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Oldsmobile Intrigue Electrical / Lighting Problems



  • I don't even know where to start this problem with...I have a 98 olds intrigue with the 3.8 motor
    My heater does not work/my AC, but right now I'm more concernced with my heat not working.
    My blower motor does work...what doesn't work all the time is the control module thing it will work sometimes, but at random times. And when my heat does come on, the heat isn't warm, and it doesn't just come out of the front comes out little by little everywhere.
    Because of this electrical problem I think, my radio doens't always work it comes on and then goes off, but works most of the time...and then my crusise control doesn't work all the time, It will work and then it won't, just like the rest of everything else.
    Is there something electrically wrong with my middle consel? i just want to stop spending money on things that aren't fixing this...i have replaced everything on my radiator because thats what my mechanic said was wrong with it...he was wrong. if anyone has any answers that would be awesome, I hate the cold weather...
  • I just followed your directions to get that same part for my intrigue, I was wondering if you knew how long it would be to get the switch?? :)
  • The car is a 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue, with a 3.8 L V6 engine. In the last two years I have installed new heads from a Camaro due to an overheating issue because the radiator was leaking and as a result I replaced the cooling radiator and the heater exchanger. I also replaced the battery, the starter and installed new tires all around. I replaced the window control box in the drivers door and installed a serviceable R/H rear window motor and control system.

    The problems I have found and trying to rectify are: :confuse:

    The A/C is working really good but it has a leak and it seems like its coming from the compressor.

    The brights on the head lights stay on until the turn signal is used then they go off and when the turn signal is flashing they flash really fast and only blink at the rear of the car.
  • tiffer420tiffer420 Posts: 7
    edited May 2011
    Can anyone point me in the direction of the step by step instructions of replacing an ignition switch on a 99 Oldsmobile Intrigue?
    I KNOW I read it on here, and every time I think I've found the threadthrough a search, I click the link and it takes me back too the main page?
    Not sure if this is a glitch, or what, but I really need the instructions, as I'm HOPING that the ignition switch is what is causing my car too misbehave. lol

    ETA: If anyone would like too add any insight into what exactly this could be, if not the ignition switch, it would be greatly appreciated.
    It's a 1999, Intrigue 3.5, the problems started with it, while driving the RPM's would drop and the car would feel like it was dying/shifting hard? It was never while it was actually shifting though. It then began not wanting too start, and then would die sometimes while braking. All the interior lights would stay on, the engine would just die.
    Then the starting issue got worse, at first you could just hit the gas and it would usually start. It now SOUNDS like it's started, the engine is reving, but the RPM gauge doesn't move, sometimes it will kick on, and other times you have too repeat over and over again.
    Took it too a garage, they said crankshaft sensor....pulled the CSS out of my old Intrigue and had machanic put that and fuel filter the weird RPM drop has dissappeared but it still doesn't want too start, and stalled on me again am I right too think it's the Ignition Switch?? We're going too pull it out of my old car, and try too install ourselves once we have the instructions.
  • tiffer420tiffer420 Posts: 7
  • I have a 2000 oldsmobile intrigue GL and after flushing the coolant system the engine just cranks itself over with the key out of the ignition. Cleaned fuse box with electrical cleaner and compressed air. Found that the leg on the crank relay that engages the relay is getting voltage from some were the test light is really dim so its some sort of stray voltage. Shorted it to a ground through a 5amp fuse and it will not blow the fuse. Removed Ignition switch and the stupid thing still cranks over. I think it may be the body or ignition module wich ever one has the srank circut ran through it. "Can anyone help or have you heard of this also which module has the crank circuit ran through it?" Also if you start the car after you shut it off there a 5 to 10 second period every time to the second before it starts cranking over. And if you put the key in the run position with the engine off it doesnt do it. Also the starter acts normal when the engine is running thats why I think its a control module.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Posts: 256
    edited June 2011

    ..after flushing the coolant system the engine just cranks itself over with the key out of the ignition.
    .... Also if you start the car after you shut it off there a 5 to 10 second period every time to the second before it starts cranking over. And if you put the key in the run position with the engine off it doesn't do it. Also the starter acts normal when the engine is running that's why I think its a control module.

    I'm confused...does this mean you hook up the battery and it cranks over and the car starts, idles normally and the starter stops cranking. You then shut the car off and after 5 seconds it starts cranking again and repeats?

    If you hadn't said you unplug the key switch I would say its the key switches.

    Removed Ignition switch and the stupid thing still cranks over

    Does this mean you unpluged the electrical connectors (there are two of them) or just removed the mechanical key tumblers/cylinder assembly?

    The under hood relay contact controls the solenoid. The relay gets 12 volts through fuses and the key switch when turned and the relay is grounded thru the neutral park switch and a contact in the PCM.

    If the grounding contact in the PCM is stuck then it would only crank if you had the key turned.

    Normally, So key switch or the starter relay is stuck or shorted.
    But something weird is going on

    1. Did you get coolant all over the place with this coolant flush?
    2. This problem only occurred after flushing the coolant?
    3. Did you disconnect any wiring 'plugs or get coolant in/on wiring harness or fuse block???
  • hairydad1hairydad1 Posts: 2
  • hairydad1hairydad1 Posts: 2
    i have a 02 intrigue i bought with 27000 miles on it in 2004. the lights blink at night .started intermitent now every mim or so ONLY when its dark. any ideas?
  • I have though about this ignition switch issue for sometime. The general feeling is a lack of voltage, blamed on the ignition switch and this seems to help. I have another theory.

    IS IT ACTUALLY THE BATTERY? The battery supplies the voltage. If the voltage is down and not as high as it should be, the computer will then definitely not be getting enough voltage.

    I am a firm believer in Delco batteries. I have never had one go less than the warranty period and they usually go much longer. The Delco's will never corrode a cable. They just work forever. I always buy the biggest one that will fit into the tray. Low voltage is a killer to a starter and the rest of the electrical devices. Can this be as simple as installing a high quality battery that will supply the correct voltage? Sears Die Hards are my second choice. The auto parts store batteries, and various others are just junk, in my book.

    I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix and that has a Delco in it. It has no electrical issues. The 99 Olds Intrigue has these same issues as well as others. I will be replacing the off brand battery with a new Delco. Will see if this solves the issues with my Intrigue. After all, the engineers designed the electrical system with the optimum voltage to all systems. If that voltage drops, no wonder we are having problems.

    Food for thought.
  • Well, I put in a new 6 year 700 amp Delco and am still having the same issues.

    The heater control module will show 5 degrees in the summer sun. Drive it for awhile and the outside temp will start to rise. When it hits the correct outside temp, everything works, and fine. I found the outside air temp sensor ahead of the radiator. Pulled the plug, the wires are good and not corroded. Still gives the same problem.

    The start issue is better with the new battery. When warm, you go to start it and it will, but then die. You need to shut off the key, start it again and give it a little gas. It then revs up and usually runs.

    It appears the GM design team put a lemon together here. There are way to many electrical issues for a car this new.
  • I have a 1998 olds intrigue that the rear, insrument and side lights do not work. all of the fuses are good. when I check power at the fuse blck it is 11+ volts when I replace the fuse it drops to .5. I have created a jumper and everything works but when I put everything back to normal it stops working? any help would be appreciated.
  • Oldsmobile Intrigue 2001. Have a low beam headlight that is out. Replaced the head light and still out. Fuse is good (there is a fuse for the left and the right. Switched the two complete headlight units - same side still out even when connected to the other side headlight unit. Used a multi tester to isolate the correct two wires on the mulit wire connection at the back of the headlight unit. Compared the two sides on setting V~50; bad side had approximately half of the reading as the good side. Tried to find some sort of relay but looked in the fuse box under the hood and the one on the passenger side end of dash and found nothing but fuses. Any thoughts?
  • Compared the two sides on setting V~50;
    The squiggly line in front of the 50 tells me you have selected AC volts And you should be on v= 50 for DC. If this is an oversight on my part, then sorry.
    Is it a digital meter and if so is there a DC or AC icon in the display?

    Otherwise what are the voltages that you are reading and is it with the light switch stalk or are you covering up the daylight sensor on the dash?

    The voltages that go to the lights are from the same 12 volt source, but through different fuses.

    if you you the light switch the the switch connects the bulbs to ground if you are using the sensor then a relay controlled from The BCM, grounds the bulbs.

    However since you say that switching the assembles does not move the problem then the problem isin't the assembly., bulbs or sockets.

    Have you switched the fuses? They may look good but you can be tricked.

    The wires to measure DC voltage at the back of the lamp assemblies are between the orange with black stripe and dark blue wire for the left lamp and between the orange with black stripe and the dark blue with white stripe on right lamp.

    Unplug the assemblies
    1. With the switch off you should get 12 to 13 volts from the orange black wire and ground/ frame/ engine/ negative battery terminal of car.

    2.With the light switch on, you should measure 12 to 13 volts DC from the orange black wire and dark blue wires on each assembly plug

    report back this info.
  • Thank you very much for your time and willingness to share your knowledge.

    First, you are correct, I had the meter inadvertantly placed in the AC position. I worked with a friend who is more knowledgable than me about wiring and he corrected me (before I received your response). At that time, we checked voltages across several positions. I have switched the fuses and actually replaced them as well with no effect. Back to the voltages. We checked voltages across the fuse connections with the fuses removed. Both left and right showed 12 volts. We also got 12 volts when checking the hot side of the fuse to a different ground for both fuses - not sure that tells us anything. We then replaced the fuses and removed the connections at each of the low beam bulbs. The working side gave us a voltage of 12 across the two leads. The non-working side gave us a reading of 1 to 2 volts - consistantly. My friend surmized from that reading that I probably had a bad "relay" between the fuse and the headlight. I looked online for a "relay" for my car and found one. Knowing that there must be a relay between the fuse and the headlight, I started looking. No luck. The car has two fuse boxes mounted on the passenger side front fender near the battery. No light relay is shown in any of the schematics. I even removed the big fuse box and looked behind it - no visible relay. I then looked in the fuse box in the cabin of the car on the passenger end of the dash (door must be open to access). Again, no relay. I then removed the fiber insulation under each side of the front dash and again found no relay. I called a local parts store, they found potentially two different relays but had no clue where they would be located on the vehicle.
    Now to your last set of questions. I checked the good light leads: switch off gave me 12 volts from orange wire to ground; switch on gave me 12 volts from orange to blue. Then checked the bad light leads: switch off gave me 12 volts from the orange wire to ground (much to my surprise); switch on gave me 0 volts from orange to blue. I knew those were the proper wires on the connector cause I did some trouble shooting using the continuity setting (a few days ago) between the leads to the light bulb and the leads at the connector. Your color combinations confirmed those leads with my thoughts.
    So, I was surprised to see 12 volts from the hot connector (orange/black wire) to a ground. What are your thoughts? Again, I appreciate your help so much.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Posts: 256
    edited November 2011
    The relay is called headlamp relay and i cannot remember where it is. Either way, that is not your problem as its one contact controls both lights and one side is working. Also the relay is only used to override the switch stalk when the dash light senor activates it. So you can forget about the relay for now.

    The system is like this
    +12V battery >underhood fuse box > to fuses> to one side of left bulb(orange/black)
    other side of left bulb( dark blue) >splice in underhood fuse box with (dark blue /white) from right side bulb> contact switch in stalk> ground.

    Since you have 12 volts to ground on each orange wire at the bulb then you can ignore the first part of the circuit as all is well.
    so you can forget about the fuses etc. for now.

    What your missing is the return path to ground.
    The ground is common to both bulbs up to the separation point (the splice in the underhood fuse box).
    1. You either have a bad splice in the box, umm..maybe
    2. A bad plug connection inside of the fuse box--umm possible
    3.or probably a broken/cut wire between the fuse box and the plug. Maybe right at the lamp plug.

    You can verify this by unplugging both lights and set meter on lowest resistance setting and measure between each side dark blue pin. It should read less than 1 ohm.

    You probably do not have this, so you will have to trace it back to where it is broken/open. The drk blue wires from the lamps get connected together inside the fuse block. Remember that the right side lamp has a white stripe on the dark blue wire to differentiate int from the left side..

    A few ways to find it. with your eyes, some tugging on the wire or ohm meter.

    look for kinks, pinching, scrapping, wear or mouse chewing of the wire along the path back to the fuse box. Most of the wire will be inside a plastic sleeve that runs across in front of the radiator. Look closely where it is open before tearing apart the sleeve. Like at the plug and where it goes into the fuse box. If the wire is at a bend, kinked, pinched or otherwise the copper wire may be broken inside the insulation but look fine on the outside.. If so, to test you can pull on each side of the wire slightly and the outer insulation will stretch. Note that if it's really cold out then they may not stretch as easily or at all. Hairdryer time.

    Follow the dark blue wire using resistance. Needles, clip-leads and/or alligator clips help here.
    Start with sticking one probe/needle into the pin in the left side socket for the dark blue wire and leave it there. Then use a sharp needle and pierce the blue wire(not your fingers) just deep enough to make contact with the metal core about an inch away from the plug and touch the other probe to it. The meter should read less than 1 ohm. If not then the break is right there. If not then you will have to trace the wire back through the harness until you find the break.
    Use common sense when doing this. Don't start piecing the wire every half inch along the way. After testing at the plug, try piercing and the dark blue wire near the headlight on other side of the car. If you have resistance there, then you will know the break is not in between that point and the plug where your other meter lead is. Therefore it is farther back.

    I would start first with looking at the back of the plug and then go to where the harness enters the bottom of the fuse box looking for wire damage. No obvious physical damage then you need to use the other techniques.

    good luck.

  • SUCCESS! Found the break in the wire. Early on in my search, I found that several of the wires going into the box/back of the fuse box were not positioned in the opening correctly. Some of them were actually wedged between the fuse box and the housing it clips into. Since I don't think there has ever been any work around that, I think it was that way from the factory - 10 years and 95,000 miles ago. Today, after your coaching, in the search for the break in the blue wire return from the headlamp connector to the fuse box, we found the kink. We cut that section out - soldered in a chunk - heat shrunk - taped- then replaced everything. And then there was light. The needle tip worked to perfection.

    There would have been no way I could have found the problem without your help. May God bless you extra special today. Thank you very much.

    BTW- note to self; if you are working in the cabin of the car and you accidently move the dash light switch to off, check it before you let your wife drive it. She freaked and thought I had done something major to the wiring...

    Again, thank you for your help.
    G :)
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Posts: 256
    edited November 2011
    Nicely done. :shades:
    I'm glad you replied back with your result as so many do not.

    Now, where do I send the bill? :P

    One other point Of interest I missed previously is that if the needle piercing is in a place that might get a lot of moisture/salt etc. I will smear a little silicone over the piercing To help seal the hole.

  • My heater stopped heating up the car like it should. The heater motor turns on and off, and the compressor (AC) still works. I just replaced the thermostat and flushed the system. I also cleaned all the connectors on the engine with electrical contact cleaner. The heater gets warm again and water flow improved.

    Your main wire harness inside the dash may be getting wet. I had the windshield replaced and the shop "forgot" to replace a special seal that the Intrigue (and other GM clones) use to prevent water from getting inside. We had 2 inches of water inside after it rained. We made the shop spend about $1000 to perfectly dry out the car as well including the dash board which was shorting out. Thus, you might have some leakage.
  • 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!
  • sgt89sgt89 VirginiaPosts: 1
    life pro tip on the intrigue: if your air condition pump stops working the belt that drives everything stops working. That pump costs 200 dollars plus
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