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      03-13-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
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Carmax Service in Sterling – Ehhh

Ok, I know is one of my first posts, but I feel the urge to rant, get some advice/clarification, and perhaps warn people in the future.

Over a month ago I purchased my first BMW – 2008 335i e93 AT Space Gray/Coral Red (what a lovely car!) from Carmax in Sterling. Supposedly, I got 2 keys with it. Well the first key was fine as we have been test driving the car and checking all its features. Upon leaving the sales guy said the spare key (which was meant to be my wife’s due to all kinds of CA customizations) is in the middle console. I never bothered to check it as it was late and dark already.

Come next weekend (I was away) my wife calls me and says she had to use my hey because the “spare” doesn’t work. Sure enough, the spare they gave me was a randomly picked BMW key they had laying around (btw, if you bought a white 2011 M3 from them last month with VIN ending in 206 – PM me, and if registration with your name matches the complete VIN I’ll hand the key over to you). So I call them up and say “hey, you gave me the wrong key”. They say sorry, we’ll fix that, we’ll order another key for you and it will be here in a week. I say fine.

A week passes and I call the Service to set up an appointment. Turns out they ordered the key but… somehow, they lost it (so, lost second key). They don’t know where it is, they’ll order another one. Call back in a week. I say “Ehhh… ok”.

Another week passes, I call back and find out they got the key, I can come over drop off my car. So I do, and pick it up the same day after hours (there is no way I can get out of work before 6pm). Service is closed so I just get the key and paperwork at dealer's cashier, quickly check the fob buttons (lock/unlock) – all seems fine. I get in, try to start but get an error (key not in). I think “glitch”? But I stick the key in the ignition and it starts fine – so good, right? I drive home.

The next day I have some time and decide to check out the new key more thoroughly. Yes, the lock/unlock buttons work, but the Comfort Access doesn’t work. Ehhh… So I call them again, and get another date (2 weeks) to come in and get that taken care off.

Today morning I drop my car off. Around 2pm SA calls me and says “We ordered the wrong key from BMW, this one was not programmed at the factory for CA. We’ll need to order yet another key (so, 3 down) and it will take 2 weeks”.

Ok, so correct me if I’m wrong: If they gave BMW the VIN for my car, they should have gotten the correct key, right? Also, the new fob has a little flap door on the back to change battery, and it is my understanding that only CA keys have those, as non-CA keys recharge in ignition and don’t have exchangeable batteries, am I correct? All it should need is enabling CA in the car's programming, not sending it back to BMW for them to program CA into the key, am I right?

So, basically, out of the 10 keys that BMW makes for each car, Carmax has f***ed up 3, so far at least.

Any advice?
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      03-13-2013, 06:19 PM   #2
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Avoid carmax!
They basically know nothing about the cars they sell, and have horrible service! Maybe next time go on a weekend so you can verify the key works before you pull away.

I went there when i was shopping for my car because you can test drive a lot of ars at one place, but a case in point example was the sales guy telling me i had to test out the 08 528 with the really fast turbo engine :
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      03-13-2013, 06:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walmark View Post
Ok, I know is one of my first posts, but I feel the urge to rant, get some advice/clarification, and perhaps warn people in the future.

Over a month ago I purchased my first BMW – 2008 335i e93 AT Space Gray/Coral Red (what a lovely car!) from Carmax in Sterling. Supposedly, I got 2 keys with it. Well the first key was fine as we have been test driving the car and checking all its features. Upon leaving the sales guy said the spare key (which was meant to be my wife’s due to all kinds of CA customizations) is in the middle console. I never bothered to check it as it was late and dark already.

Come next weekend (I was away) my wife calls me and says she had to use my hey because the “spare” doesn’t work. Sure enough, the spare they gave me was a randomly picked BMW key they had laying around (btw, if you bought a white 2011 M3 from them last month with VIN ending in 206 – PM me, and if registration with your name matches the complete VIN I’ll hand the key over to you). So I call them up and say “hey, you gave me the wrong key”. They say sorry, we’ll fix that, we’ll order another key for you and it will be here in a week. I say fine.

A week passes and I call the Service to set up an appointment. Turns out they ordered the key but… somehow, they lost it (so, lost second key). They don’t know where it is, they’ll order another one. Call back in a week. I say “Ehhh… ok”.

Another week passes, I call back and find out they got the key, I can come over drop off my car. So I do, and pick it up the same day after hours (there is no way I can get out of work before 6pm). Service is closed so I just get the key and paperwork at dealer's cashier, quickly check the fob buttons (lock/unlock) – all seems fine. I get in, try to start but get an error (key not in). I think “glitch”? But I stick the key in the ignition and it starts fine – so good, right? I drive home.

The next day I have some time and decide to check out the new key more thoroughly. Yes, the lock/unlock buttons work, but the Comfort Access doesn’t work. Ehhh… So I call them again, and get another date (2 weeks) to come in and get that taken care off.

Today morning I drop my car off. Around 2pm SA calls me and says “We ordered the wrong key from BMW, this one was not programmed at the factory for CA. We’ll need to order yet another key (so, 3 down) and it will take 2 weeks”.

Ok, so correct me if I’m wrong: If they gave BMW the VIN for my car, they should have gotten the correct key, right? Also, the new fob has a little flap door on the back to change battery, and it is my understanding that only CA keys have those, as non-CA keys recharge in ignition and don’t have exchangeable batteries, am I correct? All it should need is enabling CA in the car's programming, not sending it back to BMW for them to program CA into the key, am I right?

So, basically, out of the 10 keys that BMW makes for each car, Carmax has f***ed up 3, so far at least.

Any advice?
Yes you are correct that if you have CA the key FOB will recharge in the ignition. It's hit or miss at Carmax from what I have heard from other people. Knock on wood so far my experiences have been good. I mean all they should have to do is give your VIN to BMW, and BMW should be able to look that VIN up to see what packages it has and what needs to be programmed on the car.
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      03-13-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacnaud View Post
Avoid carmax!
They basicallyno nothing about the cars they sell, and have horrible service! Maybe next time go on a weekend so you can verify the key works before you pull away.

I went there when i was shopping for my car because you can test drive a lot of ars at one place, but a case in point example was the sales guy telling me i had to test out the 08 528 with the really fast turbo engine :
Lol you didn't know those cars had a hidden turbo in the car? You have to hit a magic button for it to engage
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      03-13-2013, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacnaud View Post
Avoid carmax!
They basicallyno nothing about the cars they sell, and have horrible service!
I kinda figured it out by now, but it was the only way for me to get a spare key for free. Otherwise, I would have to fork out big $$$, and they owed me a key anyway
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      03-13-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat@sonictuning View Post
Yes you are correct that if you have CA the key FOB will recharge in the ignition. It's hit or miss at Carmax from what I have heard from other people. Knock on wood so far my experiences have been good. I mean all they should have to do is give your VIN to BMW, and BMW should be able to look that VIN up to see what packages it has and what needs to be programmed on the car.
If you have CA, the key FOB will NOT recharge in the ignition.
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      03-13-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinGTP View Post
If you have CA, the key FOB will NOT recharge in the ignition.
Correct. Comfort Access has a CR2032 battery you can pick up almost anywhere to replace it when needed. The car will give you a warning when the battery is getting low in the CA key.
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      03-13-2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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My point was: -if the fob has a door to replace battery then it means it has to be CA fob, right? If it was non-CA it would not have any opening door on the back. So there is a difference between how CA and non-CA fob looks like? Cause that's what I told the SA when she told me this key can't work with CA, even though it has a replaceable battery.
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      03-14-2013, 07:00 AM   #9
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It's annoying that they've messed up so much and wasted so much of your time! At least they are still working to fix the issue.

I agree with the general consensus in the thread, though. Avoid Carmax if possible (after they get you a working key).
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      03-14-2013, 08:11 AM   #10
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Ok, so I just called local BMW dealer and asked them for advice. The SA on the phone told me that for this model year ('08 335i e93) the comfort access can only work WITH ONE FOB, not with both... Now that sounds odd, as I have a manual that never specifies it and says that "up to 3 keys can be programmed to the car".

Do you guys have cars with both fobs working with CA? Is there anyone out there who knows what they are talking about?
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      03-14-2013, 08:16 AM   #11
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carmax aint that bad.. you should have only one CA key.. i bought my car at carmax too.. i have one CA key and one without CA key.
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      03-14-2013, 08:47 AM   #12
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Weird. My 2007 came with 2 Comfort Access keys that both work without issue. As far as I know the limit for CA is 2 keys will work with CA, you can have a 3rd, but it will work without CA because you can't program a 3rd key id in.

Read these, and have your dealer read the BMW SIB. Even though it says 328 it should apply:

http://www.justanswer.com/bmw/46pvk-...rt-access.html

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DB...152_bmwkey.pdf

Carmax probably does not have the programming equipment for BMW keys, so you got a CA capable key, but they are unable to unprogram the missing key's id, and put in the new key's id. Here is a video:


Last edited by scottp999; 03-14-2013 at 09:06 AM..
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      03-14-2013, 10:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottp999 View Post
Weird. My 2007 came with 2 Comfort Access keys that both work without issue. As far as I know the limit for CA is 2 keys will work with CA, you can have a 3rd, but it will work without CA because you can't program a 3rd key id in.

Read these, and have your dealer read the BMW SIB. Even though it says 328 it should apply:

http://www.justanswer.com/bmw/46pvk-...rt-access.html

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DB...152_bmwkey.pdf
Thank you, Scott!

I doubt they have the key making setup but they have ordered a spare key directly from BMW based on my VIN, so I'm pretty sure it's fine. It works exactly as described in the SB you linked - remote and ignition works fine, but CA does not. I'm sure they didn't remove the original lost key from the CAS and so now they can't add the new one to work with the car. I have forwarded the attached PDF to the dealer, so I hope they will figure it out. If the Service Bulletin is correct then even if they order yet another key and have me wait for 2 more weeks, it till won't work unless they learn how to remove the lost key and replace it with the new one in car programming.
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      03-17-2013, 10:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacnaud View Post

I went there when i was shopping for my car because you can test drive a lot of ars at one place, but a case in point example was the sales guy telling me i had to test out the 08 528 with the really fast turbo engine :
If I recall correctly, I believe the 08+ e60 5 series, the 528 and the 535 are turbo equipped engines. If they are fast, well that's different.

The older e60 5 series 525, 530, 545 were not.
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      03-17-2013, 10:48 PM   #15
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Negatory, 528 is NA (same engine as 328), 535 is of course turbo.
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      03-18-2013, 05:25 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by zacnaud View Post
Negatory, 528 is NA (same engine as 328), 535 is of course turbo.
cool, thanks for the clarification.
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      03-19-2013, 02:57 PM   #17
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The Conclusion?

So, Scott's pdf about programming comfort access to the car has been godsend. I have forwarded it to Carmax Service and only after that they started treating me like perhaps I know what I'm asking them for.

After trying 2 independent sources they determined they cannot activate the Comfort Access for the new key using their computer. They gave me an option of either bringing the car back again and they take it to BMW dealer to do the activation, or taking the car to BMW myself and they would reimburse me for the cost of service. I ended up doing the latter and took it to BMW of Rockville yesterday (yes, the one that said on the phone it cannot be done). My SA was very efficient (though maybe not the most courteous), got the thing programmed and had me out of the door in an hour (and $135). I just called Carmax and they said that based on the receipt they would be happy to pay me back (as this is what they would end up doing anyway).

So, conclusion: not the easiest place to get your car fixed, and lacks the "dealer" tools and knowledge, but in the end there are good-willed people there who will help you out and get your problem fixed (we'll see how soon I'll get that refund). It can be difficult sometimes as the "business" side and the "service" side are almost completely separated and one has no idea what the other one is doing, especially if you're trying to pick up your car after service has already closed.

The guy that sold me the car (Peter Friedman) was actually the most helpful person there in his post-sale assistance. He was always available on the phone and served several times as a liaison between me and the service to get things done and done right. I was surprised as I thought his job was done once I signed on the dotted line and grabbed the key (pun-intended), but he went "above and beyond" his job as a salesman. I highly recommend him and would not hesitate to buy a car from him again.
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      03-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #18
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glad you got the functionality working.
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      03-21-2013, 10:04 AM   #19
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hey, i think i may have the original spare key for your 335. send me a pm to confirm whether or not it's yours.
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      03-22-2013, 03:12 PM   #20
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No disrespect to the OP, but Carmax is not the ideal place to purchase a car, especially the caliber of a BMW. They are good to buy from or sell to in a pinch but not if you have any knowledge of car buying or are an enthusiast.

Also, their business model is heavy on the marketing side and not on delivering what they say they do.

If you don't know much about cars or don't want heavy negotiating, but a class A product, I recommend Advantage Certified in Manassas for BMWs.

Back to the original topic, simply hold their feet to the fire and/or handle it on your own and get them to reimburse you. Take the issue up the chain to management for a better response.
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      03-24-2013, 11:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeriousE92 View Post
No disrespect to the OP, but Carmax is not the ideal place to purchase a car, especially the caliber of a BMW. They are good to buy from or sell to in a pinch but not if you have any knowledge of car buying or are an enthusiast.

Also, their business model is heavy on the marketing side and not on delivering what they say they do.

If you don't know much about cars or don't want heavy negotiating, but a class A product, I recommend Advantage Certified in Manassas for BMWs.
None taken, and thanks for the recommendation about Advantage Cetrified!

However, I will disagree with you on Carmax sales. I spent ~3 months looking for this car, including online searches and drop ins to several area dealers. Carmax was simply the best offer - they had the car I really liked (color+equipment) at a price $2-3k lower than anything else comparable in the area. The car was wonderfully clean and mechanically perfect. It felt like buying a new car. As I mentioned above, my sales rep was fantastic, and I had no trouble at all when buying - all my complaints related to service later on. It was also extremely convenient as I don't have much time for myself outside of work. I managed to schedule an appt. for 8pm (!), checked and test drove the car, and by 10pm I was out of the door with all the paperwork, new license plates (real, not temporary), registration + stickers, and inspection for another year! They took care of everything and I didn't even have to go to DMV. Couldn't have had a better experience than that.
Plus, if you have a good sales rep, you can really get what you want. If the car is not perfect for you - just go exchange it for another in 5 days, no questions. If there is something really specific you want - tell him, and maybe he can find one exactly to your liking somewhere else and bring it over. How many other dealers can do that?

Their service department, as many mentioned, leaves a lot to be wished for (especially in dealer-exlusive areas). But as for buying the car from them - I have no complaints, and would happily do it again. And you don't get the "I am better than other dealers cause I only sell BMW/Merc/Audi" feeling like you do in some other places around here - just down to earth service. And I liked it.
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