Oldsmobile Intrigue: Problems & Solutions

oscarz2oscarz2 Member Posts: 153
edited March 2014 in Oldsmobile
Still waiting for a solution. Has a mind of it's own and does it once in a while: kind of gurgles right to idle (briefly) on start when engine is warm, as opposed to a normal crank where rpms smoothly jump above 1,000 rps and then settle at idle.

On another note that may be related: I notice a vibration at idle. About every two seconds I feel the motor vibrate and then it's smooth again. Back and forth like clockwork (about 3 seconds apart). It seems that for 3 seconds, idle is smooth and then it vibrates for 2 seconds. I feel it in the steering wheel, seats, and floor. It's not real pronounced but noticeable. When I stare at rpms, It appears to drop on a miniscule level during the vibration. I mean you have to really look closely to see it move (it's that minor of a change). Maybe a millimeter at the most. I've never mentioned this to the dealer but I will at next visit. Maybe my motor just needs to be idled higher? I'll check rpms at warm idle and follow up to compare with some of y'all. I use Chevron gas (87 octane).


  • dindakdindak Member Posts: 6,632
    Don't think it has anything to do with the gas. I use 87 octane all time and the car is fine.
  • oldsdanlpoldsdanlp Member Posts: 6
    I notice a low pitched rumble that seems to be coming from the rear of the car, especially at low speeds. It seems to be louver when the brakes are applied. My vehicle is a 2000 with 30000 i. on it. Love to drive the car. Very nice motor especially on the freeway. Also does anyone else's wheel covers click and pop at low speeds. It even does it when the car is sitting still after driving.
  • vcjumpervcjumper Member Posts: 1,110
    That clicking and popping is probably your catalytic converter, which clicks and pops a lot when changing tempuratures. (They get really hot).
  • ricom560ricom560 Member Posts: 10
    This old guy wants to start changing his own oil and is a little gun-shy. I notice a forward-facing drain and a filter plug for which I have a wrench. The filter I bought does not include a seal. Does the plug have an integral seal? Also,a few thoughts about changing to a 100% synthetic at 13000 miles. Thanks, Rich
  • white6white6 Member Posts: 588
    Yes, the "plug" has an integral o-ring seal. The synthetic change is a personal preference. Most say it's overkill on a street driven car, but you can extend your change intervals, so it can save you some work if you change your own oil. Saves a few trips "under the car."
  • ketchketch Member Posts: 217
    Nope its not the cat. conv., as that does tick on cool dwon like many metal parts as they contract from heat to cool off, normal. The click you hear is in fact the wheel caps on the 2000 and later models. And yes, it even will do it while the car sits. its again, normal, but perhaps
    not the most nice sounding thing. Don' worry about it.
  • rsp920rsp920 Member Posts: 1
    I just got a new Intrigue about 6 weeks ago. It acts funny sometimes. When I change from Reverse to Drive or first put it in gear and step on the gas nothing happens for a minute and then it finally seems to engage. Has anyone had this problem and know what it might be?

    Also, the gas mileage is not as good as I expected. I am only getting about 16.5 around town (which is not a large metropolitan area - just a smallish city) and about 18 mixed highway and city.

    All help appreciated.
  • dindakdindak Member Posts: 6,632
    Not sure about the hesitation. you may want to get that adjusted at the dealer.

    As for the mileage, my 2000 GL was horrific for the first 4-5 tanks and then quickly got better. I get about 18 city and 28 highway now. Mixed is around 21-22. I'm estimating as I have to convert from L/KMs,

    Hope that helps.
  • sbaksbak Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Intrigue with 25000 miles on it. In the last 5000 miles I have had some problems with the transmission. It sometimes will click and jerk when shifting, both up and down. When traveling up hill it feels like it is slipping and runs at a higher than normal PM at 70-80mph. Also could all the other owners try this for me. When in park try to pull the sifter all the way back to 1st. Can you? I barely can get to 2nd and 1st is just too hard. I was wondering if this is "normal"
  • wx5lwx5l Member Posts: 4
    Just purchased a 2001 Intrigue. Just getting use to it and have found 2 items that are noticeable.

    When making a hard turn right or left from a stop I hear a groan from beneath the hood. Kind of reminds me of a power steering pump struggling. don't hear it on slight turns.

    When driving the car there is an incessant clicking noise from the seat belt recoil area near my left ear. It seems to fade as the air conditioned cools the car but returns when the car is hot. I'd hate to start jamming foam rubber between cracks in that area.

    Has anyone noticed any of these 2 noises?

    New Orleans, LA.
  • one2oneone2one Member Posts: 626
    Sounds like it could be the pump. Or, since it is still very new, possibly not enough fluid in the pump. Since it's still under warranty, I say take it to the dealer and let them see what it is.

    I'm on my second Intrigue. Had it for about the same amount of time. I'll listen out to see if I hear it in mine as well. Haven't so far.
  • taekutaeku Member Posts: 2
    I bought a new 99 Intrigue w/ the 3.5 engine. Recently, I am hearing a buzzing sound from the engine just behind wheel on the driver side? The dealer I've been dealing with first claimed they didn't hear it. The second time I brought it in, they claimed that it was normal. It sounds a lot like the sound from my old Delta 88 where the engine had to be replaced due to something being worn out in the engine.

    Is this a known problem or am I just one of the unlucky ones? Anyone know what could be problem?
  • wx5lwx5l Member Posts: 4
    I brought my 2 week old Intrigue into the service shop.

    The manager jumped in the car to analyze my concerns.
    1. The groan that I hear is the AS brake system which only happens one time after each start. He said it was part of the start-up(pump). He said it was normal for this car. Guess I'll just have to live with it.
    2. That noise I was hearing near my left ear was not coming from the weather-stripping but from the head rest. It was fully extended and when I exert a force forwards on the headrest it stops. I collapsed the headrest down all the way and the noise disappears.
  • tomw11tomw11 Member Posts: 6
    My 2000 Intrigue (23k miles) recently was diagnosed with 2 tires having broken belts and 2 tires that are "cuffed or cupped" ? The cuffed tires have low spots that cause a loud noise when driving. The tires are the original Goodyear Eagle LS 225/60R16's. Has anyone else experienced this kind of tire failure? My driving is primarily highway and I don't go looking for potholes or curbs to hit. I have no intention of buying new Goodyears. I was thinking Michelins. Any thoughts? Thanks.
  • dindakdindak Member Posts: 6,632
    These are suppose to be good. I like my Eagles though.
  • mosaixmosaix Member Posts: 106
    Any Olds/GM technicians here? I've got a few questions about the BCM and some of it's features.
  • cleongcleong Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone have the passenger compartment air filter and has changed it themselves? I don't quite understand how to do it.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    If your referring to the pollen filter then it is a quite easy process.

    First you must turn on your wipers and turn off the car when the wipers are in the upper most position, opposite of the parked position.

    Second you must raise the hood and remove the plastic washer type screws (2 or 3 not sure) on the right side (passenger) air plenum cover. You will notice that this black plastic cover is split midway across the window. It may be necessary to giggle it a bit as this half cover wraps around a little under the passenger fender.

    When you get plenum cover out , Ta da , the filter is sitting there, about 4 by 10 inches. It must be lifted at the front, enough to clear the metal holder frame and slid out .

    Naturally, replacement is the reverse order . Good luck
  • cleongcleong Member Posts: 2
    I have a problem with the to plastic screws. I keep turning them and they don't come out. the screws just keep turning. Am i supposed to take it out another way?
  • jrogulskijrogulski Member Posts: 3
    Replaced a battery and now everything goes dead as soon as I turn the key. Unlpug positive and plug back in and everything is back. Turn the key and it is dead again.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    cleong, sorry i havent got back sooner but the world is a different place now for me.

    Any way, the plastic screws are a pain. Try lifting up or wiggling on the screws as you are unscrewing. I find they are more like a plug than a screw.

    Hope this helps.
  • tallmomtallmom Member Posts: 7
    I just picked up my new Ruby Metalic Intrigue last night. I drove straight home and parked in my garage.When I go out in the bright light this morning I can see 5 tiny chips in the paint along the passenger side. They aren't large. About the size of a capital O. Does anyone else have a Ruby Metalic Intrigue? Is this just defective paint? It is a beautiful car but now I am really scared. The salesman want me to accept a touch-up job but others on this web site have advised me that touch-up jobs always show. I am taking a big loss in the depreciation on this car I can't afford to have it depreciated further by a telling paint job. Any more Ruby Metalics out there? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  • darryl80darryl80 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 99 GLS with 20000 miles on it and it has always needed oil between changes (every 3000 miles). It seems to need even more lately - 2 quarts between changes. This seems like a lot. Also, sometimes, when I start it, it idles rough and I notice the exhaust is a little smokey. This goes away after driving slowly a block. Is this oil usage normal? Anyone having rough idle? Should I get this checked out? Thanks.
  • wx5lwx5l Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2001 GLS. A few days after I had it I noticed a minor but annoying non-metallic noise coming from the drivers door. It seemed to be coming from near my left ear. When I would either pull or push on the handle it would go away. It would only occur on medium to rough road services and sounded like styroform being squeezed.

    I brought it in but the service advisor just couldn't here it. My wife and I could here it but he couldn't. Maybe his tolerance for incidental noise is much higher than mine.

    Frustrated at the lack of interest by my dealer I investegated myself and found the trouble to be the plastic retainer pins that holds the lower part of the door covering to the metal door. These plastic pins would move causing this irriating noise.

    Not wanting to deal with my unconcerned dealer I popped-out these lower pins and applied a small amount of lithium grease to the pins and now that noise is history.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Member Posts: 153
    I have a 99 GLS with 17K mi on it. Since brand new, I've experienced the occasional rough idle when starting. Only happens when engine is hot/warm and of course dealer can't find anything wrong. Others on these boards have experienced it too but I haven't heard of a fix. It's another elusive gremlin.

    My 3.5 burns oil too. About a quart every 3K. This will vary depending on driving and other conditions. It is normal for this engine but 2 quarts is a bit high. A service advisor told me that for this motor, it takes almost 10 minutes for all of the oil to drain into the pan. I don't know if that's true but keep that in mind when checking next time.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    Hard to believe it takes 10 minutes to drain the oil into the pan. If this was the case, then with just less than 6 liters in the pan, then the oil pump would run out of oil to pump pretty quickly.

    As for gremlins, I have the record on my 2001 12000kms. Dealer, even gm rep ( paid to say no) can't hear or experience any of my problems.
  • huangleehuanglee Member Posts: 3
    I have the 98 Intrigue for over 2 yrs. It runs great. There is just one problem-I need to re-adjust the sticky passenger front door every time I have an oil change. The probelm seems to be the black plastic trim which run from outside mirror to the back door along the top of the door. It shift over time toward the end of the car. I remember that there were similar complaints in this chat room. Anyone found a way to fix it?
  • vcjumpervcjumper Member Posts: 1,110
    I had the problem but my dealer fixed it about a year ago when I was still in warranty and it hasn't moved since. Sorry don't know what they did.
  • buzzard4buzzard4 Member Posts: 43
    I have a 99 GLS, and until recently I've been very happy with it. A few months ago, I noticed that the steering was getting tight when parking, especially when backing up. It got to the point where it was like the power steering was gone. Once the engine is at higher RPMs, it's fine. Took it to the dealer, and first they replaced the intermediate column ($300). That fixed the annoying clunk we always had, but not the other problem. Next trip, they said they had to replace the whole rack ($1,500). It's been about a month, and it's now getting worse than before. They said they got a bad rack, and they're looking for another one (no cost- how generous). Meanwhile the car has been in their shop/lot for 4 of the last 8 weeks. Has anyone heard of this problem before? Is there something else it could be, like a sensor or pump problem? Thanks for the help.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Member Posts: 153
    I have a 99 GLS (4-99) and my steering is heavier than it used to be. Also, had intermediate shaft replaced and this tightened it up but didn't fix the heaviness.

    About 3 months ago, I complained about heaviness and minor shudder to dealer. They checked it out and said GM is aware of problem but "no fix" at this time.

    Later, I noticed a TSB on steering and took it in again (referring to the TSB). Mechanic said steering normal, no problems found. When I asked about the TSB, they said the TSB is for 3.8L Intrigues.

    So basically we're stuck with power steering that doesn't give enough assist unless, a new pump or something does the trick. Dealer won't do anything because mechanic say's it's normal. Well yeah, it's a normal defect.

    This is why I was inquiring about MagasteerII on the main board. If you get a pump or something else replaced and it helps, post it. That info will help others pursuade their dealers to do the same.

    Since I'm still under warranty, they're not eager to solve problems. Sounds like your outside of warranty so I'm sure they'll find something.
  • buzzard4buzzard4 Member Posts: 43

    Thanks for the input. Unfortunately, my problem is beyond heaviness, to the point that it takes 2 hands and a lot of elbow grease to pull into a parking spot.

    I am out of warranty (55K miles), and the explanation for the first rack replacement was that the interior seals were going bad, restricting fluid flow at low pump speeds. Sounded logical, but still a pretty significant defect given the age of the car. The new rack did help briefly, but within a few weeks it was worse than before. I was very interested in your question about MagnasteerII, but from the responses, looks like that's a dead end. I'll let you know how I make out with the second rack replacement.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    Sounds like you have gone to manual.

    If you lose it at low rpm , i would look at your pump. There isnt a lot clearance in the blades of the pump and if they are worn , then they lose the ability to build pressure until the rpm increase forces the fluid into the pressure hose.

    Have you looked at the fluid for smell and colour. Dirty??

    Also the magnetsteer II has an input shaft angle sensor which i believe is used with a computer to alter the applied pressure (either at the punp or the rack )depending on the angle of the rack input and the speed of the vechile. hence the variable power steering. When parking you get more assist the more you turn the wheel while at highway speeds you lose power which makes the car more directional and less prone to lateral drift, however, when you want to change lanes, the steering tends to be heavier than conventional steering. ie. no steering with your knee while you open a bag of chips.

    There may also be a tie in with PCS??

    THe story of pressure differential in the rack is correct for normal power steering, if you turn the wheel the valving will direct pressure to the direction you want to go. However, im not sure if the 99's had variable steering or Pcs. Something to consider.

    If you go to (delphi .com)? site and look up the magnesteer pages and pour through them you will get a more technical discription of the operation of the rack and the magnesteer system.
  • donselldonsell Member Posts: 27
    I just had my 2000 Intrigue in for the hard to start/rough idle problem.

    The dealer diagnosed it as a faulty crankshaft sensor. He replaced it under warranty and it seems to have fixed the problem.

    Anyone else had this solution?
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Member Posts: 153
    My 99 3.5 has had occasional rough-idle-upon start problem from day one. Only happens when engine is restarted after driving for a while and it's very sporadic. I can never duplicate the problem, it has a mind of it's own. Dealer always said no problem found.

    Recently, the car died in a drive-thru (twice), but luckily it restarted and I got it to the dealer. They said, "faulty crankshaft sensor found" and they replaced it. That was about a month ago. Since then, I've had one rough start but it's colder outside now (maybe that's a factor?) and motor has not died.
  • wbhallwbhall Member Posts: 39
    My 2002 Intrigue headlights I've noticed will blink off and back on really fast every once in a while. This morning driving about 85 miles it blinked at least a dozen times. Has anyone else noticed this symptom?
  • jjpowell2jjpowell2 Member Posts: 91
    Our 2001 GL also has the flickering and we're on our 4th alternator. It's a distraction but have learned to live with it since it doesn't seem to effect the performance. It's one of those things that you can't get to happen when driven by the dealership unless they keep it overnight for a couple days. We won't bring it back in for repair until they are SURE they know the cause and produce an alternator that will correct it. Go back in the forum to about March/April for the TSBs and posts. Our other ghost is the driver's door that automatically locks from time to time while parked. That did happen at the dealership but he could only scratch his head.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    Sorry to hear your 2002 has the problem as well.

    When I first went in they told me that they fixed the issue in 2000.

    Nevertheless I am on my 3 rd altenator. The second one decreased the problem but did not get rid of it. Still waiting for the verdict on the third as it only has a few hundred klics.

    Message 37 says they had four and now your 2002. I am thinking that they are still in the woods.

    Go to the sedan board for intrigues and take a boo at the posts I put there in the last couple of days if you want to get a clearer picture.
  • wbhallwbhall Member Posts: 39
    Not only do I have the flickering headlights, when I pulled into the garage Sunday night, my tilt wheel is now broke. It is stuck in the low position. I will be taking it to the dealership next Monday to have the lights and the tilt wheel fixed. I will let you know how I come out. I have to say, I have never heard of a tilt wheel breaking though. Not the lever but just the mechnism inside. BTW, I don't even have 3,000 miles on the car yet!! LOL
  • wx5lwx5l Member Posts: 4
    Is it normal on late model Intrigue's for the ABS pump to let out a deep groan when it first pumps up?

    I brought it to the dealer and received the standard "that's normal".

    Anyone else experience that groan at forst start-up?

  • wbhallwbhall Member Posts: 39
    My 2002 Intrigue goes in Tuesday morning to get the tilt steering fixed and also to look at and fix the headlight flicker problem. The Service Advisor said that there is no known problem with the headlights flickering. Are there any service bulletins out in regards to this problem that I can enlighten the S.A. on to prove that this is a known problem? FYI, my car now has 3100 miles on it.
  • wbhallwbhall Member Posts: 39
    I just had dinner with my son tonight and his 2002 Intrigue is also having the headlight dimming problem. I hate to actually call it a flicker, its more of a slight dim and then back. Not quite as bad as actually flashing your lights. With the couple of other people on this site along with my son and I, that's a least 4 with the same problem. Alternator?
  • jjpowell2jjpowell2 Member Posts: 91
    Go to post #2067 and this shows the only TSB I'm aware of so far. There have been other complaints on the NTSA site about this problem. Keep in mind that we've had 3 alternators installed and still haven't eliminated this sporatic annoyance.
  • angtangt Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Intrigue GLS with ~30k km(~20k mi). When I brake and when the car is almost stopping, I can hear a single faint thud from the front and when I release the brake pedal, I can feel a thud again. It does not happen all the time and I notice it more often when I am braking downhill rather than level road or uphill.

    Any idea what the problem is? TIA.
  • brianandhbrianandh Member Posts: 1
    We had the same trouble as randy in message #40. To figure out whether it was abnormal, I test drove other Intrigues and each had a much quieter self-test. The tech fixed the problem temporarily by "repositioning the brake line" (hmmm), but the trouble came back within a week. For other reasons we're fed up with our current dealer, so as soon as we find another shop, I'll have them check on it. Not a huge deal, but annoying.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Member Posts: 1,203
    I'm getting the "flicker" occasionally. It's totally intermittent as sometimes it won't do it at all, sometimes it will do it a couple of times, and a few times it's been bad. Took it to the dealer and got the "could not duplicate" but needless to say driving it home that very evening it did it. Power steering pump seems to moan a bit loudly too when making sharp turns at low speeds. I'll see if that improves with warmer weather before I have it checked.
  • jbempongjbempong Member Posts: 1
    Just bought a '99 GLS 3.5L. Put in a new radio (The CD player was dead on the factory radio). Was on my way home from work and noticed that the radio's sound was not the same. I adjusted the balance and fader and discovered one of my channels was dead. As it became dark I also noticed that the lights on the gear shift did not come on when the headlights did. Then, I accidentally touched the volume control on the steering wheel and it was hot to the touch, but the cruise buttons were not.
    Could all these problems be related? Has anyone had similar problems, and if so how were they solved? From these posts it seems the dealers are very incompetent.
  • craigculcraigcul Member Posts: 16
    I am looking for advice from any 98-99 Intrigue owners who have had experience with the problems caused by defective intermediate steering shafts and racks. My early 99 will go out of warranty in a couple of weeks, so I took it to the dealer to see if they could fix the steering play and front-end rattling on small bumps. At first they suggested it might be the intermediate steering shaft, but the actual work done was to replace the rack and only lubricate the intermediate shaft. The fix completely solved the problem (which I didn’t realize had become so annoying), but I have several concerns:

    I've seen dozens of comments about replacing the defective steering shafts, but no comments about just lubricating them. The service manager told me GM was now recommending lubrication as a first step, to see if this will stop the play. The implication is that if it doesn’t, replacement would be the next step. In my experience, greasing a worn bearing will tighten it up for a while, but it is no long-term fix.
    Anyone else had their steering shaft greased, and if so, did it work?
    I wonder how long the new rack will last. It does seem to be a later model, because it gives better steering response.
  • intownerintowner Member Posts: 2
    I havea 1999 GL, with about 31K miles. Over the last 10 K miles I use about 1 quart of oil every 1200 miles. I was told that GM says 1 quart /1,000 miles isacceptable. I think this is bs. Has anyone else had problems with excessive oil consumption?
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Member Posts: 1,277
    You'll find just about any manufacturer considers 1 qt/1,000 miles to be considered acceptable. It would bother me too, though.
  • jtoth3jtoth3 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 (97,000 miles) that, over the past year or so, has developed a tendency to overheat easily. I've especially noticed this since I moved to Denver, where there are more hills and less air. If the temperature is 75 degress or higher, I can get the car to run up to the 3/4 mark on the gauge with a little mountain driving or some stop-and-go traffic (no air conditioning). Normally the gauge runs just under the half-way mark. The first time or two it happened (when I was unprepared) the fluid literally boiled in the overflow tank until it cooled down enough.

    I noticed this for the first time last year and one of the local service shops in Denver recommended flushing the radiator. This is technically not needed with the Dex-cool system until 150k, but I did it anyway. The problem remains.

    I've checked and double-checked the fluid level, and it seems fine. I use only the dex-cool anti-freeze with a 100% mixture. Has anyone else run into this issue or have any ideas on how to fix it? When the summer comes in full force, commuting becomes a game of watching the heat gauge and hoping for continuously moving traffic with no hills. Is there a natural tendency for cars to overheat in higher altitudes due to there being less air, and if so, is there anything I can do about it?
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