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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ordered a set of the high performance brake pad replacements from AS Motorsports, from reviews etc. they seemed like a good option for replacement pads, cheaper than OEM and presumably similar or better performance and less brake dust.

My neighbor owns a mechanic shop and offered to put them on for me since there doesn't seem to be anything proprietary about the brakes. He said he usually clamps the lines to prevent fluid from backing up and then just refills with fresh fluid.

I see in the owner's manual it recommends this Petronas Tutela brake fluid, I can only seem to find it on overseas sites. Is that really necessary, or would there be another similar DOT4 fluid I could get locally at Autozone etc.? Not looking to cut corners, but I also know there is often a premium with OEM parts and not looking to spend double or triple and wait for shipping if another brand would do just as well.

Thanks,
Scott
 

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Petronas products are meh at best, any decent brake fluid would do if you change it regularly. Replacing it yearly makes more of a difference than using cheap (but decent) or expensive brake fluid. I use Motul RFB660, but if you want to throw some money out of the window you can get some Castrol SRF which goes for 3-4 times the price.

But then again, it won't make any real difference unless you track your car hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not looking to track the car, drive a little sporty around town (as I'm sure most of us do) but that's about it. Just looking for a brake fluid that I can safely use to top off after replacing the brakes that will have similar performance to OEM fluid and won't compromise anything. Wasn't sure if any DOT4 fluid would work, or if I should stick to some of the types meant for racing like you mentioned.
Scott
 

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I just realized I missed in your original post the part with clamping the brake lines, and I think you should find another mechanic. The only time when there is brake fluid loss in the system is when you replace the calipers or the pistons/gaskets. Replacing the pads and rotors doesn't even involve getting near the brake fluid.



Don't top it off, flush the system and replace it completely. Brake fluid degrades with time, and needs to be replaced regularly. A liter of good Motul, ATE, Castrol, Brembo DOT4 (you shouldn't use anything else anyway) brake fluid costs $20-30, and flushing/bleeding the system is a 20 minute job. The needlessly expensive ones, like the Castrol SRF, which is still a DOT4 fluid, cost like $80-100.



Bottom line is that if you replace pads and rotors you don't need to top off anything, but you should replace the brake fluid every two years anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I'm not very knowledgeable about cars (understatement), and have only watched someone replace pads on one of my cars one time before on my Chevy Suburban. When he did it, as the new pads were inserted, it seemed the brake fluid level rose a little as each piston was pushed back, or something like that. He put a towel around the brake fluid filler area to catch the excess so it didn't overflow all over the engine and make a mess or worse.

My neighbor has been a mechanic for 30+ years and has done most of the work on my other cars over the years. I have to assume he knows what he's doing, work on other cars has been perfect, never an issue. I asked him if he would need any brake fluid, knowing that Maserati would take something unique that he might not have.

He mentioned that when they do brake jobs (and he just did one on my wife's Infiniti yesterday), he clamps the lines to prevent the fluid from backing up, I think he said that then some of the fluid might push back up and potentially back up into ABS pump or something like that on certain cars. I could have that slightly wrong. Then I think he bleeds a little on each brake, just to get rid of dirty/old fluid, and tops off.


Anyway, I always feel at the mercy of mechanics to tell the truth and do the right thing as I wouldn't know the difference. I just took my Ghibli in because of a low oil light, thinking warranty, no big deal. Local dealer - first time going to them - called me and said oil was pitch black and nasty and it needed an oil change. Also said filters were filthy, and I know they were a little dirty from inspection I got on the car before I bought it. Supposedly previous dealer performed year 3 service before putting the car up for sale, it was listed on the Carfax and I called to verify before buying it, no way oil should be that dirty, I'm only 6 months and 5000 miles in.

So... either previous Maserati dealer lied and skimped on a relatively simple service and just reset the light and moved on, or current dealer is lying to me, or I have some strange problem where the oil is getting dirtier from normal driving that no one has ever seen. Either way, I'm out $600 for the oil change and filters that I didn't plan on doing. Plus whatever else they "find" and try and charge me for. Plus having to worry about what damage perhaps was caused unbeknownst to me that will show up later on, probably when I'm out of warranty...

I don't mind spending money on things that are needed, want to keep the car in good running shape. But I try and do research to keep from getting screwed. I can only hope that when someone is doing something as simple as an oil change or brake job that they know what they are doing. The pads are arriving this week from AS Motorsports and now I'm nervous about even getting them replaced... Just trying to stay ahead of it so I don't have to replace rotors until next time.
 

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I'm not very knowledgeable about cars (understatement), and have only watched someone replace pads on one of my cars one time before on my Chevy Suburban. When he did it, as the new pads were inserted, it seemed the brake fluid level rose a little as each piston was pushed back, or something like that. He put a towel around the brake fluid filler area to catch the excess so it didn't overflow all over the engine and make a mess or worse.

My neighbor has been a mechanic for 30+ years and has done most of the work on my other cars over the years. I have to assume he knows what he's doing, work on other cars has been perfect, never an issue. I asked him if he would need any brake fluid, knowing that Maserati would take something unique that he might not have.

He mentioned that when they do brake jobs (and he just did one on my wife's Infiniti yesterday), he clamps the lines to prevent the fluid from backing up, I think he said that then some of the fluid might push back up and potentially back up into ABS pump or something like that on certain cars. I could have that slightly wrong. Then I think he bleeds a little on each brake, just to get rid of dirty/old fluid, and tops off.


Anyway, I always feel at the mercy of mechanics to tell the truth and do the right thing as I wouldn't know the difference. I just took my Ghibli in because of a low oil light, thinking warranty, no big deal. Local dealer - first time going to them - called me and said oil was pitch black and nasty and it needed an oil change. Also said filters were filthy, and I know they were a little dirty from inspection I got on the car before I bought it. Supposedly previous dealer performed year 3 service before putting the car up for sale, it was listed on the Carfax and I called to verify before buying it, no way oil should be that dirty, I'm only 6 months and 5000 miles in.

So... either previous Maserati dealer lied and skimped on a relatively simple service and just reset the light and moved on, or current dealer is lying to me, or I have some strange problem where the oil is getting dirtier from normal driving that no one has ever seen. Either way, I'm out $600 for the oil change and filters that I didn't plan on doing. Plus whatever else they "find" and try and charge me for. Plus having to worry about what damage perhaps was caused unbeknownst to me that will show up later on, probably when I'm out of warranty...

I don't mind spending money on things that are needed, want to keep the car in good running shape. But I try and do research to keep from getting screwed. I can only hope that when someone is doing something as simple as an oil change or brake job that they know what they are doing. The pads are arriving this week from AS Motorsports and now I'm nervous about even getting them replaced... Just trying to stay ahead of it so I don't have to replace rotors until next time.

In terms of brake fluid, I personally stick with the Tutela 4S. I usually have my customers flush it every other year just to be on the safe side (It's cheap enough when I do it for them). In terms of your oil being black after 5000 miles, these turbo motors make make oil look black after 2500 miles. If you saw the oil on some of the vehicles I service at 10k intervals you'd be blown away. I tell most of my customers if they own the car I'll give them discounted oil changes just to do it every 6k or 6 months. The engine oil (and the filter nonetheless) doesn't hold up in these cars and I'd rather err on the side of caution for someone who owns the vehicle and doesn't want to shell out an extra $25k for an engine. Rather spend $130 for an oil change and do 2 a year opposed to 1 a year at 12k and blow an engine... just my 2 cents.

And if you have any questions about service or repairs or anything or just want an opinion shoot me a PM. I'm from northern NJ and I service all Maseratis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does anyone know where I can get the Petronas Tutela DOT4 brake fluid for the car? I could call the dealer I suppose and try to buy it there, but I feel like they might be resistant. Can't find it domestically at all and a few places in Europe that I found it at won't ship to US.

Scott
 

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Trust me when I'm telling you the Petronas products are crap. There is nothing proprietary about the brake system on our Maseratis to require special fluids, it's Brembo all the way, they are recommending Petronas because they have an advertisement partnership, nothing more.

Go with Motul, Castrol or Brembo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got it. So follow up question...

If brake fluid is needed to top off the reservoir, and I pick up Motul let's say, and it mixes with the Petronas that's already in there, is that okay?

I'm going to clarify, but I believe my mechanic said that he clamps the lines to prevent the brake fluid from flushing back up, said that can cause issues in some cars. Then I think he bleeds the fluid from around the brake/caliper, which from what I understand is the dirtiest or most "used" fluid since I don't believe it circulates like oil. Then when done he tops off the reservoir with fresh fluid.

I think I have that right, just trying to recall snippets of a few conversations, I'm really dumb when it comes to car-related topics...

That's why I'm trying to figure out what to buy, just in case he needs fluid to top things off. Not sure if I should get everything bled and completely new fluid? And if so, can he do that on the Maserati, in other words, anything proprietary? Or would it be fine to just mix fluid from different manufacturers as long as it meets the specs? I realize the dry/wet boiling points could be different (I saw that on ads for the Motul and Castrol when I looked them up), but since I'm not tracking the car I'm thinking it shouldn't matter...

Just trying to save a few bucks vs. going to dealer and getting stuck for $2800 for brakes/rotors, but also not trying to jack something up in the process... :)

Thanks,
Scott
 

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Sigh... find another mechanic.


Don't mix fluids, don't top it off, replace the fluid.


The braking system is closed on the caliper side, and unless you take the pistons off to replace the seals (which you won't), nothing flushes back. If you push the pistons to replace the pads, the reservoir has enough space to accommodate a few ml of fluid and it won't overflow. Clamping the brake lines won't help with anything, the whole idea of the brake fluid is to be incompressible, even if it's contaminated with water (which old fluid usually is) you won't be able to compress it enough for a clamp to hold.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic which means it degrades with time by retaining water, that's why it needs to be replaced if you want to keep your braking system in tip-top condition.

Moreover, even if it wasn't hygroscopic, you don't know what fluid comes from the factory. As I said before they recommend Petronas because of an agreement, but they might put Brembo, ATE, or whatever brand liquid they have in stock in that particular day.



Brake jobs are extremely easy, you can even do it yourself if you have a jack, and no brake fluid should leak from the system if you do it correctly.


If you still worry about that, and you want to replace the fluid, find a good mechanic with a bleed pump and replace the fluid. You need about 1L and it will cost you a couple dozen bucks. The worst case scenario is that you will need another bleed nipple dustcover (I think that's how they're called in English) as they tend to get brittle with time and you might need to disable the ABS pump (which is not needed anymore with the newer systems).
 

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Several of the specialty fluids are going to be very difficult to find in the USA unless you order them by the case. Without checking on this one, chances are you'll be in the same boat w/ Petronas as they aren't represented well in the US. We would recommend RBF600 and have plenty in stock, if you need any. Have to agree with Toshy on this as well, you're going to do a full flush of the brake system which will pull through all fresh / clean fluid. We also offer upgraded a Stainless Steel Braided Brake Line Kit which can help provide a firmer pedal and overall more braking force. When customers purchase this kit we provide (3) bottles of RBF600 (500ml) and usually a good shop can get a good bleed through with only 2, leaving 1 left for top offs or in case there are any errors. Honestly 2 bottles is really just barely enough so you can get 3 to be safe.

If your mechanic is good with a bleed and doesn't do anything wrong to introduce air into the system, you should not need to worry about that ABS pump.

Hope that helps !
 

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In terms of brake fluid, I personally stick with the Tutela 4S. I usually have my customers flush it every other year just to be on the safe side (It's cheap enough when I do it for them). In terms of your oil being black after 5000 miles, these turbo motors make make oil look black after 2500 miles. If you saw the oil on some of the vehicles I service at 10k intervals you'd be blown away. I tell most of my customers if they own the car I'll give them discounted oil changes just to do it every 6k or 6 months. The engine oil (and the filter nonetheless) doesn't hold up in these cars and I'd rather err on the side of caution for someone who owns the vehicle and doesn't want to shell out an extra $25k for an engine. Rather spend $130 for an oil change and do 2 a year opposed to 1 a year at 12k and blow an engine... just my 2 cents.

And if you have any questions about service or repairs or anything or just want an opinion shoot me a PM. I'm from northern NJ and I service all Maseratis.
Please share your contact details - I may reach out to you for my Ghibli service - thanks
 

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In terms of brake fluid, I personally stick with the Tutela 4S. I usually have my customers flush it every other year just to be on the safe side (It's cheap enough when I do it for them). In terms of your oil being black after 5000 miles, these turbo motors make make oil look black after 2500 miles. If you saw the oil on some of the vehicles I service at 10k intervals you'd be blown away. I tell most of my customers if they own the car I'll give them discounted oil changes just to do it every 6k or 6 months. The engine oil (and the filter nonetheless) doesn't hold up in these cars and I'd rather err on the side of caution for someone who owns the vehicle and doesn't want to shell out an extra $25k for an engine. Rather spend $130 for an oil change and do 2 a year opposed to 1 a year at 12k and blow an engine... just my 2 cents.

And if you have any questions about service or repairs or anything or just want an opinion shoot me a PM. I'm from northern NJ and I service all Maseratis.
Where in north Jersey are you located? Send me details
 
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