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The Mighty Fumoto Valve: Oil Changes Made Easy [Review]

You Can Thank Us Later, As This Little Valve Nearly Eliminates Oil Change Frustrations

Fumoto Valve

A Fumoto Valve might be a funny name for a small brass fitting but it makes a world of difference when changing your own oil. Say goodbye to hot oil splashing onto your arms and a driveway spotted with used oil. Once you install a Fumoto drain valve on your oil pan, all your oil changing troubles are in the rearview mirror.

Oil Changes

Let’s be honest, the biggest obstacle to changing your own oil after getting under the car is accessing the oil drain pan plug. You first loosen the tight drain plug with a wrench. As you remove the plug with your hand, you never know when the last thread will let loose and the plug plus a lot of oil will come streaming out of the oil pan. Hopefully, you calculated the trajectory path correctly, but I always seem to have some errant oil escape onto the driveway or me.

Fumoto Oil Drain Valve

The Fumoto valve comes to the rescue. This valve is designed to fit in place of the oil pan plug. So it is a “one time and you are done” fix.  The lever on the valve lifts up allowing the valve to turn counterclockwise to open.  A small piece of tubing can be attached to the nipple at the end of the valve to direct the flow of oil into a drain pan and avoid splashes. To close the valve, turn clockwise until the lever clicks into the valve’s recess. Once locked into place, the lever will not rotate unless you lift the lever up.

valve with nylon

Extra Safety: Fumoto Clip

Most Fumoto valves now come with a nylon clip that installs around the valve to help safeguard that road debris doesn’t accidentally hit the lever and open the valve.  In all my years of seeing the Fumoto valve’s in action, I have never seen one accidentally open up, but the clip is extra insurance.

Fumoto Off-Road Consideration

Depending on the application, the valve will extend just barely beyond the original drain plug. If you go off-road or drive on a lot of gravel roads, you are more apt to hit something with your suspension parts before hitting this drain valve. On some vehicles, you will have to ensure that there is enough room between your skid plates and the oil pan for the Fumoto valve.

Fumoto Valve Types

There are three basic Fumoto valves that are produced for cars. The original standard valve has the oil exit out the bottom of the valve. The “S” series has a small nipple at the bottom of the valve allowing a hose to be attached to the nipple to direct the oil without any splash or mess. (The “S” series is the one I typically recommend.) The “N” series has a longer nipple for industrial uses. This extends lower from the oil pan and increases the risk of road debris snagging the valve. In most applications, the longer nipple is not needed for our cars and trucks.

More Fumoto Valve Options

Fumoto sx valve

But the manufacturer also offers the SX series of valves. This right-angle valve, after tightening could rotate the nipple 360°, to avoid any nearby obstructions.

They also now offer a BSX series of compact drain valves for motorcycles and other small engines.

How-To Install A Fumoto Valve

Fumoto valve with washer

  1. Safely get under the oil pan and verify that the valve once installed will not hit any obstruction.
  2. Remove the existing drain plug and let the old oil drain out completely.
  3. Clean the drain plug outlet and remove any dirt or debris.
  4. The Fumoto drain valve comes with a blue fiber washer. Usually, you will use this washer unless your application uses a tapered drain plug or an “O” ring for a seal. Check to make sure the valve is able to turn freely.
  5. Install the valve finger tight, ensuring that you haven’t cross-threaded the unit.
  6. Use a wrench on the body of the valve to tighten another 1/4 turn. Do not use a wrench on the hex nut attached to the lower nipple to tighten the valve.
  7. Make sure the valve is in the closed and locked position. Install the lever clip.
  8. Refill the oil with the quantity specified by the manufacturer.
  9. Check for leaks.

fumoto sx valve warning

You Know You Want One

Fumoto is so sure of their product that they offer a limited lifetime warranty against defects and workmanship for the original purchaser. Fumoto claims that over 10-million of these valves have been sold, so plenty of folks are enjoying an easier way to change their oil. Isn’t it time you did too?


Ensure you get the right drain valve for your application through Fumoto’s part locator.

Mark Bach
About Mark Bach

Mark C. Bach is a well preserved automotive junkie with 30W oil in his veins and remembers feeler gauges and brake springs. He has a love for all things that move, especially old-school muscle cars. Bach covers the car auctions and the automotive scene and writes for a variety of outlets, including Chevy Classics, Round-Up Publications and eBay Motors, and maintains Route66pubco.com.