A Look at CarMax’s Warranty Policies

CarMax offers warranty policies that may afford you peace of mind.

byThe Drive Staff| UPDATED Apr 12, 2022 12:29 PM
A Look at CarMax’s Warranty Policies
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CarMax is the largest used-car distributor in the United States. The first CarMax used-car store opened its doors in Richmond, Virginia, in September 1993, and business has skyrocketed ever since, and CarMax is now a Fortune 500 company with 215 stores across the U.S.

CarMax has tens of thousands of used cars available nationwide and has sold more than 9 million cars. You could say CarMax knows a thing or two about vehicles and warranties.

CarMax Warranty Overview

Whether your car still has a manufacturer’s warranty does not matter — When you buy a vehicle from CarMax, it comes with a CarMax limited warranty that's free of charge. The warranty covers the vehicle’s major systems as well as hundreds of interior and exterior car parts, including labor costs.

The limited warranty by CarMax covers the purchased vehicle for 90 days or 4,000 miles. It also provides a seven-day money-back guarantee. Since most car owners will leave the lot with a used vehicle and own it for longer than the coverage provided by the limited warranty, CarMax also offers an extended service plan called MaxCare.

MaxCare is an extended warranty you can choose to buy at the time of your vehicle purchase. No matter the year, make, model, or mileage of the vehicle, MaxCare allows you to go beyond the CarMax limited warranty to remain covered during your vehicle ownership.

The MaxCare extended service plan increases the warranty coverage for up to five years or 125,000 miles from the date of purchase.

  • Comprehensive coverage: The CarMax limited warranty and the MaxCare extended warranty cover the engine, transmission, drivetrain, electrical systems, electronics, steering, suspension, climate control, and cooling system.
  • Roadside assistance: Get 24/7 emergency roadside assistance up to $100 per occurrence. It does not include any replacement items or fuel or tires. 
  • Rental reimbursement: For overnight covered repairs, get up to $40 a day for seven days for a rental.
  • Nationwide protection: You are covered anywhere within the United States or Canada.
  • Extras: Includes coverage for all CarMax accessories.

Warranty In-Depth

CarMax’s extended warranty plan, MaxCare, is a third-party service that is not sold by CarMax. The two companies share a contract to offer a comprehensive service plan. Not a lot of details about pricing or coverage is listed online about MaxCare, but you can learn more about the buying process of MaxCare extended warranty on the CarMax website.

Comprehensive Coverage

The MaxCare extended service plan increases your warranty coverage for up to five years or 125,000 miles from the date of purchase

  • The CarMax limited warranty and MaxCare extended warranty cover the vehicle’s engine, transmission, drivetrain, electrical systems, electronics, steering, suspension, climate control, and cooling system.

CarMax and MaxCare warranties do not cover regular maintenance services such as oil changes and tuneups; any aftermarket accessories such as GPS, radar detectors, and radios; specific vehicle components and conditions caused by corrosion, collision, or inadequate maintenance; or maintenance parts such as batteries, air-conditioning refrigerant, engine coolant, drive belts, and brake pads and shoes. 

The warranty does not cover collision damage, modifications other than those made by the manufacturer or its representative, or any destruction from negligence or misuse. The suspension system, tires, wheels, catalytic converter, manual transmission, painting, bumpers, and body-parts alignment are also not covered. It also does not cover any damage caused by towing a trailer or another vehicle with a car not equipped for towing as recommended by the manufacturer. Using your vehicle as a commercial vehicle—such as a taxi, police car, or delivery service—will also cause the warranties to become invalid.

Roadside Assistance

If your car breaks down and you're stranded, MaxCare offers 24/7 emergency roadside assistance. If the service is needed more than once, you can receive up to $100 per occurrence. However, roadside assistance does not include any replacement items such as fuel or tires.

Rental Reimbursement

While your car is in the shop for repairs, MaxCare offers rental reimbursement for overnight repairs of as much as $40 a day for up to seven days. You can still get to where where you need to go with the MaxCare extended warranty.

Nationwide Protection

If you are a traveler or plan on taking trips anywhere within the United States or Canada, the MaxCare extended service plan has you covered. 

Additional Coverage

You also receive coverage for all CarMax accessories.

Things We Like

CarMax’s extended service plan, MaxCare, is crucial if you need more coverage, especially on used vehicles. MaxCare allows you to use any ASE-certified repair facilities, including national chains, independent shops, and dealership service centers.

Although some restrictions apply, the MaxCare extended service plan is transferable. Car owners looking to sell their used vehicle will not lose the plan; the warranty goes with the vehicle.

Another extended warranty benefit of MaxCare is that you may cancel the plan at any time as long as your vehicle is financed through CarMax. Any refund will be credited to your finance account. Your refund amount is prorated, as it is based on the term or mileage of the vehicle.

Things We Don’t Like

The MaxCare extended warranty offers fewer plan options and reimbursement benefits than most other extended service plans. We do like part of the MaxCare cancellation policy, but we dislike the possible cancellation fee if you did not finance your vehicle through one of CarMax’s finance experts.

It was also challenging to find information about MaxCare, which is unlike CarMax’s straightforward car-pricing system. The price and term lengths for MaxCare are not disclosed online, making it impossible to share these vital pieces of information. Since no details are available, we recommend requesting a sample contract before purchasing MaxCare extended service plan. Once you review it and gain the information you need, you can make a knowledgeable buying decision.

Common Repair Costs

According to RepairPal, some of the most common issues and repair costs with used vehicles are shown in the following examples:

  • Chevrolet Cruze brake vacuum pump replacement: The average cost for a Chevrolet Cruze brake vacuum pump replacement is between $197 and $209. These amounts do not include labor costs, which are estimated between $44 and $56, while parts are priced at $153. Taxes and fees are not included in prices. Costs might vary based on location.
  • Ford Bronco vehicle speed sensor replacement: The average cost for a Ford Bronco vehicle speed sensor replacement is between $97 and $122. These amounts do not include labor costs, which are estimated between $35 and $44, while parts are priced between $62 and $78. Taxes and fees are not included, and costs might vary according to location.

FAQs

You have questions. The Drive has answers. 

Q: Can I purchase MaxCare after I buy my car?

A. No. You can only purchase MaxCare at the same time you are buying your CarMax vehicle.

Q: Do all of CarMax’s used vehicles come with a warranty?

A. All CarMax vehicles are certified and come with a 90-day/4,000-mile limited warranty. However, you will need to purchase a MaxCare extended warranty if you need longer terms. See your local CarMax outlet for written details.

Q. Are CarMax’s Warranty and Extended Service Plan Worth It?

A. The CarMax Limited Warranty is at no cost to you since it comes with all CarMax used vehicles. However, CarMax offers a MaxCare extended warranty, which does come with a price, yet it is considered an affordable choice for coverage. Although the coverage plans are limited in various ways, Carmax’s warranty and the MaxCare extended plan are good choices for a limited-coverage warranty, not a more comprehensive plan.