Is there some way to drain and change the oil in a lawnmower without tilting it up, tipping it, or putting it on its side? (obviously, the mower doesn't have a drain plug-- that would be too easy!!) I was changing the oil yet again (I use the mower, my sister uses it, friends borrow it, so the oil gets changed a lot) and getting another headache from all the oil and gas fumes. It seems there has to be a way to get the oil out of there without having to tip the mower sideways or up at all. A siphon, a hose, or something. Does anyone know? All ideas welcome!

  • I have used the Arnold Gas & Oil Siphon to remove oil from small engines that do not have a drain plug. If you are in the US/Canada, this siphon can be purchased at home improvement stores and from online vendors.
    – Al Czervik
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 0:15
  • Welcome to the site! I edited the words you wrote in all-capital letters, because we prefer not to use them at the site. It's not personal, and this is as much a reminder to others as it is a new teaching for you! Commented May 26, 2017 at 0:59

2 Answers 2


So long as you're not reusing the oil, the following time tested method will work...


  • Length of (3 feet or 1 metre) clear plastic tubing;
  • Jug of water;
  • Container of adequate size to contain all oil extracted from oil chamber.


  1. Place the container next to the lawnmower but at a level/height lower than the bottom of the oil chamber in the lawnmower engine. You might need to elevate the lawnmower onto an elevated platform or workshop bench.

  2. Draw water into the length of the tube, by placing your mouth over one end (air end) and placing the other end (oil end) into the jug of water.

  3. Place your thumb over the air end so that when you remove the tube from the jug, the water remains in the tube.

  4. Place the oil end of the (water filled) tube into the oil chamber of the lawnmower.

  5. Ensuring that the oil end of the tube remains completely submerged in oil, only then release your thumb from the air end - the water should not drain out of the tube into the oil chamber because of the difference in specific gravity (density) of oil and water.

  6. Place your mouth over the air end of the tube and suck. This should begin to draw water through the tube and due to suction, draw oil into the tube. As you remove the tube from your mouth and spit out the water, place the air end of the tube into the container. The intention is that you establish a flow of water and oil that draws all oil from the oil chamber.

The water is used to eliminate the risk of sucking oil into your mouth as you attempt to create the liquid flow. It is not essential for the process to work but is recommended.

Also should mention, once you've finished draining the oil from the oil chamber, flush out the oil from the clear plastic tube using warm soapy water, so you can reuse the tube when you next change your oil.


Every rotary lawnmower engine has a drain plug in it? You'd have to elevate the mower onto a pair of sawhorses or something similar, then, look underneath with a good light, for a square holed plug. Roughly 99 percent of them will take the end of a 3/8th's socket extension bar. A few use a plastic plug with a 3/4" hex. (very rare anymore) You simply insert the end you'd normally attach the socket to, and the ratchet where it normally belongs, and loosen/remove the plug.

It does seem overkill when even many manufacturers inform you to drain by turning the dipstick side towards the ground, and draining? Granted, it's not too convenient, but then again, this is usually done when you're "tuning" the machine for seasonal use, and in that process, you'd need to access the blade and clean out the undercarriage anyway?

Good luck.

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