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Oil Extractor vs Drain: Which Process Works Best?

If you own a car, it’s going to need cleaning regularly, especially the engine. Unless you want to head towards a workshop every week or so to spend your hard-earned money, you can actually take care of your car engine by yourself. 

In fact, the life of your car engine depends on how regularly and how well you clean it, in a workshop by a professional or at home. By cleaning it regularly as well as draining the oil when needed, you can actually prevent different damages to your car and your car engine.

Even when you use expensive and appropriate oil in your car, it needs to be drained well and the engine needs to be cleaned regularly if you want your car engine to last long and give you good performance

In this guide, we will compare oil extractor vs drain and discuss which process is better for you. 

Different Ways to Drain Oil from Your Car Engine 

Oil Extractor vs Drain

There are actually two different ways for you to drain oil from your car engine and to keep it working perfectly: by using an oil extractor or by using drain plugs. While they are both great techniques, one might suit your car engine better than the other. 

An oil extractor is an extraction device for draining oil from your car engine that uses a simple vacuuming mechanism to directly pump out oil from the engine. It comes with a long tube that is inserted into the car engine, and which in turn, collects the oil from inside the engine. 

A drain plug, on the other hand, is like a large plug or a screw that is inserted under the oil pan of your car engine. Simply unscrewing this plug or screw will result in the oil draining away from the engine, which is also the easiest and the fastest process to do this. 

How to Use Oil Extractor? 

Using an oil extractor is one of the cleanest procedures to keep your car engine healthy. It is a mess-free technique that doesn’t require cleaning up after, and can be done by a person single-handedly.

To be extracted using an oil extractor, the oil inside needs to be warm. This can be done by simply turning the car on and keeping it running for a few minutes and then turning the car off.

When the oil is adequately warm, open the car hood and pull out the cover of the dipstick.  Push the long pipe that comes with the oil extractor into the oil dipstick until it reaches the bottom, which should ideally be 2 to 3 feet. 

The other end of the pipe needs to be put into a clean container and the extraction pump needs to be attached to the car battery. Turn on the pump and the mechanism will start to work and oil will be automatically extracted from the engine. 

When the oil inside the car engine reaches the bottom, you can see small air bubbles forming into the pipe. Remove the oil tube carefully when this happens and your car engine will be empty of oil. It is now time to replace the oil that you’ve replaced from your car engine to ensure its best performance. 

How to Use a Drain Pipe? 

Oil Extractor vs Drain

Drain pipes are easier to use but tend to get a little messy. If you don’t mind cleaning after, this is also a procedure that you can perform at home very fast. 

Drain plugs are usually located under the oil pan of your car engine, and it is present in almost every car. The car needs to be lifted up slightly, preferably using a car jack so that there’s enough space to crawl under it. The drain pipe is located under the car’s body towards the lowest end of the vehicle and it is usually closed off with a large screw. 

Place a large container under the plug before you open the plug. Afterwards, carefully unscrew the drain plug for the oil to start draining right into the container, minding to wear a glove or cover your hands in a piece of cloth before doing so.

The oil will gradually and quickly fill up the container without having to do anything else about it.

When the oil has completely drained, clean around the drain pipe so there’s no residue left. Screw the drain plug again and fill up the now empty car engine with oil.

Next, turn on the car for a few minutes until the oil warms up a little, and look for any sort of leakage or drainage under the car. If there’s no problem, turn off the car engine until you need to use it the next time. 

Oil Extractor vs Drain: Which Process Works Best?

Both by using an oil extractor and the car’s drain plug, you can remove and replace your car’s oil easily. However, both these processes are completely different from each other and one of them might suit you better than the other. 

Oil Extractor vs Drain

Faster Way 

Using your car’s drain pipe is the fastest way to drain the oil from your car engine. This process simply requires you to open the drain pipe that’s under your car’s engine and nothing else.

All you’ll need is a large container to hold the excess oil and a piece of cloth to clean the drain pipe. This makes it one of the fastest ways to replace your car’s oil without too much of a hassle. 

Using an oil extractor, on the other hand, requires a little more time. It takes the oil extractor longer to collect the oil as well as a little manual help, making the drain pipe the faster way to take. 

Cleaner Way 

If you are looking for a cleaner way to extract your oil from the car’s engine, it’s better to use an oil extractor for the job. Since this mechanism extracts the oil from above using a long pipe, there isn’t any chance of oil dripping on the floor or getting on anything else. 

On the other hand, when the oil is extracted via the drain pipe, the oil might splatter to the ground or around the container it is held on. Using the drain plug is definitely a messier way of extracting oil compared to using an oil extractor. 

Oil Extractor vs Drain

Chance of Leakage

Using a drain plug also has a chance of leakage, which also means creating a mess all around.  This is not a problem when you are using an oil extractor because there’s no chance of leakage there. This is another way that using a drain plug is a cleaner way of performing the same procedure. 

Need for Lifting the Car 

If you are using an oil extractor, there’s no need to lift up your car for the extraction process. All you’ll need to do is to open the front of your car to access the car engine, where you’ll be working on for the extraction. 

For using the drain pipe, it is absolutely necessary that you use a car jack to lift up the car so that there’s enough space for a person to crawl under it. If there’s no car jack around for you to use, it might be a problem to use the drain plug for the process. 


When it comes to oil extractor vs drain plug the choice can be a difficult one. If you have time on your hands and you don’t want to clean up afterwards, it is better to use an oil extractor for the process.

Simply by using the right tool, you can complete the entire process without any hassle and without creating a mess by using an oil extractor.

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