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looking to buy my first car, which is a daunting task for someone with little money and even less knowledge of motors.

Seen this one on ebay, which ticks all my boxes but is cheap because:

When you rev the engine the oil warning light and beep come on. I am told by a local garage that this is either a sensor or oil pick up pipe needs cleaning.

Seller claimes it is a cheap fix, but I don't want to just take his work for it.

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I think a better title would be "should I buy?" BTW, the answer is "NO." Problems with oil are close to the worst problems that a functional engine could have. –  Bob Cross Apr 12 '11 at 18:32
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think about it: if it would have been a cheap and easy fix, the seller would have just fixed it and sold the car for a normal price. Unless you know of some legitimate reasons that this seller decided to sell as is, instead of fixing it (I can't think of any right now), its probably not so cheap and easy. –  miernik Apr 13 '11 at 0:09

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I agree, you don't want to take the seller's word for it.

This could be a serious problem. If it is indeed an "oil pickup pipe" that's dirty, that means oil is not flowing through the engine properly. That means more wear on every moving part in the engine, particularly if the current owner has ignored the problem and continued to drive the car.

Without your own mechanic inspecting the car and diagnosing the problem, you have no way of knowing just what the problem is and therefore how expensive it would be to fix.

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