The auto-drip pan or catch pan is that simple tool in your vehicle. It sits under the vehicle body and gathers the oil draining from above while you are changing the oil. Other than this, it has another use which is a collection of old oil when you replace it with the new one. In some cars, the waste oil container or oil drain pan has a storage function as well. It is there to dispose of the spent oil. Knowing the art of how to clean oil pan is what you need to learn. It will help you with at-home vehicle maintenance.
Let us learn the process of cleaning oil drain pan to ensure its longevity and proper maintenance.
Start by lowering your vehicle to a smooth surface. After this, you have to engage the brakes of the vehicle and shut off the engine. Use a ramp to raise the front side and hand it there with the help of a portable car jack. The height should be enough for you or the mechanic to work properly under it. You can consider the manual of the ramp to understand how you can secure it properly at the end. You can also get in touch with some expert or professional to use the ramp correctly for your safety.
Keep in mind that it is not safe to get under a vehicle that is under the support of just a jack. You can get serious injuries if the vehicle falls on you. Moreover, wheel chocks are very important. This will be a precautionary measure that prevents the wheel from rolling. So, always take care of these two things to make sure that your working process is safe and secure for you.
The second step is simple. All you need to do is to open the hood or bonnet of your vehicle. Now find the engine oil dipstick. You need to remove it to check if it is low, or you need to top it off, etc. You will also be able to let the oil flow while draining.
Now is the time for you to take action. After safely jacking up the vehicle, put on your goggles, get under the vehicle, and find the oil drain pan of the engine. You can use the manual of the manufacturing company for reference. It will guide you on how to easily locate the oil drain pan.
After you learn from the manual, you will come to know that the first thing to find is the long bolt head at the bottom of the oil drain pan. The oil drain plug will come into your hand with this. Some vehicle engines even have two drain plugs. Using these plugs, you can drain the oil into the pan.
You can place the oil draining container below the plugs to catch the oil. It should have enough volume to contain all the engine oil draining into it. You should keep in mind that the manual will help you at this stage too if you want to know the volume of the pan.
Now, till this point, you know how to jack up the vehicle, what type or size of oil drain pan you need for it, and how to handle it for containing the oil coming out of the engine. After you are done with the job, you should know how to clean oil pan.
Following are the different ways in which you can exactly clean them for use. These include:
1. Use a Paper Towel
After draining the oil into the pan, simply use a paper towel for cleaning it. Those people who like to clean the drain each time they use it to fill the old oil off the engine. In this way, they do not have to worry about thorough cleaning as they remove all debris and dirt immediately. Before it sticks to the pan surface and gets hard, the paper towel cleans the surface completely. This is the best option to follow.
As you complete the cleaning with the towel, now wrap it into the plastic bag and place it where you have other car tools. You can even put it under the engine plug so that the oil that detains from it enters the plastic bag over it. You can then change that bag and the pan under it will remain clean.
2. Use Oil Degreasers
Well, the next best way to cleaning oil pan is the use of degreasers. They are just like the detergents that clean the greasy spots or spills from the clothes. It is mainly for people who deal with multiple vehicles and have multiple oil drain pans to clean every day. Also, their use is too much that they do not find time to maintain the cleanliness of the pan regularly.
You can choose a good company that offers products solely for car oil cleaning purposes. Keep in mind that it should be from a credible source so that it does not affect the pan quality and at the same time effective enough to eradicate the grease completely.
Learning the steps of how to clean oil pan is crucial for at-home vehicle maintenance. People do not often think about this automotive tool even though they use it often during the oil change process. Well, they are not fancy like other vehicle parts but offer quick help for an oil change. So, taking care of this part is crucial. We hope that the steps given above will help you to keep the car oil drip pan in peak condition.