How to Change Oil in Your Lawn Mower Without a Drain Plug?

A lawn mower needs a frequent change of oil as a part of its regular maintenance. A drain plug located at the bottom of the engine drains the old oil.

So without a drain plug it becomes difficult to drain all the old oil. But its definitely possible by manual ways like tilting the mower. That is how people do it in some older or budget models that do not have a drain plug feature.

No drain plug? No problem! Find out how to change the oil in your lawn mower without a drain plug in this article.

How to Change Oil in Your Lawn Mower Without a Drain Plug

Is It Difficult to Change The Oil In A Lawn Mower Without a Drain Plug?

It is a bit more challenging compared to changing the oil in a mower with a drain plug. It may take a little more effort and time. But it is a straightforward process that most people can do themselves.

How to Change Oil in Your Lawn Mower Without a Drain Plug?

Depending on the models, you may apply different techniques. Here are some techniques you can apply:

Suction Method

Suction Method
Suction Method

A vacuum pump can be used to suck the oil using a hose. This is effectively faster than a drain plug. It takes out oil as much as a drain plug does.

You just insert the hose of the vacuum into the dipstick. Then you pump the handle on top of the vacuum pump.

This sucks out the oil. That’s it, no need for battery, electricity or anything. Just the manual effort transformed into mechanical energy.

Two to three pumps are enough. So you can get rid of old oil in 30 seconds. Put new oil in the dipstick and the entire process finishes in 2 minutes. Suction pumps can be purchased at hardware stores for around $10 or less!

Siphoning Method

Siphoning Method
Siphoning Method

In the siphoning method, you can use a siphoning pump. Some mowers like the Troybilt push mower have them. This method involves using a clear plastic hose to siphon the oil out of the engine.

To use this method, place the mower on a table or high surface. Then put one end of the hose in the oil fill hole, and suck the other end until the oil begins to flow out.

It’s a very clean way to change the oil on small engines. You can also do this with a suction gun, which. But never use your mouth to start the siphoning process.

Tilting Method

Another way to change the oil in your mower without a drain plug is by tilting the mower on its side. In mowers with no drain plug (not even a concealed one), this is an effective, albeit messy way.

First, place the mower on a flat surface. Then remove the dipstick and turn the mower on its side and drain the oil into a pan. Tip it with the carburetor up.

Some brands of mower will come with about a 10-inch piece of tubing. In that case, just jam the tubing and the oil fill port. But always turn it on the side with the carb side up.

Make sure all the oil has been removed as there may be residues.

Related Post: Lawn Mower Leaking Oil from Bottom! (Why+How to Fix)

Does Your Mower Really Lack a Drain Plug?

In self-propelled mowers (by means of a belt under the deck), there may occasionally be a concealed plug underneath. Removing the cover over the belt reveals the plug.

In case of a push mower, the drain plug is simply concealed below the mower in the housing by the blade. You can remove the housing using a square socket and 3/8 inch drive ratchet extension.

But pull the spark plug out of the ignition before inserting your hands between the blades!

Do You Need to Warm Up The Engine Before Changing Lawn Mower Oil?

Yes. You do. It is because warm oil is easier to drain than cold oil. When the engine is running, the oil heats up and becomes less viscous, or less thick, and flows more easily.

This not only makes it easier to drain the oil completely but also ensures more old oil removed. Additionally, warming up the engine helps to suspend any particles or contaminants in the oil.

But do not work with an extremely hot engine. Hot oil can cause serious injuries.

How Often Should You Change The Oil in a Lawn Mower Without A Drain Plug?

The frequency of changing the oil in a lawn mower without a drain plug is the same as one with a drain plug. It is recommended to change the oil in a lawn mower every 50 hours of operation. Or at least once a year.

However, the frequency may vary depending on the conditions in which the lawn mower is used. If the mower is used in dusty or dirty conditions, or for prolonged periods, the oil may need to be changed more frequently.

It’s always a good idea to check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations on oil change intervals and follow those guidelines.

Regular oil changes are important to keep the engine running smoothly. Fresh oil helps to lubricate the moving parts of the engine. It also reduces friction and wear, helps to keep the engine clean by removing contaminants and deposits that can accumulate over time.

How Should You Dispose of the Old Oil from a Lawn Mower?

You already know how to tilt the mower and drain the oil. Collect it in a pan, even a baking tray would do. Once the oil has drained completely, you can dispose of it properly.

Never pour used oil down the drain or in the trash. Instead, take it to a recycling center. Even auto parts stores, or any other facility accepts used oil for recycling.

Read Also: What Causes A Lawn Mower To Leak Oil?

What Can You Use As a Oil Drain Plug For A Mower?

There are a few things that can be used as a replacement for drain plugs. These are:

Siphon pump: A siphon pump to remove the old oil from the engine through the oil filler tube. It usually sucks out the oil. This is a clean and simple method.

Self-tapping oil drain valve: You can install a self-tapping oil drain valve onto your lawn mower’s oil pan. This will allow you to easily drain the oil for future oil changes.

However, installation may require some drilling and modification to your mower. This can void your warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What tools are needed to change the lawn mower oil without a drain plug?

To change the oil in your lawn mower without a drain plug, you will need a few basic tools including a socket wrench, a funnel, an oil pan, and fresh oil that is recommended for your lawn mower.

Are all oil drain plugs universal?

No, oil drain plugs are not universal. Different models and types of engines have different oil drain plug sizes, threads, and shapes.

How do you fix a leaking drain plug of a mower?

Clean the area around the drain plug with a clean rag or paper towel. Apply some thread sealant to the threads of the drain plug. Make sure to use a sealant that is compatible with your engine oil.

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