Oldsmobile Intrigue Steering Issues

howco4howco4 Member Posts: 1
edited August 2014 in Oldsmobile
When turning and or braking at slow speed, I get a clunking or poping noise up by the steering column. It is most prevalent when turning to park the vehicle. It seems to be getting louder as time goes on. Anyone experienced this?

Tnx: Howco4


  • jjpowell2jjpowell2 Member Posts: 91
    The best way to start to get information is to use the "search this forum" function near the top of this page. Just enter "clunking" in the box and you'll get quite a few posts returned.

    Our 2001 Intrigue went back into the dealer last Tuesday because of a "tick-tick-tick" that sounded like lifters or piston noise. We never had this before they replaced the head gasket & right cylinder head. The dealer has been consulting with the GM Techs and he warned us that the bottom line may be an engine replacement! We've only got 51,000 miles on our car but the good news is that we have full warranty til 60,000. We are now driving a courtesy 2004 Malibu until our car is returned. Another perk of the warranty.

    I can estimate that our car has spent nearly 6 weeks in the shop over the past 4 years and at least $12,000 in major repairs. Maybe once it's totally rebuilt it will be as depenable as it is fun to drive.

  • netaneta Member Posts: 1

    I had this problem on my 2001 Aurora (V6) when I bought it year ago.
    Pretty bad popping feeling, more pronounced when turning left.

    Dealer replaced bearings in the column, did not help.
    Then he sent all column for rebuild - no help...
    Then, when popping became just terrible, I went to the small garage and Mechanic pumped Lithium grease into the steering shaft, deep inside, putting turning and removing column 7-9 times, pumping additional grease every time.
    78 months since then there is no problems - For 122 bucks!
  • mukherjimukherji Member Posts: 3
    I suspect the magnets in your Magnasteer unit on the steering column are either loose or displaced, and it is rubbing against the Magnasteer Housing,as you are attempting to turn. I had the same problem on my 2002 Olds Intrigue GL, and the entire Power Steering Rack had to be replaced. Unfortunately the car just came out of Warranty period when this happened.
  • jjtundrajjtundra Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Olds Intrigue, there is a rubbing sound when driving and turning the steering wheel.It is a low pitched whine. Has anyone had this probelm? :confuse:
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    If it occurs only while going around corners or making slight turns than it may be the wheel bearing. Does it sould like its coming from the front? Usually only one side will go out at a time.
  • roger_star95roger_star95 Member Posts: 1

    I am having a very much similar problems with my 98 olds' intrigue. How was your problem solved? Was it very expensive?

    I send my car to a dealer and a mechanic told me I had this problem by a short try of driving. They said the cost would be around $1,200, which I do believe is somewhat to expensive.

    Do you have any idea which might be of some help to me? Thanks!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    Before you spend that kind of money on a new steering rack that will fail again, try lubing the steering column with lithium grease. Doa search on steering column or ISS. Someone was nice enough to put the procedure for lubing the steering column. Very simple and most have seen great improvement.
  • azn46azn46 Member Posts: 10
    Hi guys, its my first time posting. I've read alot on these forums but I just need to be sure of some things, if you guys could help me out.

    I just bought a 1999 intrigue gsl a few weeks ago. Its in great condition....However, i have a slight clunkiness when I turn at slow speeds, and its now starting to squeel a bit when i turn. The car just feels a bit weak in the front steering column. Also I'm getting about 14 mpg city and part hwy. I know that, that sucks. I bought from the dealership and they said that they'll fix mechanical problems within the month. Ive brought it in a couple times and told them about my problems but they keep saying that they dont see anything wrong. Should I bring it in to another mechanic first to get the car diagnosed. I'm hoping that I didnt get jipped, I really want the car to run well. Can anyone please give me some advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    The clunkiness in the steering wheel could very well be the ISS needing lubing (very very common) or it could be in the susspension. The squealing would worry me. It could be the wheel bearing going. I've always been told that you hear the bearign going.

    gas mileage: check the easy things first like air filter, tire pressure, driving habits.

    What engine do you have the 3.8 or 3.5?
  • yammaxim700yammaxim700 Member Posts: 19
    What is the ISS and how do you lube it? I have some clunkiness as well.
  • azn46azn46 Member Posts: 10
    The dealership said that all those problems arent a safety hazzard, so they wouldnt fix it. The whining is very slight and you can only hear it when going slow, in a parking lot or something.

    I will check the air filter and tire pressure, thanks.

    I have a 3.5
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    ISS = Intermediate Steering shaft (or somethign like that). Its the piece that GM replaces when they have complaints. It's a design flaw in a number of the large and midsize GM vehicles. Someone posted direction on how to lube the steering shaft from the inside of the vehilce using Lithium grease. If you do a search on this forum for "ISS", it should come up (posted Feb or march 2005) Very easy to do. Worst part was just getitng into postion to get the can in there. it will take you 5 minutes to do.
  • yammaxim700yammaxim700 Member Posts: 19
    Great! Thanks for the help.
  • wingletwinglet Member Posts: 5
    Does anyone's 'Trigue have a clunk in the steering? If I slow down going around a sharp curve I can really feel a clunk. How would I fix this? It's really startin to kill me!!!
  • wingletwinglet Member Posts: 5
    My 'Trigue is only getting about 14 or 15 mpg in the city as well, but I drove all the way to Detroit Mich on one tank of gas (480 miles)!! May not sound very impressive, but there were times when I measured 32 mpg at an easy 70 mph with the air on.
  • di99di99 Member Posts: 18
    Yes, my '99 GL also had the "clunk" on turning, and I had the intermediate steering shaft replaced once and either the ISS replaced again, or some other part of the steering another time. That work was done under warranty. It's a known problem, and if you search this forum ("steering shaft"), you will find lots of discussion on it. Since I am getting that old clunking feel in the steering again (97K miles), I am going to try what has been suggested in this forum....lubricating the steering with white lithium grease (aerosol can). Haven't had a chance to do it yet, but have heard it helps. It better, because can't afford anymore repairs for awhile :)
  • apsignorapsignor Member Posts: 1
    My 1998, 140K mile Intrique's steering locks up on sharp left turns, such as turning at corners or into parking spots. It doesn't happen on right turns. Otherwise, as in highway driving, there are no problems. Is this a steering system problem or a bearing problem or what? Any help is appreciated.
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Member Posts: 427
    I speak from the massive ownership of this neat little car. Had 3 Intrigues-1998 GLS-bought new-however at 26,000 miles GM bought the car back, brake and steering problems. 2nd Intrigue was a new 99er GLS w/3.5 and had an SLP catback exhaust installed, fun car, it devoured brakes, ISS parts,alternators, crank sensors, and ft struts. Had a GM warranty policy thru 75,000 miles. No sweat.
    At 75,000 I traded the 99er on a 2002 GL-what a deal-Nov.2002-they were giving them away. Traded it in May 2007 on a 4300 mile 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GT-loaded to the brim. The 2002 Intrigue had 119,500 miles, sweetheart of a car, but had some problems. No engine,a/c,transmission, or electrical mishaps. Major tire cupping problems tthrough 67000 miles-24 cupped babies, Chevy dealer finally aligned the car for 275 buckeroos, switched to Michelin "Harmony" and after 50,000 miles they were good for another 25k..Tires were balanced on the car with a strobe light. The 3.5 engine was finally tuned-plugs only, @111,000 miles.Battery was replaced at 95k, right frt [email protected] One ISS @ 60k and brakes were never touched until 65k and they were a problem until 100k then I had some cheap rotors installed and watched the torguing of the lug nuts. Oil burning was always a problem with Mobil oil and I switched to Penn around 40k and had the oil changed every 3k. The original trans fluid was still good at the end and never added any coolant throughout the ownership period. The 3.5 was never touched and never failed. It was 100% Florida driving-mpg was between 25-31. I regret that I sold the car, but it was time to part. Bought the Pontiac just because it had low miles and was a cheap deal. Caddy tradein. However the ISS has been replaced @13k and-the supercharged engine loves gas. The Intrigues were a pain at times, but they were a much better performing car overall. The Grand Prix GT is a low-tech auto but it will serve the purpose until GM gets its act together. I only buy Detroit iron-no transplants...
  • zenfmzenfm Member Posts: 10
    I have a 99 Intrigue GL 3.5L. Rack and pinion was replaced in 05 at 62k miles. This week, I remarked there was resistance when turning left at slow speed (parking the car or turning left at light trafic after a stop), the power steering pump whines and there are some low noises (clunk) at times. I checked the power steering oil level. Was at the low mark. Filled it up. This morning, the ABS, Low Trac and Check vehicle lights turned on when I left the driveway. They got off after I had stopped the car and did not show up for the latter part of my morning run. Spoke to my mechanic yesterday. He suggested to flush the power steering oil and replace it, together with an additive, before spending more money (currently 120k miles). I have read the comments regarding the ISS. I am more concerned about the power pump or rack and pinion. Any ideas ?

    Previous answers on hard transmissions shifts were much appreciated. PCV valve was replaced at low cost and problem is gone.

    Thank you.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    since the power steering fluid was low, It's probably not a bad idea to have it changed. The ABS, Low trac and check engine lights point to a possible problem with the wheel sensors (common problem). the only way to fix them is replace the wheel bearings.

    The DIY fix for the ISS is to grease the steering shaft connection under the dashboard. Move the driver's seat all the way back; follow the steering wheel under the dashboard; slide back the rubber sheath and you should feel a metal connection. If you are small enough to get al the way under the dashboard, you may be able to see it. get a can of silicone grease and spray this connection. If the ISS is the problem, you should feel a noticeable difference in the steering. Plus a can of silicone grease only cost $3.50.

    have your mechanic check the wheel sensors, bearings and tie rods as well. It sounds like you have a good mechanic.
  • zenfmzenfm Member Posts: 10
    Thank you for following up. The rack and pinion problem has since been confirmed by the Goodwrench team. It will be replaced this week together with the wheel bearing and sensor that has caused the warning lights to show up.

    Should I expect to have to replace the starter, the alternator and the exhaust pipe system any time soon, as I intend to keep the car for another 2-3 years ? What else could go wrong ?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    I had my 2000 Intrigue to 179k miles and did not have to replace any of those parts but who knows? I've read of folks changing the starter on their own; outside of the original alternator and the "blinking headlight" problem, not too many people have had to replace the alternator; and I haven't heard of any exhaust problems other than an occassional catalytic converter.

    there are no guarantees esp. with this vehicle. The good thing is many of the issues have been addressed on this website and this one: http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=764,

    some of the issues that have been popping up are A/C problems, transmission issues, some head gaskets, suspension wear (age related), etc. The thing to remember is even the most recent Intrigues are 8 years old now. Most have some miles on them.

    good luck.
  • zenfmzenfm Member Posts: 10
    Thank you for the advice.

    I had the rack and pinion replaced at my local mechanic at half the price of the Goodwrench guys. They had a life guarantee on the part. They also replaced a front wheel hub and bearing that worn out.

    I know some other repairs will show up, given the actual mileage and age. Rear suspension has been replaced 2 years ago, as well as tie-rods. I believe I should be able to get another 40k miles at a reasonable cost. Anyhow, the current resale value of the car is between 1/1.5k$. There is not much risk here.
  • cdbluhorsecdbluhorse Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem. I replaced the rack and pinions as well as tie rod ends outers (inners come with the rack n pinion) total of repairs and parts including alignment under $600 works great now
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