- DOT 4
In the United States, all brake fluids must meet Standard No. 116; Motor vehicle brake fluids. Under this standard there are three Department of Transportation (DOT) minimum specifications for brake fluid. They are DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1.
DOT 4, like DOT 3 and DOT 5.1, is a polyethylene glycol-based fluid (contrasted with DOT 5 which is silicone-based). Fluids such as DOT 4 are hygroscopic and will absorb water from the atmosphere. This degrades the fluid's performance, and if allowed to accumulate over a period of time, can drastically reduce its boiling point. In a passenger car this is usually not much of an issue as the brakes are generally not used so hard, but can be of serious concerns in racecars or motorcycles due to their much more aggressive braking.
As of 2006[update], most cars produced in the U.S. use DOT 4 brake fluid.
Minimal boiling points for these specifications are as follows (wet boiling point defined as 3.7% water by volume):
Boiling point ranges  Dry boiling point Wet boiling point DOT 3 205 °C (401 °F) 140 °C (284 °F) DOT 4 230 °C (446 °F) 155 °C (311 °F) DOT 5 260 °C (500 °F) 180 °C (356 °F) DOT 5.1 270 °C (518 °F) 190 °C (374 °F)
One particular brand of DOT 4 brake fluid lists the following ingredients on its MSDS:
Chemical CAS no Percent Triethylene glycol 112-27-6 5-25 Tetraethylene glycol 112-60-7 5-25 Dibutoxy tetraglycol 112-98-1 10-50 Tetraethylene glycol diethyl ether 4353-28-0 10-50 Propane, 2-methoxy-1-(2-methoxy-1-methylethoxy)- 89399-28-0 10-50 DOT 3 Brake fluids DOT 5
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