About 4 to 5 months ago, I decided to trade in my Oldsmoblie Intrigue because it was old and not running as it should be (it stalled as I was driving and had trouble starting) to CarMax. I took it in and actually got a good price for how old it was. I picked the 2004 Altima I have now because I liked the look and the specs of the car. I got the Carfax report and it all seemed to check out. About four months after I bought the car, it started to do what my old car did, stalling and not starting. Thinking it was something I had done, I took it to my mechanic and he looked over it. What I found out floored me.
The actuator and cam system were shot, brake discs where cracked, brake pads non-existent, mold in my filters and the whole electrical system had to be re-done. My mechanic told me that none of these problems could not have happened in the short time I have owned the car, but most likely from the previous owner. And yes, I know it's a used car and not totally new, but the Carfax report failed to mention any issues the car ever had. I was under the impression that Carmax fixed any issues the car had before they could sell it, but I guess I was wrong.
We also suspect my car was a flood car (damaged in a flood) based on the condition of the filters and the air conditioner's horrible smell after I bought it. Carmax does give you a chance for repairs on them, a whole 30 days! I was so excited to have my new car and one that I felt safe in. When my Altima stalled on a highway and locked up on me, I felt like I was back in my Intrigue. I have had a horrible experience with Carmax and would never recommend them to anyone I meet, friend or stranger. I thought I would have peace of mind with a younger, newer car, but I don't.
I hope this review can help anyone else out there before they go and trust those "carfax" they deem true and accurate.
ROSWELL, GEORGIA -- We bought a 2007 Nissan Sentra in Aug, 2009 with only 7000 miles on it. I bought the MaxCare Warranty on the car and the salesman said it covered everything except for normal wear and tear like wipers, brake pads, alignment, etc. Now the car has 11,000 mile on it. This past week, we rolled down the driver's side windshield and the window was off track and wouldn't roll up. So, we first took it to our local Nissan dealer. They diagnosed that the window clips and track were broken and it would be $450 to replace the window. This would not be covered under Nissan warranty because it WAS NOT a NISSAN window.
This of course, was news to us because when we bought the car, who would think to check and see if all the windows were Nissan authorized? Anyway, we then took the car over to CarMax because we had purchased the extended warranty. After checking out the broken window, CarMax told us that the warranty did not cover "windows", but that they would pay for the part if we would pay for the $129 labor. How frustrating!!! The sales pitch about the warranty covering everything except for normal wear and tear, etc is a NOT TRUE! This was our 2nd CARMAX car and next car (which we will purchase in 6 months) WILL NOT be from CARMAX!
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I'm purchasing a vehicle from Carmax in Charlotte, NC. I've always sang the praises of Carmax and talked my dad into driving 4 hours to get his truck from there 5-6 years ago - that's how confident I was in them. Now it's time for me to purchase a car, my finances have already been run, I'm just waiting on the transfer so I can pick it up. It kills me at this point to give them $12K.
This was my $12K buying experience. I first got a call from a sales rep, he left a voice mail. I called him back and left a message but didn't hear back for 3-4 days so I just called back to Carmax, no big deal, these things happen. Then I spoke to another sales rep who was very nice upon the initial call (but keep in mind that this was end of the month and numbers have to be met). I was supposed to go there last weekend but we had a snow storm and we were snowed in, Carmax was closed. I have an appointment for Saturday but woke up with my eye completely swollen shut (Pink Eye) and ended up at the Dr's office instead.
I called on BOTH occasions to cancel. He asked me if I wanted to come in on Sunday but I said I'd wait until he was actually in the office, that it wouldn't be fair for him to come in on his day off. I sent him 2 Corolla stock numbers I liked and he said, sarcastically, "Are you sure you want a Corolla, it's not on recall you know". I had asked about recall and apparently he didn't like the question. I then get a call from original sales rep who left a message of "This is **, I need to know what you are coming to pick up your Camry". I don't know if this is the way he speaks in general but his voice was very commanding as if this Camry is weighing down the lot.
I finally go today (eyes still swollen). I called FIRST and asked for original sales rep, the lady was extremely snippy and states he is off, do I want his cell phone number. I said no that I was just on my way in. She huffed and stated "So do you want his cell phone number?!" I advise no again. I called 2nd sales rep and he states "Oh, so you've finally decided to come" which dripped of sarcasm. I get to the facility and am advised by new 3rd sales rep that 2nd sales rep is finishing up a sale and will be with us shortly but he'll take me out to the car.
Mr. Sales Rep #2 never made it over to us, he was having a smoke break so obviously he was busy. I don't think it really comes across in this review but everyone was so sarcastic and rude (minus new sales rep but I haven't finished the buying from yet so who knows). I'm tempted just to go to a dealer. It's hard to give someone $12K when they act obnoxious. I realize that the end of the month is over and now my sale is unimportant and this will be my last Carmax buying experience and I'll be warning everyone else along the way.
Today is December 30th 2009. Exactly one week ago I got into touch with this company Carmax their Jackson, Mississippi branch and asked them about selling my fully loaded 2003 GMC Yukon and what I needed to do. I talked to a guy who's name I will not mention who I found out today he was also an appraiser (keep that in mind). He went over a list of features that could come with the truck which include dual power seats, heated seats, DVD system, running boards, aftermarket Alpine radio, dual climate control, rear air control, power everything, OnStar, plus much more.
I told the guy the pay off for my truck was $8264.22 and I needed to sell it because I just became unemployed and cannot afford the truck anymore. The guy then stated that my truck in good condition with all features working properly and everything was worth $9,800. Now I thought this was great I just wanted the payoff. I went on Kelly Blue Book my truck is worth $10,600. So I decided to drive 3 hours from my house to go sell my truck I also got my wife with my one year old son to follow me in her car which it is pouring down and my wife doesn't like driving far especially in bad weather because she starts to have panic attacks.
So despite all of this we took the ride. I got there around two in the afternoon and got it appraised the report came back that the truck was in good shape, tires good, interior good, exterior good, transmission and engine great, but needed a few minor repairs, keep in mind the truck is almost 7 years old. The appraisal came back and before I got the amount I wanted to talk to the person who appraised my truck so the little guy went to get him. He came back with him and he sat down and we talked about the truck.
I made the comment that the truck should make me some money and the guy who appraised my truck said and I quote "Oh well we will only resale it for around 14" and then stops and says "Well it's my break time", I'm like OK what the hell didn't even think about it twice. After the guy left, the man behind the computer said "OK well your truck appraised for $6,000." My jaw droped. So I drive 3 hours to here that they would sell the truck for $8,000 more than what they offered me and that my truck was worth $3600 less than what the original appraiser told me I would get. They wanted to buy a fully loaded Yukon 7 years old with only 111,643 miles on it.
I don't understand these people. I mean I know they're in it to make a profit but an $8,000 profit. Get real. What is this junk about. Companies like this one are the reason why the country is in a recession, because the big guys don't care about the little guys who are just trying to do right by there family and try to support them. I will never refer anyone to these people because they are a bunch of scam artist.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- My experience with Carmax in Irvine, CA has been very, very negative, and I'm beginning to realize the place is a sham. As for their "thorough inspection" - **. I took my car to an independent mechanic and right away they found several problems. Sure, you have a 30 day warranty, but the bottom line is Carmax lies when they say they're selling you a quality car and boasting that they guarantee them. In my situation, I brought back the car right away so they could fix the alignment and balancing of the weeks and a rear brake light.
First of all, the service department didn't return my messages and I had to stay on top of them to abide by their warranty. When I got the car back, I then realized the spare tire in the truck was totally punk/defective. HELLO!! If I had changed a flat tire on the freeway and unknowingly replaced it with that tire, I could have been KILLED!! When I left a message with the service department again (they obviously don't answer the phone), I never heard back. At this point - irate - I left a message with my salesman (who, to this day, has never called me back) and kept calling the service department until I got someone.
As they require that you drive to Carmax to prove each and every issue, I brought it back to show them the defective spare. I was told I would hear from them that day or the next. The next day, a manager called me (I don't know if they received my very dissatisfied customer survey or the service employees mentioned I was pissed) apologizing and saying all the right things - it's unacceptable they hadn't called me back, he doesn't know where they went wrong, they pride themselves on customer service (A WHOLE LOAD OF BS).
He said they had had to order a tire from the East Coast, that it would take a week and that he would personally be on top of it the next week to let me know asap when it arrived. Well, "one week" would have been 3 DAYS AGO. I still have not heard from the manager, service department.. anyone. Dealing with Carmax is a huge headache and I find them flaky and totally dishonest. If you're looking for a used car, look elsewhere!! The "convenience" and "customer service" supposedly offered at Carmax isn't there, and you're better off trying to find someone or someplace else you can trust.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I bought my VW Touareg on May 2008, I took already to the shop for repair eight times. The same day that I brought the car, the flat sensor was on, after 4 times taking to the service department was fixed (two times at CarMax and 2 times to VW dealer). In January 2009, the headlight system shot down, specially, the left side, they fixed it. They said that I have to wait to fixed the right side until shutdowns, like the left side, because was so hard for the extended warranty pay for this issue. In the meantime I was having on and off the check lights sensor.
On May 2009, the problem started to increase and I called to scheduled the appt., they order the part and scheduled another appt. On that day they said that was the bulb and they replaced. As soon I was driving the car, the check lights senor came out again. I called and spoke to the service coordinator **, she said will be calling me back verify what they will be doing it. She never did, until I called back again and threatened them, with a safety issue, took for her 20 minutes to call me back to say "bring the car again and we will take to VW dealership." I took the car, they drove without my authorization.
When a car has an issue like this, they cannot drive it, they supposed to put on a flat bed. Also they used all my gas tank and never replaced the gas, they said is OK to do it. They rented a car for me and took 2 days to be fixed. When ** called to let me know the car was ready, listen the explanation, "VW replaced the bulb and we did an upgrade, because was the bulb, and this part is not covered by the warranty, but we will be paying for." I tried to get my gas money back and the manager, his name is **, he said a big no. Other manager ** he said as well.
These are the rudest staff that I ever found in the service industry, the manager **, he told me that he was done with me and I need to leave the place, after an hour conversation. On my way home, my check lights sensor came back again. When I contacted the service department, they said is OK to use my car, use my gas, because they were doing a favor to me. This is not acceptable. Also, I am still dealing with him regarding my issue. I requested the survey from my service, because I never received one from this issue since January, and they said that the system assigned them randomly, just excuse, the first four times.
I received my survey on the mail and with this issue is very strange. Let's see what happened...
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- I bought the MaxCare Warranty on my car when I purchased it from CarMax last year. The salesman said it covered everything except for normal wear and tear like wipers, brake pads, alignment, etc. Recently, my alignment started pulling to the right really bad. I knew I had to pay extra for it, but when I got there, the service guy started looking into other things. A quick re-alignment turned into: Bad fuel injector that needed to be replaced, cracked power steering belt that needed to be replaced, cracked AC belt that needed to be replaced, new front tires costing $256 (for just the two tires alone!), and the re-alignment.
My $50 MaxCare deductible went to a soaring $500 bill because all the other stuff had to be fixed before they could re-align the car. Additionally, they couldn't even work on the car because it was still under warranty with Nissan. They told me I could either come pick it up and drive it to Nissan or they could take it there for me. When I went to pick up my car, they told me I owed $81 just for the estimate. I'd never heard of such a thing and complained to the manager, who waived the fee.
I then took it to Bridgestone and Nissan. Bridgestone charged me $200 for the tires and alignment and also told me the reason my alignment was off in the first place was because one of my wheels was bent. I was very surprised because even CarMax couldn't tell me that. We got the new wheel for $40 and Bridgestone swapped it out for free the next day. Nissan looked at my car and told me that the fuel injector did *not* need to be replaced. It was just clogged and a special cleaner could be put in it to get it running correctly again. They also said there was nothing wrong with my power steering or AC belts. And by the way, my car is only 1 year old!
I may continue to purchase cars from CarMax because their sales staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and fair, but I will *never* take my car to the service center or buy the MaxCare warranty again.
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA -- I was told by my salesman that all CarMax go through a 125 point inspection which I was lied to and it was a total misrepresentation. I was sold a Cadillac. A junk from the day I took it out of the lot. I have so many thing wrong with it, it proved they never did a 125 inspection. I had to rent cars so I could do my work, because I was ready to lose my job. I was unable to do my job, I lost so much money with that junk car that I was sold by CarMax, that I did not have an option to give it back to the lender. So not just buying a junk car was I harmed but now I have a reposition on my credit.
I have service records from the day I took the car out of the CarMax lot. I am filing a complaint with the Delores Division, with the State Of Florida.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I am a Carmax ex-employee so I can give you a little feedback. Carmax puts about $4,000 markup from cost on average some less some even more. I have experience in buying cars and you are better off in a dealership where you can haggle the price. Paying whatever a dealer thinks is fair is just plain stupid, if you are a skill negotiator you can get a really good deal. AutoNation and Carmax are both the same, corporations for profit business. They just go about conducting their business in a different manner.
Carmax is not the Salvation Army or United Way, they charge really high interest rates for their cars and both dealerships if you let them will bury you into a car that you will be greatly upside down someday when you want to get out of the car. I also sold for traditional dealerships and they do the same, be a smart consumer and a good negotiator but I would never buy a car at a fixed price unless I got wholesale value with Edmond's or KBB. People do not realize this but you can buy a new car for the prices CarMax has on their used cars with low APR's, which means lower cars payments and money saved.
MODESTO, CALIFORNIA -- We all hear stories about friends, or just plain out strangers buying cars and a few short months down the line, their dream vehicle is sitting in the driveway collecting dust, unable to drive it but still have to pay for it. Well unfortunately that's my 'car' story and I'm sticking to it. Well pretty much, I don't have a choice but to stick with it.
About six months ago I bought a car from Carmax, the sales associate was very nice, helpful.. Actually the whole entire staff was, so I never thought negative about the whole situation. I test drove a 2005 Chevy Aveo. I fell in love with the car, my very own car I bought and saved up for. They showed me a report on the vehicle said it was inspected up and down, sideways back and forth you name it they inspected it. The car even came with a certificate stating it has been through various tests and protocols. I couldn't afford the warranty but didn't think it would be a big deal since the car was inspected by numerous mechanics that work at Carmax.
Six months later.. my car is sitting.. collecting dust... I'm unable to fix it because I still got to make the payments and the repairs to my car are equivalent to buying a whole another car. The timing belt broke after just six months of having the car. I'm just thankful nothing happened to my family and I because I was on the freeway when the car broke down.