Good DC-area mechanic?
January 23, 2008 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Anyone have recommendations for a good mechanic in the DC/MD suburbs area?

My friends have a Mazda Protege and a knack for picking terrible mechanics. One left the state before checking out a car they were selling, and the staff threatened to call the police when they tried to take it to another mechanic, for instance. The most recent dust-up was with a guy who insisted on some replacement contraindicated by the owner's manual and then asked them to leave.

So. They're looking for a mechanic who is technically proficient, honest and reliable, and not crazy. They live in DC just across the street from Takoma Park, MD, so DC/MD would be preferable, but I'm sure they'd drive to metro-accessible parts of VA for a good mechanic. A Mazda specialist would be appreciated, I'm sure, but isn't necessary. The important stuff is that they be: (1) good, (2) honest, and (3) sane.

posted by averyoldworld to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Rising Sun Motors is very nearby in College Park; they specialize in Japanese cars. My family has been patronizing them for ages, and we've always been very happy with their service and expertise.
posted by BrotherFeldspar at 9:11 AM on January 23, 2008

D and R Service Center 3921 Plyers Mill Road, Kensington, MD 20895 (301) 949-5928
8AM-6PM Monday-Friday
posted by cahlers at 9:12 AM on January 23, 2008

Best answer: After hearing rave reviews from my boss and his old Volvo, I take my cars (at Saturn, A Plymouth Voyager and a BMW) to Old Town Auto Service Center all the time. They are sane, fair, and have fixed minor things at no cost (when I had it in for something else) on several occasions. They're on the corner of Carroll and Tulip Aves.

(Not to be confused with Takoma Old Town Auto Service Center, which is up the street, closer to the co-op.)
posted by mboszko at 9:58 AM on January 23, 2008

Feel obligated to pipe up with Curry's in Falls Church. Probably a bit out of the way, but they're exceedingly helpful in explaining what's broken, recommending what to fix and what not to fix, and charging a fair price.
posted by piro at 10:01 AM on January 23, 2008

The website for NPR's Car Talk show has a 'mechanic search' function on it - the reviews, if I recall, are from listeners and customers. Plug in the ZIP code and go!
posted by jquinby at 10:01 AM on January 23, 2008

I've mentioned A-One (Google maps, Car Talk Mech-X) before (in this thread) and since then I've continued to be impressed. They will drive you between their shop and Van Dorn Metro (and they're only about a 15-20 minute walk if you'd rather). The Car Talk site might have some other suggestions additionally. They specialist in Asian makes in general, but will work on almost anything.

Bit of a drive for them, but another idea.
posted by skynxnex at 10:02 AM on January 23, 2008

Distad's is next to the Eastern Market metro, and everyone, including me, loves them.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:35 AM on January 23, 2008

Totas, Fenton Ave, Silver Spring
posted by ohdeanna at 12:22 PM on January 23, 2008

Check out WJFK's Pat Goss from Goss' Garage!
posted by scottso17 at 12:25 PM on January 23, 2008

I have to say that I do not recommend Rising Sun Motors. I have a Toyota and was recommended them as being good Japanese car mechanics (I think that Car Talk site recommends them).

However, I found them incredibly expensive and not very friendly. Also, their work can be a bit shoddy. I asked them to change the light in the back of my car, which they did, but the didn't screw the cover on properly, and now it falls off all the time. Also, I once had some sort of problem when my car wouldn't start that required them to clean off some thing under the hood (I know, I suck at car stuff). Anyway, they charged me like $125 to fix it. One month later, the same thing happened again! This time I had the car towed to the local Exxon station. They did the same exact repair for $40. The problem has never recurred. They're probably good if there is something complicated wrong with your car, but just for periodic check-ups/repairs, probably not your best bet.

I usually go to Greenbelt Auto and Truck just because they're close to my house. They're reasonably priced and really, really nice.
posted by bluefly at 5:46 PM on January 23, 2008

North Laurel Auto. Larry White and his crew have been a godsend to me for the past dozen years. He and his staff are honest to a fault, reliable, friendly, and fair. They kept my old car running for years past when it should have died. Their walls are full of testimonials, including one from a woman who was passing through our area and had a problem with her car. They saw her on a Saturday, diagnosed the problem as one that could be safely dealt with when she returned home, and sent her on her way.

Their numbers are: (301) 498-3262 or (410) 792-8335. They are right off Rt 1 in Laurel, not too far away from you. 9371 Davis Ave, Laurel, MD 20723.

Tell them Corky recommended them.
posted by Corky at 5:56 PM on January 23, 2008

I take my old-and-cranky Toyota to Mount Pleasant Auto Repair (3054 Mount Pleasant St., NW 202-234-2578). The place looks like a dump (it's in an old and battered Esso station not too different from the one on Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park), but they're honest, affordable, and have always done good work for me.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:40 AM on January 25, 2008

not sure if you are still looking ,but Lee's Auto Repair in Brookland is honest and fast. he fills up very, very quick in the morning, so make sure that you get in early. it's a block or two walk from the Brookland metro station on the Red too!
posted by waylaid at 2:07 PM on January 29, 2008

Response by poster: These are all great suggestion, folks. They're going to try the Old Town Auto Service Center (not the Takoma Old Town Auto Service Center, the most recent distributor of crazy) and I'll post a follow-up about how it went.
posted by averyoldworld at 5:48 PM on January 29, 2008

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