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Carmax - What's Your Experience?

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  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Never heard of one for a car sale or lease. Man, that would be a tough state to be a car dealer in. Way too many second thoughts later for so many folks...
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902
    In contrast, the number of people who incorrectly BELIEVE there is a cooling-off period is probably uncountable. My state (Missouri) certainly doesn't, but I've had numerous people try to tell me that we do. I'm not sure where they're getting this info, but it must be from the same source, as all of them "know" the cooling-off period is exactly 3 days.

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  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Probably from home purchases and refinancing, I think in most states there is a period after a real estate contract is signed or real estate refinanced / financed when you can change your mind.

    Some used car dealers offer to take your car back in x days if you don't like it. Some limit it to a credit toward another car (not cash back). You would not find too many new car dealers offering that deal as they would have a lot full of "used" cars in no time.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,851
    Agreed.... home refinancing is one that applies here..

    The big one: Sales made in a customer's home...

    I've heard Minnesota's cooling-off period laws are pretty liberal... but, that's just anecdotal..

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  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,245
    Here's what gets a cooling off period in Illinois: http://www.ag.state.il.us/consumers/3dayright.html And the Illinois consumer info for buying & repairing autos: http://www.ag.state.il.us/consumers/autobuy.html. The first PDF linked on that page explicitly states Illinois does not have a vehicular cooling off period.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,790
    One has to remember that cooling off periods for contracts are usually allowed only when both parties can be made whole if the contract is cancelled. Once a car is driven off a lot its value diminishes and undoing the contract puts undue hardship on the dealer as the asset they get back would be worth less.

    I suppose that if you press it hard enough in a court the judge may (and I say may) have a kind heart and offer to order they deal unwound on condition that you reimburse the dealership for any diminished value in the returned car. But I wouldn't count on that.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • spunkyblondspunkyblond Posts: 15
    edited November 2011
    rming, Carmax issues bank drafts rather than check to allow time for thwir paperwork w/ dmv to go through. Should they have issues w/ legitimacy of transferring ownership , then they can cancel the draft. You would get your car back. There have been a couple occasions in their 20 yrs of buying/selling cars, where they took a stolen car without their knowledge. They're not dumb asses!

    You did steal your new car. The dealership should've called the police! The poor sales person made NOTHING off your sale and they do that for a living. Nothing wrong with making a little money off of you, just don't have to make all of it off of you.

    As far as what the dealer sold a similar car as your trade, they spend money reconditioning it before selling it. Doesn't matter if you took excellent care of it. Iy's a used car! If a dealer didn't buy your trade for wholesale and sell it retail, they'd go out of business. Why do I have to explain marketing 101 to you. LoL

    Instead of being greedy and gotta have it all, a fair deal is when you get a fair price and the sales associate gets a fair commission. The dealership most likely gave you the deal you begged and pleaded for b/c they made enough off of other customers that month to take a loss.

    I'm in sales but not automotive sales. The economy is so bad that people think they shouldn't have to pay retail for anything these days. First words out of their mouths are "do I get a discount?" Then I hear their sob story.
    Everyone can afford more than they say they can. It's okay for the consumer to get all the savings but the retailer shouldn't get anything??

    Anyone in sales would understand where I'm coming from and would agree I'm sure. That's all I'm going to say. Lol
  • There isn't any such law regarding a cooling off period or rescission period.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    edited November 2011
    I agree.

    The Federal law everyone thinks covers car sales is actually only for something like in-home sales with a company based more than 150 miles away. Then you get 3 days to cancel.

    Or some complicated circumstances such as these.

    In most states, you buy a car and drive it onto the street, it's yours.
  • On 12/26/11, I purchased a 2006 Chevy Silverado from Carmax in Houston, TX. On 1/2/12 (conveniently outside the return period) I began noticing a grinding in the accelerato pedal at around 45 m.p.h. (1100-1200 rpm.) I took it back to the closest dealer to have it checked out. After wasting my entire day, they told me there was no apparent mechanical problem and sent me on my way, truck with a clean bill of health. Then I moved to San Angelo, TX for an internship. Shortly after my move, the noise began presenting itself again. I set up an appointment to have the vehicle checked out on 1/19/12 so I could get in under the 30-day warranty. I had to drive to the nearest Carmax in Austin, TX which is over 3 hours away. On Thursday, the service manager(?) called me an said his technician thought the issue was in the transmission and was sending it to their trusted transmission shop. He then told me I would hear from him by noon on Friday. At 2:30 p.m. on Friday, I called him to get some news about my vehicle. He told me that the transmission shop had found no issue and was towing the truck back to them and he would not be able to work on it again until Monday. In this time frame, I did get a loaner and was assured by the service manager (?) that I would not be charged for anything since the work began within the 30 day timeframe. So, no I am going to have to waste another 6+ hour roundtrip to get my truck back. I am seriously considering looking into all of the class-action suits and seeing if there is a way around their 5 day return limit. Clearly, this vehicle would have failed an inspection at the hands of a competent technician. I am less than enthused about this purchase.
  • Two things people hate to deal with the most, going to the dentist and taking their car to the shop.

    Are you still driving the truck? Doesn't sound like you bought Maxcare andyou did buy a used car. It's a bit premature to start shouting lawsuit. Do you want to spend more in legal fees than you paid for your truck?
    No other car dealership will give you 100% of your money back five days after purchase. It just happened to be three days outside of the 5 days you started having a concern.

    I recommend you contact the Carmax General Manager at the store you purchased it from and explain what has been going on. You're almost outside of your initial 30 days, they will not refund your money outside of their 5 day return; however, depending on the severity of the problem you may be having, Carmax may allow you to exchange your truck for another vehicle.
  • "Two things people hate to deal with the most, going to the dentist and taking their car to the shop. "

    I hate shady, dishonest dealerships more. There is NO way this problem just started right after I bought the truck. I worked as a mechanic when I got out of high school, so I well aware that you can jerry-rig a vehicle to pass a test drive. I am feeling more and more like this is the case. Especially when I was unable to get a name or contact information for the transmission shop where they sent my vehicle.

    "Are you still driving the truck?"

    Nope. They gave me a loaner, Mercury Mariner, which is clearly NOT comparable to a half-ton pickup.

    "Doesn't sound like you bought Maxcare "

    Yep...sure did.

    "andyou did buy a used car. "

    Yea...from a dealer who allegedly runs their vehicles through the ringer and puts them through a 12 hours minimum reconditioning (not true, by the way)

    "It's a bit premature to start shouting lawsuit"

    I am not shouting lawsuit. I am, however, looking into Lemon Laws and the, apparently numerous, class action lawsuits involving Carmax. I am looking into all of my options. I am also more than irritated by the fact that the dealer initially claimed the problem was nothing to be concerned about and now it is going back and forth between shops.

    "Do you want to spend more in legal fees than you paid for your truck?"

    FYI: it only costs a few hundred bucks to handle a Lemon Law suit here in TX if it comes to that.

    "No other car dealership will give you 100% of your money back five days after purchase."

    Do me a favor and don't make patently false statements.

    "It just happened to be three days outside of the 5 days you started having a concern. "

    Check the dates. It "just happened" over a federal holiday weekend. There was nothing I could have done about it anyway. How convenient for them. I must also note that the entire time the truck was driven in that period was less than 50 miles. I was at home preparing to move, so I wasn't really going anywhere.

    "I recommend you contact the Carmax General Manager at the store you purchased it from and explain what has been going on. "

    They have been contacted and have not returned messages. Not surprising, really.

    "You're almost outside of your initial 30 days, they will not refund your money outside of their 5 day return; however, depending on the severity of the problem you may be having, Carmax may allow you to exchange your truck for another vehicle."

    I am sure there are ways around that 5 day thing. That is what I am looking into. Plainly stated, the vehicle had a pre-existing condition that they weaseled around and now it is being a problem and I am without my vehicle that I am still paying for and insuring.

    Honestly, I am half-tempted to wait until the truck is repaired and then sell it just to get out from under this nonsense. I am not willing to do business with them any further. This is ridiculous.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Sorry you are having troubles, but you purchased a 6 year old truck with (unstated) thousands of miles on it and you expect it to be perfect? Even a new car can break as soon as it is driven, one 6 years old has a far greater chance of having a problem.

    I am not sure what "grinding in the accelerato pedal" could mean, but if the problem is in the pedal then it seems like something you could live with or have fixed cheap. I am not sure how Carmax could have rigged something up to fool you into buying the truck - have it work for days and then fail. Carmax auctions and has dealer sales for vehicles they can't sell and something with a problem they knew about would likely be sold wholesale to a dealer and not retailed to a buyer.

    As far as I know there are no used car lemon laws, by their very nature used cars will fail without warning or usually warranty. Most used car dealers don't offer a buy back program either. At best, you could swap for something on the lot. Many would offer no help at all for buyer's remorse or problems post sale.

    In hindsight, if offered a buy back guarantee then I would make sure I did a lot of driving under varied conditions to wring out any problems and make sure I would be happy. Driven enough, there would be no way to "rig something up" to pass a short test drive.

    You state you purchased Carmax's extended warranty "MaxCare" which might help, but then you complain because you moved to a location where a trip to the nearest Carmax with 3 hours one way?

    I am no Carmax fan boy, I think their no haggle price is way too high compared to working a deal with another dealer. "In theory" they have nice vehicles that are inspected, but like you I am not sure how much extra value should be placed on that inspection (or those by any other dealer). I think they get the bulk of their vehicles from auctions so they don't get to inspect them completely pre-purchase. Like any dealer with any used vehicle they can have issues after purchase no matter how much or how little they were inspected.

    What *I* would do is find a quality local shop and get the problem diagnosed and an estimate for the repairs - this may cost you a little out of pocket. Once you know what the problem is and the repair, then work with Carmax to make sure it is covered and repaired. I would then ask for my up front money back. It might be cheaper and easier than making 6 hour round trips.

    Good luck!
  • silveradokingsilveradoking Posts: 3
    edited January 2012
    "Sorry you are having troubles, but you purchased a 6 year old truck with (unstated) thousands of miles on it and you expect it to be perfect? Even a new car can break as soon as it is driven, one 6 years old has a far greater chance of having a problem."

    Please, show me where I expected the vehicle to be perfect. Just one line that indicated that. Ok...now that we've covered just making things up, let's see what I did expect. What I expected was that Carmax would thoroughly inspect their vehicles to ensure these kinds of issues would be addressed. I forgot to mention, the truck only has about 55k on it. Also, don't insult my intelligence with statements about the truck having potential for problems. I am well aware of that. Thus my reasons for going to a dealer that claims to do all kinds of reconditioning prior to sale.

    "I am not sure what "grinding in the accelerato pedal" could mean, but if the problem is in the pedal then it seems like something you could live with or have fixed cheap. I am not sure how Carmax could have rigged something up to fool you into buying the truck - have it work for days and then fail. Carmax auctions and has dealer sales for vehicles they can't sell and something with a problem they knew about would likely be sold wholesale to a dealer and not retailed to a buyer."

    Let me explain: This model of truck is "drive by wire," meaning there is no longer a physical connection between the gas pedal and the throttle body assembly. Such a grinding is evidence of any number of things, including a bad transmission/torque convertor, bad driveshaft/spider gears/u-joints, bad throttle valve motor, etc. In my shop experience, none of these "just happen" and there would have been evidence of damage or defect. As far as rigging it to work, that isn't hard to accomplish either, especially considering how far the truck actually drove during that time.

    "As far as I know there are no used car lemon laws, by their very nature used cars will fail without warning or usually warranty. Most used car dealers don't offer a buy back program either. At best, you could swap for something on the lot. Many would offer no help at all for buyer's remorse or problems post sale."

    Lemon Laws, apparently, also apply to Breach of Representation, which is what this looks like. As I said, now three times, I am looking into these options if they do not rectify this situation.


    "You state you purchased Carmax's extended warranty "MaxCare" which might help, but then you complain because you moved to a location where a trip to the nearest Carmax with 3 hours one way?"

    Not complaining, just stating a fact that it is a waste of gas to have to make that drive.

    "What *I* would do is find a quality local shop and get the problem diagnosed and an estimate for the repairs - this may cost you a little out of pocket. Once you know what the problem is and the repair, then work with Carmax to make sure it is covered and repaired. I would then ask for my up front money back. It might be cheaper and easier than making 6 hour round trips."

    I asked if that was an option an was told it is not. The ONLY reason it is at Carmax is because I purchased their coverage. Now, if they can't fix it, I am looking into a replacement because I don't have time to be in and out of a vehicle.
  • rangemrangem Posts: 1
    i sold my 2011 ss camero to the tinley park il carmax they claim they will issue you a bank draft they did not give me one they gave me a regular company check for 29.000 i deposited it and the bank ran it wells fargo refused to pay. a couple of weeks later they sent me a cashiers check i deposited the bank ran it once again wells fargo refused to pay it they have my car and title and i have 29.000 in worthless checks. stay as far away from this company as you can they are liars
  • My wife and I purchased a 2009 Nissan Murano at Carmax in Dulles/Sterling VA. A few days later we realized that there was a growing puddle of oil in our garage. So, we took the car back. They promised (and it states clearly in their contract) that we would receive a refund within 3-6 days. Well, we are at day 12 and counting. The car cost $20k and we gave them $5k in cash (from the private party sale of our old car) plus a $1000 check. We financed the balance. No one there seems to know how to refund money! We just keep getting the run around from the people in the business department! I can't help thinking that if we owed them $20,000 and we were late in paying we would be subject to penalties. Not to mention our credit score taking a hit. Why is it a business can get away with these kinds of activities but individuals get hammered?

    I am about to call a lawyer. Maybe I can file a lien against the dealership and their inventory until I get paid! That should motivate them!

    This is the third car we have purchased from Carmax. It is going to the the last. A business is only as good as their word and right now, their word is worthless.
  • sjwoosjwoo Posts: 1
    I'm thinking about having my 2008 Hyundai Elantra SE appraised by CarMax. I'm pretty much equidistance from Lancaster, PA and East Haven, CT. I figure the one in East Haven would give me a better deal (since they probably have more traffic), but what do you think?

    - Sung
  • Does CarMax allow the vehicle to be taken off their lot to have it inspected by an independent mechanic? Also in regards to no haggle pricing. What has people's experience been on negotiating with them. I like to haggle and will not pay their inflated prices.
  • voicemailkingvoicemailking Posts: 78
    edited November 2012
    No, you have to purchase the vehicle, then you have an unconditional 5 day return policy, you can return the car for any reason at all, no money is lost. Or you can bring a mechanic with you but will not have access to a lift. No haggle, you can try, but they have and never will allow it, all prices are etched in stone.
  • Thanks for the info. The no haggle thing is a deal breaker for me as their prices are a little inflated imo. It's too bad because it does appear they score some nice vehicles at auction. They have a lot of luxury vehicles with low mileage that have come off leases. They must be able to use their clout at these auctions to get fair prices too. Then mark up $4k and sell. Good for them and bad for the consumer. Why are people so afraid to negotiate. I just don't understand this.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,694
    Why would anyone buy from this place? They have ridiculous prices and the stories in here make me sick as to their shady tactics and problems paying their bills. Folks, please stay away...far away from these clowns. There are plenty of legitimate places to purchase a vehicle. When I read these stories, glad I buy new cars now. Would rather buy a less expensive new that an inflated lemon with issues that are covered up before purchase.
    Folks, use your brains and do not bu from CarSux!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • Carmax is very legitimate. They are used cars! They warranty them, offer extended warranties, and have a 5 day money back guarantee, unconditional. Yea, like anywhere, they have issues sometimes, but they put out a decent product and the price is worth knowing you did not buy a wrecked car.
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 196
    Carmax sells vehicles at high prices. Supposedly their pricing is non-negotiable which rarely results in the best price. Carmax may be convenient but at a price. Having shopped Carmax on multiple occassions, savy buyers can find better pricing elsewhere.

    And, since Carmax sells all brands, I would question the ability of their mechanics to work on all brands.
  • Just before Christmas 2012 I bought a car from Carmax Oxnard to the tune of $30,700.00 I paid by cashier's check from my credit union which happens to be just across the freeway from the Carmax. Certainly close enough to call and verify the legitimacy of the cashier's check if they thought it was a fake.
    Now here it is April and my credit union just called to tell me they are releasing their lienholder status on my car because I never had a loan through them to begin with.

    But I am TRULY thrilled that Carmax gave my bank the legal authority to lay claim to a car i ultimately paid cash for. There was NO disclosure that by paying with a cashier's check I would be essentially granting the issuer of the cashier's check a legal claim to my car.

    YET my bank is the entity that has had the pink slip to my car in their hands for over 3 months now.

    Thanks Carmax for shooting to hell what had been a good experience.
  • homer72homer72 Posts: 2
    I'm a bargain car shopper for the last 15 years. I've gotten the Edmunds trade in vaue for the last 4 cars I've bought from dealers. HOWEVER I am buying my current car from carmax for 1 reason. I can't find it anywhere else. I want an Audi A4 Convertible with Quattro Trans 2008 or newer. They just can't be found, I've driven 100's of miles looking at cars and none of them had quattro and my Audi mechanic said you can't buy the 2WD. So I'm stuck and carmax had a reasonably priced car on a lot far away that I paid to ship to the lot so I could buy it. For me because I wanted a specific car, I didn't have much option.

    Given a normal car purchase I wouldn't go near them, I can haggle 3-5k our of a carmax price.
  • homer72homer72 Posts: 2
    My 2001 VW Beetle would disagree with you about reliability... still running strong after 13 years.
  • mikemennmikemenn Posts: 1
    We picked out a car to look at online to be transferred from Nashville to Atlanta at no cost. We liked that.

    The test drive went well. Our associate knew the car quite well, gave us plenty of time to drive and look it over. We liked that.

    In hindsight, we wish we our current car was being appraised while we were test driving. We had to kill time when we got back from the test drive while it was appraised. We suggest you get that going before your test drive. Our appraisal was more than fair. We liked that.

    Your financing was 1/2% under our best one from our Credit Union. We liked that.

    Maxcare (their extended warranty) was offered to us. Our associate went over the benefits. At first glance we thought it was a good deal, especially since it was included in the financing. But since we never buy at the moment we see something, we told him we'd do some more research on the car and everything and then come back that afternoon.

    After some research, we thought they had a good deal on the vehicle but not on Maxcare and came back to buy the car. After hearing we didn't want Maxcare, our associate wouldn't let up on it over the next 45 minutes of closing on the car. Over and over again he wanted to get us to buy it, even stating at one point, "I guess you don't want to take care of your car."

    The more he went on and on about it, the more we knew Maxcare was not a good deal. He must have been losing out on a commission, which means it costs too much because they have the commission built into it. This is the only downside to Carmax: their associates are on commission, just like a dealership.

    The last disappointing thing that happened (in an otherwise good experience) is that the money they were paying us for my car wasn't put into bringing our new car price down, but was post financing to bringing down my payments, like a pre-payment. The later did bring my final financing down but was more than me insisting they move it to bring my car's final cost down, thus lowering my principle and thus lowering even more my monthly payments. I guess this is another way Carmax makes money.

    So all in all, it's not 100% "the way car buying should be" but it certainly better than buying used from a dealership or Joe Shmoo.
  • They make a flat rate on the car, and yes a little for the warranty. But the very good thing about the warranty is you can go to any reputable shop and they will accept it. ou can also cancel anytime and get a pro rated refund. It is a very good warranty. Carmax sales people work on volume, paid on each car, not like regular dealers where sometimes crazy commissions. Only thing he should have done was offer to appraise your trade while on the test drive.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,851
    The last disappointing thing that happened (in an otherwise good experience) is that the money they were paying us for my car wasn't put into bringing our new car price down, but was post financing to bringing down my payments, like a pre-payment. The later did bring my final financing down but was more than me insisting they move it to bring my car's final cost down, thus lowering my principle and thus lowering even more my monthly payments. I guess this is another way Carmax makes money.

    I had to re-read this part a couple of times.. That seems really shady. I would worry that they would renege on the trade-in part of the deal, after you'd closed, and you would end up with two cars... and, a bigger payment.

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  • billy3554billy3554 Posts: 148
    Actually, if you Google Carmax Warranty you will find a plethora of negative comments. Overall seems Carmax's warranty is rated only about 2 out of 5 stars. One review site listed 86 percent of its reviews as having a rating of 2 or less. Certainly not indicative of a very good warranty.

    Like all extended service contracts, particularly those not from the OEM, an extended service contract from Carmax seems best avoided.
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