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We have had three car buying experiences with CarMax. The first car we had transferred in from Chicago to Virginia Beach (at our expense), liked the car, but wanted to have our mechanic review. CarMax gave us a hard time, but after 2 days of conversations the GM finally relented and we had the car inspected. There were no major issues brought up so we bought the car and have been satisfied with it.

A year later my husband needed to get a new vehicle so again we searched through CarMax's inventory and found the vehicle that he wanted. We did have this car inspected, but this time after the purchase. A few items were found and repaired at our expense and my husband has been moderately happy with his car, but there are things like the rattling noise that no mechanic can pinpoint and other little items that displease him, but again, not necessarily Car Max's fault. We suspect that the car was a rental and was driven roughly during that part of it's history.

Last week we went back to look for a car for my son. His first car purchase and we wanted it to go smoothly. After test driving 4 different vehicles he found a Mazda CX-9 to his liking. My husband got suspicious of the vehicle when he found the passenger side door not closing properly, but their repair department checked it out, fixed the misalignment of the door and three times when we asked we were told there was no frame damage from the one accident on the CarFax report. It cost a little more than he had planned and they didn't give us even the minimum of KBB value for my Toyota Tundra which was in very good condition, but time was running short and we wanted him to have his new vehicle to go back to college with. At the last minute I remembered that we always have these CarMax vehicles inspected by our own mechanic and brought it in to be checked out.

Got the report back last night from them that the car is out of alignment and although it could be brought into alignment it would just barely meet standards and would always pull to the left. When we went back to CarMax the mechanic there tried to convince my son that the faulty alignment reading was due to the tires being underinflated. My husband pulled the deal and returned the car under their 5 day return policy. Very bad experience for my son who now needs to find a ride to college as we are out of time on this purchase.

Monetary Loss: $5.

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