Brake fluid question - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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  • 1 Post By bmwcoolk1200
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post #1 of 22 Old Mar 27th, 2017, 11:45 pm Thread Starter
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Brake fluid question

Earlier today, I decided I wanted to get rid of the non-functioning Sirius XM apparatus (was there when I bought the bike) that was located on my left handlebar adjacent to the grips. I took it off and decided to use the existing bracket to secure my cell phone. Works great! However, the Sirius was screwed into the brake fluid compartment. As I removed the Sirius, a good amount of the brake fluid came out.

Yes, I truly am mechanically-ignorant enough to have done this.

Anyways, my bright idea is to simply refill the brake fluid compartment with premium DOT 4 brake fluid. Will that work or is there something else I should do before riding her again? Thanks for advice. I have attached a picture.
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Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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1984 Bluish Honda CB 650 (retired)
1986 Red Honda Nighthawk 450 (abandoned)
Didn't own a bike from 1999 to 2012
1997 Black Honda Valkyrie (still own)
2005 Ocean Blue BMW K1200LT "Apocalypse" (bought in March '16)

IBA Saddlesore 1000

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post #2 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 5:16 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

Quote:
Originally Posted by gorm5 View Post
Earlier today, I decided I wanted to get rid of the non-functioning Sirius XM apparatus (was there when I bought the bike) that was located on my left handlebar adjacent to the grips. I took it off and decided to use the existing bracket to secure my cell phone. Works great! However, the Sirius was screwed into the brake fluid compartment. As I removed the Sirius, a good amount of the brake fluid came out.

Yes, I truly am mechanically-ignorant enough to have done this.

Anyways, my bright idea is to simply refill the brake fluid compartment with premium DOT 4 brake fluid. Will that work or is there something else I should do before riding her again? Thanks for advice. I have attached a picture.
You should be able to just fill it back up with good old Valvoline (Dot3/4) compatible fluid. Just stay away from the silicone based Dot 5 fluids. She is an old girl and needs the glycol based fluid.

BTW, that is your clutch, just so you know. Same stuff.
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Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #3 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 6:01 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

As advised you should be fine.

guessing that brake fluid is the liquid on the cover.

BUT that brake fluid eats paint, try not to spill, and clean any spill right away.
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post #4 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 6:44 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

Wipe it and spray with copious amounts of water ASAP. Brake Fluid is extremely harsh not only on your paint, but the other surfaces as well. It is also very toxic, does nasty things to your kidneys.

Water will neutralize it.
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post #5 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 7:38 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

You just refill with proper fluid as the posts advised

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post #6 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 8:24 am Thread Starter
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Re: Brake fluid question

Thanks for the help, guys. LOL. I suppose that is my clutch. I am going to rush home and make sure the brake fluid is wiped off properly.

Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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1984 Bluish Honda CB 650 (retired)
1986 Red Honda Nighthawk 450 (abandoned)
Didn't own a bike from 1999 to 2012
1997 Black Honda Valkyrie (still own)
2005 Ocean Blue BMW K1200LT "Apocalypse" (bought in March '16)

IBA Saddlesore 1000

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post #7 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 10:04 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

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Originally Posted by gorm5 View Post
I am going to rush home and make sure the brake fluid is wiped off properly.
Not just wiped off, please wash diligently with water...lots of it. The spilled brake fluid needs to be GONE.

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post #8 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 12:21 pm
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Re: Brake fluid question

Turn the handle bars all the way to the right to level it before you fill it.

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post #9 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 2:14 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Brake fluid question

Ha! Will do. I ran home and used two drenched micro-cloths on the area. I seemed to have caught it before it did any damage to the paint. As I tell my wife, this is exactly why I pay others to work on my bikes. So jealous of you guys......

To my credit, I did install my own driver's backrest.

Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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1984 Bluish Honda CB 650 (retired)
1986 Red Honda Nighthawk 450 (abandoned)
Didn't own a bike from 1999 to 2012
1997 Black Honda Valkyrie (still own)
2005 Ocean Blue BMW K1200LT "Apocalypse" (bought in March '16)

IBA Saddlesore 1000

Bucket List destinations:
Sturgis (maybe)
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Pacific Coast highway
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post #10 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 3:01 pm
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Re: Brake fluid question

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Originally Posted by saddleman View Post
Turn the handle bars all the way to the right to level it before you fill it.
And don't fill it to the brim. Unlike the brakes, the fluid level in the clutch master cylinder will increase as the clutch wears. I fill mine to the bottom of the sight glass and it has always worked fine.
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post #11 of 22 Old Mar 28th, 2017, 6:36 pm
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Re: Brake fluid question

There is a little step shape on the inside fill to the lower line with the bars all the way right (reservoir as level as you can get it).
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post #12 of 22 Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 6:52 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
You should be able to just fill it back up with good old Valvoline (Dot3/4) compatible fluid. Just stay away from the silicone based Dot 5 fluids. She is an old girl and needs the glycol based fluid.

BTW, that is your clutch, just so you know. Same stuff.
I would use dot 4 fluid. not dot 3/4 compatible. I would only use 3/4 compatible in a pinch
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post #13 of 22 Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 7:02 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

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I would use dot 4 fluid. not dot 3/4 compatible. I would only use 3/4 compatible in a pinch
Why? Dot 3 and 4 are the same chemical base. If you don't need the slightly better temp capability of 4, they are completely interchangeable.

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post #14 of 22 Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 8:01 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

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I would use dot 4 fluid. not dot 3/4 compatible. I would only use 3/4 compatible in a pinch
The Valvoline 3&4 synthetic fluid would have to meet all DOT4 specifications or it couldn't have it on the label but as Voyager stated, they are chemically compatible so they get a bigger market by letting people in on the fact that DOT4 can be used in any DOT3 with a single product packaging of DOT4 and a label including DOT3.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #15 of 22 Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 9:36 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

I know it's just me, I am a a little different

I know you can use dot 3 in a pinch too, But I like to use what is listed on the cover if possible.
Maybe that's whats on the LT ( I havent looked, yet ) but my 85 k100rs says dot 4

I am just saying if I am going to go buy brake fluid and I have a choice between dot 4 and dot 3/4 I will get dot 4.
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post #16 of 22 Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 10:02 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

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Originally Posted by red85k100rs View Post
I know it's just me, I am a a little different

I know you can use dot 3 in a pinch too, But I tlike to use what is listed on the cover if possible.
Maybe that's whats on the LT ( I havent looked, yet ) but my 85 k100rs says dot 4

I am just saying if I am going to go buy brake fluid and I have a choice between dot 4 and dot 3/4 I will get dot 4.
Your call for sure. Just wanted you to know that Dot 4 is completely fine to use in Dot 3 systems. The only functional difference is the slightly better temperature capability. The Valvoline synthetic 3/4 is a great fluid and what I have used for years.

Mixing Dot 3 and Dot 4 is no different then mixing SAE 20 and SAE 30 weight conventional motor oil. Completely compatible.

I remember when many would not mix conventional and synthetic motor oil, even though every oil maker said it was OK. And then the oil makers started selling blends...

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post #17 of 22 Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 10:45 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Brake fluid question

We ended up having a beautiful weekend in Illinois and I couldn't wait to ride, so when my wife sent me to Meijer to grocery shop on Friday I decided to just pick up brake fluid there. They did not have Dot 4, but they did have the Valvoline 3/4. I did a quick Google job and found that the 3/4 was completely compatible except for a lower temperature threshold. I went ahead and bought it.

Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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1984 Bluish Honda CB 650 (retired)
1986 Red Honda Nighthawk 450 (abandoned)
Didn't own a bike from 1999 to 2012
1997 Black Honda Valkyrie (still own)
2005 Ocean Blue BMW K1200LT "Apocalypse" (bought in March '16)

IBA Saddlesore 1000

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post #18 of 22 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 9:43 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

Quote:
Originally Posted by gorm5 View Post
We ended up having a beautiful weekend in Illinois and I couldn't wait to ride, so when my wife sent me to Meijer to grocery shop on Friday I decided to just pick up brake fluid there. They did not have Dot 4, but they did have the Valvoline 3/4. I did a quick Google job and found that the 3/4 was completely compatible except for a lower temperature threshold. I went ahead and bought it.
What lower temperature threshold? The Valvoline product meets or exceeds the DOT dry and wet boiling point specs.

Valvoline 12 oz. DOT 3 and 4 brake fluid 601457 - Read Reviews on Valvoline #601457

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_fluid
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post #19 of 22 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 10:10 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

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What lower temperature threshold? The Valvoline product meets or exceeds the DOT dry and wet boiling point specs.

Valvoline 12 oz. DOT 3 and 4 brake fluid 601457 - Read Reviews on Valvoline #601457

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_fluid
Like I said, it is a DOT 4 fluid with a DOT 3 inclusive label. Why make 2 products when one will suffice for both applications.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
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post #20 of 22 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 10:22 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

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Like I said, it is a DOT 4 fluid with a DOT 3 inclusive label. Why make 2 products when one will suffice for both applications.
I agree, but gorm5 suggested that the Valvoline had lower temperature thresholds than other DOT 4 fluids and I am curious as to his google sources for said suggestion. I think it is bogus, but I'm always curious about such things.

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post #21 of 22 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 10:56 am
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Re: Brake fluid question

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I agree, but gorm5 suggested that the Valvoline had lower temperature thresholds than other DOT 4 fluids and I am curious as to his google sources for said suggestion. I think it is bogus, but I'm always curious about such things.
I am a little curious also. I suspect that he was referring to the DOT3 specification being included in the labeling as having a lower boil point.

Gordon
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2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #22 of 22 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 12:50 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Brake fluid question

I just did a 2 minute search on my phone. Not sure what site I got that from. As soon as a couple sites suggested I would be ok, I just bought it. If I can find the site, I'll post it.

Patrick Russell
I live and ride in Illinois, which has some of the straightest roads in the country.
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1984 Bluish Honda CB 650 (retired)
1986 Red Honda Nighthawk 450 (abandoned)
Didn't own a bike from 1999 to 2012
1997 Black Honda Valkyrie (still own)
2005 Ocean Blue BMW K1200LT "Apocalypse" (bought in March '16)

IBA Saddlesore 1000

Bucket List destinations:
Sturgis (maybe)
Nova Scotia
Pacific Coast highway
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