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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the these informative forums, so hello to all!

My wife and I both have 1998 CR-V’s that we purchased used and we love them! My question is our original owner manuals say to use Honda DOT 3 brake fluid but in an emergency you can use regular DOT 4 fluid but if you do, have the brake fluid changed as soon as possible with Honda DOT 3.

I’ve never heard of DOT 3 and I’m thinking it’s a Honda brake fluid that they just promoted to buy their brand. My wife’s brakes are solid but my V’s brakes are a little soft but they stop the car fine.

I thought I would check the brake fluid on my V and the level is within limits but I noticed I could add some fluid as it wasn’t at the full level as my wife’s V is.

I doubt if any brake fluid in either of our V’s is DOT 3 but should I bring my V up to full brake fluid with DOT 4? I think YES but what do you folks think? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that ms3224a but I realize that. Honda’s brake fluid is DOT 3 and of course they specifically advise using it.
As I stated, they say in the original owner’s manual to only use DOT 4 in an emergency and if so to bleed the brakes as soon as possible afterwards and refill with DOT 3. Sounds a little over the top to me.
 

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It would be nice if Honda explained why they don't want DOT 4 fluid. Leads to guessing. Dot 3 and 4 both contain diethylene glycol as their primary component however to raise the boiling temperature in Dot 4 they add a ton of borate ester. Only borate ester decomposes into boric acid and a borate sludge when exposed to moisture and heat. Maybe that's why Honda perfers not to use it when needing higher boiling temperatures is not required. Honda did say something about corrosion, Who knows.😞
 

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DOT in this sense is a standard, not a brand. DOT 3 and 4 are interchangeable.

I don't know what Honda brake fluid is, DOT-wise.
As far as i remember DOT 3 fluid and DOT4 are NOT interchangable. As dot 3 is a the regular fluid that has been used for decades and absorbs moisture and the dot 4 is a a silicone based fluid that came out in the 90's and is not supposed to absorb moisture. I would not mix the 2 . Stick with what the manufacturer specified. Brake failure may ocure if mixed.
 

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You can put DOT 4 into a DOT 3 system, but not the other way around.

DOT 4 (and DOT 5) have higher boiling points, for higher-performance (and newer) braking systems.
Besides having a higher boiling point, DOT 4 also has a higher propensity to absorb moisture from the air than DOT 3 so you may have to flush the fluid more frequently with DOT 4 than DOT 3, especially if you live in an area of high humidity. DOT 5 must NOT be used in a DOT 3/4 system as it's silicone-based and not compatible with 3 & 4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
DOT 3 has not been around for decades as DOT 4 has. Like I said, I’ve never heard of DOT 3 until I read about it in the 1998 CR’V’s owner’s manual. I knew DOT 4 is not interchangeable with DOT 5.

Anyway, I’m just going to fill the brake fluid reservoir with DOT 4 and be done with it. Thanks again to all who contributed.
 

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DOT 3 has not been around for decades as DOT 4 has. Like I said, I’ve never heard of DOT 3 until I read about it in the 1998 CR’V’s owner’s manual. I knew DOT 4 is not interchangeable with DOT 5.

Anyway, I’m just going to fill the brake fluid reservoir with DOT 4 and be done with it. Thanks again to all who contributed.
The international standards for brake fluid were written in 2005. They've been around a while.
 
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