Travels with Pickles

Our CarMax Experience



CarMax had a beautiful 2012 Dodge Ram 3500HD Laramie Longhorn that on paper meet our towing needs and at a price we were comfortable paying.  Earlier that morning, Dave had applied for and was rejected for a car loan.  Turns out that most banks and lenders consider a 3500, or it’s equivalent, a commercial vehicle and will not issue consumer loans.  Thus we knew we would have to go through a dealership for financing.  Thus CarMax was more attractive because family members have had good luck with vehicles purchased via CarMax.



Dave and I talked about it and looked at the pictures and eventually he called the local CarMax to get more information.  The information was good and of course we were approved for financing, so Dave paid to have the truck shipped from it’s location to our local CarMax.  So, now we have $280 invested in a car we’ve never physically seen but looks good in the pictures.   A risk but one we were reasonably comfortable taking.

Then, Dave started looking more closely at the pictures and discovered a potential problem with the tires.


So, he placed another call to our CarMax contact and asked for the tire depth since the tread looked to be extremely low.  I freely admit I knew next to nothing about tire tread but I learned on Thursday evening last week.  Dave guessed the tread to be 2/32nd’s which is the bare minimum legal limit of tire tread.  Our concerns were realized when CarMax called back and confirmed the tread was low at 4/32nd’s.  Dave then requested that CarMax reduce the price of the vehicle because we would have to immediately replace the tires because we didn’t want to be driving around a 6,000 pound mobile missile.  CarMax refused on the grounds that the tires were within the legal limit and thus their pricing was firm.


The seats were gorgeous and the red exterior was exquisite.  But seriously, even if everything else except the tires had been perfection, CarMax was, no make that is, asking full price for a used vehicle that a wise individual would immediately have to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500-$2,000 on six new tires.  Add that expense on top of what CarMax was asking for a four year old vehicle and the numbers just didn’t add up.


So, if you end up looking at CarMax for a tow vehicle be sure and ask about tire tread depth prior to paying for the vehicle to be moved to a location near you.  Did CarMax try and sell us an “illegal” vehicle?  No, but they are willing to sell a mobile missile at new car prices.  And honestly, while our local contact was fair and reasonable to deal with, overall dealing with CarMax left a bad taste in both our mouths.

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