The Best Brake Fluid for Responsive, Quick Braking
Too often, drivers ignore the condition of brake fluid in their cars. Not only does brake fluid have to serve as an incompressible medium within the brake lines, it must maintain a consistently high boiling point in order to function properly.
Over time, the boiling point of brake fluid slowly drops due to deterioration, contaminants, and moisture. This leads to decreased brake performance, and can result in a dangerous situation where the heat generated from the brakes can cause the fluid to boil. To avoid this, using a high-quality brake fluid and performing regular changes are both highly recommended.
Brake fluid is an important component in car safety, so make sure that your choice offers more performance than you are likely to need.Since brake fluids with much higher performance are often considerably more expensive, it's best to evaluate your needs first. However, not needing racing brake fluid for your driving doesn't mean an inferior product will do.
These are some of the best brake fluids in 2021 on the market, based on their overall performance. All of the following picks offer performance which exceeds the needs of most regular drivers, with several picks that are suited for the high demands of track driving.
ATE Original Typ 200 Brake Fluid
Castrol SRF Brake Fluid
Motul RBF600 Brake Fluid
Valvoline Synthetic Brake Fluid
Castrol GT LMA Brake Fluid
Comparing the Best Brake Fluids for 2021
You may not feel that racing brake fluid is strictly necessary for everyday use, and you'd be right for the most part. However, if you're a heavy brake user or if your car ever sees track time, it would be downright negligent to use substandard brake fluid with a lower boiling point designed for light street use.
ATE's Super Blue racing brake fluid may be expensive, but the increased performance and longer drain intervals are well worth the price. With a dry boiling point of 536 degrees Celsius and a wet boiling point of 392 degrees Fahrenheit, this brake fluid has what it takes for heavy-duty usage. ATE Super Blue brake fluid is considered to be a DOT 4 compliant brake fluid, though specifications far exceed that standard.
Designed for high-stress racing applications, Castrol's SRF brake fluid is just about the best brake fluid out there today. This product far exceeds the standards set by the DOT4 specification with a dry boiling point of 590 degrees Fahrenheit and a minimum wet boiling point of 518 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, there won't be any overheating/boiling issues with ratings like this.
This brake fluid features silicon ester, which is highly resistant to absorbing water and other contaminants which can reduce brake system performance by lowering the boiling point. The only drawback here is the exorbitant price, which can make brake fluid changes very expensive. However, the performance and technology of the Castrol SRF brake fluid allow extended brake fluid drain intervals, which somewhat evens out the cost issue.
Motul's product line focuses on high performance fluids for automotive/motorcycle usage. RBF600 is Motul's racing brake fluid, named for its high boiling point of 593 degrees Fahrenheit dry. Wet boiling point is impressive, with a rating of 420 degrees Fahrenheit minimum ensuring wet driving conditions will seldom pose a problem.
In order to preserve braking performance, the container is sealed with nitrogen to eliminate the contamination that standard air brings. Although Motul RBF600 is not as easy to find as the more common offerings from Castrol or Valvoline, it’s hardly unavailable especially if you know where to look. Best of all, the price is very reasonable considering this is a racing brake fluid.
Valvoline Synthetic Brake Fluid - Consider
Affordable, easy to find, and featuring good performance, there's no reason why Valvoline Synthetic Brake Fluid should be ignored or overlooked. Dry boiling point is rated at 480 degrees Fahrenheit, and the minimum wet boiling point is 311 degrees Fahrenheit, making it highly unlikely your brake fluid will boil during everyday driving.
This brake fluid is suitable for mixing with both DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluid, though the performance exceeds either specification. If you perform semi-regular brake fluid drains and would like to keep costs down and performance up, Valvoline Synthetic Brake Fluid should be on your short list.
To many people, racing brake fluid is expensive overkill. However, giving up too much performance can result in dangerous problems like boiling in the heat of braking. As an alternative, Castrol offers the GT LMA brake fluid which is ideally suited for daily use. The 'LMA' name refers to the 'Low Moisture Activity' blend, which reduces the likelihood and effects of moisture buildup within the system.
Though this brake fluid may not boast the amazing performance and stratospheric boiling points of the latest racing fluids, 446 degrees Fahrenheit dry and 311 degrees Fahrenheit wet is still far higher than what is normally encountered during everyday driving. Castrol GT LMA brake fluid is reasonably priced, and works extremely well as intended.