how to change oil in lawn mower without drain plug

How to Change Oil in Lawn Mower Without Drain Plug? – Guidelines

It happened when my uncle was using an electric mower for the very first time. 

He got very confused when he didn’t find any drain plugs on his mower.

So how to Change Oil in a Lawn Mower Without Drain Plug?

We have found three different ways to change the oil without using a drain plug.

  • By using a suction
  • By Tilting the mower
  • By using a siphoning pump

Surprisingly, all of those methods are very easy. Also, there are no expensive and special tools you will need for them.

Sharing these methods can be helpful to a lot of people. I mean I don’t want you guys to be confused as my uncle. 

Let’s start, shall we?

When You Need to Change the Mower Oil without the Drain Plug?

Different types of mowers don’t come with a drain plug. As a result, the owners need to find a different way to change the oil. 

Here are the types of mowers that don’t have the drain plug.

  1. Electric LawnMowers

Many electric lawnmowers, especially corded models, often do not have a drain plug. They may have a different method for oil removal. 

Some of the manufacturers recommend tilting the mower to drain the oil.

  1. Smaller Push Mowers

Some smaller and less expensive push mowers don’t come with a drain plug. These mowers may be designed for simplicity. Most importantly, they do not include features like a drain plug.

  1. Reel Mowers

Reel mowers are operated manually. They don’t have an engine with oil and do not have a drain plug because they do not require engine oil changes.

  1. Battery-Powered Mowers

Many battery-powered lawnmowers, which are becoming more popular for their eco-friendliness, may not have a drain plug. These mowers do not have internal combustion engines that require regular oil changes.

Besides, sometimes, the drain plug becomes damaged. In such cases, you will need to find a different way to change the oil.

Can You Change the Mower Oil Without a Drain Plug?

You must be thinking if it’s possible to replace the mower’s oil without the drain plug, right? 

Without using the drain stopper, you can do this in several ways. You can use a suction pump to drain the old oil or just utilize a siphoning pump.

Tilting the mower on its side to drain the existing oil is another effective idea for changing the oil. 

Can You Change the Mower Oil

Solution 1: Changing the Oil in the Lawn Mower Using a Suction

In this way, you don’t have to use a drain plug. Besides, the process is very easy. So, first, learn what tools you will need, and then, I will explain the process properly.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Suction pump with a hose
  • Container to collect the old oil
  • Funnel (optional)
  • New oil

Step 1: Prepare the Mower

First, choose a level surface and bring your mower on the spot. If you run the mower recently, wait until the engine cools down.

Step 2: Locate the Dipstick

Now, you have to identify the dipstick on your mower’s engine. The dipstick is usually a long, slender rod with a cap on top. You will need to use this stick to check the oil level.

Step 3: Prepare the Suction Pump and Insert the Hose

The next step is to set up the suction pump and insert the hose.

You need to prepare the suction pump after the mower is ready. You will find a suction pump in any hardware store if you don’t already have one. And it is not an expensive tool.

However, if the suction pump comes in different parts, you have to assemble them together. Besides, check twice if the hose is properly connected to the suction pump properly.

Now, integrate the open end of the pump hose into the dipstick tube on the engine after the pump is ready. 

Push it down until it hits the very bottom of the oil reservoir, and then keep pushing.

Step 4: Pump the Suction Pump

Now, you have to pump. For that, start with pumping the handle on top of the suction pump. It will create a vacuum that will start sucking out the old oil from the engine.

Frequently check the suction pump’s container or the hose to see when the old oil starts flowing into it. 

Also, pump the suction handle a few more times until it has effectively removed as much of the old oil as possible.

Step 5: Collect the Old Oil and Dispose of It

Let the old oil flow into the suction pump’s container or a separate container of your choice. Make sure it’s properly collected and won’t spill.

When the oil comes out completely, dispose of it. You can give that to a recycling center or a location that accepts used motor oil. Do not dispose of it in your regular trash or pour it down the drain.

Step 6: Refill with New Oil

At this point, you can refill the new oil. For that, you can use a funnel if necessary, and pour the appropriate amount and type of new oil into the dipstick tube. 

Make sure to check your mower’s manual for the correct oil capacity and specifications.

Step 7: Check the Oil Level and Cleanup

As you have refilled the oil, it’s time to check the oil level. For that use the dipstick. You might need to adjust the level if it’s not at the correct level. Also, don’t forget to clean any spilled oil and the dipstick tube before replacing the dipstick.

As you have seen, the process doesn’t require a drain plug. A suction pump is cheap and available everywhere. 

At the same time, the process is easy and I don’t think it will take more than 20 minutes.

Solution 2: Changing the Oil in the Lawn Mower By Tilting It

If you don’t have a suction pump or any other tools to get the oil from the mower, the only way left is to tilt it on its side and get rid of all the existing oil.

Usually, we don’t recommend this way because it becomes messy. Cleaning the oil is time-consuming. 

Still, this method works efficiently and if you need to change the oil immediately, you can try it.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Oil pan or container
  • Funnel
  • Pliers or a wrench
  • A piece of tubing

Step 1: Prepare the Mower

First, you have to choose a level, flat surface to work on. Then, place the oil pan or container nearby to catch the draining oil.

Now, ensure the mower’s engine is cool to the touch before starting. Don’t forget to remove the spark plug wire to prevent any accidental starts.

Step 2: Remove the Dipstick

Find the oil dipstick on your mower. And now, use the pliers or a wrench (if needed) to carefully remove the dipstick from the engine. Set it aside to use later.

Step 3: Position the Mower and Drain the Oil

At this point, place the mower on its side so that the carburetor side is facing up. This position will simply let the oil drain effectively.

Wait until all the oil comes out of the oil fill or dipstick the tube into the oil pan. Make sure to be patient, as this process may take a few minutes to ensure all the oil is drained.

Step 4: Use the Tubing and Confirm Complete Drainage

If your mower comes with a piece of tubing, insert it into the oil fill or dipstick tube to help direct the oil flow directly into the pan. Ensure the other end of the tubing is securely positioned in the pan.

Make sure all the oil has drained from the mower’s engine. Tilt the mower slightly if needed to ensure every drop of oil is collected.

Step 5: Add Fresh Oil

Now, carefully lift the mower and place it back in an upright position. When you are done, you can refill the new oil. For that, use a funnel and pour the appropriate amount and type of fresh oil into the dipstick tube.

Step 6: Check the Oil Level and Reconnect the Spark Plug Wire

When you have refilled the fresh oil, you have to ensure that the oil level is appropriate. Just insert the dipstick into the oil fill or dipstick tube and secure it in place.

Then check the oil level on the dipstick. If you don’t see the recommended level, just adjust it again.

Reconnect the spark plug wire to the spark plug.

Finally, you have to dispose of the used oil in an environmentally responsible manner, and in this case, you should follow local regulations and guidelines.

Solution 3: Changing the Oil in the Lawn Mower Using a Siphoning Pump

We have another method to share with you. If you have a siphoning pump at home, you don’t need to tilt the mower to get rid of the oil. Indeed, a siphoning pump sometimes works better than a suction pump. You need to use it in the right way.

Let’s check out how to change mower oil without using the drain plug but using a siphoning pump.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Siphoning pump or suction gun
  • Clear plastic hose
  • Container for collecting old oil
  • Rags or paper towels for cleanup

Step 1: Prepare the Mower

Just like I mentioned in the first two methods, you should select a stable and level area and place the lawn mower on the spot to make the oil extraction process easier.

Also, don’t forget to let the mower engine cool down and remove all the plugs connected to electricity.

Step 2: Locate the Oil Fill Hole:

Now, you have to identify the oil fill hole on your lawn mower’s engine. It is usually indicated by a cap or dipstick.

Step 3: Attach and Insert the Siphoning Pump Hose

Check if the siphoning pump is okay or not. If it is ready, attach one end of the clear plastic hose to the outlet of the siphoning pump or suction gun.

Then insert the other end of the clear plastic hose into the oil fill hole on the mower’s engine. Ensure it goes down as far as possible without any kinks or obstructions.

Step 4: Create Suction and Collect Oil

With the hose securely inserted, initiate the siphoning process by using the siphoning pump or suction gun. NEVER use your mouth to start the siphoning process, as this is unsafe and unhygienic.

Step 5: Collect the Oil

As you pump or trigger the siphoning device, the old oil will start flowing out of the engine and into the clear plastic hose. Make sure you have a suitable container ready to collect the oil as it exits the hose.

Continue pumping or triggering the siphoning device until you have extracted all the old oil from the engine. Monitor the process to avoid overflows or spills.

Make sure to dispose of the collected old oil properly and follow local regulations for hazardous waste disposal.

Step 6: Clean Up the Mess

Once all the old oil is removed, carefully remove the hose from the oil fill hole. Be prepared for a small amount of residual oil to drip, so have rags or paper towels on hand to catch any drips.

Step 7: Refill with New Oil

After successfully removing the old oil, it’s time to refill the engine with the appropriate type and amount of new oil. Don’t forget to follow your mower’s manual for the oil specifications.

Finally, check the oil level using the dipstick or indicator on your mower to ensure it’s at the correct level.

Frequently Asked Questions


How often should I change the mower oil?

You should change your mower’s oil every 25-30 hours of operation or at the beginning of each mowing season. Remember that it is essential to regularly change the oil to maintain engine performance and extend its lifespan.

Can I buy a mower drain plug separately?

Yes, you can often purchase a mower drain plug separately. Many hardware stores, home improvement stores, or online retailers offer replacement mower parts and accessories, including drain plugs.

Are all oil drain plugs universal?

No, oil drain plugs are not universal; their size, thread pitch, and design can vary significantly between different engine models and manufacturers. It’s essential to use the correct drain plug that matches your specific engine or mower model to ensure a proper fit and prevent leaks.

Wrapping Up

Let me remind you that changing the oil in a lawn mower is very convenient when it has a drain plug. So, when you buy a new lawn mower, you should definitely check if it has a drain plug or not.

And somehow, if it doesn’t have any, you should choose the right method to change the oil. There are some big-size mowers, where tilting is difficult.

In such a case, you should use a suction or siphoning pump.

Also, you should be careful of disposing of the old oil. Never ever throw them anywhere like in the drain or in a rush case. You should follow the local regulations in this matter.

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Behind Best Darn Product is Kevin Pena, a passionate blogger and e-commerce enthusiast based in Atlanta, Georgia. With his finger on the pulse of the ever-growing online marketplace, Kevin is dedicated to sharing his extensive knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the products and services that shape our modern lives.

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