Oil and other engine fluids can be a significant pain in the neck. The substances inside these fluids are hard to clean, and they’re prone to slosh all over.
Now, if you don’t want to have grease all over your body, it’s a good idea to get the best oil drain pan. Having an incredible drain pan will ensure that you’ll do minimal cleaning after draining!
My Top 5 Picks
Last update on 2023-06-08 at 06:08 PST - Details
Hopkins’ Flo Tool is my editor’s pick because it’s everything you’d want in a drain pan. First, you’ll get a drain pan while having a container at the same time. This kind of drain pan will be discussed further in the value section.
But simply put, you’ll not only get to drain the oil flawlessly, but you’ll also be able to store it. Some products like my alternative pick do not give you that option. Besides this cool feature, FloTool checks all the boxes.
Durability is no problem since it uses heavy-duty plastic that prevents leaks and spills. It also comes with two reliable plugs that keep the container airtight. Not to mention, the oil pan itself is easy to use too!
We do not like
Capri Tools has been a leading brand in manufacturing high-quality tools and equipment. They are famous for mechanical and automotive technology, so it’s no surprise that they’re on top of my list as the runner-up.
One of the very first things you’ll notice with Capri Tools is the subtle sheen that they use on their products. That can either come in black or green and also makes it anti-scratch. That’s why it’s an incredibly durable oil drain pan.
However, one of the best features here is its full drain pan. It’s full and thick enough to prevent any splashes, guaranteeing a clean oil change. Besides this, you’ll also love the pan’s lip that’s designed to be anti-splash! Admittedly, it can’t be better than that!
We do not like
For our budget pick, we’ve chosen ATD Tools’ 5184 Black Drain Pan. Aside from its low price, ATD Tools’ Black oil drain pan is also versatile due to its capacity of four and a half gallon.
It features an anti-splash lip which is meant to contain fluid and avoid spillages. The handle has a form that makes it much more durable and at the same time easy to use. It’s an incredibly straight-forward drain pan, and with its low price, you won’t be disappointed!
We do not like
Matrix Concepts’ oil drain container is my upgrade pick because of its price and quality. If you have a few extra dollars to spare for quality, this one might be for you. It’s my second oil drain container along with FloTool.
Like FloTool, it has reliable plugs that keep the oil secure when storing. Furthermore, you’ll get a massive oil chamber for storing large quantities of oil. Of course, the spill factor is taken care off by a full oil pan too.
We do not like
Lumax Drainmaster is my niche pick for this article because of its natural use features. It has a unique structure compared to the others. That’s because it’s designed to be a great drain pan for DIY car owners.
It has two handles, a circular oil pan, and a convenient spout. I love the Lumax because it’s the best drain pan for a DIY person like me. Also, the capacity and other features aren’t that great for mechanics
We do not like
How the oil drain pan works
Oil drain pans aren’t known worldwide because it’s entirely new to the market. But that doesn’t mean it’s trending. In fact, there’s a surge in purchasing these cheap yet reliable drain pans in a lot of online retail sites.
Before the oil drain pan, there was
The reason for this trend is that previous drain pans are either DIY pans or simple basins. With regards to DIY pots, a lot of car owners use them. Usually, these makeshift pans are made out of empty motor oil containers with one side removed.
While quite ingenious and practical, the cheap plastic containers tend to splosh the oil all over. That’s because it doesn’t have a specialized material that handles the viscosity of the engine oil.
Another problem here is that DIY oil drain pans tend to leak and spill the oil when you’re about to lift it for draining. Again, this is because it was never designed to work as a good draining pan.
Another standard item that many car owners rely on before is a basin. Basins can be quite useful in catching the motor oil. It has a large circumference, and its plastic is pretty good too. However, like the DIY drain pan, the problem happens when you’re about to transfer the oil. Splashes and other possible spills can occur which leads to a mess!
Critical traits of an oil drain pan
So, now that we’ve discussed the two standard and cheaper alternatives, it’s time to talk about oil drain pans. For starters, it’s essential for us to remember that oil drain pans come in all shapes and sizes. It depends on the manufacturer and company.
For one, oil drain pans can appear like another basin that car owners use. On the other hand, it can resemble a motor oil container too. It’s arguable to say that these drain pans copied the structure of those cheap alternatives. However, it enhanced it by adding several innovative features.
Enclosed oil chamber
Some oil drain pans have enclosed chambers that trap the oil and prevents it from spilling.The oil chamber is practically the drain pan itself.
That is because these types of drain pans are hollow by nature. They are like motor oil containers, except they have a built-in catcher (we’ll talk about this later). The drain pan catches the oil, then transfers it inside through a hole located in the middle of the pan.
The beauty of having this chamber is that it’s locked tightly after all of the oil enters it. The oil is primarily trapped, so you can carry the pan without worrying about leaks! If you think about it, it works like a DIY motor oil container, except it has a built-in oil pan!
The plugs of an oil drain pan go hand-in-hand with the pot and the chamber. Usually, you’ll see two caps in a drain pan. The first is the plug for the catcher. That covers the hole in the middle of the pan which is responsible for transferring the oil to the chamber.
On the other hand, the second plug functions to keep the air out of the chamber when draining. That is another innovative feature that solves a lot of problems with the alternatives.
Also known as the “breather plug,” this plug works by loosening it once the oil starts entering the pan, down to the chamber. Since engine oils are usually viscous, it tends to implode when the room does not have enough air. This can cause a mess, so be sure to keep that breather plug open when using the pan.
Spouts are probably one of the most convenient factors to consider when buying this product. Similar to the DIY motor oil container, drain pans have spouts where you can throw or pour the oil properly. That prevents spillage, and it makes draining precise.
The difference with the spout of a legitimate oil drain pan is its security. Unlike the DIY spouts, oil drain pan spouts are designed to pour large quantities of heavy oils. Thanks to this, you can throw away the crude faster but with fewer spills.
Tips and Tricks to remember
Some important reminders before buying an oil drain pan include looking at its shape, additional features, and material. Above, we discussed some of the main features that you should check before buying an oil drain pan. Now, we’ll give some additional info that a regular buyer misses.
Handles are quite trivial when it comes to an oil drain pan. That helps you carry your oil drain pan with comfort. But you might not find it essential. You’ll soon realize that it’s a must when the container is full. An oil drain pan without a handle can give you problems both in carrying and cleaning.
Getting an oil drain pan doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be getting a high-quality material. With that said, focus on the kind of the plastic used. However, at the same time, try to look if it’s comfortable to carry.
Height and capacity
Here’s another thing that you might miss out. The purpose of having oil drain pans is to slide it beneath your vehicle. An oil drain pan that’s too big might spell trouble for cars with lower clearances.
Meanwhile, capacity varies depending on the vehicle. For example, if you own an SUV, it will need a more extensive ability to drain out all that oil.That’s why the safest option is to get a high-quality oil drain pan with a large size.
With this, I hope why you understood I chose FloTool by Hopkins for my editor’s pick. FloTool gives you all-around benefits at an affordable price. Not only does it gets the job done in draining, but you’ll also store used oil easily.
Of course, it’s also great to have a durable oil drain pan like FloTool. However, do understand that this is solely my preference. With that said, feel free to check the other picks that I’ve listed. Buy the product that makes you happy!
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