For every oil change that I’ve been doing for the past 5 years, I’ve been using the same oil drain pan. The old one that I’ve been using was whichever one I found on the shelf at the O’Reilly Auto Parts store.
It’s a plain enclosed drain pan with a spout and cap for draining, a cap in the center, and a vent hole. After a few years of exposure to oil, the cap on the spout broke apart. This left me to wrap the spout with a used rag so that it didn’t drip whenever I was done draining the pan. I’ll admit, not the most refined fix, but simple and effective enough.
Honestly, I could have continued with doing oil changes using the same drain pan, but I happened to come across a deal on Amazon for this green oil drain pan. It had spectacular reviews, so ordering it was a no-brainer for me.
After getting it in the mail, I used it for an oil change on my 4Runner.
The oil pan is simple, a big piece of plastic in a vibrant Hulk-green color. It holds 4.5 gallons (or 16 liters) of fluid. The green color normally is designated for coolant, but I noticed that the black-colored pan had the same capacity. My will for the deal overcame my OCD tendencies in this case.
Unlike my old drain pan, this one has an open-air design so there is no need for a vent hole while pouring old oil out for recycling.
The pan has a lower profile and that helps significantly while draining. Sometimes with a drain pan that is too high, your arm is fighting the pan in order to get your hand up to where the oil drain plug is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped the bolt into the drain pan, effectively plugging it, and causing oil to overflow everywhere.
With this pan, I can easily hold the oil drain bolt securely as I loosen the last few threads.
I’m not sure if an open top drain pan is much better than an enclosed one. One issue I have is that if you want to keep the pan clean after doing an oil change, you need to wipe all of the old oil up before storage. With enclosed drain pans, there is no need to fully wipe everything up before storing away.
There are two handles (one on each side of the spout) with one more handle opposing the others. The two handles are hollow in fact hollow, acting as additional funnels to the main spout. I’d say that with pouring old oil into old containers to recycle, it is a lot easier to pour without spilling.
The handles are effective in providing a solid grip during this process. Throw in the open top design and multiple drain passages, and pouring old oil out into recyclable containers is a breeze.
If you don’t want a bunch of oil sitting in the pan while stored away in the garage, then wiping it down is a must. It took me 2-3 shop towels to get it clean enough for storage.
I have some reservation about residual oil dripping off the spout, but it seems the spout has a slight upwards angle to it and drops down at the very end. Therefore, as long as you wipe down the tip of the spout, there really should be no oil dripping off the spout when you have this thing stored away.
What can I say, it’s an oil (or other fluid) drain pan and it does what it’s supposed to do. However, I think there is much more to it than that. You can tell a lot of thought was put into the design, which makes an easy job such as an oil change, even easier.