Of course, these problems turn out to be much more severe - such as a blown headgasket, thrashed transmission, detonated cylinder, and the like. The odometer reading is often conspicuously absent from the reading. The owner will often feign ignorance about vehicles in hopes of getting rid of it at a good price, but actually are often competent car people themselves.
The only valid use for a mechanic's special is as a parts vehicle, and only then once the owner has been talked down to a reasonable price.
'92 Chevy half ton, 4x4, 4" suspension lift. Great truck, 4x4 stopped working about a week ago, slight ticking sound coming from the engine. Should be an easy fix. Call @ 555 - 5555