Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

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siker
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by siker »

Hi,

I took my 2010 mdx(75,000 miles) to the dealer for regular service and they found the following.

Steering rack leak - they suggest replacing rack and pinion and pump for $3,200+
One front strut leak - the technician said "it is ok for now but once it starts leaking they leak for good so I suggest replacing both front struts" $1,300
sway bar link worn/ lose - suggest replacing both front at $324

So what I expected to be a regular service costing my less than $200 is now a possible cost of $5,300 :( . I took the car to the same dealer last year, they suggested timing belt replacement and did not notice all these problems( I got the time belt replaced at the dealer).

What makes me feel really bad is that I thought the power steering leak will not be covered by carmax extra warranty ,because it would be wear and tear, but on a whim I called them yesterday and they told me that if I had reported during the warranty period( which expired earlier this year) they would have covered it:

I have two questions.

1) What is urgent

I do not see steering fluid leaking onto the ground. Two years back, in 2019, another dealer, in a different city, said the steering fluid was leaking and asked me to replace the rack and pinion and pump, but they were near closing time so they asked me to think about it. I have had to refill steering fluid once or twice in between service but I notice nothing else.

2)Can I do anything about the carmax warranty.

For car Insurance I understand I can report a claim after the insurance period as long as the claim occurred during the coverage, won't the same rule apply for warranty coverage?
dukeblue219
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Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:40 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by dukeblue219 »

Do you notice any steering problems? A heavy steering wheel? A loose or sloppy steering wheel? Trouble turning or staying straight?

Don't make $5k worth of repairs based on the dealer's claim that it needs to be done preemptively. Go get another opinion or two.

There's minimal chance any third party warranty is going to accept that this damage happened in the past during your claim period...
tibbitts
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by tibbitts »

Well, I'd say it's pretty unusual for a vehicle to have used any power steering fluid at all at 75k miles, so there's probably something going on, but not necessarily something you need to address. And things like struts usually don't just fail suddenly; they wear, so would replacing 75k mile struts probably be beneficial? Sure. Necessary? Maybe not. That's where I disagree with the "just getting broken in at 200k" crowd: maybe you can keep the car alive that long or longer, but it's not going to be the car it was when you (or somebody) drove it off the dealer lot unless you put a lot of time and/or money into it. Some people don't care; some do.
PeaksAndValleys
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:31 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by PeaksAndValleys »

None of this sounds particularly urgent, take a deep breath. If you keep taking it to the dealer they will find a couple things to replace every time you take it in whether it needs it or not.

I would probably look into replacing the steering rack but go get some estimates at independent mechanics. 3200 for a steering rack is ridiculous.

A leaking strut and loose sway bar links are normal wear items that "need" replacing intermittently but definitely not urgently and will likely not make any notable difference in driving or safety, just let it be for a while and replace when you are comfortable doing so.


For perspective I have a 21 yr old Toyota with 192000 miles that I do the majority of the maintenance on myself. Things wear out on cars overtime, just because something leaks or the rubber on the sway bar links wears out doesn't make it unsafe
Freefun
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by Freefun »

Had to bring my Hyndai to the dealer for a recall. They gave me pages of “suggested items” including replacing the battery, all tires and other assorted items. It was endless (although it was time for the battery). I’m not a fan of dealers.

Also I had a poor Carmax experience. After losing a car to hurricane floods I thought it would be easier and quicker to get a used one at Carmax. After buying it I brought it to a mechanic to check it out. He told me the engine had significant issues because it was apparently used up north in heavy winters. Well I returned that car quickly. Carmax said they would need 2-4 weeks to me a refund check - I said they have 1 day given I paid cash for it.

OP you might want to reach out to Carmax again and see if they will help you with the warranty. Maybe not everything covered but perhaps meeting you somewhere in the middle. I realize they don’t seem to be liable for this but it’s just another phone call.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?
carolinaman
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by carolinaman »

I suggest a 2nd opinion. Find a reputable independent garage (ask friends to find one) and take it there to see what they think. The suggested repairs may not be necessary or imminent. Also, independent garages repair costs will likely be more reasonable.
ragnathor
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:12 am

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by ragnathor »

Definitely get another opinion from a trusted mechanic, or ask around for one.

Dealers and national chain repair shops (NTB) routinely overcharge and recommend unnecessary repairs. I had struts recommended replacement for $1500 at ~75k. At 150k there is absolutely still nothing wrong.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by siker »

Thanks everyone, I feel a lot more at ease after reading the replies. I do not notice anything wrong with the steering wheel, except I need a little more effort when pulling out of the parking lot and turning ( I can’t tell for sure whether the dealers diagnosis makes me feel this way though, because it is negligible difference)

I thought carmax might cover the steering repairs because I have the dealer inspection report from 2019, so there is proof the issue occurred during the warranty period, I will try contacting them again, and then go over to a independent garage for a second opinion.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by siker »

on another note, are inspections required? when I took my 2011 mazda to an independent garage, they just did the oil change without doing inspections( I got the tire rotation done at discount tire).

So am wondering whether to ask them specifically to do inspections next time.
tibbitts
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by tibbitts »

ragnathor wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:11 am Dealers and national chain repair shops (NTB) routinely overcharge and recommend unnecessary repairs. I had struts recommended replacement for $1500 at ~75k. At 150k there is absolutely still nothing wrong.
Of course I agree that many repair facilities recommend work that doesn't need to be done by any reasonable standard, and may overcharge or even not do work that they charge for.

However I'm not sure you can say "nothing wrong", unless your manufacturer takes the tooling out of storage and builds you a brand new identical car that you can compare yours to. After 150k a lot of changes will have happened very slowly so nobody would have noticed them. So while nothing may be "wrong" in that the car still goes from one place to another, many parts will be worn to one extent or another. When it's a part like a strut that's difficult to measure (it's not a like a brake rotor where you can non-destructively measure the thickness and runout), where seals and rubber parts are involved, there isn't necessarily a binary "worn" vs. "not worn." I'm sure there is a device that would precisely measure things like compression and rebound for a strut, but nobody is going to remove the struts from your car and test them, since removing and replacing is a good chunk of the cost. My car has almost as many miles as yours and I have all the original suspension parts, but I'm convinced that if I replaced the entire suspension... wow the car would drive better, like night and day. I'm not going to do that, but I'm not going to pretend that most of the parts haven't seriously deteriorated.
michaeljc70
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Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by michaeljc70 »

The last time I did $5k of repairs for some problem I never noticed because the dealer told me to was never. :shock: My car only goes to the dealer for repairs under warranty or recalls. I'm not sure why they are even looking at all that for basic service other than to make money. Take it someplace else and don't tell them what the dealer told you.
tibbitts
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Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by tibbitts »

michaeljc70 wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 12:02 pm Take it someplace else and don't tell them what the dealer told you.
Yes, you'd want to let another facility start from scratch without being biased by what the dealer suggested.
ragnathor
Posts: 88
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Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by ragnathor »

tibbitts wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:43 am
ragnathor wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:11 am Dealers and national chain repair shops (NTB) routinely overcharge and recommend unnecessary repairs. I had struts recommended replacement for $1500 at ~75k. At 150k there is absolutely still nothing wrong.
Of course I agree that many repair facilities recommend work that doesn't need to be done by any reasonable standard, and may overcharge or even not do work that they charge for.

However I'm not sure you can say "nothing wrong", unless your manufacturer takes the tooling out of storage and builds you a brand new identical car that you can compare yours to. After 150k a lot of changes will have happened very slowly so nobody would have noticed them. So while nothing may be "wrong" in that the car still goes from one place to another, many parts will be worn to one extent or another. When it's a part like a strut that's difficult to measure (it's not a like a brake rotor where you can non-destructively measure the thickness and runout), where seals and rubber parts are involved, there isn't necessarily a binary "worn" vs. "not worn." I'm sure there is a device that would precisely measure things like compression and rebound for a strut, but nobody is going to remove the struts from your car and test them, since removing and replacing is a good chunk of the cost. My car has almost as many miles as yours and I have all the original suspension parts, but I'm convinced that if I replaced the entire suspension... wow the car would drive better, like night and day. I'm not going to do that, but I'm not going to pretend that most of the parts haven't seriously deteriorated.
Point taken. "Nothing wrong" isn't really accurate. I meant it more in that it wasn't necessary to be repaired, but certainly it has more wear and tear and it is part personal preference when these wear and tear items should be up for replacement.
BrklynMike
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Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by BrklynMike »

I've had a great experience having my cars serviced at CarMax. I'd give them a try and get a quote from them on the car as well.
"In a world of uncertainty, one should focus more on the consequences than the probabilities." - Benjamin Graham
hudson
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Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by hudson »

siker,
I never take my vehicles back to dealers, even for free oil changes...except for recalls.
Why? A number of dealers tried to fix things that weren't broken.
I took a 3 year old Toyota RAV4 in for a recall years ago. After an hour the service guy told me he wanted to show me something. I walked into the shop. He had the car up on a lift. We walked under. He showed me a wet spot under the water pump; the wet stuff was the color of antifreeze. I asked him if he checked the pump for a worn bearing with a stethoscope. He said no. I thanked him, and told him that I would get back with him. I had not noticed any problems or low fluid. When I got home I noticed that the wet spot was right below the overflow tube. When I sold the car 7 years later, it still had the same water pump.
Bottom Line: I have found a dealer or two who were straight up, and I trust them. All of the other dealers..... :)
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by siker »

hudson wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:15 pm siker,
I never take my vehicles back to dealers, even for free oil changes...except for recalls.
Why? A number of dealers tried to fix things that weren't broken.
I took a 3 year old Toyota RAV4 in for a recall years ago. After an hour the service guy told me he wanted to show me something. I walked into the shop. He had the car up on a lift. We walked under. He showed me a wet spot under the water pump; the wet stuff was the color of antifreeze. I asked him if he checked the pump for a worn bearing with a stethoscope. He said no. I thanked him, and told him that I would get back with him. I had not noticed any problems or low fluid. When I got home I noticed that the wet spot was right below the overflow tube. When I sold the car 7 years later, it still had the same water pump.
Bottom Line: I have found a dealer or two who were straight up, and I trust them. All of the other dealers..... :)

:D , thanks everyone, got some great advice
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Runner40
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Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by Runner40 »

Hi, It’s definitely worth getting a second opinion. I’ll share my story….I had been taking our Lexus to the dealership for routine oil changes they would often find other issues which I declined car runs great!. The visit that caused me to leave them was they claimed to find an emergency oil leak and a serpentine belt barely hanging on $3500 to fix. No oil on the floor of our garage and no issues driving the car. Took the Lexus to a local independent shop for a second opinion, they found nothing wrong with it, the oil leak was the drain plug bolt which had a small amount of oil around it, they tightened it per specs and the belt was absolutely fine. Moral I will never go back there again for any service work. BTW while I was waiting for the oil change the service person was constantly coming out with other customers paperwork and I could hear the service rep tell everyone of them - “your tires are @ 3mm we happen to have a sale on tires buy 3 the 4th is free”. One person bit everyone else declined.. I understand they have a job to do but honesty is a reflection of your integrity… Cheers everyone!
Topic Author
siker
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by siker »

Thank you, guess I should keep a Warren Buffet quote in mind "Don't ask the barber if you need a haircut" :D
DH0
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Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by DH0 »

A couple of specific comments and then I'll share a recent story. As background, I do ~90% of our car maintenance myself and have for the last 15 years so have plenty of experience with leaks and failed suspension parts.

1) struts do develop leaks, and when they go bad it can happen quickly. I've had two cars where 1 of 4 struts failed completely (due to a leak). In general, you'll notice a clunk over bumps, worse cornering and braking performance (especially on uneven pavement). If true, it's a significant safety issue. It will also lead to uneven wear and destroy your tires. Get it fixed.

2) if the steering fluid leak is slow you can probably keep an eye on it and top off fluid. If you run out of steering fluid completely you will lose your power steering making it really hard to turn the wheel. Not as critical as the strut as long as it's slow and you keep an eye on it.

Now the anecdote: I took my car into a Firestone a few months ago for an alignment check (~180,000 miles, bought their lifetime alignment years ago so it was free). When the manager brought me the paperwork at the end of the service we had the following conversation:

Service Manager: have some bad news...your car needs four new struts and all sway bar endlinks replaced. Here's an estimate...it will be ~$3,000

Me: hmm, that's interesting, how do you know? I just replaced them myself ~10,000 miles ago

Manager, looking embarassed: well, actually...struts are kind of hard to diagnose...we just did it based on mileage

Me (stunned): ahhh, 'diagnosed by mileage'...with no service history on the vehicle...I think I'll pass. Never going back to that shop again..

Get a second opinion, preferably from someone you trust. If your strut really is leaking it's a significant issue. However, more than a few unscrupulous shops (perhaps the even the majority of shops) will recommend new struts for every vehicle that shows up with >70k miles even if they have just been replaced.
Last edited by DH0 on Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.
dukeblue219
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Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by dukeblue219 »

siker wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:31 am on another note, are inspections required? when I took my 2011 mazda to an independent garage, they just did the oil change without doing inspections( I got the tire rotation done at discount tire).

So am wondering whether to ask them specifically to do inspections next time.
Many of the chains and dealers will do a 30-point inspection or whatever. It's certainly not required (though your state might have its own periodic safety inspections). They're mostly looking for obvious repairs that can bring in a little revenue. That doesn't mean the recommendations are wrong or a scam on its own.

I've found that independent places are more likely to only perform the specific ala carte service requested (like an oil change) unless you pay them to do an inspection or ask them to diagnose a known issue.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by siker »

DH0 wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:46 pm A couple of specific comments and then I'll share a recent story. As background, I do ~90% of our car maintenance myself and have for the last 15 years so have plenty of experience with leaks and failed suspension parts.

1) struts do develop leaks, and when they go bad it can happen quickly. I've had two cars where 1 of 4 struts failed completely (due to a leak). In general, you'll notice a clunk over bumps, worse cornering and braking performance (especially on uneven pavement). If true, it's a significant safety issue. It will also lead to uneven wear and destroy your tires. Get it fixed.

2) if the steering fluid leak is slow you can probably keep an eye on it and top off fluid. If you run out of steering fluid completely you will lose your power steering making it really hard to turn the wheel. Not as critical as the strut as long as it's slow and you keep an eye on it.

Now the anecdote: I took my car into a Firestone a few months ago for an alignment check (~180,000 miles, bought their lifetime alignment years ago so it was free). When the manager brought me the paperwork at the end of the service we had the following conversation:

Service Manager: have some bad news...your car needs four new struts and all sway bar endlinks replaced. Here's an estimate...it will be ~$3,000

Me: hmm, that's interesting, how do you know? I just replaced them myself ~10,000 miles ago

Manager, looking embarassed: well, actually...struts are kind of hard to diagnose...we just did it based on mileage

Me (stunned): ahhh, 'diagnosed by mileage'...with no service history on the vehicle...I think I'll pass. Never going back to that shop again..

Get a second opinion, preferably from someone you trust. If your strut really is leaking it's a significant issue. However, more than a few unscrupulous shops (perhaps the even the majority of shops) will recommend new struts for every vehicle that shows up with >70k miles even if they have just been replaced.
:) will get the struts checked, this dealer sends a video showing the issues, the technician focused on one strut and said "it is not bad now"
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Carmax warranty and dealer suggested repairs

Post by siker »

dukeblue219 wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:46 pm
siker wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:31 am on another note, are inspections required? when I took my 2011 mazda to an independent garage, they just did the oil change without doing inspections( I got the tire rotation done at discount tire).

So am wondering whether to ask them specifically to do inspections next time.
Many of the chains and dealers will do a 30-point inspection or whatever. It's certainly not required (though your state might have its own periodic safety inspections). They're mostly looking for obvious repairs that can bring in a little revenue. That doesn't mean the recommendations are wrong or a scam on its own.

I've found that independent places are more likely to only perform the specific ala carte service requested (like an oil change) unless you pay them to do an inspection or ask them to diagnose a known issue.

Good to know, thank you.
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