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Carmax / be well prepared to enter a nightmare world!

1 United States Review updated:

To anyone who is considering buying a car at CARMAX, I would think a 100 times before buying through them!

Here are the REASONS why:

I bought my car 15 months ago at CARMAX located in Dulles VA. Within the second day my car had to be towed back to CARMAX. Unfortunately nothing was obvious while test driving it. The rotors had to be changed, the HVAC had to be replaced, an alignment and new breaks among few other things on the list which ended up costing them $8000 to fix my car!!!

So much for claiming full inspection before the car is put on the lot... two words: FALSE ADVERTISING! Due to the fact my car was in the shop for 30 days, they had to extend my initial warranty to 60 days?

15 months later, I went back to get an electrical part of my mirror replaced and the steering pump replaced -- which was part of the initial problem but it was never fixed! Both parts are under my extended warranty which I paid an extra for it. Good thing I did! Two weeks later, I still do not have my
car back because they are arguing with the claims company to have the right piece shipped to them. In the meantime I am the one who is suffering going from one loaner to another loaner. The mirror and the steering pump should not take more than one day of labor. Do I really need to go through so much
hassle when I bought a warranty so I should not go through so much pain! I have been going back and forth (4) times now, if it happened to me I am sure it happened to others. It seems that this inefficient management is a common pattern.

Would I consider a car from CARMAX again? Absolutely not even if it was given to me for free. I would never want to go through the same experience again.

So for all the braves who are you still considering buying a car through CARMAX, just be well prepared to enter a nightmare world!!

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  • Ma
      13th of Sep, 2007

    Your first mistake is buying a used Chevy product. It's not any used car dealership's fault that American made sedans are crap. I know for a fact that Carmax inspects their cars more than ANY used car dealership. I have seen frame damaged Toyota's that were sold certified by a Huge Toyota dealearship! Cars are machines and things will go wrong. You can't peg one dealership over the faults of GM. Do your homework with Consumer Reports or some other respectful magazine and buy a realiable car!!!

    +2 Votes
  • Ri
      28th of Sep, 2008


    +2 Votes
  • Si
      5th of Nov, 2008

    The man drove 15 months with a bad steering pump ?!
    That's worse than ignorance, it's negligence !
    Get real out there folks. These gripes are the same,
    franchised dealers get thru their manufacturer's
    CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) B.S. ! The most idiotic
    concept this Automotive Industry ever came up with.
    Because, and I bet ya, that that man never used those harsh
    words in front of the personell of the Carmax store.
    It's easy to be frustated and go home and have a climax on the
    keybord while saying, "Let's go and show them".
    He had his extended warranty, well, yes of course you pay for
    that extra, ...daaaaah! So what? He got his loaner cars,
    paid his deductible and got the work done.
    Yours truly,
    Independent Automotive Inspector. S.H.

    +2 Votes
  • Do
      12th of Jul, 2007

    I agree car max is hard to deal with. I purchased Impala with extended warranty. The car is now making a popping noise from steering & braking. Car max will not cover the cost. They aren't sure what it is, could need a lub. kit and then said they couldn't guarantee it would work, but here is the thing I HAVE to PAY 200. to try this to see if it works. that is not covered under extended warranty. Now what am I suppose to do?

    Never will I buy from Car Max again.

    +1 Votes
  • Jo
      9th of Jan, 2008

    I agree that carmax is full of nothing but lies. My wife and i went to the carmax in oklahoma city to buy her first car. She fell in love with a 2002 ford focus. The salesman was great and the whole process was quick. We were in and out, i really liked that about them.

    Then on the 6th day the check engine light came on and the transmission was acting up and the radio was shorting in and out. So we took the car in. My first reaction was shocked. There was 8 people in the waiting room waiting on there cars to be fixed, all of which were in their 30 day warranty.

    They gave me a rental and told me they would call. the first phone call they said they think the problem is a loose bracket, i told them to double check and call me back. you see one of my renters is a mechanic and he told me the focus has had numerous problems with the transmission. on the second day carmax called and said that it is indeed the transmission so they did an overhaul on it. this fixed the problem for a month.

    When the problem came back , i called carmax and told them i was bringing the car in to be serviced. carmax told me the car wasnt under warranty. they denied that i had an extended warranty. so i went up to the store to prove them wrong. i had the extended warranty paper in my hand proving had i it, and they apologized and said it was a gliche in the computer. they checked the car out and said nothing was wrong. liars they are

    Luckily my car got in a wreck and was counted as a total of loss by my insurance company. but now my problems are worse.

    Farmers insurance has valued the car 2800 dollars less than what i paid for it 6 months ago, and we only put 3000 miles on it and the car had no hits on it to lower its value.

    Second problem is carmax hasnt returned the settlement package to farmers ins. its been over a 10 days since farmers sent the settlement to carmax. so i called carmax and asked to speak to who is handling my case. they transfer me to george in carmax's insurance department. at first he is acting confused and saying he hasnt heard of my case or seen any papers from farmers, so he tells me he will find out who is handling my case. after being on hold for 20 minutes george comes back and says he is in charge of my case and puts all the blame on farmers saying he has sent farmers a package and is not waiting on them. now this guy at first said he didnt know anything about my case and now he is all knowledgable and is blaming other people. so i ask for his last name for future reference and he tells me his last name is not necessary and doesnt give it to me.

    Well my car has been wrecked for almost a month and im still waiting on carmax to get the paperwork signed.

    My advice is dont trust carmax on anything, they even lied about who picked up my loan for the car. first they told me bank of america did, and then when i got the title it said carmax is my lien holder.

    +1 Votes
  • Jo
      9th of Jan, 2008

    Ok, you guys have some good points, and some of what you have described is just plain wrong if what you say is true. However, for those of you that bought an American vehicle, (especially you who bought the focus) its might as well be your fault.

    Donna, your breaks are not covered under the extended warranty because they are wear and tear items and need to be replaced every so often. If they give you breaks that are fine when you buy the car, then after the 30 day warranty period expires, why should the CarMax warranty cover it?

    Robert, your vehicle had what is called a ROLLEDBACK ODOMETER. Someone screwed you when you bought your car, or you tampered with the odometer yourself. I feel bad that you had to find out that way, but when CarMax tries to sell that vehicle, they have to report that by law. They are a company conducting business and need to make money not lose it by selling a vehicle with the true miles unknown. Yes, I feel they should have valued the vehicle AT FIRST with the rollback accounted for, but people make mistakes. If anything I think you own them an apology.

    Michael, yea that sucks my friend... about the check it probably has to be processed by some sort of central office somewhere, and just takes a while. Just call the store, and ask for the headquarters or something, they may be able to tell you.

    Joe, the bias of your statements makes it useless to read your statements. I just don’t believe you; in the customer services industry, if you ask for a name and they refuse, then you take it to their supervisor. Did you? You don’t mention it so I don’t think you did either your stupid or your lying. Also, why would they lie about who financed your car, and how? YOU SIGNED PAPERWORK WITH THE NAME OF THE BANK ON IT, THE LENGTH OF THE LOAN, PAYMENTS, ETC... IF THEY CAN LIE TO YOU ABOUT THAT, THEN MAYBE YOU DISERVED IT.

    +1 Votes
  • Ri
      14th of Feb, 2008

    Look! I do believe that you all have had some type of problem or else you would never take the time to post it here - HOWEVER - what about the 100's of thousands of Happy and Satisfied Carmax Customers that have no need to post anything..

    Carmax from what I know does a HUGE volume of sales- it's to be expected there will be a small number of problem situations - but it's not the Norm...

    I totally agree with the poster that advised to take the car to your personal mechanic you do business with for their own - unbiased check up--You have 5 days to return it if the vehicle gets a bad report --It's not a hassel because you are making a BIG purchase for the next 5-10 years, so a little inconvenience and a check up fee is a VERY SMALL price to pay for piece of mind...

    +1 Votes
  • Li
      25th of May, 2010

    Haha - if the coffee boy makes more at Starbucks than he did at Carmax, then he was not in sales, sucked at sales, or had no other marketable skills so they had him washing and/or prepping cars.

    To the owners of the PT Cruiser - Carmax would (should) not have sold the vehicle without a clear title. The computer system doesn't allow it. If there was a hold up with the tags, then they are related to something going on with your local DMV - ie, problems you may have had with a previous vehicle. Unfortunately, we all know how dealing with the DMV can be, even for a big corporation like Carmax.

    Lauri - nowhere in the literature does Carmax state they will not sell you an accident damaged vehicle, but rather they will not sell anything with frame or flood damage. The never-sell display you mention has an * towards the bottom which said something along the lines of "see Sales Consultant for details". Many people forget the conversations they have with their SCs. I made a point to go over absolutely everything with my customers, but my CSI surveys would come back indicating I skipped steps. Funny, considering I was constantly praised by managers for being one of the SCs who actually did the entire spiel. Selective memory helps when you need to break out the pitchforks and torches.

    To everyone using the term "lemon" - this typically only applies to new vehicles, and I am unaware of any legislation which covers used vehicles under any lemon law. Most states have variations of lemon laws which state the same problem must be duplicated X times (usually 3+) during a set mileage or time interval to receive coverage under the lemon laws. Used vehicles are used, and have no such protection. Unfortunately, many of the vehicles you guys are complaining.

    Robert - cars on eBay are great only if you know exactly what to look for, and most people do not. I am currently in the market for a Ferrari or Porsche, and one of the warnings given on almost any owners' forum is to avoid those vehicles because eBay is used as a last resort for vehicles which could not sell through traditional channels. Also, your awesome advice to "buy Toyota" is just brand perception, and we all know the troubles Toyota is going through these days. Even before the UA problems, they had issues with engine sludge, and I would see low mileage examples which were kicked into the wholesale lot because of the sludge problem. Doesn't matter how often you change the oil if the vehicle isn't designed correctly.

    Lastly, stop spelling "brakes" as "breaks" - one is a noun and the other a verb with a totally different meaning.

    +1 Votes
  • Eg
      28th of Apr, 2013

    I am buying a car from Carmax already have a bad taste in my mouth but paper work done and car is coming from LA. So I just want it here I live in phoenix. They lied about how long it will take and charged me up front to ship the car. I work for a car dealer also in the service department and after my divorce don't want them to know my credit and all the drama that my divorce got me in. Any ways. All the anti Chevy comments are bull crap every car make has a service drive and gm hands down is building great cars trucks SUVs. I see it every day what p trade in Toyotas and Hondas all day they get tired of all the maintenance tires brakes ect u have to do on the imports. And FYI alot of the cars from Carmax are x rentals and we all know how ppl drive those cars so don't blame gm or Chevy it's funny how ppl bash what other ppl drive I hate that u drive what u like or can afford plain and simple stupid comments like that's what u get for buying a Chevy. Stupid. And to that person That has the Toyota how is it knowing that ur gas pedal might get stuck and ram a building or a wall loll. Or Honda owners when Hondas don't have a orfece filter for the a/c system so when the compressor goes out u have to replace every part a out 3, 000 out of pocket cost gm don't have that problem becuz they do have that filter. So before u bash a car make remember every car make has a service department and ppl drive what they want and what they can afford.

    +1 Votes
  • Ta
      14th of Jan, 2014

    I would never recommend CarMax. If we hadn't bough an extended warranty we would have had to pay over $3, 000 for repairs. They well lemons. Maybe some people had a good experience but it's like playing the lottery. Never again. The dealer that finally fixed our Corolla (a Toyota dealer) and took the extended warranty over said that CarMax should be called CarMinimum because they do minimum work on the cars before they sell them.

    +1 Votes
  • Re
      6th of Jun, 2016

    My stomach turns as I hearxrjese dopes say American cars a Rex kink. any abused vehicle is junk and Car Max sells junk domestic and foreign. Cases? My Xo worker bought a "Toyota" Camry v6 2009 28000 miles, extended warranty. Besides overheating a week after she bought it and the hvac needing to be overhauled and cleaned vents. Of mold. Again they didn't want to honor the warranty. Second my sister bought a 22000k 2007 dodge charger.that the day she bought it began stalling, traction light stuck on stereo crackling, dead battery, . So shovecyou butt kissing of the Japanese cars. I've worked on vehicles for 25 years, and they all break down, bit car Max is perpetrating massive fraud. Crooks.and if you amen their business practices you might as well have a mask and gun and rob people too.#dishonesty

    +1 Votes
  • Gi
      24th of Aug, 2016
    CarMax - Sold me a car with existing problems
    United States

    Carmax sold me a car that they knew had problems. They do not inspect thier cars prior to selling them- and if they do, then they willingly sell cars that have issues such as worn out breaks, doors falling off, and faulty heat shields.

    The service dept has inconvient hours, the technitions are hard to get a hold of, and they expect you to put your life on hold so that they can get to your car on thier own time. Carmax should be working for me, not making me rearange my day. My car is still under warrenty, I did not expect to have these problems.

    I will never deal with Carmax again, and I advise everyone else to do the same

    +1 Votes
  • Lo
      28th of Jan, 2013
    Carmax - Worst customer service ever
    North Carolina
    United States

    We bought a 2010 Nissan Altima from CarMax of Winston Salem, NC. The very first day after I drove it home, I called the sales rep-I will call him Jeff St.-I commented on how noisy the lifters were. His response was that Nissan engines are typically noisy. I explained that I knew the difference between a noisy engine and one that had a problem-and that this one in mind had a problem-
    he said the same thing again-and also two more times later that week.
    He called a week later saying that he had to resubmit our paperwork and would I please come in to take care of this. I did.
    In his office I literally screamed that the motor had a serious problem-he turned red and said to take it to service-I did.
    Service could not decide what it was so sent it to the nearest Nissan dealer. The dealer determined that the #3 cylinder was
    sticking and was going to have to replace the shortblock.
    It is the fourth loaner car later (8 days/car is the max they will go), the first car had a loose muffler, the second car's brake light
    was stuck on no matter what one did, the third car has a wheel imbalance and the alert signal on the dash was on when I got it.
    I still don't have in my possession the car I bought, Carmax reps call me almost daily about updates and paperwork concerning
    the loaners they assign to me. There aren't any updates and the loaners are all need of something to be fixed on them-these
    'loaner' cars are all part of their inventory. I have left several managers' messages asking that messages be left on my cell phone
    only and still these calls come to my work place. I have contacted a lawyer and if he is correct we're going ahead with a lawsuit
    that includes fraud and customer harrassment.
    Unfortuneatly this is a true story. Thanx for reading it.

    +1 Votes
  • Ja
      19th of Sep, 2018
    Carmax - Your commercial ads
    United States

    Is there a possibility that you could please stop showing the commercials with the tall guy with the blonde hair and glasses? To be completely honest those commercials with him just keep getting dumber and dumber and I'd appreciate it if you stopped showing them.

    +1 Votes
  • Ro
      6th of Oct, 2007

    Although Mark has a point, American cars are not as reliable as most imports, if a car dealer is spouting claims that the car has been inspected, advertises it as such, and uses this claim to sell the vehicle, then I would view this as false advertising. Mechanical issues can come up. Cars do break down. However, CV-joints, brake rotors and pads are easily inspected for wear and normal, or not so normal, wear. If CarMax's inspection can't find a simple worn rotor or a CV-Joint that is begining to fail, I would hate to see them trying to find an actual issue under warranty. Oh wait, that falls right in line with the two complaints above.

    My wife and I were tying to sell our van. We saw the television advertisments that CarMax will guarantee a purchase price. We went in, went through the car selling process. Within an hour CarMax gave us our paperwork with the purchase price. To our dismay it was below what we were looking for. My wife and I went out side and discussed the offer and decided to take it. We went into the business center, handed them our offer paperwork and told them we accept the $4,000 offer and are willing to sell the van to CarMax.

    Keep in mind, CarMax states their offers are good for 7-days because they thoroughly inspect and research the vehicle. 40 minutes later CarMax came to us, they guy, Ryan W. at CarMax in Columbia, SC, came to us and stated that the offer is being reduced. Trying to tell us that becasue one dealership bought the vehicle from another dealership that the mileage of the vehicle is unknown. The offer dropped by at least half and as Ryan stated would probably drop more.

    I, loudly, told them is was Bulls*$%^. Explained that they gave us a guaranteed purchase price that they offered, guaranteed for 7-days, and in which my wife and I agreed to accept. The entire showroom with at least 20 customers was completely quiet listening to me tell CarMax about their so called guarantees. I told them that I hope they stand behind their warranties that they are selling to people better than how they stand behind a 7-day guaranteed purchase price when buying a car. I view this as a contract, verbal since they verbally told us how much and written since they put the offer in writting.

    I have not bought any car from CarMax. I have three kids in which I will need to buy three cars in 4, 6, and 8 years for them as well as replacing the three vehicles my wife and I have.
    Not one will ever be purchased from CarMax. NOT ONE!!!

    0 Votes
  • To
      22nd of Jul, 2010

    Upon a recent purchase of a 2008 Town and Country Mini Van from the Glencoe Carmax, I had my own mechanic look the vehicle over. He commented that the air filter was dirty and that the brakes were down to 4 mm and would need replacement sooner than I would like. He suggested asking Carmax to take care of these 2 items especially considering the cost of the vehicle.
    I spoke to Carmax within the 5 day purchase period and explained what my mechanic had stated.
    I was told (or at least given the impression) that they would make good on both the brakes and the air filter.

    An appointment was set and I assumed all was well until I arrived this morning for my appointment.
    The mechanic informed me that the brakes were fine as far as he was concerned and that they didn't have the air filter in stock.
    Why didn't they call me and save me the 40 minute trip to their facility. I told the head of service that this had been arranged over a week ago. Why didn't they have filter ready?
    I spoke with the corporate office and the customer service representative agreed that I was definitely mislead into thinking that the brakes would be covered. However, he would not honor the service.
    I asked what happened to the good old days of the customer being right and honoring one's word. I was simply given a lame response of "I'm sorry and I understand how you would have assumed the brakes would be done". Also, I was told that the filter was to be sent to another location and that I could pick it up there.
    Thanks Carmax. This is the second and last vehicle I will purchase from your company and the last time I will refer colleagues and friends to your dealerships.
    That $190.00 brake job that you promised but later refused will cost much more to you in the long run in lost sales.
    Too bad customer service has gone by the wayside.

    0 Votes
  • Ba
      1st of Feb, 2011

    CarMax is horrible!!! I shopped for a car for a long time and looking for a BMW 750LI with all the options. I found one at CarMax and took it for a test drive. One of the options I wanted was the “Sport Package” which is a $3, 300 option. I was told that the car had the option. I then went to other dealers to look at comparable cars. After two days of looking and comparing, I decided to go back to CarMax to buy the one I looked at. However, while at other dealerships, they told me that the car should have a different steering wheel if it has the Sports Package. Once again, CarMax told me that their car had the Sports Package and that year they didn’t change the steering wheel. I went to get the car and once again asked them to confirm it had the Sports Package. They came back and said that it didn’t have it and they wouldn’t change the price. Now, this is after I turned other cars down because of this. The dealership manager, Bill, was supper condescending and rude.

    I really liked my sales guy who just got out of the military and I wanted him to get the sale so I purchased the car.

    BTW: after looking on the CarMax website it looks like they are making the same misrepresentations about other cars. They keep advertising that their cars have the Sports Package when they don’t!!!

    After a week, I had to bring the car back for repairs and warranty work. They have had the car over 3 weeks and I’m still waiting to get it back. Great that it comes with a 30 day warranty but they have had it 3 of the 4 weeks.

    I’ve asked repeatedly for Bill to call me back and have still not gotten a call from him.

    CarMax does not care about their customers!!!


    0 Votes
  • Sa
      30th of Sep, 2010

    Well I must be one of the few that had no problems at carmax, maybe my secret was to get preapproved financing and running my own carfax report. After all, what's $30 and a buy back garantee going to hurt me in the long run. Well it's been 2 years almost, I bought a 2007 Volkswagon Jetta Wolfberg edition with only 16500 miles on it, and its still running great with almost 45000 miles on it. As for any product or service given there will be people that like what they got and others that hate, but it's mostly the ones that hate that sit down to write a review but it's good because that will help more people scrutinize before they buy. Do your research, don't let people pressure you and it's amazing what you can find on any car lot.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
      1st of Oct, 2010

    Wow...I've never seen such bunch of whiners in my life. Guess what folks?? Used cars break down, probably 9 times out of 10!! Carmax doesn't have magic pixie dust that they sprinkle on cars to make them perfect! Ugh!! Make sure you buy the daggum MaxCare plan if you don't want to pay for expensive repairs. If you buy may as well get a roll of 100 dollar bills and throw them out the window as you drive off the lot, because you just did the same thing by BUYING a brand new car...DUHHH!

    Carmax has bought and sold MILLIONS of cars since its been you idiots HONESTLY think they can ALL be perfect??? If you're not happy with how your complaints are handled...go up the freakin' chain of COMMAND!! Call Dan Johnston (VP of Sales) in Richmond if you have to, fools! They are a policy driven CORPORATION running an auto superstore, NOT a g.d. dealership! Dealerships are franchise operations that rip people off for the big it??! If you want their dealerships to service your car instead of Carmax..FINE, go ahead! The Maxcare Extended Service Protection plan is honored there as well, but BUY the g.d. thing or don't freakin' complain. They are the best place in the world to buy a used car, cuz they are more than willing to do a heeluvalot more than any other used car seller to get and keep your business.

    Sheesh! Put a bib on and suck your bottles if you're going to whine so much!

    0 Votes
  • Dr
      6th of Dec, 2010

    I think you are really going over the top with your complaint about Carmax. The company is not going to be able to check every square inch of the car during their inspections (no one can do this). The thing that confuses me is that Carmax spent a lot of money and did a lot of work to meet their quality expectations to the custom (you). Tell me what used car dealer would do that? Thats what I thought. Sure you could by new and pay a ridiculous over cost plus dealer fees. I thought it was interesting how you did not mention the make and model of the car you purchased. Many cars are prone to problems especially American made cars such as Chevys, Ford and Dodges. Just like the storys above, these people purchased used chevy malibus and dodge pickups...these are some of the most unreliable vehicles on the market. You did this to yourself, not carmax

    0 Votes

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