Broadly speaking, hydraulic disc brakes designed for bicycles will use either a mineral oil fluid, or an automotive DOT fluid. Genuine Shimano Mineral Oil is the only fluid compatible with Shimano brakes.
What can I use instead of mineral oil for bike brakes?
Alternatives for mineral brake fluid / oil (in a pinch)
- Fork cartridge oil (the lighter (more viscous) variant)
- Total / Castrol LHM Plus Fluid ( I believe it’s power steering fluid)
Can you use baby oil in bike brakes?
No, you absolutely should not. Bicycle disc brake systems are very delicate and using the wrong kind of fluid can and will damage the seals and rubber components of the brake. The safest thing to do is to only use Shimano mineral oil for your brakes which is available at most bike shops.
How do I know what brake fluid is in my bike?
You will usually find the type of fluid your brake was designed to use printed somewhere on the lever assembly or reservoir top cap.
What can I use instead of brake oil?
The best brake fluid substitute is a water and soap solution. A water and soap solution is the best emergency substitute for brake fluid is because it is very easy to make. Many people have water and soap in their cars or homes.
Can you use baby oil for brake fluid?
No! The only thing baby oil shares in common with any of these brand specific blends is that it’s based on mineral oil, but even pure mineral oil has a different viscosity and boiling point than any one of these solutions. Meanwhile some bike shops don’t even sell brake oil, keeping it on hand only for service.
What is a good substitute for mineral oil?
If you don’t want to use mineral oil, you can also use beeswax, beeswax-based board cream (usually a blend of beeswax and mineral oil), or fractionated coconut oil.
Do you oil bike brakes?
The brake levers should be lubricated as shown. Again only drop small amounts of lube and work it in using your fingers. Move the brake lever to allow the lube to work its way in.
Is mineral oil the same as brake fluid?
Is mineral oil the same as Dot brake fluid for hydraulic disc brakes? No, mineral oil and DOT brake fluid are different and are NOT compatible.
Can I use cooking oil on my bike chain?
When it comes to bike lubricant alternatives, avoid cooking oils and motor oils. They’re often too thick to work well as a lubricant. Clipper oil and other light machine oils are suitable alternatives but may require frequent application.
Who makes the best brake fluid?
Our pick for the best brake fluid is the Motul Dot-4 100 Percent Synthetic Racing Brake Fluid. While it’s slightly pricier than other brands, it improves pedal feel, protects against water penetration, and increases performance for both daily drivers and racers.
What is bicycle brake fluid made of?
A lubricant, such as polythene or polypropylene, to keep parts moving freely – 20-40%. A solvent diluent, usually glycol ether, which determines the fluid’s boiling point and viscosity and accounts for 50-80% of the fluid.
Can you use motor oil as brake fluid?
Brake fluid and motor oil are NOT interchangeable. Do not put brake fluid in your motor and do not put motor oil in your braking system.
Can I use power steering fluid instead of brake fluid?
Brake fluid and power steering fluid were designed and refined over the years to serve very different purposes within vehicles, and they are not interchangeable. In fact, putting brake fluid in your power steering reservoir will do more than just cause your power steering to lose efficiency.
Can I use ATF as brake fluid?
No, you can’t EVER substitute ATF or any other petroleum product for brake fluid. The rubber parts will be damaged almost immediately and the entire system will have to be disassembled, extensively flushed and all parts with rubber components rebuilt or replaced.