The Best Spots for a San Diego Oil Change (And What To Do While You Wait)
San Diego’s charm stems from its eclectic mix of neighborhoods, with trendy Ocean Beach to the west, upscale Coronado across the water, and authentically Mexican Barrio Logan to the south. The highways are a thread connecting these disparate neighborhoods. But in order to explore this varied landscape, you need to maintain your vehicle with regular oil changes. We’re here to help with a list of the top San Diego oil-change spots, along with tips on how to sample some local flavor while you’re waiting.
1. Oil Changers (2448 El Cajon Blvd.)
Why We Like It: The mechanics here exude positivity. While they work, they give consistently constructive advice to ensure that every client departs feeling satisfied with their service.
While You Wait: Pop in across the boulevard at the Old Coin Shop, where founder Harlan White stocks collectible coins and currency from around the world. His collection even includes a rare 1804 dollar, one of only 15 known in the world.
2. Kearny Mesa Smog Check (4191 Convoy St.)
Why We Like It: You’ll get speedy service, including oil changes that are typically completed in less than 30 minutes. Mechanics remove the used oil and replace it with high-quality synthetic oil, and they can even perform smog checks while you wait.
While You Wait: If you have enough time to get away, head across the street to It's Boba Time for a fresh fruit smoothie or milk tea in addictive flavors such as honeydew, jasmine, and matcha.
3. Ron’s Auto Clinic (3840 Alabama St.)
Why We Like It: At this family joint, Ron, his brother, and his niece work together to ensure that vehicles reach their optimal performance levels. The staffers explain their processes thoroughly and never surprise clients with unexpected charges.
While You Wait: Head a few blocks east to the North Park Nursery for a burst of greenery. This micro nursery grows everything from edible plants, such as dinosaur kale, to native species including monkey flower.
4. Allman Family Auto (7066 El Cajon Blvd.)
Why We Like It: Customers praise mechanic Mike Allman for his expert diagnostic skills. Using little more than a clunky sound or a wobble as his clue, he can determine what’s wrong with your vehicle.
While You Wait: Wander the aisles at the Bangs African Peruvian Market next door, where you can update your pantry's supply of quinoa, lima beans, or chili peppers.
Stephanie McDaniel is a political theorist-turned-novelist from South Carolina. On the rare occasion she’s not writing, she spends her time folk dancing, singing, and adding sea salt to Lake Michigan.