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Oldsmobile Intrigue Electrical / Lighting Problems



  • claudiagclaudiag Posts: 1
    Hi all,
    I am new to the forum and not mechanically inclined, but am really pleased to see so many of you with the know how and also the helpful info on the Intrigue. I could spend days going through all the previous posts - eventually I will, but I apologize if I am reiterating questions that have already been addressed. I bought my 3.5 L '99 five years ago, with about 65k miles on it. I mostly drive it for commuting to work and around town, so I have put relatively few miles on it, right now it is just under 97k miles. Let me say I agree with many of you, this is a fun car to drive, the best looking car I have ever owned, and it handles well in all conditions, including winter snow and ice. Operationally it has been sound and reliable.

    That being said, I have put over $2000 into the car in the past year. Many normal maintenance items - battery, tires, brakes and some suspension work. Also, the turn signals stopped working and a new switch had to be installed. Corroded wiring in a brake light socket had to be replaced. Acceptable IMO, considering the age and mileage. But recent developments are causing me to lose faith in its reliability, and not a little in my mechanic.

    Last summer the ac stopped blowing cold air, and I had it in the shop three times. It still doesn't work as well as it should. Enough to keep me from sweltering, that's about it. Two months ago, the heater stopped working unless the control was turned up to the highest setting. I had to return it to the shop twice after the initial repair, because the Intrigue has glitches - if you don't make the proper repair in the proper sequence you are back to square one every time.

    Most recently it was the alternator. Again, in my experience not an unreasonable repair for the age and mileage, however I see from other forums I have looked at that this item can also be a chore to effectively replace. The connections themselves may be key, and it may not be evident initially. I had the car back for two days and it began overheating, after minimal use, in 70 degree temperatures, without the ac on. The mechanic took it back, checked everything and found nothing wrong. He said and I quote, it's running perfectly. He offered the opinion that when the radiator hose was reconnected that there was an air pocket that may have purged itself. Or, that maybe the fan is starting to go bad. Like the heater, I have seen blogs cautioning that alternator repairs on this model can be tricky. And Hello, fan going bad? Can we tell if it is or it isn't? And on my way home tonight, the turn signal started flashing extra fast - which it does when a bulb is out, only no bulbs are out, and after a few seconds it slowed back down to the normal speed. This is something that it did right before the battery light came on and the alternator died. :cry:

    I would like to hear your thoughts. Last year when I was contemplating repair costs, this mechanic said he felt that overall it is a good car. What worries me is the possibility that my particular car seems to be developing many of the priciest and most difficult to resolve problems that the model seems to encounter. I would love to keep it, but I can't justify holding onto a car that is making me question it's reliability. I keep thinking that if I have enough of the glitches repaired, I will have a good car that will last another 50k miles. I looked into consumer ratings when I bought it five years ago and at that time, the occasional issues were reported but overall it seemed sound and dependable. But complaints seem to have increased geometrically since then.

    Is it worth it to take the car to a GM dealer for a full diagnostic? Are potential problems with the electrical system going to show up if I do? Fear of the unknown (and its price tag) are really a problem for me, LOL. My bottom line is I can't have it in the shop for a few days every other week. I need a car that I don't have to worry about getting me to work and back home again. Maybe I should look for an ugly car that has a spotless track record for engine maintenance...
  • tex_07tex_07 Posts: 2
    edited August 2012
    Two days ago the Olds Intrigue we bought in Feb of 2012 decided that it was time for the odometer to go out. Replacing the entire cluster today we found out that it was the problem. However, when we opened up the original cluster, we noticed that a little area of the odometer appeared burnt in one corner. We thought maybe that was why it went. Well, we went to a junkyard this afternoon and found a cluster in an Olds 2000 Intrigue. Long story short the speedo we found works great, even better than the first one we had. The gas gauge on the old one did not work, and we were going by the trip mileage, which is why we needed a speedo cluster right away. The gauge does work in this one, which is a blessing, meaning we don't have to replace the sending unit. husband opened up this speedo cluster and noticed the burn mark in this one as well, and the odometer works, but does this mean that this one might go out soon too or is it just something that is common? Has anyone ever heard of this? I don't have a picture right now but can get one if needed. Thanks folks. I appreciate it.
  • krakekrake Posts: 4
    I'm having this same exact problem and wondering if anyone has a solution?
    98 olds intrigue no cruise heater panel won't even turn on auto headlights quit working
  • krakekrake Posts: 4
    Just wondering if you resolved this issue as I'm having the same problem and if you fixed it what was the problem? Hoping you receive this cause I'm at a loss.
  • tex_07tex_07 Posts: 2
    We went to a junkyard and replaced the speedo. Apparently there is nowhere on earth where you can just buy the odometer. No one will fix it either.
  • krakekrake Posts: 4
    If I pull the fuse (sometimes several times ) and turn ignition off and on several times it turns on. If I don't do this the heater won't work at all. Only happens in the morning when it's cold. After I get it working it only blows heat on passenger side and cold on driver side.
  • nicolaslibnicolaslib Posts: 2
    edited July 2013

    So I am a new owner of a 1999 oldsmobile intrigue. The problem I have is that all my lights work perfectly. The turn signals, the high beams etc. The only thing that isnt working is the switch that sets them between off, tail lights and i think the last option is fog lights? There are only three options and its on the headlight switch.

    My battery died because I am not able to turn the headlights off. At least I am assuming thats why...I see no other reason for my car to be using up battery when its off.

    To clarify, all the lights are off when i turn the ignition off, however my battery was out this morning and my friend thought maybe its because my headlights are set to being on at all times. I tried to turn them off however the switch would not turn them off.

    Is there any way for me to replace this headlight switch by myself? Or is it possible its not the headlight switch that is a problem? As I was saying, all the lights are working fine, they wont shut off though when I try to manually shut them off. They shut off when i turn the engine off though so I am not sure this is the issue.

    If not that, then I have no idea what could be using up battery life. When I turn the car off it seems as if it all shuts off.

    Hope you can help me with this I dont want to take it to a car shop and have them charge me ridiculous amounts of money.
  • I also forgot to mention that the cooler system for my Ac is off. Sometimes it sort of works but most of the time its not working and also the button for ac when i hit it, the ac starts to sort of work but then it starts to blink and then it shuts off by itself. The air is blowing though and the heating system works.

    I have been reading up on old posts and a lot of them say replace the ignition switch...

    I was wondering though if maybe the headlights is an issue concerning the headlight switch then the ac concerns the ignition switch?

    The two pieces are about 100 each which is why if I can buy one and solve both problems then that would be best. I am a student so I have no money ^^

    Anyway hope someone can help me with this!
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