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Oldsmobile Intrigue: Problems & Solutions



  • I have a 99 GL (i think) and the temp sensor (outside) went about a year ago. It seemed to have a lot of effect on the inside temp controller (i.e. I couldn't get the ac to turn on when it was about 90 out, but the sensor thought it was 20 out). Replacing it solved the problem. I bought a new one from the dealer (it was like 10 or 15 dollars). It's located right at the front of the car, under the bumper close to the passenger side. The new one will look just like the old one. All you have to do is unplug the old one and plug in the new one. It took about 2 minutes, start to finish (including finding the old one).

    Good luck.
  • I own a 98 olds intrigue. Can anyone tell me if this car has a fuel filter? I searched thru the manual and there is no mention of fuel filter. I did see mention of a fuel cap. Is it that since the car has fuel injection it doesnt need a filter but instead has a fuel cap that needs to be replaced/maintaned instead of the filter. I would appreciate your comments.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    All fuel systems require a filter. The '98 Intrigue fuel filter is under the car, left side of the gas tank.
  • thanks alcan for the answer to my question.
  • I have a 1998 Intrigue with a 3.8 and I need to replace the belt tensioner. I don't have a manual to help me out. Question, It looks like it takes a special socket to get the tensioner off, can anybody tell me how to remove it. Thanks
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Document ID# 323121
    1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue

    Drive Belt Replacement

    Removal Procedure
    Rotate the drive belt tensioner using a 15-mm box end wrench on the pulley nut.
    Remove the drive belt.

    Installation Procedure
    Rotate the drive belt tensioner using a 15-mm box end wrench on the pulley nut.
    Install the drive belt.
  • Thanks for the info,but I need to know how to remove/replace the tensioner itself.. It needs to be replaced. Thanks, again.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    There's no mention of a special socket required, but here's the R&R info. 3800's use studs with Torx socket heads in various locations.

    Document ID# 445613
    1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue

    Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement
    Removal Procedure

    Before servicing any electrical component, the ignition key must be in the OFF or LOCK position and all electrical loads must be OFF, unless instructed otherwise in these procedures. If a tool or equipment could easily come in contact with a live exposed electrical terminal, also disconnect the negative battery cable. Failure to follow these precautions may cause personal injury and/or damage to the vehicle or its components.

    Disconnect the battery ground (negative) cable.
    Drain the engine coolant from the cooling system.
    Remove the drive belt.
    Remove the generator.
    Disconnect the heater hose adapters with heater hoses from the drive belt tensioner.
    Remove the drive belt tensioner bracket bolts.
    Remove the drive belt tensioner.
    If replacing the drive belt tensioner, remove the heater water bypass inlet pipe and seal.

    Installation Procedure

    Lubricate the seal with coolant.
    Install the heater water bypass inlet pipe and seal.
    Install the drive belt tensioner.

    Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

    Install the drive belt tensioner bracket bolts.
    Tighten the drive belt tensioner bracket bolts to 50 N·m (37 lb ft).
    Connect the heater hose adapters with heater hoses to the drive belt tensioner.
    Install the generator.
    Install the drive belt.
    Fill the cooling system with engine coolant.
    Connect the battery ground (negative) cable.
  • Thank you again! You are very helpful.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    You're welcome. Let us know how it went.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    It went out in my Intrigue... :-( Now, starting it requires cranking for 3 to 5s and the engine is not as powerful as it used to be, but no slouch either.

    I went to an AutoZone store and the guy confirmed that the sensor is gone. Unfortunately, he didn't have the part and neither did the warehouse, so he couldn't even order it. It could be only a faulty connection, but I stopped at a Buick-Cadillac dealer and when I knew that it had only 2, I got one anyway (for about $100).

    The dealer quoted the service as a $125 job, an independent shop, as a $75 job plus about $100 for "diagnostics"...

    Knowing the history of the Intrigue, I'm leaning towards having the service done at the dealer. AFAIK, it can be replaced from under the car by removing the starter.
  • I had recently driven approximately 1000 miles from my home in Eastern Canada,to Toronto. I left the car in my son's garage, and left for an European vacation for 9 days. When I came back, the battery was dead. I expect that the battery was fully charged when I left for Europe, because of the long drive on the car,just prior to it.If some light was accidentally left on, the "Rundown Protection System" should have shut it off after about 20 minutes. I took the car to the dealers, and they told me that there was nothing wrong with the car, and the parasitic current drains were normal, although they would not tell me what the normal value is. Olds, in their manual talk about taking battery ground leads off, only if the car is to be idle for 3 weeks. I was given a replacement battery by the dealer, but I am puzzled. Had anyone had similar experience? I only have 16000 miles on the car, which I bought new in July 2002.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Ask your dealer whether they used the procedure specified in this GM TSB addressing battery parasitic loads:

    Document ID# 1130254
    2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue

    Info - Battery Parasitic Drain #02-06-03-010 - (10/14/2002)
  • How do you reset the change oil reminder system. The light needs to be turned off after the oil is changed. It is a 98 Intrigue. Sorry to keep asking for help. I have been trying to buy a factory repair manual off Ebay, but not having any luck.

    The accy. belt tension pulley replacement went very well, thank you for the helpful information.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    No problem. Here you go, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3:

    CHANGE OIL Indicator

    The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) will determine the amount of oil life from various sensors and inputs within the engine control system. Oil life is calculated by the PCM and sent to the instrument cluster through the class II serial data link. When the PCM has determined that an oil life of 0 percent is present, it will inform the driver by turning on the CHANGE OIL indicator. After an oil change, the CHANGE OIL indicator can be reset by:

    Turning the ignition switch on (engine off).
    Fully press and release the accelerator pedal 3 times within 5 seconds.
    The CHANGE OIL SOON indicator will flash 2 times indicating the CHANGE OIL indicator has been reset.

    BTW, was it Torx head studs you were faced with when replacing the tensioner?
  • Yes, it was a Torx head stud.

    Again, thank for the reset information!
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I'm not sure if it's really related to cooler temperatures, as some have stated, or if it's because we do more night driving in winter, but I did start noticing the headlights and the dash lights dim intermittently.

    The cause is believed to be the alternator, but some have reported that the OEM replacement eventually suffers from the same malady. However, others reported getting a 3rd party alternator with success. If this is still true, what brand would be a good replacement? How hard is it to replace the alternator on one's own?

  • With the first snowfall, my daughter got into my '99 Intrigue and turned on the wipers. Being as they were frozen to the windshield, she turned on the defroster, came back into the house to get something, and got distracted, and didn't go go back out for another 15 minutes.

    She had forgotten to turn the wiper switch off.

    So, as the defroster began to melt the ice on the windshield, the wipers began to free themsleves, but before something "broke".

    The bottom line is, the wiper motor still appears to be working fine, but whatever connects the motor to the blades either broke or came loose, so the wipers don't move at all, even though I can see the motor going around.

    Any ideas, on how difficult this is to fix? Thanks
  • I have a 2000 intrigue with the 3.5 and it has a cold weather only overheating problem. When the weather dips down in the 40's and especially if I use the heater the temp guage goes all the way up to the hot mark and on occasion has turned the red light on (didn't know it had one til then) I took it to the dealer last year and they couldn't find it but I think that is because it wasn't cold enough outside to cause the problem. When its hot in the summer it's fine. Anyone else have this problem? DPG
  • It's funny that the vehicle overheats with the HEATER on in cold temps. In all GM owners manuals, if you experience an overheat problem, they advise you to turn the heater on high heat and full blast (that works, BTW. My Malibu overheated once and that did the trick). Could it possibly be a bad thermostat?

  • check out this bulletin dated 01/16/2001

    Higher than Normal Temp Gauge Reading/Overheat in Cold Weather #01-06-02-001
    Higher Than Normal Temperature Gauge Reading or Overheat Condition in Cold Weather (Install Enhanced Thermostat)
    2001 Oldsmobile Aurora

    1999-2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue

    with 3.5 L Engine (VIN H -- RPO LX5)

    Some customers may comment that their vehicle displays a higher than normal temperature gauge reading or may overheat in cold weather. This will generally occur while idling or driving slowly in traffic during colder weather, usually less than 0°C (32°F), with the heater control set to maximum heat and fan speed. If all published diagnosis from the appropriate applicable service manual has been performed without success then an enhanced thermostat may need to be installed.

    The engine thermostat may not provide adequate coolant flow.

    Perform all published diagnostics from the appropriate Service Manual and any repairs that may be indicated. If these have been performed without success, then an enhanced thermostat should be installed. A thermostat with improved coolant flow has been developed for the 3.5 L engine applications listed above. For complete detailed instructions on the proper installation of this thermostat, refer to the appropriate applicable GM Service Manual.

    Parts Information
    Part Number
     Thermostat - 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora with VIN H, RPO LX5
     Thermostat - 1999-2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue with VIN H, RPO LX5

    Parts are currently available from GMSPO.

    Warranty Information
    For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:

    Labor Operation
     Labor Time
     Thermostat, Outlet and/or Gasket Replace
     Use Published Labor Time
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    1998 Intrigue blower motor only works on high speed. I have no other speeds in between. I believe that it is the blower motor resistor. Could you tell me if it has one resistor for all speeds or two resistors, one for low speeds and one for high only? Also, I would think that this resistor would be located by/on the blower motor, but could you tell me where to look.

    Thanks again for your past help!!!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Manual AC uses a resistor network which provides all speeds except high. Automatic climate control uses a blower control module. Either is in the same location, behind the RH side of the instrument panel, in the right side of the heater-A/C module just below and to the left of the blower motor.

    The resistor has a 7 wire connector:
    tan, yellow, purple, light blue, black, and 2 orange

    The control module has 3 wires in a 4 wire connector:
    black, orange, grey/black
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    Thank you very much, I will try to fix this with in the next few days.

    Again, thank you!!!!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    You're welcome. Good luck with it. Btw, it's been about -10F here for the last few days. High blower speed is all we use in this neck of the woods! LOL
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Well I finally purchased the 2000 Intrigue. The car is in great shape with a couple of minor problems. I mentioined before thea thte fuel guage is not working. The last few times I have been in the vehicle it has been reading full (which it should). But at times, it will drop to empty and the light comes on. I haven't been albe to pinpoint under what conditions it drops to empty. The initial diagnosis is the fuel sending unit but I'm not so sure anymore. BTW, I use the trip odometer to decide when i need gas.

    The other minor problem is when the first turn in the morning which is normally when I come out of my parking space, I can feel a short "rubbing" either in the wheel or the steering column. it doesn't do it any other time during driving. Just after the car has been sitting for a while.

    other then that it drives great!!! (Knock on wood)
  • rabeetrabeet Posts: 6
    We are finally getting rid of our 1998 Olds Intrigue at 60K miles. GM lost us as customers for all time. In fact, I can't imagine buying any American make car ever again.

    Here is a partial list of the things that failed on this car:

    - front rotors replaced twice. Not due to wear.
    - rack and pinion replaced twice.
    - entire dashboard replaced.
    - driver's seat cover replaced.
    - rear window replaced due to faulty antenna.
    - air circulation motor replaced.
    - water pump replaced.
    - serpentine belt tensioner/idle pulley replaced.
    - passenger grab handle replaced.
    - both driving/front turn signal sockets replaced.
    - generator replaced.
    - engine speed sensor replaced.
    - glove compartment latch adjusted several times, then replaced.
    - trunk latch replaced.
    - rear seat belts replaced (recall?).
    - ignition switch replaced.
    - driver door trim has to be pounded back into place about once a month.

    We paid for many of these ourselves. This car has stranded my wife and child three times in the past year and a half.

    Save your money and heartache and don't buy one of these beasts. What a waste of money!
  • It is part of the ABS self test and described below:

    The EBTCM performs the Initialization test once each ignition cycle when the vehicle speed reaches 6 Km/h (4 mph) and the EBTCM does not see a brake switch input. If the EBTCM sees a brake switch input, the initialization test runs when the vehicle speed reaches 15 Km/h (9 mph). The Initialization sequence cycles each valve solenoid and the pump motor (as well as the necessary relays) to check component operation. If any error is detected, the EBTCM will set a DTC. The Initialization sequence may be heard and felt while it is taking place, and is considered part of normal operation.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    i don't think I have ever read about one car having so many problems. What took you so long in getting rid of the ing?
  • rabeetrabeet Posts: 6
    Well, I think it was always a case of thinking that we finally had the thing sorted out. But the parts just keep failing.

    I also wanted to get a certain amount of use out of it before taking the value hit. I figure I will be lucky to get 4K for it as a trade.
This discussion has been closed.