Tool Review: OTC's Drain Plug Pro Tool Kit
Engine oil changes are a part of any shop’s routine. As we all know, one of the bothersome aspects of draining the sump involves hot, grimy, dirty, slimy oil oozing out all over your hand while removing the pan’s drain plug. Finally, someone took the time to develop a specialty tool that eliminates the mess.
That someone is OTC, known for quality tools that actually perform. The Drain Plug Pro Tool Kit, P/N 5961, allows you to remove the engine oil pan drain plug without burning your fingers or having hot, dirty oil creep down your arm like a platoon of hot and angry fire ants.
Each of the adapters feature a very strong magnet that will definitely grab onto the plug like a hungry pit bull clamping his jaws onto a burger. The tool also provides a handy magnetic tip that keeps the plug secured, preventing accidental dropping.
The tool kit includes a flexible ¼” driver tool that features a square ¼” male drive, and three driver “wrench” plug attachments to engage the drain plug. The attachments include a “standard” drain plug attachment that features a two-sided open hex wrench design, a similar attachment that features a low-profile hex, and an internal 17 mm hex (for plugs that feature a female hex). To make the tool even more handy, the kit also includes a ¼” bit adapter to allow the tool to be used for other jobs where a flexible ¼”-drive is appropriate (like any flex driver, handy for removing or starting hard-to-reach fasteners).
The standard adapter works on “most” applications (it’s two-sided to grab a variety of hex sizes). The low profile adapter is applicable to many European vehicles. The 17 mm adapter designed for internal hex plugs is useful on Mercedes and BMW models.
The kit even includes a very handy storage base that keeps the driver and all adapters secured in one spot, with the driver and all adapters affixed with snap-on clips.
Here’s how it works:
Loosen the drain plug with the appropriate wrench (don’t remove it…simply crack it loose). This tool isn’t designed to break the plug loose… but to unthread and remove after you’ve used a conventional wrench.Place the Drain Plug Pro onto the plug to allow the tool to lock onto or into the plug.Unthread the drain plug using the flexible driver tool, bending the flex arm so that your hand is not directly under the plug, and remove the drain plug. The magnetic feature retains the plug to the tool. The adapter and part of the flex shaft may get oily, but your hands stay nice and dry (and cool).
We tried the tool out in our shop, and it was a joy. Yes, it’s very simple, but it’s very effective. Once you use it, you’ll appreciate the benefits. No more burned fingers, no more oil-soaked gloves, and no more dropped drain plugs that end up in the oil drain funnel or bouncing around the shop floor.
This is one of those handy tools that definitely falls under the category of “Why didn’t I think of that?”