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Thread: Would you buy a car from carmax?

  1. #1
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    Would you buy a car from carmax?

    I'm going to look at an 01 M coupe with less than 29k miles on it, and am definitely gonna check the car on the lift... the car seems to check out (clean auto history with carfax and autocheck, or whatever its called) but i've read some discerning stories about carmax online, so... would you buy a car from carmax? and if you did, would you opt for the extended warranty? (price would be up 1500 dollars for 4 years, 40k more miles)
    Last edited by cafeconleche; 12-17-2009 at 10:54 PM.

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    I've worked there alittle over a year, on the body side so i cant speak for the mechanics of it. anyways i personally wouldnt buy a single car from there. obviously carmax dealerships are everywhere and different but the one i worked at in the memphis area they hired barely experienced bodymen, and the way they had it setup i would compare it to a in house maccoo. they didnt de trim anything sometimes they even masked over emblems. ive seen very nice mercedes, bmws etc be ruined by horrible bodywork. i finally quit cuz i couldnt take the management anymore and having to fix others guys work.
    Last edited by GriMSysTeM; 12-17-2009 at 11:08 PM.
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  3. #3
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    We bought a 1999 Honda CRV from them in 2000....more

    Process was easy, price was fair. Didn't get the extended warranty as vehicle was going to Haiti (daughter is in the Foreign Service). The CRV has been to Israel since then also. Still in the family with daughter #3. Not sure if this is because of it being purchased from Carmax or being a Honda, more than likely being a Honda.

  4. #4
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    Carmax has a 2001 M Coupe? I'm surprised they are carrying a car that old in their sales inventory. Older cars that they buy from desperate owners usually go to auctions
    Kelvin

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    yah i was just randomly searching and i just found it listed on their site one day, so i quickly transferred it over.

    GriMSysTeM, holy crap lol. i guess i should go ahead and check to make sure all the body panels share the same numbers. i already scheduled a pre-purchase inspection for monday, within the 5 days interval, but reading about the numerous complaints online, i am very scared, to say the least

  6. #6
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    I thought their policy was that they set the price and won't negotiate. Maybe that's all changed with the changes in the economy. The roadsters on their website are certainly priced well above market.

  7. #7
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    I think if you're buying a new car that still carries manufacturer warranty, it's probably ok. I got a decent deal on my Kia sedan, and it's a 2009. I am happy overall.

    Something older like the one you're looking at falls under their "as-is" program I think so it wouldn't be any safer than buying from a private owner (and probably less safe since they just want to get rid of it.)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BladeAZ View Post

    Something older like the one you're looking at falls under their "as-is" program I think so it wouldn't be any safer than buying from a private owner (and probably less safe since they just want to get rid of it.)
    thats what i am worried about... i mean, if i had an M coupe already, my reasons for selling a car to carmax would be because...

    1.) i am trading the car in for something else
    2.) i'd rather not deal with the entire process of selling a car myself, so just sell it to carmax
    or
    3.) something really bad happened to make them quickly get rid of the car


    but the car has like 28,3XX miles, so i dont know what to make of the situation... carmax having a low miles car from 2001...
    Last edited by cafeconleche; 12-17-2009 at 11:56 PM.

  9. #9
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    It's definitely possible the car is in great shape. You never know who sold it to them. It was obviously a weekend car and some people just don't care about the $$ and rather get rid of it by selling to a dealer instead of dealing with the 'hassle' of a private sale. If I were a CEO with a busy schedule, it probably wouldn't be worth my time for example.

    Just check out the car and you should be able to tell if something is wrong with it.

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  10. #10
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    I'm crossing my fingers for you that the car is a peach and Carmax is using NADA prices as their starting point
    Kelvin

  11. #11
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    Bad bodywork can be seen in person. Subframe damage can be seen in person with a jack. Engine damage can be seen a couple weeks later on the side of the road.

    Unless that warranty is pretty bulletproof or you are planning to overhaul it right away, I don't know if I would buy an early S54 from Carmax. There was no mileage range for those bearings to spin.

  12. #12
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    thanks guys. the car is 20,9XX, but after taxes and whatnot, it goes up to a little below 25 (with an extended warranty) but now that i look at the actual warranty terms, i'm thiking of axing the 1500 dollar option.

    any more input?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinci View Post
    Bad bodywork can be seen in person. Subframe damage can be seen in person with a jack. Engine damage can be seen a couple weeks later on the side of the road.

    Unless that warranty is pretty bulletproof or you are planning to overhaul it right away, I don't know if I would buy an early S54 from Carmax. There was no mileage range for those bearings to spin.

    to be honest, it looks like the warranty has some major issues... and i like replies like yours, because it brings me back to realty. i have an apppointment with a reputable independent mechanic (edge motorworks in dublin, CA). independent mechanics should be able to have the tools neccesary to check the engine, right (like, for example to check to make sure the bearings are in proper working order)?
    Last edited by cafeconleche; 12-18-2009 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  13. #13
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    I have had a few exeriences with Carmax. Here are a few, keep in mind I am in service at BMW, and deal with carmax BMW's for service:

    1: x3 with tire pressure warning light on. Carmax installed new tires and REMOVED the TPM sensors in the wheels. Wow, that was easy!

    2: x3(different vehicle) with CEL on. Cheap aftermaket air filter in it.

    3: e90 with sunroof inop, somebody at carmax removed the sunroof and reinstalled with 1/4" drop in the back. How do you mis the sunroof adjustment?

    4: Multiple BMW's with brake squeal, with aftermarket brakes installed. The vehicles were still under full warranty.

    5: Cheap oil filters, and who knows what oil they put in their cars. I'm sure every car gets a crappy oil filter and the wrong oil.

    6: My sister was moving from Las Vegas to D.C. and needed to sell her car FAST(2 weeks or so). It was a newer Honda and they bought her car way under blue book. They really gave her the run around, but she needed to unload it, so she took the money.

    7: I was walking into a gas station and somebody walking out stopped me and said "Oh wow, an M Coupe! Those are pretty cool and rare, do you like it?" after about 5 minutes of conversation and showing the guy the car I finally saw what he was covering up on his jacket- it was a Carmax Logo. The guy said "I am a professional car buyer and if you are ever interested in selling please see me". I chuckled and kindly said I am late for work and needed to go.

    In my opinion, as long as the car checks out through a private inspection and your own personal looking over, a low mileage s54 car for a good price might be worth it. It would definately be worth it to do a fluid change on all major fluids. Atleast oil/coolant. I would check the brakes to make sure OEM brakes and other suspension parts are fitted. Also as mentioned check body work. You'll beable to tell a junk car fairly easy I think. As long as they didn't have it too long or do any major work on it it might be okay. I hate carmax with a passion.

    Kyle

    P.S. Aftermarket warranties as a whole suck balls. Good luck finding one worth getting.
    Last edited by Bimmer8604; 12-18-2009 at 12:13 AM.
    88M3, 97 840Ci.

  14. #14
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    we bought a car from carmax, almost new less than 10K miles and financed through them. I knew it was a high interest rate but my wife did not want to miss out on the car she had been looking for so long (Mazda CX-9) with the right specs and color. We picked up the vehicle that same night and went ahead and got financing through another source and simply came back to Carmax a week later and cancelled the sale! it was really easy to deal with them... my own personal experience. Also the wireless headseats and Nav DVD was missing so I simply told them I needed it. They ordered it and arrived at the dealer within 2 weeks. No complaints here and the car is still running strong!
    99 /// SC Stage II Z3 M Coupe

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmer8604 View Post
    I have had a few exeriences with Carmax. Here are a few, keep in mind I am in service at BMW, and deal with carmax BMW's for service:

    1: x3 with tire pressure warning light on. Carmax installed new tires and REMOVED the TPM sensors in the wheels. Wow, that was easy!

    2: x3(different vehicle) with CEL on. Cheap aftermaket air filter in it.

    3: e90 with sunroof inop, somebody at carmax removed the sunroof and reinstalled with 1/4" drop in the back. How do you mis the sunroof adjustment?

    4: Multiple BMW's with brake squeal, with aftermarket brakes installed. The vehicles were still under full warranty.

    5: Cheap oil filters, and who knows what oil they put in their cars. I'm sure every car gets a crappy oil filter and the wrong oil.

    6: My sister was moving from Las Vegas to D.C. and needed to sell her car FAST(2 weeks or so). It was a newer Honda and they bought her car way under blue book. They really gave her the run around, but she needed to unload it, so she took the money.

    7: I was walking into a gas station and somebody walking out stopped me and said "Oh wow, an M Coupe! Those are pretty cool and rare, do you like it?" after about 5 minutes of conversation and showing the guy the car I finally saw what he was covering up on his jacket- it was a Carmax Logo. The guy said "I am a professional car buyer and if you are ever interested in selling please see me". I chuckled and kindly said I am late for work and needed to go.

    In my opinion, as long as the car checks out through a private inspection and your own personal looking over, a low mileage s54 car for a good price might be worth it. It would definately be worth it to do a fluid change on all major fluids. Atleast oil/coolant. I would check the brakes to make sure OEM brakes and other suspension parts are fitted. Also as mentioned check body work. You'll beable to tell a junk car fairly easy I think. As long as they didn't have it too long or do any major work on it it might be okay. I hate carmax with a passion.

    Kyle

    P.S. Aftermarket warranties as a whole suck balls. Good luck finding one worth getting.

    shady to say the least. thanks for your honesty, i do appreciate it. i did plan on changing the oil at a BMW dealership and getting a quick glace over (any idea how much this would cost?) as i dont have a jackpad. i hope this works out, but on the other hand, i will kind of dislike being back in debt...

    thanks so much for all of your opinions... any other advice before tommorow?

  16. #16
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    I used to work across the street from one, so I would go by when I saw something cool there. Once in the showroom they were telling me about how they only have the best cars, no accidents...blah blah.. I then showed them the car right behind me (inside the showroom) where the hood had big gaps on one side and not the other. Another time I was selling a car for a friend, I had them give me a quote for the car, they should have been holding a gun when they tried to rob me. Do not like carmax.

    This being said - if the car checks out and the price is OK... go for it. Treat them like a private party though.

    (I sold my friends car to a private party)

  17. #17
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    damn... well thx for the heads up on your experience. if i pick it up my first move will be to the dealership for a quick oil change, then i guess on monday go in for a full blown inspection I or II at edge? any thoughts on this plan?

  18. #18
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    Are they giving you the car for an afternoon or anything? like long enough to have an inspection done? Do you know anybody in your area with an M Coupe/Roadster? Might be kinda nice to take somebody with experience with you to Carmax, but dont tell them. And just kinda quietly go through the car and look at things. Also, ask if you can have them put it on a lift(if you cant take it anywhere else) and have a look yourself. Ask questions. They may tell you the wrong answers but atleast try. Hope everything goes well for you. It sounds like it may be a decent deal!

    I wouldn't worry about doing an inspect I or II unless its due. Do they have any service history on the car?

    Kyle
    Last edited by Bimmer8604; 12-18-2009 at 12:58 AM.
    88M3, 97 840Ci.

  19. #19
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    Based on the milage, it seems like a good price. The bearing failures are rare but it's just something you have to live with. Most of us here get our oil analyzed with every oil change looking for signs of lead. Randy Forbes does a lot of preventative bearing replacement work and he says that he's seen some bearing rotation even with clean oil samples. The subframe check should be part of your PPI. I would be most worried about the body, don't trust Carfax, take the car to a bodyshop and have them go over it with a paint thickness gauge.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmer8604 View Post
    Are they giving you the car for an afternoon or anything? like long enough to have an inspection done? Do you know anybody in your area with an M Coupe/Roadster? Might be kinda nice to take somebody with experience with you to Carmax, but dont tell them. And just kinda quietly go through the car and look at things. Also, ask if you can have them put it on a lift(if you cant take it anywhere else) and have a look yourself. Ask questions. They may tell you the wrong answers but atleast try. Hope everything goes well for you. It sounds like it may be a decent deal!

    I wouldn't worry about doing an inspect I or II unless its due. Do they have any service history on the car?

    Kyle
    yeah, i wish i knew someone around me with a roadster or a coupe, but i dont unfortunatly lol. i already told them i need to put it on a lift... i plan to go over that car myself on and off that list for at least a good hour... the plan is i inspect it tomorrow, and come back in on Saturday to finalize all the paperwork... maybe i can get them to let me take the car home and just keep my car at their office over night, seeing as how i would have to be back the next morning anyways.

    i've seen teh carfax and the autohistory report... single owner, california car... the only small hickup is that it only went in for an oil change once, so i'm assuming the original owner just went somewhere else after, because beyond that i see no other history... would it be possible to call my local bmw dealership and ask for the service history?

    as always, thanks so much for all of your input. its nice to find an informative forum where adults can share information for the benefit of the community as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by GB5416 View Post
    Based on the milage, it seems like a good price. The bearing failures are rare but it's just something you have to live with. Most of us here get our oil analyzed with every oil change looking for signs of lead. Randy Forbes does a lot of preventative bearing replacement work and he says that he's seen some bearing rotation even with clean oil samples. The subframe check should be part of your PPI. I would be most worried about the body, don't trust Carfax, take the car to a bodyshop and have them go over it with a paint thickness gauge.
    would an independent mechanic be able to check the bearings for health?

    and also, are there any ways to prolong the life of the engine?
    Last edited by cafeconleche; 12-18-2009 at 01:12 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  21. #21
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    I personally had great experience buying my 2001 Z3 from a Carmax in Laurel Md. I had some things I wanted fixed, they couldn't do a couple things to my satisfaction so they paid for having them done at a BMW dealership. I knew it had been repainted cause I ask them to fix a couple places when I bought it. So when I had paint problems almost a year after purchase. Called them up and they paid to have it repainted at a shop i selected.

    With that said, however, I'm not sure it's fair for anyone to give you their overall impression of a nationwide dealership. It's sort of like asking if you'd buy from a BMW dealership. Some are going to be great and others are going to be horrible. Okay maybe they all are "stealerships". But hopefully you get my point. Find someone that's bought from your specific dealership. Talk with them. Then do what you can to thoroughly check over the car. I had them put mine on a lift so I could see it and I had my usual mechanic check it over as soon as I got it home.

    Bottom-line : to me buying from Carmax is less risky than buying from ebay, a newspaper add, or your average used car lot.

  22. #22
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    Warranty from CarMax is the best

    I bought my 01 2.5 Roadster from CarMax with the $1400 Warranty. It has served me well. The Carmax deductible is only $50 here is what the have replaced under warranty
    Idler Pully
    seat belt Guides
    water pump
    Thermostat housing
    radiator
    Power steering pump
    window guides
    heater control assembly
    valve cover gasket
    wheel sensors
    MAF
    O2 sensors
    motor mounts

    All of these things are common problems listed within this Forum and replaced with OEM parts. I couldn't be happier with their service.

  23. #23
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    would an independent mechanic be able to check the bearings for health?

    and also, are there any ways to prolong the life of the engine?
    Not from what I've heard about it, not unless they're already gone. Listen to the audio links in post 6 of this thread. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...t=death+rattle

    You could get them changed just for peace of mind, it would cost less than $1,000.

    The engines are quite reliable otherwise. The car does come with a oil temperature gauge, it's recommended that you let the oil warm up before you start pushing the revs.

    Maintenance costs are high, 10W60 oil only and valve adjustments every 30,000 miles.

  24. #24
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    Don't!

    Oh wow, PLEASE do not buy a car from CarMax no matter how well you think it checks out... Let me explain a little bit of my horror story to you:

    I bought a 2003 Ford Focus from CarMax in 2007 and it ran great and was said to be mechanically sound. I sold the car in 2009 and it had been in the shop 14 times. Yes, 14 times! Luckily, I purchased the MaxCare extended warranty so I only had $50 deductibles when CarMax worked on my car. When things such as the instrument cluster went out (multiple times) I had to have the work done by a Ford dealer so that was $100 every single time. CarMax is a PITA to deal with and they will try to screw you over every chance they get. I had my axle assemblies replaced 3 times, 2 new batteries with a couple months, bouncing speedometer that was never fixed, odometer constantly shut off, 3 transmissions, etc. etc. etc...

    My final straw with CarMax was after they replaced my front driver's side axle I drove away, came off the highway and my axle SNAPPED at the joint and my wheel broke off my car leaving me stranded. I wasn't eligible for a rental car under the maxcare plan because I wasn't 25.. I of course had to pay the towing expense and CarMax blamed it on the part and I again had to pay a deductible.

    I'd rather walk than ever purchase a CarMax lemon again...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kdow1 View Post

    I bought a 2003 Ford Focus...
    There's your REAL problem.

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