Tips on Buying Cars/Carmax situation


It's me again!
The wife and I have almost pulled the trigger on a 2011 Dodge Durango at Carmax.  We've driven it a couple times, made sure it would fit in our garage, and took it to our mechanic.
We found a couple issues.
-A couple minor dings in the paint
-needs alignment (pulls slightly to left)
-minor glovebox noise when opening
-And a leaky shock in the rear passenger side.
They're taking care of / will be taking care of all of them EXCEPT the shock.
Our mechanic gave it an inspection and found that the driver side the leaky shock.  

We've given them all signs of moving ahead with the purchase but they are refusing to replace the leaky shock absorber.  

The Carmax sales guy says that it meets their standards of quality so they won't replace it but that if we purchase to just come back before the 30 day warranty expires and if it's leaked more they'll fix it.

The wife and I are DESPERATELY trying to figure out why a dealer would refuse a $100 repair that could get them $25,000!
My question(s) to you are:
Am I missing something here with the logic of this scenario?
Is it just a matter of walk away (which we're prepared to do) and they'll do the repair and we'll have a purchase?
Why would ANYONE (dealer/private party) refuse to spend $100 when it could bring in $25,000?
Also, what's your take on Carmax?  We've read a lot of bad reviews about them AFTER the sale. Thoughts?

Thanks again for your expertise.  Me and my frustrated wife (hair is being pulled!) are eagerly awaiting your reply.

Good morning Andy

Carmax is a high volume dealer and as such they will inevitably ruffle a few feathers. The people at Carmax that I know are extremely honest high quality car people with lots of integrity that's not to say that everyone who works there is the same but only that upper management doesn't tolerate any type of operating in the gray area. As for why they won't fix the shock for $100 my guess is that it's probably more like $250 to fix it and they are probably at the point where they would be dipping into no man's land profit wise on the vehicle.

My question for you is why are you even considering a Dodge Durango? Please send me the Vin number and the description of this vehicle so that I can book it out and tell you what it's really worth before you make a commitment because Dodge Durango's have some of the lowest resell value of any SUV on the market it's down there in Aztec land and bravado land. Of course if you plan on owning this vehicle for quite a while then it's not a big consideration they also get some of the worst fuel economy of any vehicle you will find depending on which engine you have but the 5.2 in the 5.9 are terrible

Send me over that information and don't find anything yet. My private email is roadloans at send me your phone number and A good time to call and it's probably time we speak on the phone because to type all of this info out would be very time-consuming and unfortunately it's time I don't have right now but I do want to get the information to you.


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Roger Alvey


I can answer any question about the car buying process. I am a recognized industry expert on all issues regarding auto finance, including sub prime and buy here pay here financing, I can answer questions about car lock out systems, GPS monitoring by your bank, and about auto recovery methods and defenses. I am a 20 yr car industry expert and can tell you what to look for in a used car, how to negotiate the deal, help with how to market your own car, and how to negotiate with the internet department of any car store. I can tell you every single way the dealer is set up to beat you and how to avoid those traps, I can discuss all aftermarket and extended service contract products you will be offered in the finance process, I have lectured extensively on "The Best Way to Buy a Car" to civic groups and university students. I am a credit expert and can tell you what the dealer and banks are looking for and the rate you can expect to pay. HERE IS THE LINK TO MY OTHER ALLEXPERTS CATEGORIES WHERE I HAVE ANSWERED LOTS OF QUESTIONS HERE IS A LINK TO MY BLOG


20 years industry experience in top management of dealerships and dealer groups. Recognized industry expert since 2004 in the Top 10 industry experts for The Gerson Lehrman Groups Auto Industry Council. I also do consulting work for Atheneum Partners, Expert 360, Expert Connect and Coleman Research. I have been a franchise owner and understand all facets of the auto industry from the time the car leaves the factory until it leaves the lot with it's new owner. I have written training materials for both the prime and the subprime sales and finance process.

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Willamette University - Salem Oregon BA Economics Willamette University Graduate School of Business - Econometrics Statistics

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