Carmax - What's Your Experience?

1235718

Comments

  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    These are just little color coded pressure sensative devices that screw onto the valve stem.

    They are preset for certain pressures and will show green at the right pressure and yellow at low I think. Some of them might show red if the pressure is too high.

    Any auto parts store should have them.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,012
    you don't check your tire pressures at least once a month?
    this advice has been around forever, and it is still good.
    even if you don't have a car from carmax.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1
  • apsosapsos Member Posts: 12
    I'm very pleased to see some of the obnoxious comments were removed by the moderators. (Apparently those people have about as much common sense when it comes to posting as they have about what to to expect in car prep from a dealer.)

    I've used the low tire pressure indicators for many years with no problems. I check them regularly, a few times a week, to be sure my tire pressure is safe.

    Contrary to the experience of the lovely folks who posted, I've never filled a tire, and then had it gain extra pressure by itself (other than what you might expect from hot air after riding), so there has been no need for an indicator that communicated my tire now had significantly more air pressure then when I filled it.

    And I have EVERY RIGHT to expect that the tires were filled to the correct level at some point. While they might have gotten low in the meantime, 18 psi excess pressure is a dangerously high amount to find in my tires.

    Additionally, I made this discovery about 3 months after my purchase and during colder weather. So it is very likely the tires were actually at an even higher PSI when I drove it off the lot.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,699
    And I have EVERY RIGHT to expect that the tires were filled to the correct level at some point.

    Whatever, I've never heard of that right, but it's your RESPONSIBILITY to make sure they are filled to the correct level once you own the car.
  • altimapapialtimapapi Member Posts: 1
    "In my personal opinion" It's your fault! You should have properly checked your tires air pressure before putting those pressure valve low pressure caps. The name of the product says it all "low pressure caps". Adjusting the air pressure to the specific specs of your auto manufacture could have prevented your frustration. I purchased four of the low pressure valve caps and I adjusted my air pressure early in the morning before driving the car and all four tires had diffrent air pressure, I properly set mine to 32psi is what I personally wanted and put on the air valve caps on and I was a happy camper set and good to go... no problems here!

    Note that tire air pressure increases in HOT weather while the car is sitting on the lot...

    Also, tires do get HOT while driving and gain extra air pressure.

    (i.e.)example: It's the same as if Carmax would have sold you the car without gas and you drove all around town and got stuck, it's not their fault, it's yours for not pumping gas. ;) :blush:

    Just my personal opinion! :lemon:
  • apsosapsos Member Posts: 12
    Yes, I would have to assume that whatever you post here is your personal opinion, without anyone stating "just my honest personal opinion."

    (Just as I'd have assumed that normal, reasonable care was taken while prepping a car that Carmax would sell.)

    However, I'm seeing what appears to be some vested interest here to promote Carmax regardless of the sloppy work they've done.

    This makes me believe that maybe I'm not seeing just "honest personal opinions" in reply to my concern.

    To reiterate, I bought the car in July, and I tested my tires for (high) pressure in September during 70 degree weather.

    The tire pressure indicators that I installed tested the tires for low pressure during this entire period.

    This should have been adequate for testing my tire pressure during this peroid.

    And since I would not expect that a) my tires inflated themselves over the two months I had the car or b) that the 70 degree weather in September was more hot than the 90 degree July weather.

    It is good to know, however, that there are Carmax folks are posting on this board with the hope to discredit anyone who complains about lack of reasonable care and service.

    When I see silly posts telling me that I should have expected my tires to fill themselves, and tested them frequently to guard against that, I'll now know they're coming from Carmax employees looking to discredit legitimate complaints on the board.

    It's a shame that these people aren't spending this extra time to improve Carmax's "reconditioning" and basic service.
  • tamarastertamaraster Member Posts: 107
    I think it's reasonable to assert that products should be sold in proper working condition. For cars, this means they aren't sold with 2-year-old oil, completely empty gas tanks, or tires that are significantly over- or under-pressure.

    Is it a good idea to check these things yourself when you buy a car? Sure. Do most people do that? No.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,012
    so now that your vehicle has normal tire pressures, is it still the vehicle you thought you purchased?
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1
  • apsosapsos Member Posts: 12
    "so now that your vehicle has normal tire pressures, is it still the vehicle you thought you purchased?"

    Absolutely not.

    I paid above retail price for what I thought was a car that was professionally "reconditioned" and thoroughly inspected.

    Instead I found out that the most basic inspection wasn't done on the car, and I was sold a vehicle in dangerous condition.

    I definitely feel like the car I actually got was different from the vehicle that I thought that I was buying.
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    You have unreasonable expectations.

    Do you have any actual idea what is done to 'certify' a used car? It's put on a lift, a mechanic (probably a junior one) looks around at the undercarriage for anything obviously wrong - leaks, wear on tires, anything loose or hanging. The oil and filter is probably changed. The brake pads front and rear are looked at - tires are pulled if necessary to see these. Puts it on the ground and checks and tops off the fluids. Gets inside the car and starts it. Fiddles with all the major controls to verify that the AC, radio, lights, turn signal, etc are in working order.

    The car 'might' be driven around the block to verify there are no major drivability problems.

    All this can probably be done in 30 minutes.

    The 'cleanup' shop guy then will spend much more time than a mechanic, attempting to scrub out the debris from the previous owner/s.

    It's 'certified'. You pay a premium for the car. What you are actually getting is an extended warranty, and paying for it.

    To truly 'check out' a car would involve letting it set and doing a 'cold start'. Then drive it out, getting up to freeway speeds, then stop and go, and a nice curvy road. Multiple stops checking the brake function. 'Hot starts'. Listening for 'sounds'. 'Feeling' strange 'things' in the suspension, transmission, engine. This would take quite a while to complete. It's not done.

    Even if this is done - no mechanic can know if a component - mechanical, electrical, hydrolic may fail in the near future. It just cannot be done.
  • apsosapsos Member Posts: 12
    "It just cannot be done."

    It took Jiffy Lube about 30 seconds to check my tire pressure.

    It is ridiculous to say that it would have been impossible for Carmax to check.

    In addition, it is very likely that Carmax actually created the dangerous situation by over inflating the tires, perhaps (as an earlier poster suggested) when they were doing an alignment on the car.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    Why you wouldn't have been able to detect this when you drove the car?

    I once drove a new Honda that hadn't had it's Pre-Delivery Inspection. They come off the trucks with about 40PSI in the tires and we adjust these during the inspection.

    I drove about a block and the car bounced like a basketball!

    Yes, they should have done a better job but I do think your "Exploding Tire" title was a bit over the top.
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    I never said the air pressure could not have been checked.

    I said no mechanic can give an accurate estimate of possible future failures.

    Lawyers love people like you. Take no responsibility for their own life, and if something happens it's someone elses fault.
  • apsosapsos Member Posts: 12
    Carmax overinflated my tires to a dangerous level, and then sold me a car -- and you're saying that's my fault for not taking "responsibility for my life?"

    That's not not crazy (a double negative so it'll be easier for you to understand, based on your style of prose).
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I transferred these indicators over to my new vehicle

    I am surprised you didn't take the opportunity to measure the actual pressure which would have saved a lot of aggravation and assured the indicators were in fact working properly.

    Having said that, I think we've taken this thread about as far as we can. It's time to move on.

    tidester, host
  • tvujectvujec Member Posts: 4
    No, you don't need to say more. Except maybe the name of the dealer who bought your car. Just so that everyone can avoid them when buying cars.

    And that is exactly the reason I buy from carmax. 2 cars in last 5 months, since me and my wife moved over from Europe. If there is a slight chance that the car body had some work done, or that the car was damaged in flood, carmax will sell it wholesale. The risk is too high, and for a local dealer? Well, they'll find enough fools who think they're smart enough to figure that out themselves. At least they hope so...
  • tvujectvujec Member Posts: 4
    Working for carmax? You can write whatever you want. I can also write that you work for a dealer who's business is going down since the carmax store opened nearby. Doesn't make it true.

    However, if you did have a problem, I would expect that you reported them to the BBB. They are a member, and they are forced to use arbitrage by independent party. Yet, BBB site states that their report is satisfactory, no unresolved complaints there. Not really common for a car dealership...
  • apsosapsos Member Posts: 12
    Report them to the BBB? I have no damages, there is no possible fix from Carmax, and I don't need the nuisance of making a report when I have no possible gain.

    But am I disgusted that I was put at risk because of Carmax's gross negligence? And do I want to warn others?

    You bet!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    You need to get over this and move on with life.

    I still can't believe you didn't feel the bounciness when you drove the car.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,012
    isell... it sounds like the owner never personally checked the tire pressures. they took jiffy lube's word that they were over inflated. not a big confidence builder for me.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    Made the Jiffy Lube guy look like a hero since he averted possible a possible blowout!
  • apsosapsos Member Posts: 12
    I had never driven this car before, and it drove much better than the 10-year-old previous model of the same car that I was trading in.

    After the tires were reduced to the proper pressure, I noticed a marked increase in handling and shock absorption while driving.

    However, when the car was sold to me in unsafe condition, I had nothing to compare it to.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    Still, your car must have bounced like a basketball!

    Personally, I don't doubt they may have been a bit overinflated but I strongly suspect the Jiffy Lube guy embellished things.

    Who knows? Time to move on.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Member Posts: 1,060
    PLEASE....Let's move on....It has been "BEAT to DEATH" and I am sick and tired of the OVER INFLATION.
  • apsosapsos Member Posts: 12
    I had never driven this car before, and it drove much better than the 10-year-old previous model of the same car that I was trading in.

    I have absolutely no reason to think the Jiffy Lube guy "embellished."

    After the tires were reduced to the proper pressure, I noticed a marked increase in handling and shock absorption while driving.

    However, when the car was sold to me in unsafe condition, I had nothing to compare it to.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I had nothing to compare it to.

    That's where a tire gauge comes in handy. You've made your case and it has been discussed to the point of becoming overwhelmingly repetitious so let's move on - please! :)

    tidester, host
  • bdc2020bdc2020 Member Posts: 58
    I use CarMax for a general guide when I first start out looking. I can see all the different vehicles, with mileage and price without leaving the computer since they don't haggle. I can then use that criteria to compare other vehicles. Like a staring point I guess you could say. I have sold a vehicle to them about 5 years ago. They bought my truck for exactly - to the dollar - the value KBB had listed, this was of course before trucks/suv prices were all over the map and demand was still hot.
  • vegasladyvegaslady Member Posts: 10
    I love carmax. I will soon be buying my third car there in 3 years. I like not having a saleman shove his face at me, want my phone number so he can bug me and then run me around 3other people before the deal is done. I had a 1991 Pathfinder for 14 years and sold it. Went to carmax and bought a 2004 Endeavor in 04 for 19,998. Financed it with 5 1/2 percent, I loved the car, it only had 8,000. miles on and a warranty. Gas prices shot up so I took it back after one year and they bought it back for 17,500. I bought a 2002 Honda Accord for 16,998 and got a nice credit for the tax I paid on the Endeavor. I don't like the Honda so now I'm going to buy a 2004 XG350L. I've priced these at several other lots and CarMax is about 2,000. less. I don't find them higher than other dealers but rather cheaper. They are very pleasant to work with, no pressure, always willing to take me out to look at cars or drive them until I found the one I wanted. GO CARMAX ;)
  • guestguest Member Posts: 770
    I've priced these at several other lots and CarMax is about 2,000 less.

    The "other lots" will negotiate their inflated price at least $1,000 less than the no-haggle Carmax price.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    I don't find them higher than other dealers but rather cheaper. They are very pleasant to work with, no pressure, always willing to take me out to look at cars or drive them until I found the one I wanted. GO CARMAX

    As a fleet manager, I am in and out of the local Chicagoland Carmax dealers quite often as I sell 6-8 cars a year. I have yet to see a good deal at a Carmax.

    My favorite was a 2001 Taurus SE with 45k miles that they had for $10.9k in August. I could buy that car at 50 dealerships for no more than $7k and the salesman would we take me to lunch.

    Honestly, I see Impala LS and base models that are about $4k over the dealer auction prices. Nice profit model.
  • wholesale_guruwholesale_guru Member Posts: 5
    You could BUY a 2001 Taurus SE with 45k miles for $7000 at 50 dealerships? I'm a wholesaler and that car would sell at auction for $6,000-$7,000 WITHOUT being reconditioned. How would 50 dealerships sell it for $7,000 and be profitable?
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    But people are convinced they are getting a good deal it is so funny.

    I had a woman call me saturday asking questions about Land Rover Discovries. She wanted to know the prices of two of the vehicles we had on our lot but she had the stock numbers and exact mileage.

    If she had that information then she obviously had the exact prices too but I humored her and gave them to her anyway.

    Her response, "Ughh why would I pay that when I can get a Discovery from car max for thousands less plus the transportation cost?"

    I asked her if those vehicles had a warranty with them and she said should could buy one for a little more. I talked with her a few more minutes to trying to explain how most aftermarket warranties are not very good for Land Rovers and try to get more information about the car she was buying from Carmax but she wasn't hearing any of it.

    She was getting a great DEAL at carmax without any work.

    After I got off the phone with her I looked at carmax's inventory to see what discos they had in stock. They were priced slightly lower then ours but all of them had more miles and some of them were even out of the factory warranty.

    I would have sold the Discos we had in stock with a real Land Rover extended warranty and less miles for about what Carmax's no haggle price was and still made enough profit to make it worth my while. Too bad she wouldn't give me a chance to do that.

    I hate to think what kind of shape those Discos are because only the bad ones make it out of Land Rovers lease return system.
  • wholesale_guruwholesale_guru Member Posts: 5
    Only the bad ones? You mean there's actually such a thing as a NICE Discovery? Geesh, I'm yet to see a nice Disco!
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    You must not have much experience wholesaling Land Rovers then.

    Plenty of the 2003-2004 New Discoveries are good and some of the 2002 Series II Discos are good as well.

    Even some 2000 and 2001 Discos are ok you just have to know what to look for.

    I can normaly tell with about a 10 minute drive if a Disco is a total dog. After that it doesn't take too long to figure out if it is a good one or a great one.
  • wholesale_guruwholesale_guru Member Posts: 5
    Perhaps I'm biased then. I personally think Land Rover overall is garbage and I wouldn't buy one with free money.

    Just my opinion. Take it for what it's worth.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    I'm a wholesaler and that car would sell at auction for $6,000-$7,000 WITHOUT being reconditioned.

    I deal with several of the major leasing companies and they are selling 2003 and 2004 Taurus SES with 50k for $6,000 to client employees.
  • wholesale_guruwholesale_guru Member Posts: 5
    The year doesn't matter on that car. People will pay the same money for a Taurus regardless of the year if they have similar mileage.
  • wholesale_guruwholesale_guru Member Posts: 5
    I'd like to know this leasing company. That would be easy money if you were actually able to buy Taurus' that cheap.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    Just looking at my local auction reports I can back you up here...

    Average price of a 2004 Taurus is 5,500 dollars with an average mileage 53,000.

    There are a handful of former manufacturer vehicles bringing almost 8,000 dollars but they have very low miles and there are a couple of repos or damaged vehicles bringing 2,500 dollars but 5,000 to 5,500 seems about average for an average condition vehicle with average miles.

    Now that that is settled lets move on. If Mr. Guru wants to be the next Terry why don't you head over to real world trade values.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,068
    ...with average miles.

    A 2004 Taurus with 53,000 miles seems to be high mileage to me... about 18,000 miles a year.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    That is just the average mileage for the couple of dozen vehicles that went through this auction at this time.

    There are a couple of outliers in the data set that have close to or over a 100,000 but even taking those out average miles barely drops below 50,000.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    But people are convinced they are getting a good deal it is so funny.

    I have always said that a good deal is a state of mind and nothing else....
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    A 2004 Taurus with 53,000 miles seems to be high mileage to me... about 18,000 miles a year.

    That is a lot of miles UNLESS you are using the car for business. My wife is getting a new company car. Her 2004 Impala has about 64k miles on it. The fleet average for that company is about 19k miles per year (insurance company). My fleet average is about 14k excluding two drivers that average 28k per year.

    My sources are from three of the major leasing companies and are generally consistent with the myriad of fleet magazines.
    There are only a few million Taurus, Impala, Malibus, etc. out there coming off of corporate/rental leases. It is not like they are difficult to price (or acquire).

    $11k for a 2001 Taurus is outrageous when the dealers were unloading NEW MODELS for $12-13k in 2004-05.

    I would NEVER buy a car at CARMAX unless I did not care what I paid.
  • voicemailkingvoicemailking Member Posts: 83
    They are overpriced..Only good thing is the 5 day return policy...I just purchased a 2005 mazda6 with 23,000 miles,from a traditional dealer, the car was $1600.00 cheaper with 10,000 less miles, car was very clean and carfax checked out.....Also, Carmax financing evn with perfect credit right now is about 7.25, when thru credit unions is 5.40. I know 3 day pay off...but why go thru that stuff!!
  • tvujectvujec Member Posts: 4
    Why go through that stuff?

    Maybe to avoid wasting immense amounts of time when the dealer "checks with the manager" for each question you have. And it takes him 5, 15 or even 30 minutes each time.

    Or to avoid "locking the car" at the lot which has options you don't need, and then adding needed options in the office, while going through numerous iterations like the above.

    Or to avoid buying the car they want to sell, rather than the one you need?

    Do I have to feel stupid whenever I go to a regular dealer? Is it "giving up" if I don't want to go through haggle? I like cars, and I consider myself to be fairly educated in this field. However, I go through experience of buying/selling a car, once every couple of years, at most. He does that every day. And he doesn't need to buy/sell this particular car today. I do! Who will "win" the game, most of the time? Do I really think that I know better than someone who's job this is? Further more, do I get any juice out of playing this game?

    And now the conclusion. Carmax is more expensive for an average car. However, they do have standards. They have absolutely no incentive to sell me something I don't need/want, just because the price is higher. As a public company, they are forced to be pretty open about their business practices. This in itself is not an absolute guarantee, but it allows for peace of mind. What standards can I expect from an average dealership? Why would they care? And finally, their incentive is directly proportional to the profit margin. More they screw me over, more they make. Chances are, the better deal you got from the dealer, the more he'll try to make it up on you when you come the next time. Really nice relationship.

    Why go through that stuff?
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    you don't have to go thru all that stuff....just go into any dealer and pay the asking price for a used car or MSRP for a new car and I suspect you will think you find the whole process better than carmax. I would even toss in a nice surf and turf dinner.

    You will still end up paying less than carmax and not have any of the problems your whining about. seems simple to me.
  • tvujectvujec Member Posts: 4
    First of all, asking price will usually be the same as Carmax's no-haggle. Second, the dealer usually tries to show me some "better" cars than what I had in mind. Third, I know that this is not universal, but Carmax is almost the only dealership in Raleigh, NC area which actually posts asking prices on cars. Most of them expect you to ask for the price. I guess asking price has your appearance calculated in...

    The whole process seems as a game to me. The bad part is that this is a game for my money! And I don't like to play and do business at the same time. That's the simple answer to the question why Carmax is succeeding.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    Carmax is more expensive for an average car. However, they do have standards. They have absolutely no incentive to sell me something I don't need/want, just because the price is higher. As a public company, they are forced to be pretty open about their business practices.

    Being a public company means that their financial reporting has to be in accordance with standards.

    Carmax has a great business model. They make a lot of money of the sales and service of vehicle. They offer you a wholesale price on the vehicle which is what they could get the car at auction and they place a high retail sticker. If you are content with paying significantly more to know up front you are going to pay, go right ahead.

    Personally, when I have a car to buy for a friend, we ALWAYS go to Carmax and see what they are charging. That is the CEILING price. Then we go to dealerships and generally save $1500-2000 on $10k car. I am willing to haggle for an hour (though the actual time is generally 15-20 minutes) to save that kind of money.
  • voicemailkingvoicemailking Member Posts: 83
    You would be surprised at their "reconditioning " process, they really do next to nothing with the cars, i was there for 5 years and saw how they put money in each car, what a joke......be snowballed if you like, they claim not to make money on the financing, that is a crock also....only good thing is you know right off the bat what you will pay, but you can do the same with any dealer thru e-mails to the internet office....any slightly educated consumer does not need Carmax, nor do most of them want it....there standards are also getting lower each year, if they didn't they would not be able to fill most of the lots!!!
  • fox_mulderfox_mulder Member Posts: 1
    Hi,
    It's really nice of you to answer questions concerning Carmax. I'm thinking about going to work for them. I've considered part and full time sales associates positions. I was wondering what your thoughts are in general in working for Carmax? Would you suggest I try part time with them first and if I like it move into a full time position? I have NO real car sales experience. Do they care or do they prefer to train their own? How's the pay for a part or full time sales assoc.? I hear the pay is like $8 bucks an hour plus some kind of commission. How does the commission scale work for car sales? Is it always the same flat rate? If so, what is the amount? Is there a way to make more money? Do they pay x-tra for warranties and other stuff? Is there a substantial commission for the extras? I saw on the Carmax website something about some "club level status" for sales people with high sales called "Directors Club and Presidents Club" Just titles? Or real money?
    Is there good advancement into management? Do the management positions pay well or are they pretty lame? If you have time to answer my questions I'd appreciate it. I know I asked a lot of em! Whenever you have a minute! Thanx
Sign In or Register to comment.