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Best Oil Drain Pans: A Great Tool for Keeping Oil Changes Clean

Avoid messy spills and ruined floors when changing your car’s oil.

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BYPatrick George/ LAST UPDATED ON November 8, 2021

If you are in the habit of changing your own oil, then you can’t really even get started until you’re ready with an oil drain pan. Not only are these great for avoiding messy spills in your garage or driveway, but they are also perfect for transporting used oil to recycling centers so that sludge doesn’t end up in your local water supply or contaminating your home’s ground.


But which pan is the best for you? We’ve pulled together a list of our picks for the best oil drain pans available to help you decide which drain pan can best serve you.

Best Overall

ATD Tools Drain Pan

Summary

A high-quality oil drain pan made  of polyurethane and designed to make oil changes both easy and clean.

Pros
  • Lightweight design
  • Has a spout to minimize spilling used oil
  • Large mouth for easy collection
  • Handles to help with transport
Cons
  • No lid which can make transporting used oil tricky
  • If the drain pan is full, some oil can come out through spout if jostled
Best Value

Custom Accessories Oil Drain Pan

Summary

This deep drain tub can hold 6 quarts and has a notched pour spout. You can buy one tub or a set of two.

Pros
  • Smaller tub is nice for smaller vehicles and cramped spaces
  • Durable construction
Cons
  • Lip doesn’t prevent splashing 
  • Pour spout is poorly designed
Honorable Mention

ATD Tools Heavy-Duty Drain Tub

Summary

This large tub can hold up to 30 quarts of liquid and measures 33 by 22 by 8 inches. It has a notch for pouring. It’s made from hard plastic for durability.

Pros
  • One side has a large flat apron for washing or draining smaller parts
  • Solid tub construction prevents splashing
Cons
  • Tub is large and has an awkward shape 
  • Pour spout is too rounded, which makes it hard to pour into small containers
Best Oil Drain Pans: A Great Tool for Keeping Oil Changes Clean

Designed to make oil changes efficient and clean, this black plastic 4.5-gallon drain pan has some great features and a high-quality design that earns it top marks overall in this review. This is a large drain pan with a stout shape that is perfect for homeowners with limited space for a jack. 

This oil drain container measures 6 inches deep by 15.25 inches in diameter, making it great not only for getting into tight spaces but also for collecting quarts of oil without making a mess. It comes with a built-in pour spout, molded handles, and an anti-splash lip that all help make oil changes easy. ATD drain pans are constructed from high-grade Polyethylene material so they will last for a long time.


One drawback to this drain pan is the lack of a lid to cover the mouth. This can make transporting old oil precarious depending on how full it is. If you have to fill this drain pan to capacity, make sure to do it slowly; otherwise, backflow can come out of the spout and spill onto the floor. The anti-spill lip could also be too small to avoid spills.

Specs:

  • 4.5 gallons of fluid capacity
  • Dedicated drain spout
  • Anti-splash lip around the pan

Pros:

  • High capacity
  • Some decent anti-splash technology
  • Affordable for the quality of drain pan

Cons:

  • No lid to cover the pan
  • Anti-spill lip still too small
  • No cap to cover the drain spout

This drain pan is capable of holding six quarts of liquid and its high walls help it prevent messy spills. It’s an affordable pan, and it can come as a single drain pan or as a twin pack. This makes it ideal if you want to work on multiple vehicles in the same day. There’s a notched pour spout to help prevent spills when transferring the liquid. This tub is great for working on smaller vehicles. The plastic construction makes it durable, slightly flexible, and easy to clean. The small diameter makes it ideal for cramped working conditions. 


Unfortunately, once the tub is full, it can be a challenge to move it without spilling. The liquid can slosh out if you move it too quickly. There’s no baffling on the edge to prevent this. The spout can also allow for over-pouring, so you’ll need to be careful.

Specs:

  • Six quarts of fluid capacity
  • Deep pan design helps prevent spills
  • Single-piece molding

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Simple design
  • Decent oil capacity

Cons:

  • Spills happen easily thanks to pan wall design
  • Not good to run near full capacity thanks to design
  • Folks have reported some quality issues like cracking

This large 30-quart drain tub helps with the collection of a larger variety of vehicle fluids. The dimensions of the tub are 33 inches long, 22 inches wide, and 8 inches deep. There’s a notch on the tub for spill-free pouring. 

The large apron on one side is an excellent feature unique to this tub on our list. This gives you a flat surface for washing or draining smaller parts. The pan is made from hard plastic, which gives it stability and prevents flexing while moving, this helps to prevent possible sloshing and spillage. It also helps the tub to support the full weight of the liquid when full. 


The downside of this tub is that its large size makes storing it a challenge when not in use. The drain spout is rounded, which makes it difficult to pour into smaller-mouthed containers. 

Specs:

  • 30-quart fluid capacity
  • Large draining apron
  • Dimensions: 33 in. L, 22 in. W, and 8 in. D

Pros:

  • High capacity for the price
  • Unique drain apron for longer reach
  • Large dimensions help catch all draining fluids

Cons:

  • Large enough to be cumbersome to store and maneuver
  • Poorly designed drain spout for smaller containers like an oil jug
  • No anti-spill tech

This large, open square drain pan is ideal for sliding under your vehicle to catch anything from liquids to parts. It can even be used under your parked car to prevent drips from staining your garage floor or parking space. It measures 40.25 inches long, 28.25 inches wide, 5 inches deep, and can hold an impressive 71 quarts. This pan is built from durable and chemical-resistant polyethylene. This prevents it from bending or warping while carrying or pouring. This pan is also designed to be stackable with itself for compact storage of multiple pans. 


Unfortunately, there are diagonal ridges in the bottom of the pan that make it harder to clean. It also lacks a specific pour notch or spout, which makes pouring from the corner a challenge, making it difficult for a single person to drain the pan.

Specs:

  • 71-quart fluid capacity
  • Large rectangular shape
  • Polyethylene construction

Pros:

  • Large surface area for catching drips
  • Large capacity
  • Easy to store and use

Cons:

  • No dedicated drain spout
  • Expensive for lack of features
  • Not low-car friendly for driveway spill catching

This portable drain pan on wheels is great for sliding under your vehicle. It’s a rectangular-shaped pan with a screen guard over it to stop larger debris from getting into the pan. It has a handle to push the pan on its four 4-inch caster wheels and, most importantly, it can hold up to 17 gallons of liquid. Attached at one end is an 8-foot hose and hand pump for versatility. 

The pan is made from high-impact polypropylene that enables it to be both lightweight and durable. You’ll find it easy to maneuver and durable enough for long-term use. 


The downside of this pan is that the pump can start to leak. It’s not an electric pump, which makes using it a manual effort. The wheels aren’t as durable as the drain pan and may need replacing. 

Specs:

  • 17-gallon fluid capacity
  • Mounted on four wheels
  • 8-foot hose and hand pump

Pros:

  • Easy use without having to lay on the floor
  • Large capacity
  • Fluid pump makes every job cleaner

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not practical for most at-home mechanics
  • Fluid pump can leak

If you have a low-profile vehicle or motorcycle, this low-profile drain pan is great for collecting oil and other fluids. It’s made from durable ABS plastic and measures 26.8 inches long by 15.7 inches wide and 2.8 inches deep. It’s designed to hold the oil from multiple motorcycle drains before needing to be emptied for a total of 10 quarts of fluid capacity. 

This pan is long enough to cover the entire length under your motorcycle, helping catch any fluids that drain from the bike. It also has a large carrying handle to make moving it around easier. 


The pan can get heavy and awkward to move when full. The plugs are also not threaded or sealed, which can allow for leaking. If your oil is too thick, it may not flow properly to the center and into the drain. The pour drain on the corner is also awkward to use.

Specs:

  • 10-quart fluid capacity
  • Sealable design with carrying handle
  • ABS plastic construction

Pros:

  • Large surface area for catching drips
  • Large capacity
  • Priced well
  • Easy to transport full

Cons:

  • Poorly designed drain spout
  • Relatively small capacity for cars
  • Drain pan plugs aren’t threaded so spills may occur during transport

How We Selected The Products 

When creating this guide, we looked at more than a dozen oil drain pans. We narrowed them down to the ones we selected based on various factors, such as size, durability. We looked at various features, such as handles and spouts. We also chose oil drain pans from various price ranges to give you a wide range of options. 

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

Key Features

Size and Shape

Oil drain pans come in a variety of shapes and sizes in order to accommodate as many vehicles as possible. The design and location of the oil drain on your car will be the key factor in deciding the dimensions of the drain pan you purchase. 

Capacity

You don’t want a product that is inadequate for the amount of oil in your car but you also don’t want a large capacity oil drain pan that holds much more than your car has. It wastes storage space and causes a bigger headache when the time comes to recycle that used oil. As a general rule, try to find a drain pan that holds twice the quart capacity of your car.

Durability

Not all oil drain pans are created equal, and you certainly don’t want an inferior one that won’t hold up. Make sure the drain pan you purchase is constructed from high-grade materials or is sufficiently thick to handle some abuse.

Spout

A pour spout is a really handy feature if you want to pour out oil without having to worry about spilling it. Your full drain pan will have to be emptied at some point and a decent spout will help prevent extremely messy oil spills.

Handles

The average car engine holds anywhere from 5-8 quarts of motor oil which is worth about 10 to 16 pounds of fluid. A sealable pan design with carrying handles makes the chore of recycling the old oil less stressful and saves valuable time.

Other Considerations

  • Mesh Screen: Having a mesh screen over your drip pan opening can prevent drain plugs or bolts from falling into the pan, saving some major headaches. This is especially true if you need to use a big oil drain pan for large vehicles.
  • Size of Mouth Opening: The sizes and shapes of the opening in available drain pans will vary but a decent-sized opening helps prevent the pan from getting overwhelmed. An open pan will never suffer from this but a more practical sealed pan comes with a variety of sizes.

Tips

  • If you don’t have a lot of space at home, we recommend purchasing a drain pan that is sealable. This helps prevent messy oil spills, makes fluids easier to store for a longer time, and makes the final trip to the parts store for oil recycling much easier and possible with a normal car and some plastic bags.
  • More fluid capacity isn’t always better. You only ever need the capacity for about 50 percent more than the fluid capacity of your car. An overly large drain pan can take a long time to fill, take up more space, and be a much bigger headache when it’s time to dispose of the oil.
  • Not all pans are created equal. Some are better at catching oil and some are better at catching coolant, power steering fluid, or any other variety of automotive liquids. It’s best to get a large, open-drain pan for jobs like a coolant flush where the fluid gets everywhere, and a normal, smaller drain pan works well for oil changes. 

FAQs

Q: Where can I recycle my used oil?

You can take used engine oil to an automotive shop to have it recycled. Also, most retail stores that sell motor oil will recycle it.

Q: What is the best material that oil drain pans are made of?

Something lightweight and durable would make the best material for obvious reasons. Among the list would be polyurethane and high-density polyethylene.

Q: How long will an oil drain pan last?

If properly maintained and stored, a drain pan will last for years. Like all tools, your oil pan needs to be cleaned and stored in a dry location to maximize its lifespan.

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