Genuine Honda Brake Fluid

The Honda Manual and web site says that only genuine Honda DOT 3 brake fluid can be used; otherwise there could be issues such as rust. I find it hard to believe that their brake fluid is so special that I can’t use STP or other name brand. Anyone now if what Honda says is true?

I consider this a marketing ploy. I have never used anyone’s OEM brake fluid, simply because aftermarket brake fluids are cheaper and meet the required specs. DOT 3 is the specification and so long as you use any brake fluid that meets or exceeds that spec, I don’t think Honda can do anything about it.

I’m guessing this is an older car is the specified fluid is DOT3. There are plenty of good fluids to exceed both DOT 3 and 4.

DOT3 brake fluid is DOT3 brake fluid. It is conceivable (just barely) that Honda has added an extra chemical to its own brake fluid that does something, who knows what. Antioxidant? Or maybe their brake fluid is identical to everyone else’s. Whatever the case, any other DOT3 brake fluid will work just fine in your car.

We just got an 08 Acura and says the same thing. Only Honda DOT 3 brake fluid, oil, anti-freeze, power steerin fluid. Says you can use other in an emergency, then flush it out at earliest opportunity. I’m going to talk with the service manager first but suspect I’ll need a new shelf in the garage for Honda only fluids. I suspect after a few years, I won’t use Honda oil but for the rest I suspect I’ll just use what they say for a while.

Unless things have changed, Hondas do use a different power steering fluid than other brands, so I would tend to believe the manual in regard to the PS fluid. And, the transmission fluid may be unique to Honda in terms of certain additives, so I would advise using only Honda transmission fluid. Honda also uses a unique proprietary lube in the differential of the CR-V, IIRC.

As to the motor oil, use the grade and viscosity that are specified in the Owner’s Manual, but any brand will do very nicely. As others have already said, the brake fluid is undoubtedly the same as other DOT3 brake fluids, and I believe that the antifreeze/coolant is a very ordinary type also.

If they made tires, the instructions would sound the same. If they made air, you would be told to buy theirs. Can’t always tell when they are telling tall tales.

Any DOT 3 will work with no problem. It is a good idea to flush the brake fluid every few years.
What they’re getting at by mentioning rust is that brake fluid, even their brand, will absorb moisture over time. Moisture in the brake hydraulics can cause pitting of the aluminum surfaces in the master cylinder, brake calipers, etc.
Once pitted, rebuilding of those items can be pretty iffy.

Amongst the racing / “ricer” communities, it is popular to use other / aftermarket brake fluid. Aftermarket fluids are fine as long as they meet DOT 3 or 4.

However, Honda’s PS fluid is special - only use the OEM stuff as it is thinner than other stuff - using thicker aftermarket PS will possibly damage the seals.

Same with honda coolant. Honda makes a great non-silicate coolant, and I wouldn’t use anything else. I’ve heard several reports of premature water pump seal failures due to silicate contamination with other coolants.

ATE SuperBlue or gold (Same stuff, one’s blue and ones gold to easily see when you’ve totally flushed the fluid) is what I use, and it meets DOT4. It doesn’t last quite as long as the honda stuff, but I find it gives more positive feel. Question of performance vs. longevity. Honda fluid lasts quite a while, though.

If you race, motul RBF 600 seems popular. It lasts maybe 4 months, but it works really well for those 4 months…

Either way, dot3 is dot3. use whatever you want - just know that PS and Coolant for hondas are different.

I have 231,000 miles on my '92 Accord. Bought it new so I know its history. I use the Honda PS fluid. I’ve heard many times that it is different from other PS fluids. I use regular DOT brake fluid and change it at 2 year intervals. It is a stick shift; I use regular 10W-30 oil in the transmission (per the book). I installed a new power steering pump a couple years ago. One of the front calipers froze up at 220k miles and I had it replaced. That caliper leaked and was replaced at 228k miles. The caliper on the other side is original equipment. Go figure! Installed a new brake master cylinder a couple years ago.

My wife drives a '98 Accord with 188,000 miles. Same fluids as above except has an automatic tranny. I take it to the dealer for a transmission flush and refill every 40k miles. I never asked what fluid they install. No brake problems ever. Original calipers.

i use what the manufacture recommends in my domestic and foreign vehicles. Why? because it isn’t that much more $$$ for peace of mind.

Use whatever Dot-3 fluid you like…Honda’s Dot-3 fluid is NO different then anyone elses.

As for the PS fluid…Other manufacturers make PS fluid specifically for Honda. I was able to buy some made by STP…However…the PS from the dealer was cheaper…

After all, it’s not like Honda is actually brewing up their own brake fluid. Chances are they get their fluid from a company marketing the same product under many different labels.

If you look carefully in your owner’s manual, it says things like 10W-30 motor oil can be used in the manual transmission, but Honda MTF (manual transmission fluid) is preferred. The same goes for DOT 3 brake fluid. Honda prefers you to use theirs, but any will do. I will say that cheap DOT 3 brake fluid does age faster than Honda’s. Other companies (GUNK, for example) make power steering fluid that meets Honda’s specifications. I use it in my car. I also use sythetic 10W-30 in my manual transmission rather than Honda’s MTF.

My my practice is, if I use the cheap version, I change it more often than I would if I used the Honda version. Synthetic motor oil in the manual transmission isn’t any cheaper than Honda MTF, so I use the same interval I would use with Honda’s MTF.

I used to use Honda’s fluids when my car was under warranty, but have switched away from them with no harmful effects. I recommend the same for you. Use Honda’s if your car is still under warranty.