If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best motor oil drain pan is, then we recommend the Hopkins FloTool 42003MI Drain Container as the best one.
If you’re in the habit of performing your vehicle oil change by yourself, you know how frustrating it is to try to scrub away spilled oil marks. And how difficult it is to try to convince witnesses that you truly didn’t murder anyone in your garage. Those dark stains on your hands and clothes are not making it easier.
A good oil drain pan can save you from messy spills and their aftermath. Read our review to find the best oil drain pan to assist you with your vehicle periodic oil change.
Here are the best oil drain pans we recommend:
- Do I Need an Oil Drain Pan?
- How to Choose the Best Oil Drain Pan
- These are the Best Oil Drain Pans
- Best Overall: Hopkins FloTool 42003MI Drain Container
- Honorable Mention: Capri Tools CP21021 Oil Drain Pan
- Bonus Tool: Drymate Vehicle Maintenance/Oil Spill Mat
Do I Need an Oil Drain Pan?
An oil drain pan is a container specially designed to assist you in the motor oil change process. You place it under the oil drain plug, ready to catch all spurts and squirts getting out of the sump and the oil filter.
Why can’t I just use a bucket for that?
Good question! There are many reasons why a proper oil catch pan is better than an old bucket.
First of all, keep in mind that most passenger vehicles require 4.5 to 7.5 liters (5 to 8 quarts) of oil. So you’d need a bucket with that capacity and a form factor that would allow it to fit under your vehicle.
Secondly, if you’ve run the engine before draining, the oil will be quite hot, so you’d need a bucket able to sustain high temperatures.
Finally, even if you were able to get away without spills during the draining process, you’d still have to dispose of the old oil. That means transferring it to another container, usually a large bottle, that you can then take to an auto parts store or service station for safe disposal. Good luck doing that spill-free with a plain old bucket!
A good oil change pan will solve all of the aforementioned problems.
It will have a shorter and larger form factor so as to be able to fit under your vehicle, cover a greater area from spills, and hold all of the drained engine oil.
It will be made of durable heat-resistant high-quality materials.
Finally, the best oil drain pans will also help you disposing of the old oil with features for safe carrying and easy, spill-free pouring.
How to Choose the Best Oil Drain Pan
When selecting the best oil draining container, keep an eye out for the following features.
First things first, you want a product that is able to hold the amount of oil in your car. Certainly not less, but not too much more either as portability would suffer in vain. Keep in mind that most passenger vehicles hold between 5 and 8 quarts (4.5 to 7.5 liters) of oil.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for double that, so about 16 quarts, so that you’ll be able to comfortably drain the oil twice (or from two vehicles) without issues. Don’t go much higher than that though, or you’ll find yourself hauling unwieldy pans around for no reason.
Size and Shape
The oil sump and the drain plug are practically always located under the vehicle so that oil can be drained simply using gravity. Therefore, you want a short but large drain pan that is able to fit under your vehicle and cover a larger area from spills.
Ease of Transportation
Look for products that will be easy to carry and safely transport to the recycle/disposal location. Handles, a sealing cap, and a large, stable base will all be great features to make the task easier.
A spout is a must-have feature if you want to pour out the old oil without having to worry about spilling it. Your oil drain pan will have to be emptied eventually, so it only makes sense to find one with a spout.
Quality and durability
As always, keep an eye out for durable, high-grade materials that will stand the test of time. You’ll want your oil drain pan to be heat-resistant to tolerate the possibly high temperature of your vehicle oil. Additionally, if metal parts are present, look for anti-rust and anti-corrosion features. Oil drain pans are very inexpensive, so don’t be afraid to drop a few more bucks to get a high-quality one.
These are the Best Oil Drain Pans
Best Overall: Hopkins FloTool 42003MI Drain Container
This product brings a real sense of ease to an oil change – and if you’ve ever done one, you’ll probably appreciate any product that makes the whole process that bit easier.
The FloTool 42003MI by Hopkins is our pick for the best oil drain pan. It manages to make the whole oil change easier by combining two necessary parts of the process into one simple product. First of all, it acts as a drip tray with a nice, wide catching area for the oil stream. Secondly, it acts as a container for the used oil with secure leak-proof caps, and a great design for easy carrying.
It can be stored upright or on its side for easy transport to your local disposal point. It has a robust carrying handle, and the 16 quarts capacity (15 liters) is so generous that you can get two full oil changes out of this pan before emptying it.
It’s made of durable, high-quality materials, and will assist you in your oil changes for years, no doubt.
Honorable Mention: Capri Tools CP21021 Oil Drain Pan
The Capri Tools’ is a good oil drain pan with great features and a high-quality design that earns it an honorable mention in our review.
It is a large oil drain pan, with a diameter of 15 inches and a depth of 6, able to hold up to 4.5 gallons (17 liters) of oil. Its low profile makes it easy to fit it underneath cars with low clearance and limited space.
It comes with a built-in spout for easy-pouring, molded handles, and an anti-splash lip to avoid oil spills. Capri Tools’ drain pan is made of high-density polyethylene material so it will last for a long time.
The only drawback of this drain pan is the lack of a lid to cover the basin and a cap to seal the spout. This can make transporting old oil precarious depending on how full it is. It’d probably be better to transfer the fluid from it to an empty oil or milk bottle and carry that to the disposal point.
If you don’t mind this, or our top pick is not available, we definitely recommend Capri Tools’ drain pan as the best alternative.
Bonus Tool: Drymate Vehicle Maintenance/Oil Spill Mat
To completely eliminate the risk of getting oil spills on the floor, and further increase the ease of changing your vehicle oil, we absolutely recommend having a maintenance mat.
And Drymate’s is in our experience the absolute best.
Its absorbent material traps and contains leaks and spills. It’s waterproof and prevents fluid from seeping through, keeping your floor clean. It is slip-resistant for secure placement, and you can clean with just soap and water.
On top of it all, it’s made of environmentally-friendly, recycled fibers from plastic bottles. So you’ll actually contribute to make the Earth a better place.
Just get one and use it during all your vehicle maintenance tasks.
A good oil drain pan can free you of the mess of oil spills and the stress of trying to clean them when changing your vehicle oil.
The best oil drain pan in our experience is the Hopkins FloTool 42003MI Drain Container. Buy it now to make your vehicle oil maintenance experience a whole lot easier. And cleaner.