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.
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...
FREDRICKSBURG, VIRGINIA -- The wife wants to upgrade her SUV so we stopped by Carmax close to her parents house while visiting. After thirty minutes of looking they have nothing she likes until they pull up one from the internet. So we start the process, I do most of the paper work, salesman tells me we will finish the rest when the SUV is delivered. So I give him the transfer fee then says he will call when it comes in. Two days later he calls, we go in, I check the SUV it looks great, finishing up the paperwork. I look at the contract and the salesman has the $2000 warranty on it I told him we did not need it.
The in-law is a mechanic, he takes care of our cars. So salesman says "are you sure?" I say yes, he proceeds to tell me about it. I say again I do not need it. So salesman just gets up and walks off and starts talking with others sales guys. After 5 minutes comes back and tells we were not approved note (2 days before when we were there I was approved, been approved for triple than the price of this SUV for another vehicle we own. I know my credit is good not trying too say I am rich or anything). So I say how can that be, he says "well we made a mistake on the paperwork", then says "but if you put down a thousand we might be able to work something out."
I get up and tell the wife let's go and get my transfer fee back. Next day another salesman calls me and ask if I still wanted the vehicle, I tell him too late, we already bought from another dealership with 500 hundred off the asking price with no hassles. I tell him "if your salesman weren't trying to screw me over I would of got it there." So the way I see the salesman was trying to make extra commission off us and we will not be going back to Carmax ever again. They have lost our business. So be wary of what they say to make a sale.
BOYNTON BEACH, FLORIDA -- I loved my saleslady but THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT SUCKS! Every time I have gone there it has been an annoying experience. They boast about things being quick/easy/and they will keep you informed. OK well I bought a nice 2006 Saturn Ion and I LOVE the car. When I bought it, my dad noticed there was one just ONE clip missing from the front grill of my car... no big deal right? Can just order that right? Oh no!!!
Instead they take the whole grill off and throw the dirty thing in the back on my new car and tell me to call Monday morning to schedule an appointment to put it back on. OK so my dad and I put the grill in the trunk even though it didn't need to be taken off at all. Wasn't lose or anything. Well I call Monday morning and they want me to come in so they can see what clip it is... I bought the car on Sunday didn't they write it down?
So I came in and the service guy asked me where the clips where. I'm like, "OK, your guys took them off so you tell me." He then tells me, "Oh, I don't know what clips you are talking about but this snaps right on." OK whatever so I let him snap it on. Well then I take the highway to work and when I get there I see the grill has fallen off. I call Carmax Service Dept to let them know what happened. All they tell me is that I have to come back down to see them AGAIN so they can order the part. I go down there and they order it. They tell me they will call me as soon as it arrives.
Two weeks pass and I call and ask if my grill has arrived and the gal told me it arrived 5 days ago. NO ONE CALLED ME!!! I then go down to get the new grill attached on and it takes them 25 minutes to find the darn thing. Never mind. I have to go straight to work and they are cutting into my time since when I told them I was coming down to get the part put in and was told that it would take no longer than 10 minutes. These guys are so freaking stupid. I cannot believe the dumb people they hire. I finally have the grill on but wow annoying procedure all because of ONE CLIP that was missing. VERY ANNOYED and I will be filling out a survey for them with my complaint. The entire time they were so just not cooperative with me.
DORAL, FLORIDA -- I bought a used 2007 BMW X5 3.0 from the Miami Carmax on 4/29/09. It had 17,000 miles. They had to transfer the car from Virginia for $349. The transfer took only 4 days to complete. The car was in almost new condition. No scratches, dents, etc. It had two extra options which were not listed on their website. The only part missing was the rear cargo compartment cover. They promised to replace it free of charge.
After a week of waiting, they told me that none were available in the United States and BMW had to order the part from Germany. I called a BMW dealer and was told that there were 5 available and they could have it in 2 days. After speaking to ** (service manager at the Miami Carmax), I was told to buy the part and send them a fax with the invoice for a refund (total cost $640). After several calls and about 2 weeks, I received a check directly from Carmax's corporate office.
At the same time, I traded-in my 2002 BMW X5 3.0 for $9,000. That car had some dings and 91,000 miles. I probably could have gotten an extra $1,000-$1,500 more if I sold it myself but decided that with tax savings the extra amount I would get would not be worth the time I would need to spend trying to sell it myself. Not to mention, possibility of getting scammed.
Overall, I'm very satisfied. I saved a lot of time by shopping and comparing vehicles online. They have a large inventory and I was able to set up email alerts to let me know if a particular car with options I want becomes available. Sales staff was not as experienced as your usual used car dealer but also less pushy. They get paid much less per car sold. The no-haggle price was decent. I also bought an extended warranty for 75,000 miles and 6 years for $1,700 which can be used at Carmax or any BMW dealer. I already drove more than 2,000 miles with no problems besides a nail in one of the run flat tires which was fixed for $25.
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 repossession 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.
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!