Dear PoPville – Where do you get your Oil Changed?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Caitlin H. Faw

“Dear PoPville,

I have been getting my Toyota’s oil changed at the dealership in Arlington for years but it’s quite a hassle and takes up my Saturday morning. Do you have any suggestions for a reliable place in the U Street/Shaw/Logan area to get an oil change?”

35 Comment

  • Lee’s Auto Service on 8th St. NE by Brookland Metro (across the bridge from Col Brook’s Tavern.

    • +1 on Lee’s Auto service. They are great. A few times that I went they actually didn’t charge me anything. Mr Lee is very honest and reliable. Def recommend him. Though I don’t think they do tires.

  • Auto Tech Service at Ontario and Kalorama is great and reasonable for oil changes and other repairs. I’ve sent friends there who care about their cars and others who are looking for someone to “just make it run.”

  • claire

    Just went to Auto Tech Service in Adams Morgan a couple weekends ago, at the recommendation of folks on here actually, for an oil change and multi-point inspection, and I was very happy with them! I think it ended up at $40. The place is just a small old school garage and doesn’t seem like they have a ton of people working, so it ended up taking longer than it might’ve at a place like Jiffy Lube (dropped it off at 8:30 on Saturday, they finished around 10:30).

  • May not be a real option depending on your model, but I recently learned how to change my own oil. Really quick and easy directions online, plus you get a real sense of doing something on your own, though some Fords I know make it almost impossible to change your own. Also: significantly cheaper. Definitely worth looking into.

    • THIS. Pickup a “Pela Oil Extractor” online. They use them in marine engines. Basically, you slide a tube down where the dipstick goes, pump it up, and the extractor sucks all the oile out from your crankcase. Replace the filter, top it off, you’re done in about half an hour, and you don’t have to crawl under your car. Pro tip: scrape a bar of soap with your fingers and you won’t get any grease under your nails.

  • AIM Automotive at the corner of 6th and Rhode Island NW. They can do anything from an oil change to major engine work, and it always comes out right. I’ve taken my Volvo there several times and have always been very happy with the price

    • I live right around there and have always wondered about them. The place looks a bit on the sketchy side, but it would be great to have something to close!

  • If you want a big name chain then the Goodyear on Bladensburg Rd NE near S. Dakota Ave(all within 15-20 minutes of U street, Shaw, CH) is perfect. Friendly cool staff, full service repairs etc, free wifi and good coffee. It’s also near that secondary escape root out of the city to the B-W parkway and US 50.

    • Oh good! I got my oil changed by one of the primary escape routes on the day the earthquake hit. That was a HUGE mistake. I’m glad to know of a good place near a secondary escape route for next time. The secondary route may require me to drive farther, but when I’m leaving an oil change during an emergency situation, I just want to be moving instead of trapped in standstill traffic.

  • I haven’t dealt with them for years, but I’ve had emergency work done at the Adams Mill Exxon in the past.

    • They were always very good to me there too. Very helpful, quick and reasonably priced.

    • The Adams Mill Exxon has charged grossly inflated prices in the past.

      • I took my car there for a simple oil change. They said it would cost $35. When I returned later that day to pick it up they tried to charge me $60. I looked at the ‘itemized receipt’ to see that it stated, ‘Air – $15’. I started laughing and called them out on their blatant BS, ultimately paying $35. The service is fine but I would definitely ascertain the charge with them, in writing, before handing over your vehicle.

  • AYT at 14th and R NW – or around there. They’re pretty nice guys and don’t turn an oil change into a $100 endeavor.

  • Auto Tech Service rocks! They gave me my faith in humanity back and helped me resist the urge to drive my car right through the front window of a Goodyear.

    I took my car to Goodyear on Rockville Pike in Rockville for an oil change. There was nothing wrong with my car and I did not ask them to do anything or check anything. Two hours later I call them to see why my car isn’t done yet, and they inform me that I needed 3 thousand dollars worth of work to my car because the seals were leaking. It really scared me because they kept telling me it might seize up and die at any moment.

    Long story short, I drove the car home, took it over to Auto Tech Service the next day, the dude looked under my car and said everything was fine. He could have taken me because I was really nervous but he didn’t even try.

    That was 8 months and 2 big road trips ago. Now my oil change is coming up. Guess where I will go.

  • Honestly, do it yourself or take it to a dealer that sells your type of car. If they screw up, they’ll take responsibility. There are way too many things that could go wrong (wrong oil, not oil, too little oil, wrong filter, its not screwed together well).

    Other places might try to avoid responsibility, but dealers usually own up to mistakes, in my experience.

    Also, its usually 25 at a dealer vs 20 somewhere. For the extra 5 bucks, you get some piece of mind.

    Doing it yourself saves 10-15 bucks, so not always worth it… but its definitely something you want to know how to do.

    • $20-25….WOW…haven’t seen any places that charge so little…really????

      • Yes. In fact, a lot of dealers have discounts on their website. Last time I had mine done it was 17 bucks.

      • Look for coupons on the back of receipts. Giant does it. I never pay full-price for a simple oil change (and sometimes they throw in free stuff like a tire rotation).

    • Also when you do it yourself, you then have to find a place to dispose of your oil in an environmentally sound manner (ie. not the sewer or an empty bottle that you put in your supercan.) Do-it-yourselfers tend to spill a lot of oil that ends up in our waterways.

  • I know this isn’t in the area you’re looking for, but the BP up on Connecticut (next to the Methodist home at the top of the hill up from the Van Ness Metro stop) is pretty good. I found them when I lived up there years ago, and even though I’ve been in Columbia Heights for a while now, I still take the truck over there. The guys are great and do throrough (and usually quick) work. Also good is the fact that Politics and Prose is next door, so I can browse why the guys work on the truck. Plus…Pat Collins sets up shop there seemingly once a month for a story!

    • That BP also has a GREAT motorcycle mechanic if you need one. His name is Steve.

      • If anyone is in Bethesda, I drop mine off at the BP at 7700ish Old Georgetown Road. Base price is 9.88, then with the fees for extra quart and such, it is normally $22 or so, includes disposal and everything. Best part is, drop it off in the morning, go to work, pick it up on the way home. Pretty much ideal.

      • saf

        Wait, really a bike guy in town? Other than Garcia, I didn’t realize there were any left.

        Do you know if he works on Triumphs?

  • I’ll second AYT on 14th at R NW. They’re great, very honest. They’ve had several opportunities to upsell me on something more expensive (new headlight, new tires) but instead chose to be honest and sell me what I needed (new bulb, patched tire) at a savings of several times what I could have spent. They’ve been working on my Corolla for about ten years.

  • I know you’re interested in DC spots, but I’ve got to put in a plug here for my guys over at K and B Auto in Alexandria. They took great care of my beat up old volkswagon cabrio for years and were always professional and courteous. I never felt like they were rolling their eyes or talking down to me for asking questions about the mechanics of the car, like a lot of other auto mechanics tend to do with young women. Beyond that, there were more than a few times I brought my car in for work and they didn’t charge me if it was something simple that took under fifteen minutes to fix. These guys are amazing!

  • The Shell right by the Petworth Library on Georgia and Upshur. Price and right and they get it done quickly.

  • Before I sold my car I took it to Jiffy Lube on New Hampshire Ave., just a few blocks past Eastern Ave. in MD. Fast, cheap, and relatively easy to get to.

  • American Foregin Car Service on 10th and V (next to American Ice Company). They rock! They are cheap, efficient, and friendly.

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