the pedal stroke and force on it increase by about a third, and during prolonged intensive braking the fluid can “boil” and the car has a chance to be left without brakes. Another “trick” is that water in the brake fluid causes corrosion: the connecting pipes are damaged, the pistons in the brake cylinders jam and, as a result, the balance of braking forces is upset. In other words, for a leisurely “crawl” around the city, an old “brake fluid” will do, but for “iron” confidence in the brakes - if you often have to drive, for example, at high speeds or in mountainous terrain, it is better not to forget to change it every 2 -3 years.


Over time, the level of brake fluid in the system may decrease and when topping up, it is important to know what kind of fluid the system was originally filled with. The fact is that, according to their composition, brake fluids are divided into mineral, glycol and silicone, and they cannot be mixed with each other.

Not long ago, a group of experts, as a result of a survey of about 30 ordinary car owners, found out that not everyone knows when and why to change the brake fluid. At the same time, experts checked the condition of the brake fluid in the cars of the respondents, and in most cases it turned out to be unsatisfactory. To the question: “When was the last time the brake fluid was changed?” many car owners responded that they had not changed them even once since purchasing the car.

Advice from experienced car owners

We found out how often the brake fluid is changed. Below are some warnings for experienced drivers:

  • replace based on the manufacturer's recommendations;
  • mix TFs within the same class (it’s better to always use the same one);
  • – follow the instructions;
  • there should be no H2O;
  • if contaminated, prompt replacement is required;
  • in a car without ABS, do not allow the fuel fluid level to reach a critically low level when pumping;
  • do not create excess pressure in the expansion tank;
  • Wipe the tank only with a cloth (water is prohibited).

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When deciding to change the solution, take into account the mileage and condition of the car’s brakes. Don't forget the car manufacturer's recommendations. The shelf life of the brake fluid is limited, and it must be renewed.

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Is it possible to mix brake fluids?

Important! Is it possible to mix brake fluids? Due to the fact that DOT 5 uses different chemicals that are found in DOT 4 and DOT 3. Therefore, you cannot mix DOT 5 with DOT 4 or with DOT 3. Also, if the operating instructions for a particular car say that you cannot If you use brake fluid other than DOT 5, then DOT 3 and 4 cannot be poured into the brake system of such a car.

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