how to use oil drain pan

How To Use Oil Drain Pan

Using an oil drain pan properly can help make this task cleaner and more efficient. It’s a simple process that makes changing your oil process easier. 

Step 1: Preparing Your Workspace and Gathering Tools

Before you begin, ensure your workspace is clean and level. You’ll need a few tools and materials:

  • Oil drain pan
  • Car jack and jack stands or ramps
  • Wrench set (including the correct size for your oil drain plug)
  • New oil filter
  • New oil (check your vehicle’s manual for the correct type and quantity)
  • Funnel
  • Gloves and rags for cleanup
  • Optionally, a piece of cardboard to protect your driveway

Step 2: Setting Up Your Vehicle

Safety first! Park your car on a level surface and engage the parking brake. If using ramps, carefully drive your vehicle up them. For jack stands, lift the front of your car and secure it safely. Always double-check that your vehicle is stable before proceeding.

Step 3: Draining the Old Oil

Locate the oil drain plug under your car and place your oil drain pan directly beneath it. Using the correct wrench, carefully unscrew the plug. Allow the oil to drain completely into the pan. 

Step 4: Replacing the Oil Filter

Position the drain pan underneath and use an oil filter wrench to remove the filter. Be prepared for additional oil to spill out when you remove the filter. Compare the old filter with the new one to ensure compatibility, then lightly coat the gasket of the new filter with fresh oil and screw it in place by hand.

Step 5: Adding New Oil

Once all the old oil has drained and the drain plug is securely replaced, remove the oil fill cap on top of your engine. Pour in the new oil using a funnel, taking care not to overfill. Check your vehicle’s manual for the exact amount of oil required or you can read the level of engine oil with the help of a dipstick.

Step 6: Checking for Leaks

After adding the new oil, start your engine and let it run for a few minutes. This allows the new oil to circulate. Check underneath the car for any signs of leaks. If everything looks good, turn off the engine and recheck the oil level with the dipstick. Add more oil if necessary, ensuring it’s within the safe range indicated on the dipstick.

Step 7: Cleanup and Oil Disposal

Clean up the oil drain pan with rags and absorbent materials like cat litter if needed. Remember, responsibly disposing of the used oil and filter is crucial. Most auto shops and recycling centers accept old oil and used filters.

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