2002 Civic EX Break Fluid Issue

Discussion in 'Civic' started by Sebastian, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. Sebastian

    Sebastian Guest

    I have a 2002 Civic EX with ABS. Approximately 10,000km's (6,000
    miles) and 6 months ago the reservoir for the break fluid was at the
    Minimum level, I refilled the reservoir to the max line and now it is
    at the Minimum level again. This is the first car that I've owned
    with ABS so I'm wondering if this is normal.

    Also, does the type of break fluid that I use have any impact on
    breaking performance. I was at my local automotive shop and noticed
    the following types of break fluid, DOT3, DOT4, and DOT3 for ABS. Does
    it matter which one I use?

    Sebastian, Jan 22, 2004
  2. "Sebastian" wrote
    Don't break anything, ok?
    Howard Lester, Jan 22, 2004
  3. Sebastian

    Travis Guest

    Gimme a brake. ;-)
    Travis, Jan 22, 2004
  4. Sebastian

    Tegger® Guest

    If you break your brakes, you're in trouble.
    Tegger®, Jan 23, 2004
  5. Sebastian

    E. Meyer Guest

    Not normal. ABS does not drink fluid any more than normal brakes. You
    either have a leak or your brakes are quickly wearing down. You should
    check several things:

    1. look for fluid at the back of the master cylinder, on the face of the
    power brake booster. If there is anything there, your master cylinder is
    failing and needs to be replaced ASAP.

    2. Check the brake pad thickness at the wheels. If the pads are less than
    the minimum service thickness, you need a brake job.

    3. While you are looking at the pads, look also for leaks in the wheel
    cylinders, which also means you need a brake job.
    Yes, it matters. The owner's manual, or a call to your local Honda dealer
    parts counter will tell which you need for that car.
    E. Meyer, Jan 23, 2004
  6. Sebastian

    Sebastian Guest

    I think I might have had my mind on a Coffee Break when I posted this.

    I hope you all know that I was really referring to the brakes on my vehicle :-!
    Sebastian, Jan 23, 2004
  7. No - it's not normal. The level goes down somewhat with normal brake pad
    wear... from max to say about 1/3 the way up from the min level, until you
    change the pads, when it should go back up again to the max. You must have
    a leak and need to find out where. This could be a dangerous situation so
    find it quickly.
    In recent years, Honda recommends their own brand DOT3. Personally I don't
    like it and continue to use a premium DOT4 fluid, like Castrol GTLMA or
    Valvoline Synpower, as I always did before their new recommendations.

    Rgds, George Macdonald

    "Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
    George Macdonald, Jan 23, 2004
  8. DOT 4 brake fluid meets higher standards for dry and wet boiling
    points than DOT 3, but is otherwise compatible with DOT 3 (and
    will typically be labeled as both DOT 4 and DOT 3).

    Don't mix DOT 5 brake fluid with DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid.
    Timothy J. Lee, Jan 23, 2004
  9. This doesn't sound good. Cars with disk brakes will have the fluid level
    drop as the pads wear. As the pads wear the pistons extend and more fluid
    ends up in the caliper and this shows up as a level drop in the reservoir.
    On most cars that I have seen, when the pads are completely worn, the level
    will just be reaching the add more fluid line on the reservoir. That you
    added fluid once already and the level dropped once again leads me to
    believe that you may have a leak in your system. A brake systme inspection
    is in order.
    Yes it does matter. Read your owners manual to find out which one you need
    to be using.
    Alex Rodriguez, Jan 23, 2004
  10. Sebastian

    Sebastian Guest

    Thanks for your assistance!

    When there is a break from the cold weather I'll have a look to see
    if, and where, there is a leak in my braking system.
    Sebastian, Jan 23, 2004
  11. Sebastian

    Chip Stein Guest

    use DOT3 fluid. DOT4 fluid has higher boiling points but it also
    absorbs water much more readily, and requires more frequent flushing
    of the system.
    DOT5 is great but really not neccessary, i use it it my care and
    haven't replaced a hydraulic component in 220,000 miles but it does
    fade at high temps.
    Chip Stein, Jan 24, 2004
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