Sometimes, though I'm not quite sure why, I run into the same issue. But I'd replace the [RepairTotal] in the formula for [MaxOffer] with the formula for [RepairTotal], i.e. [CMAFactor]*[CMA]-[TotalFees]-([Exttotal]+[Inttotal]). I can say that you won't have issues with the variable prompt then; you'll just have to live with the existence of a workaround in your DB. Workarounds are quite common in MS Access projects, anyway... at least, I've convinced myself of that.
The problem is that the WHERE clause is evaluated before the SELECT clause, so an alias created in the SELECT is not yet known to the WHERE. As noted by Nessalc, the fix is to recreate the calculation in the WHERE clause, rather than use the alias.
not sure I can make a query based on a query and get the same results that I want...
that's a new one to me
it appears that writing a query based on a query based upon THIS query has solved unwanted prompt problems...
we'll see what happens tomorrow when i put together the real final product and not just dummy variables and equations.