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Taurus 1994 brake fluid

A couple of searches did not help, so I’ll take the lazy approach and ask the experts.

Brake fluid on daughter’s car is a little low, so I want to top it off when she is here in a couple of days. I got a glance at the Owner’s Manual today. It says to use Ford Heavy Duty (I think) Brake Fluid, Type xxx, meeting Ford spec yyy. (What a surprise!)

Well, I know I do not have to use Ford’s brand, but what type should I use? I have not even had a chance to check the options at the parts store.


I assume that the manual said to use type DOT 3. If that is the case, use a familiar brand of brake fluid that meets the definition of DOT 3.

Incidentally, brake fluid needs to be changed every 3 years, due to its hygroscopic nature (absorbtion of moisture from the air). If you really want to keep your daughter safe, you will have the brake hydraulic system drained and refilled with DOT 3 (or whatever was specified by Ford) fluid. If you don’t know why this is important, let us know and we will explain this issue for you.

Thanks. I did not see any DOT spec in the Manual, just the Ford house spec. I’ll look again when the car is here. I did see that the STP brand brake fluid on the shelf at the supermarket meets DOT 3. I figured that was a good guess for “good enough”, but it’s better to be sure.

Indeed, mostly thanks to the education I have gotten here, I am aware of the need to replace brake fluid. This car has had quite a bit of brake work (replace calipers, etc.) the past 16 months. We’re OK there.

Take a close look at the cap of the master cylinder. There is a good chance that the cap will state the type of fluid required.

Wipe the cap and the rest of the master cylinder thorougly before opening it, as you don’t want any of that crud to fall into the MC. Use more than one rag if necessary to get everything really clean before opening the cap.

Thanks, again. This afternoon I tried to read the writing on the cap. Lots of very small writing; too hard to see w/o cleaning off the crud and/or climbing into the engine compartment.

Unless it has antilock brakes DOT 3 will almost certainly be OK.
I second the recommendation to change the brake fluid. Should have already been done several times.
Changing brake fluid is a DIY project of medium difficulty.
For the time being you could empty out the reservoir with a turkey baster and refill with new fluid.
If the old fluid is dark the system needs a complete change.

“Unless it has antilock brakes DOT 3 will almost certainly be OK.”

It does have ABS. Are you therefore sugesting a different fluid?

(Fluid in reservoir looked fine.)

“Are you therefore sugesting a different fluid?”

No. I’m saying you’ll need to need to do more careful research as the consequences of putting the wrong fluid in are more expensive.

Check with a Ford dealer.