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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 05:57:17 AM   #1
p0lar
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Post Brake Fluid Specifications

Again, because of some severe misinformation on the internet, I'm posting what I've researched and found to be true of various brake fluids. I'd like to post viscosity results, but they're not common and not all based on the same testing methodologies; as such, this data will not be included or may be included at a later date. It seems as if many sites contain much of this data, but it is either outdated, or copied from site to site with no reference, which is unacceptable.

Please feel free to correct any data you find in this table either by posting to me via PM or in this thread and I'll update the table accordingly. As well, contributions of new fluids are also welcome, as are better references.

The table is sorted by Manufacturer, then Wet BP, then Dry BP.

VendorProductCertificationERBPDryERBPWetNotes
AGSSilicone DOT 5DOT5288C (500F)288C (500F)"Wet or dry", insufficient reference: 100% silicone, no variance in BP; confirm?
AP Racing551DOT3, J1703, ISO4925269C (516F)151C (304F)compatible with magnesium brake/clutch systems
AP RacingFormula DOT5.1DOT5.1, J1704, ISO4925269C (516F)187C (369F)non-silicone based;not suitable for vehicles with mineral oil systems
AP Racing600?312C (594F)204C (399F)do not use with magnesium components, insufficient reference: certification?
AP RacingPRF Extreme PerformanceDOT4, J1704319C (607F)204C (399F)Superseded by PRF660?
AP RacingPRF660DOT4, J1704325C (617F)204C (399F) 
ATEGDOT3245C (473F)150C (302F) 
ATESLDOT4260C (500F)165C (329F) 
ATESL.6?265C (509F)175C (347F)low-viscosity, insufficient reference: certification?
ATESuper Blue RacingDOT4280C (536F)198C (388F)Discontinued!
ATETyp 200DOT4280C (536F)198C (388F) 
AmsoilSeries 500DOT3274C (525F)156C (313F) 
AmsoilSeries 600DOT4304C (580F)210C (410F) 
AutozoneSuper Heavy DutyDOT3232C (450F)140C (284F) 
BMW81220142156 - OE?DOT4, J1703230C (446F)155C (311F)insufficient reference: url?
BMW81220142156 - pentosin?DOT4, J1704, ISO4925 cl6265C (509F)170C (338F)insufficient reference: definitive proof?
BoschDOT 3DOT3, J1703, ISO4925225C (437F)142C (288F) 
BoschDOT 4DOT4, J1703, ISO4925265C (509F)165C (329F)not suitable for vehicles with mineral oil hydraulics
BoschDOT 4 SuperDOT4, J1703, ISO4925280C (536F)180C (356F)not suitable for vehicles with mineral oil hydraulics
BremboSPORT.EVO 500++DOT4, J1704, ISO4925271C (520F)169C (336F)not suitable for vehicles with mineral oil hydraulics;(Page 11)
BremboLCF 600 PlusDOT4316C (601F)204C (399F)(Page 11)
CastrolReact Performance DOT 4DOT4, J1704, ISO4925 cl4, K2233260C (500F)180C (356F) 
CastrolGT LMADOT4, J1704265C (509F)155C (311F) 
CastrolResponse DOT 4DOT4, J1703265C (509F)170C (338F) 
CastrolReact DOT 4 Low TempDOT4, J1704, ISO4925 cl6, JIS K2233, VW TL 768-Z265C (509F)175C (347F) 
CastrolResponse Super DOT 4DOT4, J1703, ISO4925, K2233280C (536F)190C (374F) 
CastrolReact SRF RacingDOT4, J1703, ISO4925 cl44, K2233320C (608F)270C (518F) 
ELFHTX 115DOT5.1260C (500F)190-200C (374-392F) 
GS610GS610DOT4, J1704321C (610F)216C (421F) 
GunkHDDOT3205C (401F)?insufficient reference: dry boiling point?
GunkSuper HDDOT3232C (450F)?insufficient reference: dry boiling point?
MotulDOT 5.1DOT5.1, J1703, ISO4925(3,4,5.1)272C (522F)185C (365F) 
MotulRBF 600 Factory LineDOT4, J1703, ISO4925312C (594F)205C (401F)not compatible with silicone or minieral-based fluids
MotulRBF 660 Factory LineDOT4, J1704, ISO4925325C (617F)205C (401F)not compatible with silicone or mineral-based fluids
NapaDOT 3DOT3, J1703205C (401F)140C (284F)insufficient reference
NapaDOT 4DOT4, J1704230C (446F)155C (311F)insufficient reference
NapaDOT 5.1???insufficient reference: url, boiling points, certification?
NapaDOT 5???insufficient reference: boiling points?
NeoSuperdot 610DOT4321C (610F)216C (421F) 
PentosinSuper DOT4DOT4, J1704, ISO4925 cl4, TUC6518/07265C (509F)165C (329F) 
PentosinDOT 4 LVDOT4, J1704, ISO4925 cl6265C (509F)170C (338F) 
PentosinRBFDOT4, J1704300C (572F)195C (383F) 
Performance FrictionRH665DOT4325C (617F)195C (383F) 
PrestoneSyntheticJ1703243C (469F)140C (284F) 
PrestoneDOT 4DOT4266C (510F)?insufficient reference: dry boiling point?
Project G-four 335 335C (635F)221C (430F)Glycol/100% Synthetic
ProspeedRS683DOT4, J1704360C (680F)224C (435F) 
StoptechSTR-600DOT4312C (594F)206C (404F) 
StoptechSTR-660DOT4328C (622F)206C (404F) 
Super TechDOT-3DOT3, J1703232C (450F)?insufficient reference: wet boiling point?
TorqueRT700?362C (683F)226C (439F)insufficient reference: certification?
ValvolineBrake FluidDOT4230C (446F)155C (311F) 
ValvolineProSynDOT4275C (527F)175C (347F)insufficient reference: url?
WilwoodHi-Temp 570?299C (570F)156C (313F)insufficient reference: certification?
WilwoodEXP 600 Plus?330C (626F)214C (417F)insufficient reference: certification?

Revision History:
10.26.2012: Corrected C/F conversion values
10.26.2012: Added Amsoil fluids
10.26.2012: Added Stoptech fluids
10.26.2012: Added BMW OEM Fluid - room for debate on this, Pentosin LV or?
10.27.2012: Added Torque RT700
10.27.2012: Removed extraneous certifications, i.e. DOT 4 supersedes specifications for DOT 3; J1704 > J1703, etc - so there's a natural de-duplication of data to ease viewing of the list
10.27.2012: Corrected Motul RBF660 ERBPwet Type-O 260C->205C
01.22.2014: Added 'discontinued' to ATE SuperBlue as per notice
01.23.2014: Added ELF Racing HTX 115 DOT 5.1
01.23.2014: Edited Neo Superdot 610, updated URL
01.24.2014: Added Project G-four 335

As usual, Stoptech's white papers shine - referenced herein is theirs for brake fluid, it is comprehensive and an excellent write-up by Steve Ruiz of Stoptech.
Quote:
Brake Fluid Ratings
by Steve Ruiz

Notes on Brake Fluid Ratings
Brake fluid is possibly the single most neglected component of the automobile. Most high performance drivers check their tire pressures and change their engine oil at frequent intervals, but virtually no one ever changes the brake fluid in their street car. The function of brake fluid is to provide an incompressible medium to transmit the driver’s foot pressure on the brake pedal through the master cylinder(s) to the calipers in order to clamp the friction material against the discs. The foot pressure is multiplied by the mechanical pedal ratio and the hydraulic ratio of the master cylinders, booster (if used) and caliper piston(s).

This is a simple concept. When fresh, all brake fluids are virtually incompressible and the system works as well as its mechanical and hydraulic design allows. There can be, however, significant problems in the proper functioning of brake fluid. Overheated brake fluid can (and will) boil in the caliper. Boiling produces gas bubbles within any boiling fluid. Gas is compressible so boiling brake fluid leads to a “soft” brake pedal with long travel. In extreme cases overheated brake fluid necessitates “pumping the brake pedal” in order to get a pedal at all.

This leads to a discussion of boiling points. Brake fluids are classified by both “dry boiling point” and “wet boiling point.” They are also classified by US Department of Transportation (DOT) rating, DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5, and DOT 5.1.

The U.S. Government specifications for brake fluid, FMVSS 116, do not dictate the chemical composition of a given classification, or “grade” of brake fluid. Instead FMVSS116 defines the properties of the fluid, such as dry and wet boiling points (referred to as the equilibrium reflux boiling points, dry and wet), viscosity of the brake fluid grade at certain temperatures, high temperature stability, corrosion characteristics, and the effects of the fluid on seals, as well as other physical properties like the tendency to jell or separate (called stratification) or form sludge and/or crystalline deposits. Boiling point and viscosity are the most relevant properties to most consumers, including high performance customers. Viscosity is an important factor for proper operation of ABS and Active Handling Control systems on modern vehicles since in most cases the pressure and volume of fluid transferred is not measured. Instead, flow through a valve with a given orifice size over time are the control mechanism, so fluid maximum viscosity is a key characteristic.

This discussion does not require a thorough review of the Federal Standard, which also includes testing procedures and storage and labeling of containers, but one aspect of the regulation that deserves attention here is the importance of the container used to ship the brake fluid. Non-silicone-based brake fluid is strongly hygroscopic, meaning that it naturally absorbs water from the humidity in the air. That is why the shipping container and the brake reservoir have to function as a barrier to the moisture in the air reaching the brake fluid. Modern brake reservoirs are thick enough, and the bellow seals on top function well enough, to provide a long life to the fluid once in use. The container the fluid is delivered in is just as important. The best type of container is a metal one, as it performs the function of a moisture barrier much better than thin plastic bottles - even when those plastic bottles are made from engineered materials. The technology does not exist today to make the plastic container perform as well as metal at a reasonable cost.

DOT 3 fluids are usually glycol ether based, but as stated earlier, that is not because they are required to be. The brake fluid industry has determined by consensus that glycol ether fluids are the most economical way to meet the requirements.
By definition, DOT 3 fluids must have a minimum dry boiling point (measured with 0 percent water by volume) of 401F and a minimum wet boiling point (measured with 3.7 percent water by volume) of 284F. The specification says little more as far as the performance enthusiast is concerned.


DOT 4 fluids are also glycol ether based, but have a measure of borate esters added for improved properties including increased dry and wet boiling points. A seldom talked about characteristic is that because of this chemistry, the DOT 4 fluid will have a more stable and higher boiling point during the early portion of its life, but ironically once the fluid does actually begin to absorb water its boiling point will typically fall off more rapidly than a typical DOT 3. By FMVSS116 standards, DOT 4 fluids must have a minimum dry boiling point of 446F and a minimum wet boiling point of 311F.

DOT 4 is the grade applicable to most race engineered brake fluid in the world today, especially with regard to viscosity limit. Note that although the DOT 4 designation has a minimum dry and wet boiling point, a DOT 4 racing brake fluid may have a dry boiling point over 600F. Its viscosity is challenged, however, to be under the viscosity limit of 1,800 mm2/sec. Some claimed racing brake fluids exceed this important limit. Caution should be exercised if these fluids are used in race cars with ABS systems. This does not mean that DOT 4 fluids are necessarily better than DOT 3 fluids. Remember, the boiling points listed are minimums. There are certain DOT 3 fluids with higher boiling points than some DOT 4 fluids. The real differentiating factor is that DOT 4 fluid should be changed more often than a DOT 3 fluid, because of the effects and rates of water absorption.


The original DOT 5 fluid specification was expected to be fulfilled by silicone based (SSBF) composition. It was designed for use in applications where its resistance to water absorption (and therefore low corrosion) was desired - like in military equipment. It has also found use in antique cars because it does not dissolve paint finishes. With SSBF, unfortunately, these characteristics were only achieved by unacceptably high compressibility. As such, the DOT 5 grade SSBF is of little value to any conventional automotive or high performance application.

Subsequently there have been non-silicone based fluids developed that meet DOT 5 wet and dry boiling point specifications and viscosity requirements. They are referred to as DOT 5.1 grade fluids. As a special case they are listed here for completeness.

Please remember that the specifications are minimums and therefore the non-SSBF DOT 5 fluids do not offer the highest boiling points available. There are no DOT 5.1 brake fluids that exceed the dry and wet boiling points of the best of currently available DOT 4 racing brake formulas. They do meet the lower viscosity specifications, however.

Fluid GradeERBPDry (F/C @ 0.0% H2O)ERBPWet (F/C @ 3.7% H2O)Viscosity Limit (Cp @ -40F/-40C)Chemical Composition
DOT 3205C (401F)140C (284F)1500 mm2/sGlycol Ether Based
DOT 4230C (446F)155C (311F)1800 mm2/sGlycol Ether/Borate Ester
DOT 5 (SSBF)260C (500F)180C (356F)900 mm2/sSilicone Based
DOT 5.1 ("DOT4 Super")260C (500F)180C (356F)900 mm2/sBorate Ester/Glycol Ether

One last note on the DOT ratings: Systems designed for a particular type of fluid (especially prior to the wide distribution and use of DOT 4 fluids) should continue to be filled with that fluid. For example, in a car that was delivered with DOT 3 fluid, the internal components of the system (seals, brake hoses, and fittings for example) were specifically designed and tested for compatibility with the chemical composition of DOT 3 fluid. Because the DOT 4 grade fluid typically contains a different chemical composition, compatibility of system components may be an issue.
Changes have been made to Mr. Ruiz's table to show temperatures in C in addition to the provided F.

Here is another excellent article, written by by Carroll Smith, Consulting Engineer at StopTech and James Walker, Jr. of scR motorsports, exclusively for StopTech.

Last edited by p0lar; Fri, Jan-24-2014 at 05:28:04 PM.
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 06:04:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: Brake Fluid Specifications

NAPA fluids are made by Valvoline. I work near a NAPA let me know if you want that info. I'm not going to lie, even NAPA doesn't recommend their own fluid on the M3
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 06:10:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Brake Fluid Specifications

Cool.... thanks!
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 06:10:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Brake Fluid Specifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyd992 View Post
NAPA fluids are made by Valvoline. I work near a NAPA let me know if you want that info. I'm not going to lie, even NAPA doesn't recommend their own fluid on the M3
Sure, if you can get the specs right off the bottle and/or post an image here, that's even better. I'm after solid reference to fluids rather than internet conjecture.

As for what's appropriate for which scenario, that's beyond the scope of this table - I leave that as an exercise to the reader to determine. (You wouldn't catch me putting Napa DOT3 in my car, however... DOT4 in a pinch, if I need to get home or test something I'm unsure of, not wanting to pour Motul or ATE on the ground if/when I don't like a configuration).
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 06:13:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Brake Fluid Specifications

This is great info! Thanks!

Looks like all the fahrenheit #s are off though.
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 06:21:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Brake Fluid Specifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiv View Post
This is great info! Thanks!

Looks like all the fahrenheit #s are off though.
I ninja-edited that already.. after inverting the 5/9 initially.

Last edited by p0lar; Fri, Oct-26-2012 at 06:42:58 AM.
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 08:24:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Brake Fluid Specifications

Who makes the BMW DOT4? Castrol?
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 08:35:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Brake Fluid Specifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyd992 View Post
NAPA fluids are made by Valvoline. I work near a NAPA let me know if you want that info. I'm not going to lie, even NAPA doesn't recommend their own fluid on the M3
Annoyingly, Valvoline used to have a pretty decent DOT4 fluid, but then they reformulated it with much worse boiling points. Until the change, it was nearly equivalent to Typ200 and available nearby at pretty much every parts store.
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 08:37:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Brake Fluid Specifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSUEng View Post
Who makes the BMW DOT4? Castrol?
I was originally under the impression that it was ATE Typ200, but we all know very well that's not the case since it's very easy to boil OEM fluid, but not so easy to boil the ATE Typ200. I can't recall where it was I read that, maybe on Turner's site? My memory is fuzzy.

I need more references for different fluids in that table - updated with a great, GREAT article from Steve Ruiz from Stoptech.
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2012, 08:43:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Brake Fluid Specifications

Edit: I think it's Pentosin DOT4 LV (low viscosity).
Shameful rip from Turner's site.

"BMW Part Number: 81220142156 (81-22-0-142-156)"



And yet another vendor, BMW PartsWeb with the same thing. That's two vendor-confirmed sources.


Last edited by p0lar; Fri, Oct-26-2012 at 08:58:44 PM.
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Discussing Brake Fluid Specifications in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)