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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old February 4th, 2018, 15:15   #1
rionzion
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ireland
Default Opinions on VW 501 14 spec brake fluid...

I'm due for a brake fluid change... i have the ALH tdi (2003), brake and clutch are a shared reservoir.

my service manual states:
Permissible brake fluid specification
t Brake fluid conforming to US standard FMVSS 116 DOT 4 (previous brake fluid)
t Brake fluid conforming to VW standard, VW 501 14 (new brake fluid).

...so its saying i should use vw spec fluid for a renewal.

that said, many manufacturers, e.g. Castrol, state that their dot 4 fluid is suitable for vw's

from what i understand the VW spec fluid is low viscosity at lower temperatures.

trouble is, there arent many brands that meet the spec (Liqui moly sl6 and pentosin dot 4 LV are the only ones i can find) - and theyre about twice the price at least.

To be honest, i've decided to go with DOT 4 since its available from my usual supplier and i'm ordering a bunch of other stuff off them too, so its cheaper to get it all in one go... besides, i dont use the brakes much anyway! (joking, only joking...)

but it would be interesting to get folks opinions on this anyway, so fire away!
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Old February 4th, 2018, 16:08   #2
Mongler98
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ATE Gold Dot 4, Change it every 2 years regardless of miles using a vacuum brake bleeder or a pressure one. as long as air does not go into the ABS your fine and a normal change as usual.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 21:20   #3
Steve Addy
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DOT 4 is fine for brakes, I wouldn't worry about trying to obtain the VW approved specification fluid, just order the DOT 4 it from your supplier.

I have used the Castrol before, it's fine. I don't recall what other DOT 4 I've used.

Steve
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Old February 5th, 2018, 06:32   #4
Mongler98
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I only say ATE gold as its the best way to get the highest boiling point and is a very good quality brake fluid.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 06:59   #5
oilhammer
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The newer cars require an LV type fluid, your 2003 does not. So really any quality DOT4 fluid should be fine.

I prefer Ate or Pentosin or Textar fluid myself.
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Old February 9th, 2018, 15:01   #6
iluvmydiesels
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i cannt remember 100%, dot3 is older specs, i cannt remember dot4 100%, dot5 never worked out, if you can stay away from this type. i buy the valvoline, its a semi-synthetic if im told right. thereby it has less water capturing qualities, had pretty good results on my end, no real problems with it. i when brake fluid needs to be swapped out, take an ordinary kitchen type baster, yes get one at you supermarket, and draw out all fluid from reservoir, now put in fresh fluid, and bleed each brake, for fresh fluid, comes out pretty quick, keep reservoir topped off (of course), and your usually ok. do every 2 or so years. unless other brake work, happens ooh about every 40kmiles maybe more, depending.
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Old February 10th, 2018, 09:14   #7
KLXD
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Are not DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 all ethylene glycol based and therefore all synthetic making any claim of "synthetic" marketing hype?

Dot 5 is silly-cone. I wonders why the ell they used 5.1 for another glycol fluid.

What's LV?

Nevermind. The internet tells me it's low viscosity DOT 4 and presumably still ethylene glyol.
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Old February 10th, 2018, 10:29   #8
Mongler98
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there is only one true factor for brake fluid, thats the boiling point index for both new fluid and fluid with 5% water content. ATE as the highest i have seen but im sure there is higher.
Reality is, if you change it every 2 years, you can get away with any fluid you wish, dot3,4,5 makes no difference. We are talking race and specialty applications for most stuff. Heck in Cuba, they use shampoo for brake fluid due to the embargo.

http://safebraking.com/diy-cuban-brake-fluid-homebrew/
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Old February 10th, 2018, 11:45   #9
iluvmydiesels
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the stuff i use the valvo 'so called synthetic' is ok, its supposed to have less water absorption, that is not inclusive of a poorly maintained system, it probably has at the least some performance over 'std' brake fluid. its not really that more cost. wallymart discontinued that stuff, to economical. i go to most pep boys or perhaps an advanced and get a big qt bottle.
i realize it may be an old type of marketing hype, its at the least supposed to 'perform; better.
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