Oldsmobile Intrigue Maintenance and Repair

pcxpcx Member Posts: 2
I have a 1999 3.5 GLS with 120,000 miles, auto. This weekend it ceased to catch in any gear. I can move the shifter through reverse, park, Drive, 1,2, and 3 but nothing happens. I only care about being able to drive but will list all known problems in case it helps.

1) Car seemed to hesitate in first gear. This was a one day event when it was foggy. Never happened before or after. Short drive, don't know if it would have persisted once warmed up.
2) Two days later, after oil change, car drove fine. Driving 35mph, a thunk, and then total loss of propulsion. Engine kept running and sounds fine. Transmission doesn't seem to want to engage.
3) After sitting two hours, I started the car. Car shifted into gear. A slight whining noise from engine or under car. Shift to Park to look. Transmission disengages and will no longer find any gear. Shifter moves normally with no binding. Engine light is on, don't have codes.
4) Day later. Mechanic goes to tow car, but says car shifted into gear. Not sure of details if towed or drove to shop. They don't want to touch it because the don't do transmissions.

Other problems, probably not related nor of major concern.
a) Burns 2 Quart of oil every 3000 miles
b) Starts up, then dies. Always starts right back up. Pumping gas helps. Either way car revs high, then runs fine.
c) Refuses to start (once in 3 years)
d) Windows don't work in warm weather
e) Wife wants mini-van but loves the car.

Tonight I I've found a number of posts about the starting/dieing problem, but nothing about the failure to catch a gear. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Remember, I can shift, it just doesn't engage. Thanks


  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    If the transmission not engaging is a regular occurence, you need to have a shop look it over. At the very least replace the transmission fluid to see if this improves or worsens the situation.

    The 3.5L engines burn oil. NO getting around this. At some point after 60k miles they will begin to burn oil. Watch your "low oil" light and keep a bottle of oil in the trunk. I have the Walmart 5 quart jug in my trunk for this very reason.

    The starting and dying sounds like the beginning of an ignition problem. The general consensus is if it continues and the "Check Engine" light does NOT come on, it is most likely related to the ignition switch. If the light does come on, get it scanned. You may also see the "security" light stay on as well. That is related to the ignition switch as well.

    You are simply experiencing some of the many "characteristics" of these vehicles. I'm sure there will be more to follow.
  • pcxpcx Member Posts: 2
    <<If the transmission not engaging is a regular occurrence
    This weekend was the first time. And it is sitting in the mechanics lot because it won't engage period. We have never had a problem with the transmission until this happened. I always assumed you would experience some type of sign before a complete failure.

    <<you need to have a shop look it over.
    Sending it to a transmission place tomorrow for estimate.

    <<At the very least replace the transmission fluid to see if this improves or worsens the situation.
    I'll be sure to mention it as a first step. I don't have time until next weekend to work on it.

    I forgot to mention that after changing the transmission fluid, it always started looking dirty after 3,000K miles. Might have been trying to tell me something, but I just wrote it off as curious. 60,000K miles later I know see maybe there was something to it.

  • intriguedriverintriguedriver Member Posts: 2
    I need some one to tell me how I can replace the passenger side engine mount/s on my 02 Intrigue. A mechanic gave me a bill for almost $400 today to replace one mount on the passenger side (I believe the rear one). The engine shakes and makes rattling or popping sound when it is in Drive. Heck, the problem may be a loose mount bolt for all I know and may just need tightened. Either way, I want to save my money and do the work myself. Please help!
  • pankaj2000pankaj2000 Member Posts: 1
    You have to first jack under the engine with wooden block and loose bolt so engine will be stayed on wooden block. It's fairly easy. I had loosen engine mount when I was changing water pump in my in-laws Olds 98. Good Luck.
  • dieselissydieselissy Member Posts: 34
    I have a 2001 intrigue and have repaired or replaced a couple of the items already. turn signals bulb holders, air pump, trans mount, fuel pump, and now the darn turn signals when activated every once in awhile act up and start screeching!!!! driving me bonkers? has anyone else had same problem? could this be the turn signal switch? even does this when hazzards are activated. really weird, and still fixing my trigue,
    let me know anyone out there!!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    I've never heard of this problem with the Intrigue. I would start with replacing the turn signal.
  • dieselissydieselissy Member Posts: 34
  • 01intrigue01intrigue Member Posts: 92
    I had an issue with wire chafing on the front signals. The wires from the headlamp to the signal had all the insulation fall off, and they shorted out. It made the dashlights get very dim as the electrical system was having a seizure. I ended up using some liquid tape (bought at home depot) and brushing it on the wires. It was a mess. In retrospect, taking off the wires and splicing new ones or using cocktail straws as "conduit" would have been a better choice.
  • gilgameshgilgamesh Member Posts: 2
    For the last two day's me and my father have been struggling to replace the motor in my 2000 intrigue and nothing seems to be going are way. Right now it seems as though we have everything removed, all the cables, motor mounts, and pipes and just five minutes ago we tried lifting it out of the car and it didn't go anywhere, it took the car with it. So now were both lost and don't have a clue what to do next.

    So my question is does anyone have any big problems getting this engine out (there's not much room to work with) and what could I be missing?

    Another thing is when we looked at the other engine that were putting in, we noticed an extra bolt hole way down on the right, but for some reason it doesn't have any threads and we can't seem to see it or find it anywhere in the car, so could there be a bolt in that and could that be what's keeping the engine from coming out?

    Anyone else with a similar experience?
  • jenn37jenn37 Member Posts: 2
    I own a 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue GL with about 180,000 miles. We really like this car and have had it for almost 4 years. However, there has always seemed to be a shimmy or a shake in the front end. We've had it aligned at least 3 times, new tires, tie rod ends and had the dealership and our tire guy look it over more than once--still no answers. It feels like a really bad tire when you accelerate with the worst being when you drive between 25-40 miles per hour. You can feel a vibration in the steering wheel too. When you slow down it almost acts like the rotors are bad, but we've replaced those also, more than once. Anybody have any ideas or experienced these problems?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    Have them look at the wheel hub bearings. Or a bad sway bar.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    Have you had the the motor and tranny mounts inspected?
  • lithiumlithium Member Posts: 9
    alright so i own a 00 intrigue with 140k miles on it. ive put 20k of that on the vechical.

    recently ive been having trouble with the battery holding a charge over night.

    i originally thought it was leading from an aftermarket alarm system that was installed at circuitcity about 10 months ago.

    hears a time line:

    2 weeks back i was visting my gf in pittsburgh. car sat from friday to sunday with alarm armed. it was completely dead sunday. -also very cold that weekend

    monday night it was i didn't arm it but it was dead tuesday.
    -again pretty cold outside

    took it to walmart. they said it was either the battery going bad or something draining the battery. so we put a new battery in.

    ok with the new battery i tested it over night again with the alarm on and again it was dead.

    took the car to circuity city and the alarm brain was replaced. - i dont think its the alarm installation at this point.

    also worth mentioning is a stereo system i have installed. if you need more details on that i can provide them. but i run about a total of 700rms. (included sub amp and front stage amp). this has been installed for about a year so there could be some alternator failure going on...?

    this week after have the alarm brain replaced i tried it over night again.

    sunday night i had the alarm armed and i had barely enough juice to get it started.

    monday night i didnt arm it but again i had barely enough to get it started.

    last night i armed it again but i went back over my stereo install and tightned everything up. ( i doubt it's the stereo but i have to rule it out). again it was about to dead to start in the morning.

    tonight im trying with alarmed arm but the fuse for the power wire that goes to amps removed so the electronics will not see any power.

    if its dead then its not the stereo.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    Cold weather should not affect a new battery. So either the battery is not charging properly while you are driving or something is drawing down the battery when the car is off.

    First do not go to Walmart to try to resolve an electrical problem. Oil change, new battery, tires, sure but not problems with the car.

    What was the result of pulling the plug on the radio overnight?

    If the battery is still dead in the morning, have your charging system checked by a mechanic. It could be a bad alternator. Also check the battery cables.
  • tboom13tboom13 Member Posts: 5
    I just had a similar situation with my 02 Intrigue, 132k miles. Had to jump it earlier this week in the morning. Car ran fine all day till my drive home from work when the battery light started flashing on and off. Took it straight to my mechanic and told me it needed a new battery and alternator was fine. Two days later, again car wouldn't start. Took it back to the mechanic. After a half a day of searching, the problem was found to be the cable that runs from the battery to the alternator was corroded and shorting out. I pick up the car today so I don't know for sure if it fixed the problem but this might be something to check.
  • lithiumlithium Member Posts: 9
    interesting. ill have to check it out. i've been trying all sorts of things to trouble shoot the problem before taking it to the mechanic.
  • lithiumlithium Member Posts: 9
    tboom13 have u had any results?

    im still trying to figure mine out. seems all things are point to the alt or wires...
  • lithiumlithium Member Posts: 9
    im going to clean the wiring and reground the battery later this week. its hard to get to the alt on the 00 intrigue but i think if i take the batttery out, i can get in there. any advice with that???
  • tboom13tboom13 Member Posts: 5
    I picked up my Intrigue Friday afternoon and have been driving it around since. No problems. It was 9 degrees outside this morning when I started it up and it turned over with no problem. My mechanic told me it was the end of the cable that connects to the alternator. It was an $8 cable and a couple of hours of labor to replace it.
  • lithiumlithium Member Posts: 9
    me and my dad are going to see if we can find the problem are selves to avoid labor cost. ive pretty much isolated that its the wiring or the alt. im trying to jump my car right now but it so dead idk if ill get it started with this little battery charger's 80amp thingy...
  • lithiumlithium Member Posts: 9
    wow that was funnnn. good thing i check it this morning. i got a college final at 1. took me 30min to get it goin. had to charge the battery then use the 80 amp jump. im going to let it run for alittle then take it around the block.
  • lithiumlithium Member Posts: 9
    alright i got smart last night and desided to try something. i charged the battery up and then i let the car sit all night with alarm armed and system hooked up. this morning the battery was dead. voltage read with the chargers was below 9. i charged it again tonight and ill check in a few hours to see if its draining. i can run the test all night because i have finalls in the morning and i need the car to be able to start when i get up.
  • rockhead2rockhead2 Member Posts: 3
    The AC compressor does not cycle on defrost causing the windows to fog/frost up really bad. A local independant diagnosed it as a bad climate control. AC pressures are good and when the relay is jumped the compressor runs. Pricing a new control through GM is over $1100!!!! Is there another avenue for a new control, or a reputable used parts source? Thanks.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    For new, check www.rockauto.com or www.gmpartsdirect.com

    For a used climate control, check E-Bay. A bunch of parts stores sell used Intrigue parts on E-Bay with a warranty. I've bought 3 things for my Intrigue off E-Bay and have not had a problem.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    If you keep letting the battery discharge that much you will kill it.

    If itis cold enough a discharged battery will freeze and it will kill it faster.

    Have you verified that you trunk and or glove box lights are going out?

    You will only solve this problem by a logical approach. Recharging the batt and hoping that it will mysteriously start working is a waste of time and possibly a battery.

    You need to hook an ammeter in series with one battery lead and measure te current drawn. It should start around an amp and settled down to a 100 milliamps after the cpu cycles after rehook up.

    If the current stays higher than 1/4 amp then you need to start pulling fuses one at a time until the current drops down and there ya go.
  • lithiumlithium Member Posts: 9
    sorry i didnt discribe what i was trying to do very well. i think we might have some leads to possible corrosion on the wiring.

    even with the charger on it all night the battery wasn't holding a charge. i think the battery is fried. plan is to get the free replacement from walmart and go to advance auto. they can do the real testing to see if the alternator is putting out the juice.

    back to the my corrosion thing. reason im leaning towards it is because
    1) battery terminal corrosion could explain low charge on battery
    2) wire corrosion along any point on the charging system could explain low charge on battery
    3) car will run with dead battery so alt is still functioning

    **please correct me if im wrong**

    also it appears that the previous owner may have had a corrosion issue at the battery pos end of the wire. it looks like its been cut back afew inches. reason i suspect this is because my car is suppose to fit a larger/longer battery but the wire wont reach the terminal.

    **this is mostly speculation. please advise me with other idea's and solutions**
  • rockhead2rockhead2 Member Posts: 3
    This is really getting frustrated and expensive. I got a used heater control, didn't help. Went to RockAuto and got a new one. Still no help. Replaced the vacuum solenoid pack under the dash as it was giving eradic vacuum to the vacuum actuators. Nothing. I've heard the compressor cycle once, so we hotwired it to run all the time to see if that would help. Going down the road scraping the side windows is not real safe. It has a hard time keeping the windshield clear and the side windows are a disaster. It seems to switch OK between def, vent and floor. I'm wondering if the actuator could be bad for the cold air door. If it ever warms up enough to work outside that'll be the next thing to look at. Dynamite may come next! :mad:
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    The AC compressor does not cycle on defrost causing the windows to fog/frost up really bad

    You do not need an air compressor to keep windows from frosting up in the winter. Although it does speed up the process. There are thousands of cars that do not have AC. So ignore that for now.

    If'n you have air flow from all vents and you have proper heat control then I would look to the recirculating door vent. This is used for AC mileage/efficiency.

    It has a damper door like the others that block the fresh air intake and simply recirculate the air within the car. Called MAx air on some brands. It conditions the interior air instead of constanly cooling new air, resulting in less load for the AC hence better mileage. Twoo problems, If you have a sicky in the car, then your spreading disease and if its cold outside the problem is that it recircs your breath and moisture and that hitting the windows causes instantcondensation. I believe that if you have recirc selected and select defrost it defaults to fresh air for this purpose.
  • rockhead2rockhead2 Member Posts: 3
  • cnewellcnewell Member Posts: 4
  • cnewellcnewell Member Posts: 4
    when you apply medium brake pressure the car moves up and down. also the rotors are really hot after you drive it for a while. it's not the rotors or the anti lock brakes.
  • cnewellcnewell Member Posts: 4
    when you apply medium brake pressure the car shimmies. also the rotors are really hot after you drive it for a while. i don't think it's the rotors or the anti lock brakes.
  • oldwinooldwino Member Posts: 20
    Most likely it is the rotors. They will get very hot, even from normal use, but they shouldn't be glowing red or smoking. Excessive heat will warp the rotors. The front rotors and brake pads are easy to change if you're a little mechanically inclined.
  • oldsintrigue00oldsintrigue00 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Intrigue GL. The factory radio (cassette and cd player built int) is giving me an issue. I am not sure if the radio is bad or it just came this way. Once I turn the car on and I proceed to listen to the radio, only the display and cd insert indicators light up. Why are none of the other buttons lighting up??? Is it time to replace the radio or did the car just come this way?? Also, I have factory built in steering wheel radio controls and those work fine also. Any advice would be great. Thanks !!!
  • oldsintrigue00oldsintrigue00 Member Posts: 2
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    Does the radio, cassette and CD work?

    Check to make sure the dimmer switch is not in the off position. I know it sounds obvious but.....
  • jenn37jenn37 Member Posts: 2
  • cnewellcnewell Member Posts: 4
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    You may want to get the front suspension checked (wheel bearings, tie rods, sway bar, etc.). It could be the rotors as well.
  • oldsmobile4oldsmobile4 Member Posts: 2
    I have 2 broken motor mounts the right front and the right rear ones, and here lately we are having problems with the check engine light coming on and the transmission acting like it is not wantin to shift from 2nd to 3rd, can the motor mounts be causeing this?
  • samantha_josamantha_jo Member Posts: 5
    Hey my name is Samantha and I just bought a 2001 oldsmobile intrigue and since its been geting warmer out I realize I have a problem.....

    When I turn my AC on the driver side gets super cold but the passenger side stays HOT.... I tried turning the temp up and down and nothing works...

    All the passenger side will do is blow the same hot air temperature.

    The drivers side works just fine but I cant use my ac with the passenger vents blowing heat...

    Can someone please tell me what could the problem be??? I would love to have AC for the summer lol...

    Thanks everyone
  • oakesy25oakesy25 Member Posts: 2
    and then it shuts off and everything is fine.. I believe I had this fixed before.. and it had something to do with a sensor telling the engine it was overheating so the fan clicks on..??? what is the problem and can I fix it myself.. I am not working and cannot afford a $400 mechanic bill.. I am pretty handy but not super car savy
  • 01intrigue01intrigue Member Posts: 92
    There is a problem with the air pump, which pumps air into the catalytic converter until it warms up. There are two valves, each of which can go bad. Replacement is about $400 parts/labor, IIRC. I've had both replaced over the last few years. My guess is that one valve is not opening completely, and thus the jet-like siren is heard.

    One valve is in near the overlfow bottle, below and toward the center of engine compartment. Other one is towards the front on drivers side, near air cleaner. Isolate the sound to one or the other.
  • oakesy25oakesy25 Member Posts: 2
  • gpickgpick Member Posts: 1
    My 99 intrigue AC is not cooling. The compressor runs and when I check the low pressure side it is between 30 and 35 psi. From what I understand, that is OK. But, the high pressure side is reading about 1/2 of what it is suppose to be (125 vs 250?) My mechanic friend has told me that my compressor is bad but I'm hoping it is something cheaper.
    Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks a lot!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    I'm dealing with a similar issue on my 2000 intrigue. I have the auto climate control and the driver side is blowing hot air and the passenger side is blowing cold air. The most likely cause is the system is low on freon caused by a leak in the compressor.

    I'm planning to replace my Intrigue this summer so I plan to have my mechanic re-charge the system with freon and add a dye to find the leak. Hopefully the charge will last until I can replace this car.
  • fasstlnfasstln Member Posts: 8
    That sounds right about the compressor being the problem given the low and high side pressures.
    If it makes you feel better, my AC quit blowing cold and I had very low freon (to the point that my compressor wouldn't even turn on). They charged the system and added dye to the refrigerant so they could later see where the leak was coming from.
    A month later and the air is not cold at all. Apparently I have a leak in my evaporator which is up under the dashboard and a real pain to access. They mentioned my compressor was making some groaning noises (I've heard it too) and that it would most likely need replacing soon too. The total cost was going to be over $1,600. That is about half the value of the car so I can't justify that expense.
    So relatively speaking, be glad it's just your compressor and not the evaporator.

    My solution is to pay a couple of hundred dollars and tint the windows. Then in a few years just buy another inexpensive car.
  • netman55netman55 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2002 Oldsmobile Intrique GLS, 3.5V6 for about 6 weeks now the charging system light has been coming on periodically. I do not have any power loss car runs great. I took it in to have the charging system checked the mechanic said that everything was fine but since the light comes on I should replace the alternator -just an $800. pinch- the output in amps was at 28.00/volts @11.80. The light comes on in city driving when turning ,hitting bumps... but will go out shortly after. On the highway the light does not come on . Is this just a pre warning of things to come ? or just a short in the wiring or fuses? Any suggestions would be appreciated
  • biglenny45biglenny45 Member Posts: 2
    I've got a 99 Olds Intrigue with the 3.8 V6. The car has about 130k on it, but runs and drives well.

    I recently spent 6 hours replacing the AC compressor, and the car seemed to be smoother than ever. I drove home one afternoon and when i tried to turn on the accessories to roll up my windows before a storm, the key refused to turn at all. Now my fine machine is a paper weight.

    I've used graphite spray and have worked the lock and steering column and shifter. Doesn't seem to make any difference. The wheel has not locked and I can still turn it, but the shifter is in park and you cant push the car.

    Haynes doesn't make a manual for Intrigues, the closest you can get is a manual covering all buicks, pontiacs and olds's from '85-'05. Can anyone give me some advice or get me started on how to remove the ignition key cylinder so i can replace/repair it?
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