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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed in the service manual that they say to use only Honda Brake fluid. Has anyone had any bad experiences using non Honda brake fluid? I was going to do the brakes this weekend and flush the lines as well but all I have is synthetic DOT 3.

I would guess it's not as big of a deal as compared to using non Honda ATF.
 

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Brake Fluid

I've used Valvoline synthetic DOT 4 brake fluid in our Honda vehicles. Flushed / replaced brake fluid in our Odyssey and Accord several years ago.
No problems noticed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You bring up another good point DOT3 or DOT4? If DOT4 exceeds DOT3 then I am not sure why every car does not use DOT3. Chemical composition maybe?
 

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DOT 4 is similar to DOT 3 but it has a higher boiling point (446F vs. 401F). They are chemically similar and so they can be mixed. As for synthetic, better check the label to be sure of compatibility with glycol fluid.

I suspect Honda recommends DOT 3 because that's what they fill at the factory. After all, that makes it unquestionably the best choice, doesn't it?? :D

I have always changed mine with non-Honda fluid and have had no problems.
 

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What better marketing ploy than to tell everyone you have to use their fluid. many of the car manufacturers do it. I replaced mine with Valvoline synthetic. The cans I used say DOT 3&4
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
William Wiles said:
What better marketing ploy than to tell everyone you have to use their fluid. many of the car manufacturers do it. I replaced mine with Valvoline synthetic. The cans I used say DOT 3&4
Well yes and no. There are different degrees. I think most agree that the Honda ATF is important to stay with Honda but something like oil or worse windshield fluid would be on the other side of the spectrum.

Anti-freeze is another one. Volvo swears that you can only use theirs. It looks just as green as Prestone! Does it have some magic ingredient in it? Who knows - probably not.

I was just reading some other threads about brake pads. I am surprised at how many people will only use OEM pads. I think the Honda brake pads are average. I'm definitely switching brands.
 

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With the horrible record of Honda transmissions who is to say the Honda ATF fluid isn't part of the problem. There are many people running other fluids with no problems.
 

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Very true.
William Wiles said:
With the horrible record of Honda transmissions who is to say the Honda ATF fluid isn't part of the problem. There are many people running other fluids with no problems.
I used Valvoline full synthetic brake fluid in my sister's 06-Odyssey about a year ago and no issues so far.

Best time to change the fluid is when a brake job is being performed.

Of course any time is good time also.
 

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You're right, I changed my xmission fluid on a regular basis and still had to do a rebuild. I went
To an independant xmission place and had it done right.
 

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Anti-freeze is another one. Volvo swears that you can only use theirs. It looks just as green as Prestone! Does it have some magic ingredient in it? Who knows - probably not.
I understand the logic behind resisting OE spec, as the Magnusson-Moss Act dispelled any warranty related issues to using aftermarket fluids or parts, but the different types of coolant/antifreeze now available is for some good reasons. Check out this spec sheet on the European and Japanese formulas. Phosphorous/phosphorous free, Hybrid Organic Acid, nitrite/amine free, silicate free, blah blah blah.

Pentosin - Antifreeze (You have to click on each products' tech sheets for details.)

Here is a good article (on topic) on brake fluids and DOT...grades(?) from StopTech technical white papers. Very interesting reads on their other tech papers too.

Brake Fluid

Excerpt below.
"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."

Centric/StopTech complete technical white papers here. Interesting reads. Technical White Papers
 
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