Changing your oil is an important part of regular vehicle maintenance. Over time, oil can lose its fluidity and become overly viscous. Changing this oil will help keep your car’s internals well-lubricated and clean. When your car’s engine is lubricated and clean, it’ll provide a much smoother and quieter ride for your car. Remember, old oil accumulates dirt and pollutants, so changing it out will prevent these foreign particles from accumulating on your car’s important components. Also, a cleaner running car will greatly reduce the harmful emissions that it can produce as the result of using older oil.
Getting your car’s oil changed can be a somewhat expensive process, especially if you get it done regularly over the life of your car. To save some money, many people change their own oil. Doing so takes a few different components, but one of the most important components for this process is a well-functioning oil drain pan. These pans catch the old oil that you’ll be draining from your car so that you can safely dispose of it in an environmentally-friendly way.
Types of Oil Pans
There are several types of these pans, so let’s take a look at a few:
Oil Drip Pan – These tend to be a place where you can safely let your oil drip. Shaped like a basin, you simply place these types underneath the drain plug and remove the cap and let the oil flow into its body. These are very simple products that can vary in capacity. Once you’ve fully drained your oil tank, simply slide this type of product out from under your car and dispose of it safely. These can be made of metal, rubber, or any other material that can withstand the sometimes very hot oil from your car.
Oil Drain pan – These types of pans work very similarly to the other type but they can have a drain-style structure that will safely allow the oil to drain into the body of the pan. This type can also have a spigot that will let your more easily drain the oil out of the pan when it comes time for disposal.
Features to Look For
All drain pans can have some features that’ll make it easier to safely drain your oil such as:
Tight Seal – For those oil pans that you can cap, it’s very important that the seal is tight. The chemicals that you car uses for its smooth running can be caustic and very hot, so you don’t want them to potentially spill out and cause damage to you or your belongings. When looking for a pan of this type, check the seals and see if they have a rubber rim; these types will hold the liquids inside safely without any risk of spillage.
Strong Material Construction – The material of your oil pan is as important as its sealing mechanism. Since many people use oil pans for automobile chemicals outside of oil, it’s important for an oil pan to be able to handle these sometimes caustic substances without giving way or pitting. Some of the best pans on the market can handle antifreeze, oil, or gasoline without much effort. The best materials are galvanized steel and polyethylene; these materials will stand up to various chemicals for years.
Spouts – Many of the products on the market and the ones in this guide feature spouts that let you safely pour out the car chemicals that you’ve collected. These are very convenient as they reduce the chance of dangerous splash back. Car chemicals can be hot and caustic, so you’ll want to have a spout that will send the chemicals out and away from your body.
Capacity – How much oil is in your car will greatly depend on its make and model. For the most part, not many cars have a capacity of more than 15 quarts of oil, with most cars taking between four and five quarts. Always know how much oil your car needs before you buy an oil pan; no one wants to purchase an oil pan that can only hold five quarts but your car can hold seven.
|Item||Best Design Feature||Price||Rating|
|GarageBOSS 12.5 quart Oil Drain Pan with Funnel||The caps are nice and sealed for safe transport.||$25.67||Stars 4.5/5|
|Lumax LX-1632 Black 15 Quart Drainmaster Drain Pan and Waste Oil Storage||The design of this oil pan allows it to be stood up so that you can store the old oil.||$21.11||Stars 4.2/5|
|Behrens 2168 3-Gallon Seamless Drain/Utility Pan||This oil pan is made of galvanized steel that is strong and resistant to any automotive chemical.||$11.21||Stars 4.8/5|
|Capri Tools CP21021 Portable Oil Drain Pan, Anti-Freeze, Black||This container is very deep, virtually eliminating splashing.||$17.99||Stars 4.7/5|
|FloTool 42003MI Drain Container, 16 quart||This container has a air releasing cap that reduces sloshing.||$10.47||Stars 4.3/5|
|Hopkins 42004MI FloTool 24 Quart Drain Pan||You can store several vehicle’s worth of oil in this pan’s 24 quart capacity.||$27.97||Stars 4.3/5|
|Midwest Can Company Closed Top Drain Pan – 9qt. 6601||This product has a well-designed simply shaping that makes using it a cinch.||$22.10||Stars 4.5/5|
1) GarageBOSS 12.5 quart Oil Drain Pan with Funnel
This GarageBoss product is unique on our list; it’s the only product of its type that you’ll see here that has an integrated funnel. This adds a lot of great convenience to this particular product as all you’ll have to do is let the oil flow directly into the funnel. The funnel easily channels the oil flow into the 12.5 quart container, which you can then seal and store until it’s full.
The 12.5 quart capacity is a good amount because it’ll let your store more than one oil change’s worth of oil. In addition to this, this pan is also very thin, which makes it very easy to fit under the majority of cars, especially if they are jacked up. When it comes time to safely dispose of the old oil, all you’ll have to do is remove the tightly-sealed cap and pour the oil where it needs to go.
2) Lumax LX-1632 Black 15 Quart Drainmaster Drain Pan and Waste Oil Storage
Our second product has a very unique design and a 15 quart capacity that’s perfect for storing several oil change’s worth of old oil. One of the more useful features of this pan is its wheels. These wheels rest under the pan so that you can easily roll it under a car when you need to drain. Also, once you remove the red cap, this pan has a fairly large orifice for oil collection. This red cap is secured with an O-ring seal that helps reduce the overall amount of potential leakage from the pan.
Another really useful feature that we really liked was the two sturdy handles at the top of the container. These are great for hefting the pan, especially when it is heavy with old oil. While this is a plastic container, it definitely has no issues storing other chemicals like antifreeze and gasoline.
3) Behrens 2168 3-Gallon Seamless Drain/Utility Pan
Our next product has a very classic style of design. It doesn’t have a spout or a specific oil-catching area, but will easily provide some great convenience when you need to change the oil. What we think makes this a great oil pan is the fact that it’s made of extra strong galvanized steel. This means that this pan will be able to hold oil, antifreeze, gasoline, or any other hot or caustic liquid inside of itself without you having to worry about material degradation or wear.
In addition to this, even though there’s no sealing mechanism for this pan, carrying it from place to place is made much easier by the rigidity of its construction. Galvanized steel won’t flex or deform, so you won’t have to worry too much about accidentally spilling it because you squeezed its sides too hard. This product also holds a lot; it has a 3 gallon capacity (12 quarts), so you’ll be able to store oil from larger vehicles like semis easily.
4) Capri Tools CP21021 Portable Oil Drain Pan, Anti-Freeze, Black
Our next pan is another basin-type of oil pan that is deep and has a high capacity so that you can store a lot of oil from a large vehicle or store multiple amounts of oil from several standard-sized ones. What we really liked about this particular product is the fact that Capri Tools used a lipped design for the edge of the pan. As you may know, during the winter months, people like to start their car up in order to change their oil. The heat generated from the engine makes oil less viscous, and thusly, it’s easier to pour for an oil change. At the same time, hot oil is dangerous oil, so having a lip really prevents dangerous splashes.
When you need to dispose of the oil, this product incorporates a spout so that pouring the liquid is controlled and steady.
5) FloTool 42003MI Drain Container, 16 quart
The FloTool 42003MI Drain Container has some great design notes that make changing your oil a little more convenient. It lays flat and can be turned upright when full, and it also has two dedicated areas for storing the additional necessary components of an oil change. Firstly, it stores the used oil filter that you’ll need to drain and change; the product has a specific indentation for this old device. Secondly, In addition to this, there is also a spot to store your car’s oil plug as well.
The cap on the body of the body of this product doesn’t have a rubber seal or gasket, but for the most part it doesn’t leak much, if at all. We also really liked the vent cap for this product so that air can flow in and out of the container.
6) Hopkins 42004MI FloTool 24 Quart Drain Pan
The Hopkins 42004MI FloTool 24 Quart Drain Pan has a great design that we thought was relatively unique. Firstly, it lays down similarly to our first, second, and fifth drain pans, but when it lays down, it has some relatively unique features. First, when you change your oil, you should always change your oil filter as well. With this in mind, this product’s oil draining surface actually incorporates a storage area for the old filter so that you can drain it of old oil as well without it sliding during the drainage process.
When using this product, simply lay it down and remove the pan’s plug to provide an entryway for the old oil. This product has a very high capacity; it’ll easily store 24 quarts of oil or other car chemicals, which means that you can use this product for several vehicles or over a period of several oil changes. This means that if you have a large vehicle, then this is the product for you; as a matter of fact Hopkins designed this particular product to handle vehicles that have larger oil capacities specifically.
7) Midwest Can Company Closed Top Drain Pan – 9qt. 6601
Our final featured product is the Midwest Can Company Closed Top Drain Pan. Like the Behrens 2168, this is a fairly simple product that you simply roll under your vehicle and catch the oil that’s freed during the oil change. The product has two drip holes that let oil drain into the main reservoir. This means that once you’re done with this pan, it’s really a cinch to clean.
This pan is also very durable; it’s made from polyethylene and will resist the majority of chemicals that your drain into it, including petroleum. This particular product is considered a classic, and many do-it-yourself oil changers consider it one of the better oil changing pans on the market today because of its simple design and ease-of-use.
Having one of these oil pans handy when you’re changing your oil and fluids will greatly improve the convenience of the overall process. Dumping your oil straight out of your car is terrible for the environment and in many places illegal.
Many of the products that we’ve featured here are great options for quickly storing your fluids for later disposal but if we had to pick a favorite, we’d probably choose the Hopkins 42004MI FloTool 24 Quart Drain Pan. It’s a great little product that has a huge capacity so that you can execute several oil changes before you need to dispose. Also, since this pan has such a great design, it’s really easy to fill it via its side mounted basin, seal it up, and store it for another session.
If you’re seeking the best bang for your buck, we really like the classic reliability of the Behrens 2168 3-Gallon Seamless Drain/Utility Pan. It has a very simple design and is made of galvanized steel that won’t flex dangerously as you carry your oil away to be disposed of. Out of all of the products on this list this one probably has the highest level of overall durability.