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Anyone experiencing lights blinking/flickering on Olds Intrigue

dbs0809dbs0809 Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Oldsmobile
I need to know if people are experiencing a flickering of the lights at night (exterior and interior) on Intrigue. This is a strange problem. The dealer says it's the Airpump pulling excessive amps. I don't buy it as I can drive an hour with nothing happening or a half hour with the lights blinking/flickering 12 times or more. I want to know if anyone out there has experienced driver distraction issues or a near accident from this problem. Also, has anyone tried to take this issue through BBB arbitration? Let me know. I have an arbitration hearing coming up in January and need assistance. Thanks for your help.


  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    and it IS a problem, despite GM posting a TSB saying the condition is normal. What state are you in?

    I see these cases every week, and GM loses.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    is it goofy grounds, silly switches, or wacky wiring? all are good candidates, as might be any common-point magic "general light computer".
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    to follow two TSBs - one instructs them to grind and ensure a good connection at the ground for the BCM, the other entails regrounding the alternator and replacing it if necessary. Neither "fix" works, from what I've seen.

    Intrigues, Auroras (though not as many), Grand Ams, Grand Prixs, Malibus, Impalas, Centurys and a few Jimmys/Blazers suffer the affliction.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    just lights, not anything else like radio and power seats, that goes through the bulkhead? the fuse block and any inline connectors begin to smell like suspects. does it all connect through the ignition switch? I have a healthy disrespect for single-point does-all switches that are lowest-bidder items, single-sourced, and hard to get to. it goes without saying that the lighting switch and its connector are also serious suspects in this mystery.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    have failed in these same vehicles, along with headlight switches.

    Seems to be those three components that are freaking out, along with a few floundering BCMs. A bad BCM makes for big trouble, and on some occasions, incorrect mileage on the odometer.

    Nothing like having flickering lights AND a TMU car, huh?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    certainly, nobody has EVER been able to accuse Ford and its world-class suppliers of having switches from Hell, right?

    ha, ha, ha ha ha, ha, ha... oh, my aching side... ;)

    anybody ever consider going back to wiping contacts instead of block-contact switches? I run across 60 year and older electronic switches all the time that only need a little cleaning and they're right with it.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    than GM has with these intermediate cars.
  • I appreciate your response. I am in Maryland and have an arbitration case with BBB on this issue in a few weeks. It's tough to take on GM and win. I need to show that this is a safety/driver distraction issue for more than myself but am not sure how to do it. Can you point me to some reference materials or legal cases for this type of problem where people have won arbitration or lawsuits for this problem? I would really appreciate the help. Thanks. dbs.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    has successfully settled many cases with GM on this.

    Go to and click on Maryland in the US map. There will be a link to an attorney in Maryland that handles lemon law/breach of warranty cases.

    The BBB is not a great step and the manufacturers don't seem to take these hearings very seriously.

    Contact me off line ( and I'll send you some information that will address the issue.
  • I've got a 2001 GL that has been through the GM mill with the flickering lights. The car was at the dealer 4 times in the first year for alternator replacements and this 5th alternator seems to have done the trick. We have not noticed a flicker since this past April.

    It's definitely a safety issue and I did take it to BBB arbitration. A very surprising thing happened.....I won! It was not much of a victory, though. I wanted the problem fixed, but all GM offered was to repurchase the car with a huge writeoff for depreciation. I declined their offer but reserved the right to pursue it in small claims court. The BBB ruling in no way affects going back to court in the future.

    Do your homework. Get your hands on Ralph Nader's book on Lemon Laws. Have all the paperwork you need organized and a good timeline. Have you talked to Angus at GM yet?? What a peach....

    In the end I got what I wanted. Our car is no longer flashing light signals to oncoming traffic. We still have other issues with the clunks, rattles and various electronic glitches but they can be dealt with more easily. This car's too great to give up on!
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    The law (state lemon law and Mag-Moss) allows for a mileage offset but DOES NOT allow the manufacturer to get credit for a value deduction!!

    In PA, the offset is 10 cents a mile from delivery until the first reported non-conformity. If your car started acting up at 1,000 miles, you as a consumer, are liable for 10 cents a mile for 1,000 miles, or $100.
  • I'm in AZ and the BBB arbitration allows the offset per mile to the date of settlement. This is not negotiable and is the big stumbling block to a successful outcome with the BBB process. If the flickering hadn't been corrected, a case through small claims would have been in order for us.

    I did talk to a Lemon Law attorney(from that website) and he said to win one of these cases was rare and I should accept GM's offer. I didn't agree with him. Why should I lose so much money on the car and have to search for a replacement?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I don't think so!

    I haven't seen one lost yet, here in PA and NJ - maybe that guy just doesn't have any experience.
  • Good luck!

    Been there , done that, i am working on altenator #3, loking for #4. 3 is a lot better but not right.

    Gm now seems to be pushing the "normal operating characteristic of the car". I asked the girl at GM hotline why they didn't add that to the brochure if they are so confident that this new feature is to be popular with buyers.. Response no comment.

    Been reading with interest this new forum, however, sueing is not worth it. I believe gm is too powerful and i can not afford endless court sessions and cost that will surpass any loss that must be taking to sell.. Gm can . I think the big mark up on car prices is to pay the lawyers the fees to get them to delay endlessly all the incompent and unexcusable designs they introduce the public.

    The automotive industry is about the only manufacturer in the world where customer satisfaction with their products is a tronblesome rash. Unlike your toaster or washing macine or stereo, if it has major or even minor problems after purchasing they simply take it back, refund or replace. Yeh Yeh cars are not toasters, but there cost of manufacturing percentage wise are probably the same.

    JJ . you are now in the third of 4 "D" auto guys use

    1. deny/ there is no problem 1-2 months

    2. dismiss/ that is normal 3-6 months

    3./ delay/ we are working on a fix 1-2 years.

    4./degrade/ no one is is complaining until you sell and never buy another

    Customer problem gone, mission successfull.

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    not endless court hearings.

    I give opinions in court - here's my opinion on TSBs:

    The manufacturer’s publishing of a technical service bulletin on the “light flickering” issue does not relieve them from having a minority of vehicles that are defective and does not relieve them from being liable for a vehicle with uncorrected mechanical problems. Manufacturers tend to think that just because they publish a TSB on a given issue, they have a “get out of jail free” card. The manufacturer, in my opinion, is still responsible for the appraisal differences between this car and one like it without the problems described in these repair orders.

    When looking at potential used car purchases, appraisers may choose between the vehicles with the minority of the vehicles with these issues and the majority of these vehicles without these issues. In that light, there is a huge value difference.
  • Had the first return of our headlight flicker while on our way home from the New Years festivities. It was a short 2 mile drive in 50 degree weather. We so rarely drive at night that perhaps the gremlins really never were banished with the last new alternator.

    Next week we'll be bringing it in for an overnight to get the other strut replaced, the brake caliper clips replaced, re-attach all the wheel splash guards and a re-do of the ISS to get rid of the clunk.

    We'll see how it goes....
  • I currently own a 2000 intrigue GL and a 2002 Bravada. I drove a 1998 Intrigue for 85,000 miles before turning it in.

    My service department was great. Great until the dealership folded today.

    I have become Thoroughly disgusted with General Motors, however. I am an engineer and it is obvious to me that the Intrigue has been plagued with several design problems since it's introduction. My '98 had the autoban package. I had warped rotors every 15,000 miles and steering column parts replaced twice. The 2000 has had the ignition replaced, the dash replaced, the stereo replaced, steering column parts replaced, and 4 alternators to fix the flickering headlights which are now worse than ever. there must be a loading problem with the electrical system that is also responsible for the VERY hot stereo buttons.

    I drive a dark mountain road every night home from my work and the flickering lights are very distracting. I have 72,300 miles on the car with a 100,000 GM "commuter" warranty. I am now thinking I would like to pursue a lemon law case against GM. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, not having done this before, I'm not sure what to expect from a successful settlement.

    By the Way, my 2002 Bravada (nice vehicle) had the engine replaced at 15,000 miles and was towed again today after a trip to the carwash. It appears that somebody tried to put the wrong key in it or something and now it won't start.
    Dash message says that driver is not recognized.
    Nobody at GM had a clue how to remedy the situation. I am sooooo done with GM.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I moved this weekend and lost the majority of my e-mail info through the DSL/cable switchover. I need to go over your repair orders with you.
  • I, too, have been suffering with flickering headlamps. A recent TSB has been posted by oldsmobile (1/6/03). Supposedly they have redesigned the alternator to correct the problem. I picked my car up two nights ago, and so far no flickering.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    Most of my Intrigue driving is done during the day, but at night I get flashed occasionally by oncoming traffic. I don't use my fogs and never use brights when I'm not in the middle of the country.

    Occasionally, I've noticed that my headlights seem to dim briefly, then come back up. I thought I was imagining things, or maybe hit a dip in the road. I have a total of 7600 miles on the car, and love it except for this weird glitch. Sounds like I need to bring it in...
  • I too experienced flickering (dimming) of headlights with my '99 GL (2.5L). My first flickering experience occurred a few days after having a battery replaced. I brought it back to the shop to check out the new battery again they did a battery / alternator check and everything was fine. Shop noted a 'possible' loose battery connection and tighten it. 1-2 months later, it began flickering again sporadically (2-3 times in a month). I'm unable to receate it on-demand. Hmmm..... Suggestions?
  • I thought i was the only one having this problem.Is this only the alternator that needs to be changed or am i going to get surprised with something else. This is driving me nuts.
  • I checked this site because I have a flickering problem, but different kind. My 98 intridgue has 3 front lights on each side. The only one flickcering is the middle one on the pasenger side. I replaced the bulb and problem is still there. The dealer told me to bring it in when it happens. But, it works OK 95% of the time. Any advice?
  • I have 2000 Intrigue with flickering lights in Colorado. Also my interior lights theater lighting started acting up?? now my head lights go to a dim state between off and normal for almost 30 seconds can I win if I'm out of waranty? it has had a alternator and ambient light sensor replaced, is this still a alternator problem? I can't drive my car at night. I noticed when the outside lights flicker so do the dashboard lights is this everyone's experience? Can anyone tell me how to fight this to get some justice or repair?
  • Went to the G.M dealer yesterday. Went to the parts department and told them about my alternator problem. They told me they have a remake of there old alternator, a cold climate alternator.All of a sudden they have a fix for the alternator problem. Why don t they put out a recall.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    alternator problem - it's a ground connection problem, too. I've seen GM step up on quite a few of these in lemon law cases.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Posts: 256
    What does that mean.

     What have you heard regarding grounding( frame, atenator, engine...) and could you elaborate on "gm stepping up to quite a few of lemon law cases.

  • Hey Zeus,i would like to know more about this alternator problem too.Can you explain the problem with more detail. thanks
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    that the main culprit in these "flickering" cases is bad ground connections, like where the main harnesses attach and are "grounded" to the vehicle.

    I see between 8-15 GM cases a week and I've seen many cases involving these electrical problems. For what it's worth, GM seems to settle the cases. It shouldn't need to get to an attorney to get handled for you, but my income depends on the fact that the manufacturers are stubborn and foolish, as well as not very consumer-oriented.
  • ozznetozznet Posts: 81
    So does the alternator cause any of the problem or is it just the ground?
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