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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Can someone tell me the difference between ATE super blue dot 4 brake fluid



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      01-05-2013, 05:01 PM   #1
Dark_Knight_335
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Can someone tell me the difference between ATE super blue dot 4 brake fluid

And "OEM" fluid? I am told the ATE dot 4 super blue has the advantage. Something about decreasing brake fade and improving braking under certain hard driving conditions. Any truth to that?

http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brake...cat=BrakeFluid

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      01-05-2013, 05:21 PM   #2
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OEM is dot4. Dot 4 super has a much higher boiling point both dry and wet. Dry is when new (unused), whereas wet is used fluid, ie it has taken in moisture from the air.

There is no advantage in using super dot4 unless you are racing or doing track-days.

The fall off in performance over time, because of moisture lowering the boiling point, is the biggest factor for all users. Please, please, please, change the fluid, as recommended, at least every two years.
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      01-05-2013, 05:23 PM   #3
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Yes yes, that is what I hear. So long term it CAN be advantageous, if you're a bit of a spirited driver OCCASIONALLY? Well, at the least the BMW tech will be in for a surprise when he bleeds the lines LOL
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      01-06-2013, 08:25 AM   #4
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What you can do is use Ate Typ 200 brake fluid instead of the Super Blue. It is the same stuff, but gold in color, so it doesn't have the blue dye. The dealer will probably not be able to tell that you changed it out. What some peeps do is alternate between the blue and gold so you can tell that you got a good flush.
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      01-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #5
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OEM is Low Viscosity, essential that you use low viscosity for proper ABS/DSC control/modulation. A thicker fluid will not allow the fine adjustments the DSC makes, requiring more time to stabilise the car.

There are only 3 low visc. fluids I know of, the BMW OEM, ATE something (check the site) and TRW something (DOT 5.1)
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      01-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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Not all DOT 4 fluids are alike, fyi, not even close. But yes, both the blue and gold versions of ATE have a higher boiling temperature, which means you're less likely to get a soft pedal after hard driving on the track (your next problem will probably be brake pad fade). That said, you definitely won't see a benefit unless you're on the track; the OEM fluid is more than up to the task of "spirited driving", and in fact it'll even handle track duty while you're a novice if the track isn't too hard on brakes.

If you've never driven really hard and noticed your brake pedal go significantly spongy on you, you don't need to upgrade your fluid. And in fact unless you need it, switching to ATE could be DISadvantageous because the general recommendation is to bleed ATE fluid every quarter or after every 2-3 track days, whichever comes first, so if you're not tracking you just have more maintenance with no payoff (EDIT: On a pure DD that never goes on a track, you could probably use the OEM fluid maintenance interval with ATE.) If you DO track and you don't want to deal with that kind of maintenance, you can use Castrol SRF which only needs to be changed every year or so even if you have tons of track days in that time -- but whereas ATE is about $15/bottle, SRF is about $70/bottle. But if you don't bleed/change your own brake fluid, the savings on mechanic labor might make SRF cheaper.
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      01-06-2013, 11:24 AM   #7
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Wow, you guys are wizards man! Thanks for all the info. Perhaps it wasn't the wisest of ideas to put this stuff into a DD huh
Actually I didn't. The dealer did
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      01-06-2013, 12:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
Not all DOT 4 fluids are alike, fyi, not even close. But yes, both the blue and gold versions of ATE have a higher boiling temperature, which means you're less likely to get a soft pedal after hard driving on the track (your next problem will probably be brake pad fade). That said, you definitely won't see a benefit unless you're on the track; the OEM fluid is more than up to the task of "spirited driving", and in fact it'll even handle track duty while you're a novice if the track isn't too hard on brakes.

If you've never driven really hard and noticed your brake pedal go significantly spongy on you, you don't need to upgrade your fluid. And in fact unless you need it, switching to ATE could be DISadvantageous because the general recommendation is to bleed ATE fluid every quarter or after every 2-3 track days, whichever comes first, so if you're not tracking you just have more maintenance with no payoff. If you DO track and you don't want to deal with that kind of maintenance, you can use Castrol SRF which only needs to be changed every year or so even if you have tons of track days in that time -- but whereas ATE is about $15/bottle, SRF is about $70/bottle. But if you don't bleed/change your own brake fluid, the savings on mechanic labor might make SRF cheaper.
The Porsche Dealership uses ATE for all of their anual brake services. In other words it TUV approved. TUV meaning a much more stringent standard than DOT. I used it in my car and bled it yearly....no issues with brakes

ATE is "Designed to last up to 3 years under normal highway driving conditions"

http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brake...cat=BrakeFluid
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      01-06-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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Unless you have a dedicated track or racecar, there is no need to change out the Ate fluids on a quarterly basis. It may make sense for a track or race car because the fluid can absorb enough moisture to lower the boiling point. On a street car you can run it like ordinary brake fluid.

In over ten years of track events and racing, including 13 hour races, I have never had a spongy pedal with the Ate fluids.
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      01-06-2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowracer
Unless you have a dedicated track or racecar, there is no need to change out the Ate fluids on a quarterly basis. It may make sense for a track or race car because the fluid can absorb enough moisture to lower the boiling point. On a street car you can run it like ordinary brake fluid.

In over ten years of track events and racing, including 13 hour races, I have never had a spongy pedal with the Ate fluids.
Thank you for the valuable experience sharing and info!
So you're saying theoretically I can leave the ATE fluid in longer?
That info about it compromising DSC /ABS related functionality has me a little concerned though.
I would think the dealer would not be foolish enough to put a fluid in or perform any work that could potentially invite liability, no?
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      01-06-2013, 04:25 PM   #11
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"So you're saying theoretically I can leave the ATE fluid in longer?"

Longer or the same.

It's more a matter of personal preference because ATE meets or exceeds DOT 4 specifications.

BTW, many of the Stability Control Systems and anti lock break systems are made by Bosch and sold to BMW, Porsche, Audi, Skoda, VW, Citron, ect ect ect.

If Porsche uses ATE in their maintenance program here in Germany I am positive there are no issues with a BMW.

"I would think the dealer would not be foolish enough to put a fluid in or perform any work that could potentially invite liability, no?"
- The BMW dealer is ONLY authorized to use BMW approved fluids which ATE is not on the "approved" list. Neither is Redline or Amsoil for that matter. The BMW dealer politely handed me back the ATE super blue, but the Porsche dealer gave it back 3/4s empty.
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      01-06-2013, 04:30 PM   #12
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^ Agree with the above, I retract my previous blanket statement about having to bleed ATE fluid quarterly or after every 2-3 track days. I'd do that if your car sees the track, but if it's just a DD you can probably get away with flushing it every 1-2 years; personally I wouldn't wait 3 years under any circumstances even though BMWs from 3/11 production onward now have their computers programmed for 3 years rather than 2. In fact now that I think about it, my favorite indy mechanic out here uses ATE on all the cars he sees as well unless it's incompatible with the car or the stock fluid is better -- so OP, if you have ATE, don't sweat it. But if your car won't be on the track, there's certainly no need to go out of your way to get it. Good luck!
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      01-06-2013, 05:03 PM   #13
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Thank you sir! All that said I'm really surprised prestige BMW put that in my vehicle. Then again they are a Dinan dealer so they are more performance oriented folks as opposed to most dealerships in the area I see.
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      01-06-2013, 05:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smellthebeans
"So you're saying theoretically I can leave the ATE fluid in longer?"

Longer or the same.

It's more a matter of personal preference because ATE meets or exceeds DOT 4 specifications.

BTW, many of the Stability Control Systems and anti lock break systems are made by Bosch and sold to BMW, Porsche, Audi, Skoda, VW, Citron, ect ect ect.

If Porsche uses ATE in their maintenance program here in Germany I am positive there are no issues with a BMW.

"I would think the dealer would not be foolish enough to put a fluid in or perform any work that could potentially invite liability, no?"
- The BMW dealer is ONLY authorized to use BMW approved fluids which ATE is not on the "approved" list. Neither is Redline or Amsoil for that matter. The BMW dealer politely handed me back the ATE super blue, but the Porsche dealer gave it back 3/4s empty.
Thanks for that. I guess my next brake flush I'll use the regular fluid. No need to go out of my way for the crazy stuff. Sucks though because now I got to watch going to other dealers other than Prestige because they'll see that blue stuff and be like WTF
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