I’ve lived in Lancaster for most of my life (except for four years in State College and two in Harrisburg), and I learned pretty quickly which garages I could trust with my car.
Most of the time, I’ve only ever needed my car to be inspected. But I’ve also gotten my tires realigned, my oil changed, my brakes replaced, etc. etc.
In those 20-something years that I’ve used Lancaster garages, I’ve come to really like three of them — and none of them are the chain stores that you might expect (although they may be affiliated with chains).
Here are the garages I know that I can trust with my car.
#1. Double D Service Center in Leola
Address: 24 E. Main St. Leola PA
Reviews: 4.8/5 on Google (48 reviews)
Double D Service Center is on Route 23 in Leola near Dr. Poole’s dental practice and the Leola Park.
It has a small staff (shout-out to Bret Goodman), but they’re exceptionally good at what they do. They’re honest, fair, fast, and friendly — it’s pretty much the best you could want from a service station.
Double D (no, I don’t know why it’s called that) is affiliated with Citgo as a way to get its gasoline, but that’s the only non-local affiliation the company has.
Otherwise, it’s locally owned, locally staffed, and centrally located among Lancaster City, Brownstown, New Holland, and — of course — Leola.
If you’re looking to get your car inspected quickly, Double D is also within walking distance of a couple key places where you can kill time.
That includes a Dollar Store, the Leola Park, and the Leola Public Pool. You can also hoof it to a nearby Giant or get your teeth cleaned at Dr. Poole’s.
Basically, there’s a surprising amount of stuff to do to kill a few minutes or hours while Double D works on your car.
The Google reviews are a nice touch, too. For a local garage, it’s a challenge to have a near-perfect rating — especially when you have four dozen reviews.
#2. Blue Ball Garage in Blue Ball
Address: 976 E. Main St. Blue Ball PA
Reviews: 4.2/5 on Google (50 reviews)
Blue Ball Garage is possibly the largest locally-owned service station in Lancaster County.
With dozens of employees and an absolutely enormous facility off of Route 23 (just a few miles from Double D), Blue Ball Garage is an economic staple of the New Holland area.
It’s note quite as conveniently-located as Double D in that you can’t walk to a park or a store to kill time.
At the same time, you don’t really need to do that. Blue Ball Garage has a decent waiting area and it makes sense to have someone go there with you to drop your car off anyway.
Regardless, Blue Ball Garage has a lengthy track record of good service, honest pricing, and skilled staff. It’s a great choice for anyone new to the area or long-time residents.
Plus, it’s in the most scenic area of all the service stations on this list.
Trust me — you’ll enjoy the drive, even if you’ve made it 100 times before.
#3. Stonemill Garage in Akron
Address: 243 Miller Rd. Akron PA
Reviews: 4.7/5 on Google (6 reviews)
Stonemill Garage is the newest place I’ve taken my car to get inspected.
I was a bit nervous about it at first because I’ve stuck with Double D and Blue Ball Garage for so long. Part of that is because Stonemill Garage is kind of hard to find (it’s off a residential street and borders the Akron Rail Trail) and has the smallest staff of any business on this list.
That’s why I was so happy to get a chance to talk to the people who run Stonemill Garage.
They’re friendly, understanding (I had to re-register my car before getting it inspected — it took a lot for them not to openly call me an idiot), and reasonable when it comes to pricing.
It feels kind of sketchy to pull into their parking lot because it’s back a driveway and around a stone lot that has a “KEEP OUT” sign next to a vehicle boneyard, but looks are deceiving in this case.
With a quick walk, you’re out onto Miller Road and in a perfectly lovely slice of suburbia.
You’re a slightly-longer walk away from anything substantial in the area. There’s Reiff’s farmer’s market on Rothsville Road and a Chinese restaurant adjoined to a Turkey Hill in the opposite direction.
You could also take a walk on the Akron Rail Trail and see how far you can get before you have to turn around (it’s a long trail).
Regardless, Stonemill Garage is a great place to take your vehicle.
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