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bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 Reader
10/29/13 9:35 a.m.

I was soooo spoiled having access to a lift after hours at my last job. I've since done two oil changes on the ground, jack stands/floor jack or drive on ramps. I don't remember hating it this much or being as messy, but our driveway is now covered in Oil-Dri, even after I put a large sheet of cardboard down.

I've used most types of the plastic catch pans over the years. Right now I'm using one like this:

It sucks, it's cheap, the lid on the top opening won't "seal" gets just almost tight and then pops off the threads, the lid for the drain does the same. The opening on top isn't big enough to not have to follow the oil stream while it's draining and loosing pressure. The screen is crap, always falls through. I dropped the oil filter, the screen did nothing to catch it, and just added to the splash/mess of used oil.

Even with the screen, or any of the completely open pans I've used I often wind up with a Kaye Effect, i.e. the oil stream arcing (rainbowing) out of the pan.

Kaye Effect:

I've had the best luck with a larger enclosed pan like this one:

However, the oil draining from the vehicle is flowing at a much faster rate than that little hole in the top of the pan could keep up with, which leads to the same issues as the completely open pans. This one had an even worse problem with the drain lid popping off, and caused some horrible messes. A full pan would often pop the plug out and shoot a geyser of used motor oil out of the little hole in the top when moving it around.

So far I haven't been satisfied with anything I've used for an on the ground, DIY oil change.

Anyone have any better options?

  • Lee
N Sperlo
N Sperlo MegaDork
10/29/13 9:49 a.m.
bigdaddylee82 wrote:

I basically use this, but it has an open top. No way to close it, so get some milk bottles an dump it right away.

mtn
mtn UltimaDork
10/29/13 9:54 a.m.

[Flame suit on]

I've used 3. I have made a mess every time. Some of that has to do with the fact that it is a Miata and the jack stands are not up very high, since I have a lousy jack. Some of it has to do with I'm just not very neat.

The one I use now? The coupon for a $30 oil change at the Mazda dealer. At that point it is only $5-$15 more than the cost of the oil and filter. Just check it before and after to make sure they actually did it. Seeing as it ends up being a $60-$90 annual cost, I'll pay someone to do it for me so I don't have to burn myself trying to take the damn filter off, or else take the passenger wheel off, and I don't have to clean up after myself.

[Take flame suit off]

wbjones
wbjones PowerDork
10/29/13 10:15 a.m.

I've got one like N Sperlo's (without the lid) it's large enough that I don't have any problem with spillage .. and I have some 2 1/2 gal. containers that have good tight caps that I transfer the used oil to for transport to the dump site..

and for mtn. I usually just wait an hr of so before going back to loosen/replace the filter ( don't get burned that way ) and this is on a lowered CRX ... so I feel your pain about room under the car on ramps ... at least I don't have to take a wheel off ( but since the addition of the oil cooler, the filter is "almost" unreachable .... what a PITA)

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
10/29/13 10:17 a.m.
bigdaddylee82 wrote:

This is exactly the one I use, and it sucks. If you get really good, you can get the oil to stream pretty much into the hole on top, but you're SOL on the oil filter.

I'd love a better system here, so please tell us!

pres589
pres589 SuperDork
10/29/13 10:18 a.m.

I have the Sperlo model as well, it's alright, I wish the outlet spout didn't have such a large diameter. I use a 5 gallon plastic "Jerry" gas can as my garage used oil collector. They're easy to carry into the Vatozone and turn in my used oil, and they stand up well and don't make a mess. The problem is having to use a funnel to get the oil out of my catch pan into the waste oil can.

Ditchdigger
Ditchdigger UltraDork
10/29/13 10:23 a.m.

Of course, it requires some additional equipment.....

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
10/29/13 10:26 a.m.

I use the big black round one pictured above, just with an open top. I might spill a drop or two during an oil change, but its pretty clean.

I tried an enclosed top one and the oil hit the top and just spattered all over the berkeleying place.

Toyman01
Toyman01 UltimaDork
10/29/13 10:26 a.m.

This is what I use. Gets the job done and doubles as a wash pan when needed.

turboswede
turboswede UltimaDork
10/29/13 10:29 a.m.

How about something like this?

Shouldn't be too hard for a GRM'er to build from an old oil pan, a skateboard/creeper/rollerblade and some scrap metal.

Rob_Mopar
Rob_Mopar SuperDork
10/29/13 10:39 a.m.
turboswede wrote: How about something like this? Shouldn't be too hard for a GRM'er to build from an old oil pan, a skateboard/creeper/rollerblade and some scrap metal.

Radio Oiler?

gofastbobby
gofastbobby New Reader
10/29/13 10:41 a.m.
Javelin wrote:
bigdaddylee82 wrote:

This is exactly the one I use, and it sucks. If you get really good, you can get the oil to stream pretty much into the hole on top, but you're SOL on the oil filter.

I'd love a better system here, so please tell us!

That's the one I've used for the last few years works well for me. It drains much better with the vent cap open, plus it's a lot easy to move around with oil in it than the open top catch cans. I changed the transmission oil and engine oil in my sc2 this past weekend with it.

I'm not sure what the capacity is, it may get tough to change the oil in a diesel truck with one.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
10/29/13 10:44 a.m.
bigdaddylee82 wrote: I've had the best luck with a larger enclosed pan like this one:

I had the first one. It sucked.

I have the second one now. A little better. I haven't had any overflowing problems but the cap on the pouring end leaks.

Duke
Duke UltimaDork
10/29/13 11:29 a.m.

This thread is relevant to my interests. Subscribing.

Bonus Aggravation Points for this kind because after a year, the lids stretch a little and won't thread tightly anymore. On mine, the smaller lid is a match for the plastic lids that come off of Rain-X washer fluid bottles, so I can at least replace that one regularly. But the big one only gets about 70% tight before it just jumps a thread and loosens up again.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
10/29/13 11:31 a.m.

Open pan and an old 5 gallon metal Jerry can as a reservoir for trips to recycle the oil. Oh, and a really big funnel for dumping into the Jerry can.

I don't get much mess. Maybe the occasional drip which usually comes from trying to slide the pan out from under the car too quickly making the oil slosh. A larger pan would probably fix that.

The bigger mess comes from taking off the filter. I've got the pan under it but invariably, oil streaming from the filter mount or the filter itself hits the engine block, runs down a crossmember or other part, then drips from some area far removed from the filter interface. This can vary in location so I don't always have the pan set up in the right place. However, I'm usually set up on a very large piece of cardboard from a furniture box so it all works out.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/29/13 11:46 a.m.

I use one of these.

The funnel is in the storage location here - you pop it out and screw it in place of the yellow cap. Nice big drain hole, I've never managed to outrun it. When you're done, you put the cap back on and it's ready to go to the recycler.

I'd love to know what the vintage Mercedes guys use. I swear the 230 has a hole in the oil pan that's about 40mm in diameter. Instant sump drain.

bgkast
bgkast HalfDork
10/29/13 12:17 p.m.

I have a vintage Mercedes, I use the open top kind similar to the one toyman posted.

noddaz
noddaz Dork
10/29/13 12:23 p.m.

I use the standard pan... Open the vent when draining oil into the pan. No problem.

Lost the cap and was able to replace it with a cap from an oil bottle... Works for me.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
10/29/13 12:26 p.m.

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RossD
RossD PowerDork
10/29/13 12:28 p.m.

The $22 oil change at the local Ford Dealership is worth the 1 hour wait. It may not be as fast as a quick lube place, or as satisfying as doing it yourself but I drink some coffee and watch some cable tv instead of getting dirty and swearing.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/29/13 1:10 p.m.

I have the local Dodge dealership do the changes in my Cummins. For the price, I don't think I could buy that much oil...

ClemSparks
ClemSparks PowerDork
10/29/13 1:49 p.m.

I just generally use the open top cheap pans (without a capped oil pour spout...just a little indentation that's practically useless for aiming the pour).

Where I make a mess, generally speaking, is trying to offload the oil from the drain pan into the transporting vessel (milk jug, 5 quart oil bottle, orange juice container, you-name-it).

Trying to balance a funnel in a transport vessel is a bit hairy. And...the air-lock that results makes it slow. Then...I overfill it and it comes pouring out everywhere.

For years I've wanted to build a well-supported funnel suspended over a large-area shallow-depth drain pan. The funnel should have a shutoff spout. When I say large funnel...I really mean a drain-pan sized funnel. Say a gallon.

If I were to get around to building this, the transfer procedure would go something like this, in my mind: Place gallon jug under funel. Pour contents of oil change into funnel. Turn drain valve off when gallon container gets near-full. Place new container under funnel, open valve.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UberDork
10/29/13 2:02 p.m.
noddaz wrote: I use the standard pan... Open the vent when draining oil into the pan. No problem. Lost the cap and was able to replace it with a cap from an oil bottle... Works for me.

Yep, open the vent or you're in trouble. My cap leaks too, I'll try the oil bottle cap trick. Otherwise many years of use without complaint.

whenry
whenry HalfDork
10/29/13 3:47 p.m.

Only the large open type containers will handle the 8-9 quart dump that comes from a Porsche 911(and that's after draining 2-3 qt from the crankcase). The volume overwhelms the holes in the container unless you auger them out in which case you might as well have the open top. Part of the oil change is having an assistant nearby to hold the bottle and funnel to get the oil back into something for recycling.
Funny thing that UPS just delivered a case of Brad Penn for my winterization oil change today.

codrus
codrus HalfDork
10/29/13 5:45 p.m.
ClemSparks wrote: I just generally use the open top cheap pans (without a capped oil pour spout...just a little indentation that's practically useless for aiming the pour). Where I make a mess, generally speaking, is trying to offload the oil from the drain pan into the transporting vessel (milk jug, 5 quart oil bottle, orange juice container, you-name-it). Trying to balance a funnel in a transport vessel is a bit hairy. And...the air-lock that results makes it slow. Then...I overfill it and it comes pouring out everywhere.

I have one of each of the big round black and yellow pans above. The black one (with built-in funnel/lid) works well for the Miata and the minivan, but the Audi has a 10 quart oil capacity and a huge drain plug, so it comes out FAST. It will easily overtop the black one and spill onto the floor, so I use the yellow pan.

We have curbside oil recycling, which requires that the oil go into what are basically milk jugs (slightly thicker plastic and stronger screwtops, but they otherwise look identical). Stick the funnel in the top of the milk jug and wedge a small screwdriver between the two to create an air vent, and transferring the oil to the milk jug rarely spills more than a few drops which are easily caught with paper towels underneath. Just don't pull the funnel out before the screwdriver, or you have to go fishing. You also need to be judicious about how fast the oil goes into the funnel, or it can knock over the empty milk jug and make a huge mess.

Having two pans means that I can use one for the oil pan drain and the other for the filter drain, which addresses that problem pretty well. The yellow pan is always a mess inside (it never all pours out), so I store the black pan on top of it (they stack nicely).

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