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Oldsmobile Intrigue: Problems & Solutions



  • nascnasc Posts: 2
    My 2002 GL with 43K was clunking while turning and after unsuccessfully replacing the left tie rod, they diagnosed that ISS must be repacked-surprise! The dealership said that the $185 service wasn't covered under the extended service plan because it was considered maintenance. I called the Olds customer service and objected that it was hardly maintenance. The representative agreed to look into it and just called back to say that GM decided that they would cover the costs for it. I hope that the lube fixes the problem, but I am not too optimistic based on the other entries.
  • rduelrduel Posts: 39
    My 98 model had the ISS service at around 10K miles, and again a month ago at 78K. It did not solve the clunking noise. The mechanic isolated the noise location to the rack and pinion gear assembly. Others have said the R&P replacement didn't solve their noise problem. That makes one a little hesitant to spend $1300. I plan on calling the Olds 800 number to see if they will cover cost replacement. I am not very optimistic. The last time I called GM about a dealer known problem on another GM vehicle, they said they never heard of the problem. So much for GM credibility.
  • I had the same problem. The steering gear needed replacement. $1800.00. I got GM to cover half the cost. Has been fine since(1 year, 16k miles).
  • rduelrduel Posts: 39
    What year Intrigue do you have? GM has shown some willingness to accept responsibility for cars built Before Jan. 98. (My build date by the way.)
  • 2000 GLS. I also had a 98 that needed the ISS replaced twice. Those were the only problems in 80k plus miles that I had it.
  • I have experienced a similar problem with my 99 Intrigue (64k miles) as it will occasionally shut down. I have had this happen at stoplights, during turns, and on straight roads so I can't replicate the problem. It is very sporadic, happening sometimes several times a week and then not happening for months. Always able to slip into neutral and restart without problem. Dealer has checked it out but found nothing.

     Anyone else seen this problem and found a solution?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I haven't had it happen since the last I reported. who knows? Right now i attribute it to my knee hittng the key as I was turning the wheel. Hiopefully it does not return.
  • jhdjhd Posts: 20
    I had that happened to me. The problem was ignition switch intermittent contact. This can take you off the road of it happens before turn, you do not have power brakes and power steering, and if timing is right……
    I was told that ignition switch in the dashboard is not designed to handle the weight of many keys hanging of the key ring, at least it is more delicate than the one in the steering column design, and should not be abused.
    They changed the switch 2 years ago and I have not had any problems with it. I just have one key on the ring with remote, better safe then sorry.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Thanks jhd. It sounds like it could have been a combination of the weight of the keys and my knee hitting it on the turn. The good thing is I will lose 4 keys and a plastic security tag off of my key chain in two weeks. Fro now I have the seat all the way back to avoid my knee hitting the keys.
  • Thanks jhd & dtownfb. I'll check out the ignition switch. Will be nice to see this "gemlin" go away!
  • jhdjhd Posts: 20
    My car shakes badly during heavy acceleration on good dry road at intersection take offs. I think it is traction control acting up. When I turn traction off, the tires just squeak.
    Not that I abuse the car, but sometimes when you need to get up and go faster and surface is not even on the intersection, tire can spin and then shaking starts. After a second or two it stops, but then acceleration slows down.
    I had transmission filter changed and fluid topped up (some 6 quarts) at 110k some 5 months ago on my 98 Intrigue GL with 3800.
    Is this something to be worry about?
  • OK. I have had this car since Sep 98 and had only one minor issue - the treble/bass "knob" broke off and one major issue - had to replace all 4 brakes (discs, caliper, pads the works) because of extreme wear.

    All i have done so far is change oil every 3000 and flushed trans oil at 75k. I am hoping to keep this vehicle for another 30k miles (currently 96500).

    Any tips on what maintanance I shd be looking at? Also has anyone driven these cars 125-150k without major problems? What problems can I expect the future holds for this car?
  • Likewise, my 2000 Intrigue would occasionally stall out when still cold. They too, traced the probem to a faulty crank sensor. No problems since them although I sold the car to my son. I now have a 2004 Camry which has been plagued with transmission problems for many owners, but so far, I have been lucky. I really missed my Intrigue!
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I thought that it was the Accord V6 which had transmission problems and the Camry V6, oil sludge issues. Can you tell more about that?

  • Go to the Toyota Camry Problem & Solutions forum. You'll find plenty of Camry owners complaining about their transmissions. I haven't driven one with the adaptive 5-speed auto yet. Apparently that is the source of most of the complaints.
  • Would like to know where the block coolant drain is located and if anyone has experienced intermediant electric window failure on the right side only?
  • jasoncjasonc Posts: 16
    I have a 99 GX Intrigue with 90,000. I bought it a year ago and the dealer put new front brake pads on it for free. Last night I was driving and when I apply the brake, especially when its being depressed harder for a stop sight/light to come to a full stop, there's a horrible groaning sound coming from the front of the car. I would imagine its the brakes but I know that the struts are also near the end of their life, so I thought it could be the energy being transfered to the front of the car making the struts sound bad. I've gone over all the posts here but haven't found what I need. Just thought I'd see if anybody else could help identify the problem.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    My '00 GL makes the same sound, but it's just the noisy Delphi ABS pump working. Could it be the case on your '99 GX too?
  • rduelrduel Posts: 39
    Don't know about the block drain, but my 98 Intrigue's right front power window occasionally will not work. It has only happened twice in two months, but always returns to normal function by its self
  • jasoncjasonc Posts: 16
    It could be, I think I saw that mentioned in some earlier posts. The noise has gone away now, but I'm sure it'll come back. I hate to take it in because you know that they're just going to say that I need to pads and rotors, etc, when I probably don't. Thanks evandro.
  • spearspear Posts: 1
    I recently bought a 2000 Intrigue w/89K & absolutely love it. However, I can't get the cap off to change the oil filter. It seems to be stuck, and I've chipped one of the "flutes" trying to get it to move (yes, I'm turning it the right way). Maybe it's cross threaded, I don't know yet.

    I take pride in working on my own cars and refuse to take it to a dealer or cheesy oil change shop for what should be a no-brainer. (Is there any compassion for us old-school types?)

    Any suggestions?
  • I can't imagine cross threading the cap,(it's a pretty coarse thread, 1/4 inch pitch), although anything is possible.

    Are you using a filter cap wrench? Also, I have found that it seems to be easier to lossen if the engine is hot.

    Good luck.
  • kubbykubby Posts: 5
    Has anyone had a problem with their driver-side wiper overextending off the windshield? I have a 99 Intrigue in which the wiper goes halfway off the windshield (the top part of the wiper) and then sticks to the rubber seal on the windshield when returning back down. Does anyone know if the wiper range can be adjusted in any way. It's quite loud and annoying when it rains. This also is a recent problem, happening within the last year or so. Thanks.
  • Two things.
    1. The actual blade has slipped out of the wiper and needs replacing or reinserting if the lock clip is still present.

    2. The wiper arm has slipped on the spline at the base of the window. The arm is set on a tapered splined shaft to hold it in position.

    Open the hood, lift/tilt the black cap at the end of the wiper arm out of the way. Position the wiper in the parked position and tighten the nut but, not too hard. Try it out, all speeds, throw some water on the glass to simulate real use conditions. You may have to tweak it a bit(trial and error), so that it does not overshoot or hit at the base when parked.

    The spline is made of steel and the arm of aluminum so that the arm wears and not the spline.
    If the spline is plugged, you may have to clean it. If it wears/slips a lot, the taper on the arm gets to large and cannot be tightened and a new arm is needed. Takes a lot of wear but if it has just slipped then you will OK.

    Get it fixed fast because if it gets to far out of sync, then it will hit the other arm and then you'll be talking big bucks.


    Isn't it weird that the driver side blade always wears out first. hehe
  • kubbykubby Posts: 5
    Thanks for the help moonshadow. I will try your suggestions when I get a chance this weekend :)
  • hi, did you ever figure this problem out? I am having the same problem. Please e-mail me and let me know.

    [email protected]
  • cwatcwat Posts: 6
    My 2002 intigue had the quick blinking problem. My dealer told me a bulletin came out telling them the grounding of the alternator might be corroded. They tell me they cleaned the grounding point and the lights haven't blinked in the last 5oo kilometers.
  • cwatcwat Posts: 6
    My 2002 Intrigue 3.5 engine bought at 33,000 kilometers occasionally smokes at startup. The smoke is blue and the car doesn't use more than 1 litre of oil /5,000 kilometers. I have not experienced any blue smoke at full throttle acceleration. The dealer told me they checked the valve seals and they are within limits. Car has 50,000 kilometers and my concern is whether the problem might be an indication of engine problems after warranty runs out. The steering is the second concern. It seems be to stiff at any speed. Is it possible to notice the variable assist if it is working properly?
  • I have a 2000 GL that has over 94,00 mi. on it and there's a little blue smoke every time I start it. No biggie so far. Goes through about a quart of oil between changes (every 3K mi.). Coolant level is constant so I think it must be the oil. Still runs like a top and is a pleasure to drive. Took it on a trip over Thanksgiving and it still gets 31MPG. Going to have it's first tune up soon. The steering should be almost effortless when parking and at very low speeds, and become a little stiffer as you go faster. Does it make any noise (clicking or thumping) at low speeds? I had my ISS replaced last year and I thought I got a new car. If it's still under warranty have them replace the shaft, not lube it. Hope this helps and good luck.
  • cwatcwat Posts: 6
    Thanks for the information. The dealer is supposed to try a (few) more checks regarding the oil smoke at startup, and I will get them to check the steering and report what they find or don't find. Like you I love the power of the 3.5 and the quiet, smooth ride of the car.
  • I have a 99 GL 3.5 and am brand new on the message board.


    Recently I have been experiencing periods of time where my RPM's are higher than normal and erratic. The RPM's, when this problem presents itself, will not idle at the normal 750 or so but in the 1500-1700 range. It will go periods of several days where it will not happen but, like today, is happening more often than it is not. I have not noticed that there is any rhyme or reason to it.


    The other situation is every once in a while the car will not start. Won't even turn over! When the key is turned to 'on' everything appears to be normal. No abnormal panel lights or anything but when the key is turned to start all lights go out on the panel and radio, etc. and nothings happens. Seems that all I can do is wait for a few minutes and it acts like nothing is wrong.


    Any insight y'all can give me to these problems will be greatly appreciated!!
  • You may want to make sure the battery terminals are tight, and then have the crankshaft position sensor and throttle position sensor checked out. How many miles on your Intrigue?
  • just turned 100k on it. When the starting problem first happened (2 months ago) I had auto zone check the system since the battery was purchased there and they found no problems and said the battery was fine.


    Is either of those sensors something a do-it-yourself guy can do? How can I find out where they are located?
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    The crankshaft sensor is behind the starter and can be reached from under the car. The camshaft sensor, however, is accessible from above the engine.


  • Have you ever changed either of these and, if so, could a novice like me do it? Also, which would you change first? Is there one which is more likely to be the culprit than the other?


    I appreciate all the help!
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I have the Intrigue's service manual and when its crankshaft sensor went away, I chickened and took it to a dealer. As the camshaft sensor is in one of the heads, it seems easier to replace. But it's never really failed in my car, so I haven't tried replacing it.


    Now, I knew it was the crankshaft sensor, because the SES light came up and I took it to an Auto Zone store to have a scan and it confirmed that it was kaput. $100 for the sensor and $60 for labor. I could have bought the sensor from and have saved $30 though.


    If any of these sensors have gone away in your car, you should have the SES light on. Is it on?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Is the ignition switch sensor the same as the crankshaft sensor? I had a problem a few months ago when my Intrigue cutoff a couple of times during left turns. That may cause the no start problem.


    Just a thought.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Different things, though it may be a possibility too.


    One thing is for sure: when either the crankshaft or the camshaft sensor goes bye-bye, the "Service Engine Soon" DOES come up and a scanner would say which one is bad.


    In addition, when either sensor is lost, the engine is put in limp mode and starting can take a few seconds cranking.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Nope. If the cam sensor signal is lost the PCM will gang fire the injectors and the engine will run, but if the crank sensor signal is lost the PCM doesn't know where #1 piston is. It won't start.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    No, I lost the crankshaft sensor and I waited 1 week to replace it, using the car and all.


    What happens is that the ECU cannot tell where the pistons are, but it can estimate based on the timing derived from the camshaft sensor. That's why starting takes longer, because it takes a couple of crank turns to sync up the estimated timing and the actual timing (the camshaft spins 2x slower than the crankshaft).


    No matter which sensor goes out, if there's still one, the piston position can still be estimated and thus injection is always sequential. What won't happen is ignition advance, because the position estimation is not that precise.


    This is a paraphrase from the service manual. If you want, I can quote it and post on Saturday.
  • i have 98 olds intrigue.

    even though i was told my battery had enough cranking amps.....

    i replaced battery and everything went back to normal.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I think this one has been discussed before but i had no luck finding the solution.


    I replaced my right front turn signal about 6 months ago. It burned out and I replaced it with long life bulb. About 2 weeks ago, it went out again. I replaced it again about a week ago. Worked fine. I was driving two days ago and it started doing the fast blinking sound (the light did not flash jsut the sound). After a while the light went back to working. Today when I flick the turn signal to go right, it just sounds like it is blinking very fast, but the light does nothing on the outside (front). The light still works since it is the daytime running light but it does not blink. Does anyone have a clue what may be going wrong?
  • Hi there.

    Those circuits for park/turn/drl are quite a circle. if your hazard switch is on the signals are conrolled by the bcm and not the stick.


    Try fiddling with the hazard switch several times and see if there is a difference. There is several contacts in the Haz switch and one may be sticking for the right side.


    Do all signals work correctly on haz mode?

    Does the rear signals flash correctly when the problem is occuring?


    Have you checked that there is no corrision / oxidization(possible short) on the socket base and in the plug connections to the headlamp assembly?

    Are the replacement bulbs that you are using the same identical number that was the original?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I'll check this when I leave tonight. I beginnig to think it might be corrosion or somehting along that line. Since yesterday morning it has been working intermitently. Sometimes it will blink (sound only) fast and not go one and then other times it operates just fine.
  • I have a 98 Intrique, 78,000 miles, with auto trans and I noticed today the transmission is not shifting into overdrive. For example; cruising at 55 mph the RPM's remain at approx 2400 when the shifter is in either D or 3. The shifting from 1st to 3rd is good and into reverse is fine, no noise or thumps. Fluid level is correct and the color is pinkish. Would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.
  • dekesterdekester Posts: 322
    Recently made the big move from NYC to FLorida's Gulf Coast - 1200 mile trip where I averaged 33 MPG with a full trunk, rear seat and two in the car. Got the oil changed (Mobil 1) last week 1500 miles early due to the trip, and they suggested a tranny flush because I have 42K miles on the car and they suggest it at 30K. IIRC the manual says 50-60K.


    Since I want to avoid any tranny problems, I will probably get it done, but have there been any problems with the tranny after this power flush?


    Local Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealer is asking $136, lube shop $120, and the family's mechanic $90, and he was the only one to explain the power flush method.


    BTW, dealer will do the "old-fashioned" tranny pan drop/drain and new filter for $80. While I was there, I looked at the new LaCrosse - looks like what the Intrigue WOULD have evolved into had GM not pulled the plug.


  • ian18ian18 Posts: 133
    The Intrigue owner's manual states that the transmission oil is good for 100,000 miles. I have 83,000 on my '98 Intrigue and have no transmission problems. Burt235's post is the first time I have seen anyone ever mention a tranny issue with an Intrigue.


    I think the transmission flushes are just a money maker for the shops. In fact, there is a school of thought that says that having a power flush loosens debris that causes problems. If you feel that you must spend the money, I would just drop the pan.
  • I don't remember if it was in this forum or the regular Olds Intrigue forum, but someone mentioned that after performing a power flush on their trans at 50K, he started to notice the transmission starting to slip.


    For my '00 Intrigue, I plan on just doing a drain and fill. The machines that are used for the power flush (engine or trans) are known to leave a small amount of their proprietary "detergent" that didn't get flushed out which can cause problems.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I had the tranny on my Bonneville flushed at the dealer because at just 35000mls the fluid was brownish and I wanted all of it out. This is one advantage of flushing over dropping the pan, which replaces only about 70% of the fluid.
  • I'd be careful. Are you having any problems with it now or is your fluid brownish? If not I'd wait. There are different trains of thought on this but my mechanic thinks that a power flush is the worst thing that you can do to a working tranny. Dropping the pan may leave some of the old fluid behind, but if it's not discolored or gritty it won't matter much. On most trannys there are magnets on the pans to catch any metal debris in the fluid as it circulates. When they drop it they clean the magnets and pan surface off, put a new gasket on, and replace the pan, filter, and the fluid. IMHO that makes more sense than stirring up all that stuff with a power flush, and then hope it all gets out. My '00 Intrigue has 96,000mi on it and the fluid looks just as pink as the day I bought it. Can't feel the thing shift half the time it's so smooth. I had a 96 Caravan on the other hand, and had the tranny power flushed 3 times at 30,000mi intervals and the thing started to slip at about 95K and got so bad I had to trade it in. Good luck Dekester whatever you decide.
This discussion has been closed.