With so many different brake fluids on the market, it's hard to know which one to get. It seems that every track day enthusiast has their own preference and a fluid that they stand by. Castrol SRF consistently comes out on top as the best performer but the price point makes many want to consider cheaper brake fluids.
In our opinion, your driving style and your car's weight as well as horsepower all play a factor in which fluid you should go with. Prices have changed a bit in 2019 so the fluids we recommend have changed a bit as well, but first, let's start with a spec comparison of some of the most popular track day brake fluids.
Brake Fluid Comparison Chart
|Motul DOT 5.1||ATE TYP 200||Textar DOT4 R||Motul RBF600||Motul RBF660||Castrol React SRF|
|Dry Boiling Point||
|280°C (536°F)||327°C (608°F)||312°C (593°F)||325°C (617°F)||310°C (590°F)|
|Wet Boiling Point||185°C (365°F)||198°C (389°F)||202°C (393°F)||216°C (420°F)||205°C (401°F)||270°C (518°F)|
Overdrive Top Picks
This fluid has gone up in price in recent months but remains one of the best value brake fluids thanks to it's 1L metal tin size. Fans of the old ATE Super Blue brake fluid will find the same performance from this amber coloured version. Super blue was discontinued as the colour was not compliant with DOT standards. The dry and wet boiling points of ATE Typ 200 far exceeds the standard DOT4 boiling points of 230°C dry and 155°C wet. We have found that on higher horsepower or heavier weight vehicle applications, TYP 200 might not cut it. We've used ATE in Miatas and BRZ/FRS/86's on the track and found it more than adequate. Most casual lapping enthusiasts will find ATE Typ 200 to be sufficient.
ATE's racing brake fluid used to be significantly cheaper than Motul DOT 5.1 yet still offering higher boiling points so Motul 5.1 was never a serious contender. However prices have gone up a bit and thus the price and performance of these two fluids are closer than ever. Personal preference and availability are factors. Many track drivers do run regular Motul 5.1 without issue despite it not being a "racing" brake fluid.
For those that demand a higher performance brake fluid that exceeds what ATE Typ 200 offers, Motul's new RBF600 factory line (SKU 100949) is a logical step up. It costs more than twice as much as the ATE fluid but the wet boiling point of 216°C is very impressive and exceeds the minimum dry boiling point of DOT 3 fluids. This means that even after repeated use, this fluid will still perform very well and may last an entire track season depending on many variables. We have run this fluid on 600hp supercars and found that it holds up very well with no signs of decreased performance. This fluid should be more than enough for most track day enthusiasts. Price-point wise, it's about 40% cheaper than Castrol SRF which can be significant savings depending on how you look at it.
This spot was previously given to the Textar DOT 4 Racing brake fluid (or DOT4R) but rising costs have put that fluid right in line with RBF600 which has a better wet boiling point. Motul's racing brake fluids are also more widely distributed making them easier to get across North America.
Premium Choice: Castrol React SRF
The mother of all track day brake fluids, Castrol SRF offers an incredible wet boiling point of 270°C which is pretty much as good as Motul's 5.1 dry performance. While the dry boiling point does not exceed Textar or Motul's racing brake fluids, the wet boiling point is the key focus. Such a high wet boiling point means you can go many events without bleeding or flushing your brakes which for some may be a significant cost savings. The $50-80 more you'll spend on the fluid is marginal in comparison to the time and potential labour cost savings in the long run. If you track your car frequently and drive quite aggressively, SRF is well worth the investment. That being said, for many drivers cheaper options like RBF600 or ATE Typ 200 may also last you a whole season of use, in which case, the benefits are not as worthwhile.
Stock levels of Castrol SRF tend to be lower and you're unlikely to find it at your nationwide auto parts chains. Land Rover dealerships carry this fluid for the Range Rover SVR but list price is around $200 for a 1L bottle which is very steep.
Tips and Recommendations
- We recommend flushing brake fluid at least once a year for track/HPDE/Autocross vehicles. Your owner's manual may have information on the brake bleeding sequence, typically it is the caliper furthest away from the master cylinder which should be bled first but some vehicles may be different. You can confirm by looking at service manuals as well as researching online.
- Some calipers have multiple bleed screws. If your caliper has one bleeder on top and one on the bottom, you can just bleed the upper one as the other one is for alternative mounting positions. That being said, if there are inboard and outboard bleeders, you should bleed the outside bleeder first.
- Stainless steel brake lines are available for many popular track cars. They will offer more consistent and firmer braking feel and are great for replacing tired old brake lines. Contact us if you're interested in finding out different options for brake lines!
- Be sure to consider upgraded brake pads that have a higher maximum operating temperature (MOT) to support track driving. Stock is not always insufficient but do your research before hitting the track! If you are unsure about your brake pads feel free to e-mail us at email@example.com. Good brake fluid will not do much good if your pads fade on the first lap!