I’m planning on bleeding the brakes on my 2001 Honda Civic soon. My Honda service manual says “Always use Genuine Honda Dot 3 Brake Fluid. Using a non-Honda brake fluid can cause corrosion and decrease the life of the system.” Is there validity to what Honda is claiming or can I just use any dot 3 brake fluid?
Every car I’ve ever owned says the same thing. Use only Genuine “pick your manufacturer” fluid.
First off…Honda does NOT make brake fluid. The stuff that comes in the Honda bottle is made for them. Just go to any auto-parts store (or even Wallmart) and buy any Dot-3 brake fluid on the shelf.
Honda tranny fluid for some years is special…But you can buy it aftermarket. Again…Honda doesn’t make it…It’s made for them to their specifications.
I wouldn’t buy just any DOT3 or DOT4 fluid. Do not buy silicone. Only buy a synthetic hydrocarbon fluid with a very high boiling point.
We’ve been through this before, just do a seach on the topics. While every owners manual says the same thing, for Hondas and Acuras you need to use their fluids or Honda approved fluids available at NAPA I believe. They have special formulations and it is not all that more expensive from the dealer or on line. You just have to plan ahead a little. Oil is differnt though. Even the dealer uses Mobil and not Honda oil.
I am not a chemist, and I am sometimes a skeptic. On the question of Honda fluids I tend to stick with Honda recommendations. Honda designs parts and systems a bit different than other mfg’rs. They work with tighter tolerances and sometimes that may mean a special spec for a fluid. I will definately stick with Honda coolant and trans fluids for my '03 Civic with a manual trans.
I’ll also use a Honda brake fluid. All Dot 3 fluids not necessarily the same. Dot 3 is a minimum standard and there can be differences from brand to brand.
On fluids that are changed every 100, 50, or 30K miles why take a chance? The few bucks saved on fluid could cause a multi-hundred dollar repair.
Ditto with the power steering fluid-- for a while you had to buy the Honda stuff (and your power steering pump would let you know if you didn’t), but they started selling generic stuff that met the Honda specifications.
Generally, if you can substitute generic stuff, it’ll say “or equivalent”, although that part might be in very small print.
Hondas and Acuras you need to use their fluids
Where is the Honda refinery that makes these fluids???
I’ve had no problem keeping one Accord past 300k miles and another one past 240k miles with ZERO problems using nothing but aftermarket fluids. As long as the fluid matches Honda specifications then there’s NOT an issue.
Brake fluid…while there may be differences from one brand to another in Dot-3 fluid…there is no SPECIAL HONDA FORMULA for brake fluid.
The ONLY special formulas were for the (automatic) tranny fluid (some years…not all)…and the power-steering fluid.
Several companies make the Honda formulated auto transmission fluid.
Power-steering fluid…I have a bottle of Preston (Honda) power-steering fluid in my basement right now.
Not one of these special fluids were made by Honda. They do NOT own a single refinery. Since the formula for some of these fluids are Honda specific not ALL the companies are going to make it for a much smaller market then say the Dexron-II market. But some do.
You can find Honda approved fluids at Wallmart. If it makes you feel better using Honda only fluids…GREAT.
Car manufacturers fluids are relatively cheap enough. Why take a chance with your car’s mechanics?
For me…it’s very inconvenient. The parts departments are only open when I’m at work. There isn’t one close to where I work, so I have to make a special trip to the dealer.
Second…I don’t consider a 200% increase CHEAP.
Is Honda brand brake fluid so expensive that it is worth it to use another fluid?
I used to be a bigger proponent of Honda brand fluids than I am now. I would check the price. If the Honda fluid is the same price or slightly higher, I would use it. If it is a lot more expensive, just use whatever brand you can find cheaper as long as it meets Honda OEM specifications.
The same goes for Honda brand parts. I use Honda’s oil filters and fuel filters, but that is because they are comparably priced and easy to get.
I got DOT3 synthetic brake fluid for my Accord and paid $8.00 for it. There was more than enough to replace the original fluid. That was over 10,000 miles ago and I have not had any problems.