A Guide To The best oil drain pan

I used to change my own oil when I was in college to save a few bucks. An oil change would cost around $40 or more especially since I used synthetic oil. I driving my Eclipse on ramps and then crawling under the engine to unscrew the bolt from the oil pan.

My dad always had a big plastic bin which I’d use to drain the oil. It worked. That’s all I needed it to do is catch the oil.

Fast forward to today and oil pans have come a long way.

Now they are perfectly designed to prevent any spills or leaks and they are fairly cheap. They bring a sense of ease to an oil change which can already be a stressful operation. Especially if I make a mess.

Most oil drain pans are constructed with anti-spill measures in mind. Whether this involves a cover or anti-splash edges, they are designed to protect my from spilling oil all over the place.

That’s worth it for me. It’s a pain to clean up oil off a concrete driveway.

By spending a little bit of money, I can avoid the disastrous messes and hours spent cleaning up spilled oil. The best oil drain pan will simplify your entire operation and make changing oil much easier. Once I used a newer one, I never went back to my DIY plastic Rubbermaid bin from my younger years.

Best Overall

ATD Tools Heavy Duty Drain Tub

This is my pick as the best option for an oil drain pan.

You can easily drain crankcases, transmissions, radiators, and differentials on trucks and cars. Engineers designed this pan to easily and quickly catch and then dispose of oil through the large pour spout design.

This oil drain pan is heavy duty, rugged, and reliable. It’s neither cheap nor flimsy when you compare it to others on the market. You can use it, clean it, and then use it again without any problems.

As an added bonus, this pan is also fairly large. It has a 30 quart capacity which is plenty for any project. The plastic is strong enough to hold up underneath the weight of gallons of oil. Oil emptied from a large motor can be heavy and hard to manage.

It won’t bend or flex, so you won’t need to worry about spilling oil. The design is also small enough to slide under the rear ends of vehicles. 

It’s large enough to catch any oil drip while remaining small enough to fit underneath cars.

This is my choice as the best overall oil drain pan on the market. If you’re looking for one that will last years, then this is the one!

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Budget Pick

Lumax LX-1632 Drainmaster Drain Pan

This is the best drain pan if you don’t want to spend a lot.

It has a number of great features and is still made from high-quality materials.

Oil changes are mess free and simple with the help of the Lumax design. The 15 quart capacity is plenty for this portable oil drain pan. The handles are comfortable and even include grips. Once you have drained oil and screwed on the cap, all you have to do is carry it to recycle or store the oil. The large opening pour spout lets you easily transfer the used oil.

As a nice feature, the Lumax also has a large plastic grill above the mouth which will catch the drain plug if you happen to drop it. There are a set of wheels which make it easy to roll the pain back out from under a car or truck. Lumax likes to call this slosh-free mobility.

Pros

  • The 15 quart capacity is enough for most oil changes.
  • These products are high-quality and crafted in the USA.
  • The comfortable, ergonomic handles make it easy to pour out.

Cons

  • Some users found the plastic may bend underneath the weight of the oil.
  • The opening is a little smaller than other products, so you’ll need to position it carefully when draining.
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Runner Up

Capri Tools Portable Oil Drain Pan

The Capri Tools Portable Drain Pan is made from a super-tough polyethylene material. It has handles and will stay rigid and strong regardless of how much oil is dumped into it. It’s inexpensive and simple to use. While it may be lacking a few features, it makes up for this in other design areas.

With a capacity of about 4.5 gallons, this pan is large enough for nearly any job. An anti-splash lip helps prevent oil from sloshing out of the pan if moved. But it is lacking a plastic grill or net to catch a drain plug or tools. If you accidentally drop one, you’ll need to go fishing for it!

This pan is also fairly wide, and it does not have a cover. You’ll need to be extra careful when you’re carrying the pan. The pour spout will help you easily transfer the used oil to a recycling container.

Pros

  • The anti-splash lip does a great job of keeping liquids from splashing out.
  • The pan is crafted from tough, high-quality material that won’t bend or flex.
  • The polyethylene material is simple and easy to clean.

Cons

  • It does not have a plastic grill, so any dropped items may be lost in a sea of old oil.
  • It doesn’t have a cover so the oil may spill while you’re carrying the pan.
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Best Low Profile Oil Drain Pan

Goplus Portable Low Profile Oil Drain Pan

I always needed to drive my Mitsubishi Eclipse on ramps because it was too low to the ground for be to get uner it. This is where a low profile drain pain would have come in handy for me.

For lowered cars or even big rigs I recommend the Goplus Portable Oil Drain Pan. If you don’t have a pit, hoist, or lift to help, this is the one I recommend. This product really helps as long as you can still get under the car or truck to unscrew the drain plug.

This one has a unique no-spill design along with an 8ft hose for emptying. It has a capacity of 17 gallons so you can empty a number of vehicles before emptying it.

Speaking of emptying it, there’s a hand pump to help with that. When you’re ready to empty it, position the hose and turn the pump by hand.

It also has four wheels which makes it easy to slide underneath cars that are low to the ground. The wheels make it easy to maneuver the entire pan. The tank is crafted from a high-quality blend of polypropylene which is light weight but still durable.

The long-reach handle design also makes it easy to position this drain pan underneath the engine.

Pros

  • The drain pan has a very small height and will slide in easily
  • With the wheels and 8ft hose, you can maneuver it and use it for a large number of vehicles.
  • The tank is durable, and a capacity of 17 gallons is great. You won’t need to empty it out after every use.

Cons

  • It often lacks the necessary amount of suction to completely empty the tank if you’re removing the oil.
  • The handle is not extremely-reliable. A number of users have remarked that it feels wiggly and may break off after a few uses.
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Best Oil Drain Pan For A Lift

ARKSEN 20 Gallon Portable Oil Drain Tank

This is the best option if you’ve got a lift or a pit for oil changes.

This drain pan is unique from the others because of the venturi vacuum system. Hook up your shop compressor and now you can remove any fluids from other parts of the vehicle. The vacuum also lets you remove the oil for transfer to another container for recycling.

It will hold up-to 20 gallons of oil. This means that you can use it over and over again without needing to go through the process of draining and cleaning it every single time.

It’s made from a heavy duty steel design which will never bend underneath the weight of the gallons of oil. This product is height adjustable so you can perfectly position it to fit underneath any vehicle whether it is a car, truck, or SUV.

It’s easily maneuverable with smooth rolling casters and wheels. With this portable oil drain pan, you won’t need to worry about sloshing or spilling the used oil inside.

Some users have noticed an occasional manufacturing defect. Users have noticed that the product sometimes arrives with a small hole where the down tube meets the funnel. Just plug the hole to avoid this leak.

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Best Motorcycle Oil Drain Pan

OEMTOOLS Low Profile Oil Drain Pan

This is the best option for draining oil from a motorcycle. It’s low profile and can easily get under a motorcycle chassis.

While most oil drain pans are made to properly service cars and other vehicles, there are a number of products viable specifically for motorcycle oil changes.

This product is crafted from a heavy duty, chemically resistant blend of plastic which will hold up underneath the weight of oil. It has a capacity of 2.8 quarts which should work well for motorcycles. The unique pour spout design has a large opening which will keep you from spilling any oil when you’re finished.

With a sloped design, the OEM drain pan will slide underneath your cycle and catch all of the oil as it drains. It’s short and small enough to slide under a motorcycle.

This product has a number of great features. The plastic is high-quality and it’s rigid. It maintains enough stability so you won’t need to worry about oil sloshing around.

But this oil drain pan does not have many anti splash measures in place. There is no cover or any lipped edges to prevent oil from splashing out. You’ll need to be careful to avoid any spills. The 2.8 quarts of capacity is also less than other options on the market.

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How do you clean a funnel after an oil change?

First, I recommend letting the funnel sit for a few minutes to drain as much oil as possible. Let most of the oil drip off from the funnel without getting it onto your hands.

Then wipe out the excess with a paper towel. You are done here as long as you use this funnel as dedicated just for motor oil.

If you need to clean it further, I suggest a solvent such as WD-40. Spray the funnel and then wipe it down with a paper towel.

I also recommend keeping your funnels separated by use. This way you can have a funnel dedicated to oil draining and you won’t need to clean it every time.

What Can I Use as an Oil Drain Pan?

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have access to an oil drain pan you can be creative. One alternative is a Rubbermaid Commercial Utility Box. It is made from a durable blend of plastic. It even has reinforced handles and the bottom won’t flex because of the weight of the oil. It’s flat and will sit on the ground.

The plastic is also fairly easy to clean. You should be able to wipe it out with paper towels and then spray the rest off with a hose. That said, it’s extremely cheap, and you could use this Rubbermaid Box solely for oil draining and avoid cleaning it fully out.

It’s easy to carry, and it will get the job done. Know that it’s lacking most of the features of oil drain pans. While it will catch the oil, you’ll need to be extremely careful to avoid spilling. It also doesn’t have any wheels or features which will help you maneuver it.

How do you make a drain pan?

If you’re really running out of ways, you can go the DIY route and make your own drain pan. Look around your house for some old plastic oil cans, plastic bins, or even gallon jugs of milk with the top cut off.

In the most desperate of situations, one option is to find any 5 quart oil bottle. Take a knife to cut the plastic off of the front of the bin, creating a wide opening and receptacle for the oil. Basically, you should remove the front of the can where you see the branding. Then, once you have a wide enough area to capture and catch the draining oil, you’re finished.

Once you’ve finished creating your DIY oil drain pan, you’ll need to be a lot more careful during the entire process. Make sure it’s positioned well and have a plan in place for disposing of the old oil canister.

Conclusion

I’ve gone though long list of options to help you find the best oil drain pan. Whether you work in a mechanic shop or do your own oil changes, you’re bound to find an answer with one of these options. Enjoy saving money changing your own oil!

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Jason Caldwell

Jason Caldwell

Car Fanatic. Performance Geek. Flathead lover.

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