Topping up Brake fluid - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Topping up Brake fluid

Hello All,

I recently got a pre-owned 2007 Classic LT. I have been having few queries. I am posting them in different threads so that answering them and following them is lot easier!

The rear disc brake fluid container might need some topping up. Any suggestions about the type / brand of fluid I should use?

Links to the products would help a lot. I am sorry, I might need a lot of hand holding since this is my first bike in this country I appreciate your patience.

Thanks and Regards,
Sharada
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 04:23 PM
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Any DOT-4 brake fluid should be just fine. Brand does not really matter, just make sure it's from a new bottle. The worst thing you can do is get water in the lines.

Doc
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Doc8427, thanks for the reply.

I will get the necessary fluid. If I don't end up using all the fluid, can't I use the same bottle to top up the brake fluid in future? Should the fluid be used or the remaining fluid be discarded after opening the bottle?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 04:35 PM
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As long as you close the bottle, and keep it in a cool dry place, you should be ok. When you open it again to use, shake it up and pour a little in to a bowl and see it is discolored. If it is at all cloudy or darker than normal, throw it away and buy a new bottle.

Also, if it's been in the garage for more than a year, I would toss it and get a new bottle.

Doc

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Originally Posted by sharadaprasad View Post
Doc8427, thanks for the reply.

I will get the necessary fluid. If I don't end up using all the fluid, can't I use the same bottle to top up the brake fluid in future? Should the fluid be used or the remaining fluid be discarded after opening the bottle?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. Will take the necessary precautions!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 11:10 AM
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Just remember one thing, though: Your level goes down as the pads wear, so when you put new pads in and push the caliper pistons back that fluid has to go somewhere.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 02:08 AM
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It might be time to go ahead and flush the brake fluid. Even if the fluid at the reservoir looks 'okay', it might be severely degraded down the line. Mine had a slight yellow tinge at the reservoir but came out JET black the last time I did it! That degraded fluid can damage brake components and shorten their life.

And, to answer your question, as others have said, DOT 4 is fine!

DOT 3 will not work because it can't handle the potential heat your motorcycle brakes could put out. Sometimes you'll find bottles labeled DOT 3/4, those are fine too, it's just labeled like that to let people who own vehicles labeled for DOT 3 use that DOT 4 is fine to run (and it is)

DOT 5 must absolutely be stayed away from. It cannot mix with DOT 3 or 4. It has a lot of advantages, but it also has disadvantages. For one, it's very spongy and doesn't work with ABS (though not an issue on the non-ABS 900!). But the biggest.. it will eat everything up if it gets mixed with even a tiny amount of DOT4 in the system! Switching to DOT 5 requires the replacement of every rubber part and seal in your brake system. (So just stick with DOT 4!)

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 07:38 AM
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I had the exact same thing on mine. It was just slightly off yellow in both reserves, but when I used the vacuum pump to bleed the brakes, the first 1/4 or so was just this nasty black color, and this was on the front and rear brake. Since the bike only has 1,700 miles on it when I bought it, I'm going to assume this is the factory fluid. I decided to completely drain the fluid from both brakes and refill it.

Doc

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Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
It might be time to go ahead and flush the brake fluid. Even if the fluid at the reservoir looks 'okay', it might be severely degraded down the line. Mine had a slight yellow tinge at the reservoir but came out JET black the last time I did it! That degraded fluid can damage brake components and shorten their life.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
It might be time to go ahead and flush the brake fluid. Even if the fluid at the reservoir looks 'okay', it might be severely degraded down the line. Mine had a slight yellow tinge at the reservoir but came out JET black the last time I did it! That degraded fluid can damage brake components and shorten their life.

And, to answer your question, as others have said, DOT 4 is fine!
+1 on replacing the fluid. It's one of the fluids I change when purchasing a used bike. If it's not time to change the pads (provided they look good), make sure you push the pads in (just as if you are changing the pads) so when you fill the reservoir your not over filling. As mentioned in another post, if you fill the reservoir with used pads then replace the pads later that fluid has to go somewhere, (out the top).

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 08:41 PM
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I've been told by several mechanics that one should change the brake fluid every 20,000 miles or 2 years, whichever comes first.
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