Chicago is one of the largest cities in the world. It sprawls up and down the shore of Lake Michigan, encompassing more developed landmass than any city aside from New York and Tokyo. In this urban jungle, like a real rainforest, much of what makes the ecosystem thrive remains hidden from the casual observer. Among all the brick, mortar, steel, and glass that composes Chicago, oil changes can be hard to find. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of reliable technicians in just about every neck of the woods.Far North SideAB Marathon | 5550 N. Ashland Ave. When customers talk about owner Paul and his team of technicians at AB Marathon, the words “trustworthy” and “transparent” come up a lot. This crew doesn’t like to make unnecessary repairs, which allows them to be a bit more meticulous. That extends to oil changes—the mechanics notice just about everything going on under a hood while they work.Near North SideCassidy Tire & Service | 344 N. Canal St. Customers count on the Cassidy team for their honest opinions about which services are needed to keep a car running. They always scope things out when they do an oil change and keep vehicle owners posted on the state of the engine.Northwest SideRoyal Automotive | 5675 N. Elston Ave. This longtime neighborhood shop can’t be described by specialty. The resident techs are good at just about everything, from simple oil changes to complete collision repair. They’ve got lots of local loyalists who bring in their cars for every possible procedure.West SideGreen Wheels Automotive | 1540 N. Western Ave. As the name suggests, this shop specializes in environmentally friendly practices. The team is adept at repairing electric cars and hybrids but also provides oil changes for regular vehicles. They install a high-performance filter with every service and use re-refined oil for reduced emissions and greater engine efficiency.Near West SideWizard Werks | 1210 W. Lake St. This shop specializes in maintaining high-performance European vehicles, as one might expect from a shop near the Loop. It’s in the West Loop, just a short trip for anyone downtown. Their knowledge translates well to any engine, especially when it comes to keeping cars running longer with oil changes.Near South SideA-K Auto Mechanic & Body Shop | 2515 S. Halsted St. The large, full-service garage looks exactly as such institutions have for decades. Lifts hoist cars to give mechanics access to vehicles’ underbellies. Hoods stand propped open to admit technicians’ torsos. Such extremes aren’t necessary for a simple oil change, but the sights speak of a team that knows what they’re about. Customers tend to agree.Southwest SideCar-X Auto Service | 5418 S. Pulaski Rd. Owner Dan maintains a team of mechanics and technicians who’ve stuck around for years. They’re pretty happy, and they pass that happiness along to the customer with friendly conversation and bonuses such as rides to and from the shop while a car is being worked on.Far South SideUSA Muffler & Brake | 11044 S. Western Ave. These meticulous mechanics have been known to catch their dealership counterparts recommending wrong repairs from time to time. They thoroughly examine vehicles to track down the source of problems. They never recommend part replacement when a simple cleaning will do, and they run down every possibility behind a check engine light before recommending service.
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