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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90/E92/E93 Marketplace (For Sale / Trade / Wanted) > Private Owners For Sale / Trade / Wanted > Suspension / Brakes / Chassis / Spacers > What type of brake fluid?



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      02-24-2009, 07:40 PM   #1
machine
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What type of brake fluid?

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Car is indicating low brake fluid. I could not find in the manual what grade of fluid i need for a possible top off. Also where is the reservoir?

I have a/t transmission.

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      02-24-2009, 10:12 PM   #2
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Any Dot 4 fluid will do... Well you're in Canada so I dunno if the DOT standards are even used there.

The brake fluid is behind the driver side strut tower, under the black cover as I recall.
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      02-24-2009, 10:56 PM   #3
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You should never have to top off brake fluid. You either have a leak, or the pads are getting low. Although it's possible that the last person to do a brake flush didn't correct the level when they were done...
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      02-24-2009, 11:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalTech View Post
You should never have to top off brake fluid. You either have a leak, or the pads are getting low. Although it's possible that the last person to do a brake flush didn't correct the level when they were done...
Say what????

Brake fluid level go down as your pads wear out... I am not saying a possibility of a leak does not exist.
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      02-24-2009, 11:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noro View Post
Say what????

Brake fluid level go down as your pads wear out... I am not saying a possibility of a leak does not exist.
Right. That's why I said that there is either a leak, or the pads are getting low.
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      02-25-2009, 12:21 AM   #6
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when does the "free maintenance program" allow you to change your brakes?

The iDrive is not saying the brakes are out, it only says brake fluid.
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      02-25-2009, 12:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by machine View Post
when does the "free maintenance program" allow you to change your brakes?

The iDrive is not saying the brakes are out, it only says brake fluid.
If your car is under warranty, bring that sucker in. They'll diagnose the problem for you. Why are you even asking us?
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      02-25-2009, 12:43 AM   #8
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The reason being is that I bought my car in the US. I live in Canada and the free maintenance does not transfer over. Just warranty (something breaking, not wear and tear).

The closest US dealer is in Seattle, about 2 hours away.

So if I have to get the brakes done, I have to drive to Seattle, if its something that's just basic warranty, I'll go local.
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      02-25-2009, 12:44 AM   #9
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that sucks lol
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      02-25-2009, 01:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machine View Post
when does the "free maintenance program" allow you to change your brakes?

The iDrive is not saying the brakes are out, it only says brake fluid.
When they're worn out. The service menu should tell you about how much longer you have to go.
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      02-25-2009, 01:26 AM   #11
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I just took these pics... It says the front and rear brakes are okay. (I have 28,000km on the ODO)





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      02-25-2009, 03:09 AM   #12
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What you see is this oily stuff in a can. In reality brake fluid is carefully formulated from Glycol (Polyalkylene Glycol Ether) or silicon based oils plus a selection of corrosion inhibitors, pH stabilizers and anti-oxidants. Brake fluid is carefully controlled for boiling point and has a 'wet' and 'dry' spec. (before and after absorbtion of atmospheric moisture).

Your brakes comprise a rather complex hydraulic system incorporating several high tolerance valves for the ABS so quality and compatibility of brake fluid are both important considerations. I would therefore not just top off with any old fluid but would buy a fluid recommended by BMW to ensure compatibility with the fluid that's already in the system.

Your break fluid sensor will light up for one of 3 reasons....
1. gradual loss (seepage) around 1 or more pipe joints or seals
2. pad wear (especially if the fluid wasn't topped off properly at the last service)
3. faulty sensor

Break fluid level is a diagnostic signal for you to check things over

Get the right fluid and top-off the reservoir to slightly below the max mark
Have a quick look under the car with an inspection lamp for any signs of leakage

If the warning is extinguished, and you find no signs of fluid loss then you're good to go
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      02-25-2009, 08:04 AM   #13
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That is NOT saying that the fluid is low. It is saying that you are due for a brake fluid change.
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      02-25-2009, 08:52 AM   #14
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Does that mean I should flush out the cow milk I added last week?



Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC View Post
What you see is this oily stuff in a can. In reality brake fluid is carefully formulated from Glycol (Polyalkylene Glycol Ether) or silicon based oils plus a selection of corrosion inhibitors, pH stabilizers and anti-oxidants. Brake fluid is carefully controlled for boiling point and has a 'wet' and 'dry' spec. (before and after absorbtion of atmospheric moisture).

Your brakes comprise a rather complex hydraulic system incorporating several high tolerance valves for the ABS so quality and compatibility of brake fluid are both important considerations. I would therefore not just top off with any old fluid but would buy a fluid recommended by BMW to ensure compatibility with the fluid that's already in the system.

Your break fluid sensor will light up for one of 3 reasons....
1. gradual loss (seepage) around 1 or more pipe joints or seals
2. pad wear (especially if the fluid wasn't topped off properly at the last service)
3. faulty sensor

Break fluid level is a diagnostic signal for you to check things over

Get the right fluid and top-off the reservoir to slightly below the max mark
Have a quick look under the car with an inspection lamp for any signs of leakage

If the warning is extinguished, and you find no signs of fluid loss then you're good to go
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      02-25-2009, 09:04 AM   #15
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[quote=noro;4566192]Does that mean I should flush out the cow milk I added last week?

I hope is was full cream? Semi-skimmed has too high water content while half and half is likely to boil under heavy usage and the resultant cream cheese is a bitch to flush
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      02-25-2009, 01:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC View Post
What you see is this oily stuff in a can. In reality brake fluid is carefully formulated from Glycol (Polyalkylene Glycol Ether) or silicon based oils plus a selection of corrosion inhibitors, pH stabilizers and anti-oxidants. Brake fluid is carefully controlled for boiling point and has a 'wet' and 'dry' spec. (before and after absorbtion of atmospheric moisture).

Your brakes comprise a rather complex hydraulic system incorporating several high tolerance valves for the ABS so quality and compatibility of brake fluid are both important considerations. I would therefore not just top off with any old fluid but would buy a fluid recommended by BMW to ensure compatibility with the fluid that's already in the system.

Your break fluid sensor will light up for one of 3 reasons....
1. gradual loss (seepage) around 1 or more pipe joints or seals
2. pad wear (especially if the fluid wasn't topped off properly at the last service)
3. faulty sensor

Break fluid level is a diagnostic signal for you to check things over

Get the right fluid and top-off the reservoir to slightly below the max mark
Have a quick look under the car with an inspection lamp for any signs of leakage

If the warning is extinguished, and you find no signs of fluid loss then you're good to go
Thanks for your advice.

I'll try to top if off with dot4 brake fluid, check for leaks etc. If the problem persists I'll head down to the stealership.

The reason I posted front and rear brake status is that it seems it can not be pad wear ( I hope, unless the sensors are wrong). So it must be a leak?

Do you need scheduled brake fluid changes?
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      02-25-2009, 02:08 PM   #17
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Again. Your brake fluid is not low. You are due for a brake fluid service.
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      02-25-2009, 02:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalTech View Post
Again. Your brake fluid is not low. You are due for a brake fluid service.
+1, Listen to the BMW tech that is trying to help you, lol.
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      02-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #19
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+1, Listen to the BMW tech that is trying to help you, lol.
Yes, a definite +1 for SocalTech. He's been awesome answering my questions.
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