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Oldsmobile Intrigue Coolant System Problems

glawlessglawless Posts: 2
edited July 2017 in Oldsmobile
Our Intriques air was not working.We realized the radiator fans would not come on as the temp went up.Found out a $65.00 ground wire was lose.Saved us a $1,000 if had new air parts put.Make sure fans are coming on.


  • 01intrigue01intrigue Posts: 92
    I know about the 3.5 twin cam losing oil (although I am happy to not have that problem on our two intrigues), but my 2001 with 53K miles seems to lose coolant ever so slowly. Enough over 8 months or so to cause the low-coolant light to come on. My mechanic checked things out thoroughly 8 months ago and found no evidence of any leaks, and simply topped off the coolant. Now I just had to top it off with about 24-32 ounces of pre-mixed dex-cool prestone. Is there anything to look for that a mechanic might overlook? :confuse:
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I had the same situation in my 2000 Intrigue (144k miles). I normally have to add about 8 ounces to get over the "cool" line to the "hot" line. It seems to happen more in the cooler months. I ahven't had to add any in the past 3 months.

    Since your mechanic gave it a thorough look over, I would not be as concerned but would continue to monitor the situation.

    Have you had your coolant changed recently?
  • 01intrigue01intrigue Posts: 92
    I discovered tonite that the leak seems to be significant. Coolant looks to be leaking from the back-most hose that goes into the overflow container. It leaks onto the plastic container, pooling on the ledge below, and onto the valve for the air pump below. (It's the shorter hose from the engine to the metal connector to the engine.) The dealer just changed that valve a month ago, so I think they may have contributed to the problem. You have to remove the coolant tank to get at the valve (my brother replaced his a few months ago, so I know the dealer was in there.) I'll call the dealer tomorrow and see if they'll give me some dollar relief.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Posts: 256
    Unless they cracked the barb connector on the tank, I wouldn't waste my time with a dealer.

    That hose will leak after it has been removed. The barb connector has a large flare/barb at the end to keep the hose tight. The stupid spring clamp loses it spring after its been opened, especially if it was opened far enough to slide the clamp over the barb towards the engine instead of toward the tank.

    The connector is about an 1 1/2 long with a metal internal piece for support. If the hose was not put back so that the barb meats the old bump inside the hose, then the hose will leak. Also have seen them were the hose fattens up at the end so the I.D. is larger over time.

    Rotate and rock while you pull back on the hose, or you run the risk of cracking the connector at the tank. If you have bulging of the hose end, cut off a half inch of hose so that the barb has a new place to sit inside the hose and then install a proper screw tightening clamp. Or keep the old one there as well, the connector is long enough for two. Wetting the connector with coolant will help the hose slip on easier.

    This takes maybe ten minutes, probably shorter than the time you will be on the phone fighting with the dealer. :P

  • 01intrigue01intrigue Posts: 92
    Turned out that the collant bottle was definitely cracked. I just took it to our mechanic, and he diagnosed it as a cracked plastic bottle. The Florida heat here really takes a toll on those things. With the new one (and without the $80 parts/$80 labor) I can now easily see the coolant level in the bottle. I'm sure the crack was caused partially by the dealer, but it's just not worth the trouble.
  • hi can someone please give some advise on draining coolant from the radiator.where in the heck is it. i found a white plug on the bottom "drivers side' but i can't get it loose. why is it so hard to get to.....
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    It's a pain but if you remove the plastic protective shield, it makes it a litte easier. If I remember right, it takes a quarter turn (and a little wiggle). I also had a hard time with mine. Make sure you loosen the bleeder valve when you refill the radiator to release the air. Also if you don't drain the engine block, you'll only get have the coolant out. Don't be surprised if it only take 4 quarts of antifreeze.
  • cchlucchlu Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue, I have recently discovered that the temperature is running too cold and the crankshaft censor has an error causing the car to stall while at red lights and more recently while slowing down to a stop or while making a turn. Does anyone know the easiest way to fix these problems or how much a garage will charge?
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    I have a 2000 intrigue, I replaced the water pump and now there seems to be air trapped in the system. I took it to a shop and they could only find one bleed value next to the radiator. they bled it out and added more coolant but it is still over heating a bit and you can hear what sounds like air pockets popping near the back of the engine, almost as if it were popping in the dash!? Any help would be greatly appreciated. :sick:
  • pacinopacino Posts: 4
    I have the same problem Mike. Did you get yours fixed. Please let me know

  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    yes we fixed the water pump. You must use OEM water pump and OEM thermostat. I had originally purchased a water pump and thermostat from auto zone. After 4days and lots of coolant and money, I purchased the OEM parts and followed the following directions we found online from another man that had the same problem. I am a mechanic and I could not believe this was the process for changing a water pump. There is only one bleed air value and it is in the top left corner of the radiator on my car. Also the reservoir for the extra coolant is part of the pressurized system so if there is any kind of leak or like ours the cap was coming apart in 2 pieces you need a new one of those too. After we fixed the car we were still noticing a spike in temp. and ever now and then there was coolant on the garage floor. It was coming from the reserve coolant tank, replace OEM tank and refilled the entire system AGAIN and we have had no problems since.
    Refill directions are below
    Good luck. :)

    CF Newbie
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Posts: 1

    Vehicle Profile:
    Year: 2001
    Make: Oldsmobile
    Model: INTRIGUE

    Intrigue overheating problem solved!!

    A little background: I have a 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue with a 3.5 engine the water pump started to leak so I change it ,flushed the coolant system added new coolant and thats when the problem of overheating started.Prior to the new water pump there was no problem. I have the GM service manual so I followed the instructions to add coolant exactly and all the burping procedures this did not solve the overheating problem. Based on previous posts I did not want to start changing the thermotate,radiator etc,etc because they did not solve the problem, I suspected an air bubble so I decided to monitor the situation for a while and continually checking the bleed valve, after one month of driving I found the following:
    1: The engine did not heat up as long as the revs were 2,000 rpm plus
    2: When the temperature did get near the red line simply stopping the car and reving the engine dropped the needle to the midrange instantly
    3: I found that driving at rpm's below 2,000 caused the overheat spike and when the revs went up the temperature gage came down, infact I could drive the car without overheating by shifting gears on the automatic transmission thereby keeping the revs up, THIS CONVINCED ME IT MUST BE AN AIR BUBBLE IN THE SYSTEM.
    THE FIX:
    I started from square one again which a few changes to the filling procedure:
    1: drained the coolant you will get approximately 5 litres out of the pee cock(don't forget to open the rad bleed valve)
    2:disconnect the top rad hose from the engine.
    3:I cut the top heater hose(near the fire wall) and installed a "y" flushing adapter inline
    4:I also connected a drain hose to the engine outlet (where I disconnected the top rad hose) I did this so as to not make a mess.
    5:I connected a garden hose to the "y" flushing adapter I also used a ball cock valve to control the water flow.
    6:I kept the cap on the surge tank.
    7:turn on the water and watch the surge tank the water will start to rise you will be able to contol the level by regulating the flow from the hose. Regulate the flow so the water in the surge tank is about 3/4 full and just let the hose run keeping an eye on it so it does not over flow. Now turn your attention to the engine outflow.
    8:You will probably see the water coming out in spurts or bubbles WHEN IT COMES OUT IN A CONTINEUS FLOW ALL THE AIRS OUT, you need the hose pressure toget the air out the water pump just cannot do it! Thats why this is such a common problem for the DIY guy.
    9:also run the water until it is clean so as to get the right coolant mixture.
    10: you will need to get 4.75 litres of anti freeze in the system for 50/50 mixture which can be a challenge.
    11:shut the water off but do not disconnect, with the rad bleed open and the rad peecock closed add coolant thru top rad hose until it comes out of the bleed valve, you will probably get about 3 1/4 liters in the rad. close the bleed valve(I made a tool to open and close the bleeder. I ground 4 driving slots in a socket so I could use a ratchet wrench )
    12: I added the balance of the antifreeze to the surge tank NOTE!!! the top rad hose is not connected to the engine so as you added antifreeze it will push out water this is what you want you need to add about 1 1/2 litre this way, you are adding a total of 4.75 litres of antifreeze to the system. CONNECT THE TOP RAD HOSE. the level in the surge tank will be below the cold level proceed as follows:
    13:The garden hose should still be connected to the "y" flush adapter slowly add water to the system and watch the surge tank level when the fluid level reaches the cold level shut the water off and disconnect the hose. Seal the "y" adapter with the plug that comes with it:
    14:ALL DONE run the engine a few cycles to mix the coolant and drive, drive ,drive,problem free.
  • pacinopacino Posts: 4
    Thanks for the information Mike. Why do you have to use an OEM water pump and OEM thermostat and where do you get these parts from? I would realy appreciate a reply. thanks again

  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    The coolant system in that car is a reverse flow system, because you will find the thermostat is near the bottom left coolant hose, instead of the top right where they typically are in other cars. The water pump I purchase from auto zone and the OEM parts that I ordered from a General Motors Dealership where different. There are little fan blades in the water pump and they did not look the same. The thermostat that we purchased from auto zone could not even be used because it was no where near the same as the one I pulled of the car! The thermostat that is on the car is one large piece that is all welded together, I had not seen a thermostat made that way before. There was also some holes on the OEM water pump that the other pump didnot have. When you order the parts from a dealership call a couple of them in your area if you can, we found some of them varied in price, but it will be more than you are used to paying if you were like us and shopped at auto zone.

    @ I have ever had to fix.

    Good Luck :)
  • pacinopacino Posts: 4
    Thanks very much Mike. I'm still getting gurling in the heater core hose, when the car is idling, the temperature gauge is about half way with the heat off. When I turn the heat up, the temperature gauge jumps to around the 3/4 mark and it starts overheating. The only way the gauge comes down is when I rev up the engine. the radiator fans are working normally so I think I still have some air bubbles in the heater core. Which hose do I disconnect on the heater core to let the air out? Much appreciated if you can reply and tell me the procedure. Thanks again-hope to hear from you soon.

  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    I can not stress how important it is for you to buy real GM parts for this car. Remember it is cadillac v6 engine and no part from auto zone or Napa are going to fix this problem. This style of engine uses a reverse flow coolant system another words its coolant flows from the top of the engine to the bottom. Most cars are the opposite. The thermostat is located were the bottom hose of the radiator goes into the bottom side of the engine it is held in by two bolts. When you pull it out you will see that the Thermostat is 4 to 6 inches long. It cost about 50 dollars when you by it threw GM dealership. The water pump is just to the left of it and cost about 140 dollars threw the GM dealership. The impeller on the GM water pump has to holes on it that help get rid of the air and help keep the pressure up. The reason you can rev the engine and cool the car is because you build enough pressure in the system to overcome the thermostat spring tension and then coolant runs threw the radiator. Here lies the problem buying the pumps from autozone and Napa their pumps do not build enough pressure in the system to overcome the spring tension on the thermostat sitting at idle. Even though it is called a thermostat it more of pressure valve than a thermostat it opens more on pump pressure. Also since it is pressure coolant system it is very important that the reservoir is in very good shape including the cap. I had to buy a new one from GM which was 100 dollars. Now to bleeding the coolant system. No where on the engine is there any bleeder ports. So when I got on the internet I found a guy who devised a bleeding system for this car which works very good. You have to go to auto zone to get the T fitting that helps flush the coolant system. You cut the hose in half and stick this T fitting in between the cut hose pieces and this T fitting is now permantly part of your coolant system. The hose you cut is the hose coming from the heater core and going into the top of the engine. You will need to goto K- Mart or Wal-Mart to get a fitting for your garden hose to hook into the the T fitting. I had to cut my garden hose to install the fitting to connect to the T fitting. A Ball type valve fitting for your garden hose works the best. Connect the garden hose to the T fitting but don't open up the valve on the garden hose fitting. Remove the top Radiator hose going into the top of the engine and leave the hose connected to the radiator. Drain the radiator completely which the drain for it is at the bottom of the radiator Turn and pull out. When radiator is completely drained push in radiator drain and turn. Turn on water hose and open valve you will get a steady stream of water coming from the top of the engine. Monitor the reservoir so that you do not overfill the reservoir. You can let the reservoir fill up about 3/4 but adjust your water flow going into engine if it gets to high. Make sure you get all the air out of the engine block where it comes out of top of the engine. You should get a steady stream of water out of the top of the engine when the air is out. Shut valve going into T fitting and do not disconnect the water hose. Fill the radiator with 50/50 premixed antifreeze coolant From the top of the radiator hose. Have someone hold the radiator hose while you open the radiator reservoir cap. Fill the reservoir with premixed antifreeze until you get a steady stream of premixed antifreeze coming from top of engine. Put the reservoir cap back on and let reservoir level go below the cool line about an inch. Then hurry and connect the top radiator hose back on to the top of the engine. Make sure the clamp is on the radiator hose going into the top of the engine. Turn the hose water on and you will see the level in the reservoir rise. Let it rise to to cold line then shut valve going into T fitting and disconnect water hose but be quick you have to put the cap on the T fitting to keep the air out the water will start to shoot out the T fitting get the cap on as fast as possible. Then you are finished bleeding. Good luck do not skip any steps or buy cheap parts it will just cause frustration in the end. The popping or gurgling sound is the water boiling and not air. Make sure you get the right parts other wise you will spend 40 hrs on fixing the car like I did. I spent double the money because I bought the parts from Autozone and no matter what you do or how well you bleed the system it will always overheat until you buy the parts from the dealership. No cheap way around fixing this car you have to use OEM part "original equipment manufacturer parts".
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    try or for parts. They sell genuine GM parts for much less then the dealer.

    Mike351: Thanks for sharing your ordeal. That will help a bunch of folks who are having overheating issues.
  • pacinopacino Posts: 4
    Thanks very much Mike. I did exactly what you told me and everything is now working fine. I want to thank you again and really appreciate your help and time. Keep in touch.

  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    I am glad it worked out for you. I wish I would have had someone to help me. I was about ready to leave my car along the side of the road, but I couldn't I needed the stupid car for work. Also I didn't have the money to buy a new one. Only my wife knew how truely mad I got at this ridiculous coolant system. As a matter of fact she wore some of the coolant at one point in my frustration towards the car. Let me know when you have to change the alternator. That was quite the experience also I ended up replacing my radiator because I arc welded my wrench to it. Next time I will disconnect the battery.
  • dbrozakdbrozak Posts: 6
    I was wondering how to flush the radiator. It's my son's car & he put in stop leak about 2 years ago & now there is a small leak. Should he put the stop leak in again & does he have to flush it before? The car has over 100,000 miles & he just wants to keep it until it is paid for. So he doesn't want to put a lot more money into it. Does anyone have any suggestions that could help. I think it is a small leak, because he is just going by the amount of coolant that is gone. But he doesn't know how to flush the radiator. Where is the drain plug located? Thanks for any help, it is really appreciated. Thanks Donna
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    Why do you want to flush the radiator? Where is the leak coming from? Don't put that leak stop fluid into the system it will just cause build up and component failure. You might want to take a good look at the water pump pulley on the L/H side of the engine looking aft. There is a weep hole behind the pulley which allows coolant to come out when the water pump seals fail. The water pump typically goes bad between 100,000 to 120,000 miles. Sincerely mike
  • dbrozakdbrozak Posts: 6
    Mike, thank you for your response. But we have no idea where the water pump pulley is or where it is. Also how would we know that it is leaking from there? I know I probably sound stupid, but is there anyway to talk me thru where to find this & how to know if that is the problem? I guess if we can't do it then my son will have to take it to someone. But he is in school & doesn't have a lot of money. Would it be expensive to replace if we can't figure it out? Thanks Donna
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    Sorry if I confused you let me start with easier questions. Do you have any puddles of fluid under the car when the car sits? How much antifreeze do you put in it and how frequently do you have to add it. You might not have any problems right now. Does the car overheat guage stay below the half mark or is the needle near the the hot mark "H"? When you open the hood can you smell the antifreeze coolant? Does the serpentine belt look like it is slinging fluid? Sincerely mike
  • dbrozakdbrozak Posts: 6
    Thanks Mike for responding so fast. I asked my son & he said today at work there was some coolant under his car. It was already dried & he did smell coolant. A guy at work said something about the sepentine belt & it was wet. So it looks like it is the water pump, I think that's what you called it. Is that expensive to replace? We have no idea how to do this stuff on our own & my son has already put a ton of money into this car. The only reason he still has it, is because he owes money on it. Any ideas? Thanks so much Donna
  • dbrozakdbrozak Posts: 6
    Mike I forgot to tell you that the gauge is registering closer to the C. So atleast it is not overheating, Yet. Thanks Donna
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    Unfortunately fixing the coolant system on this car is not as easy as most cars. This car has a reverse flow coolant system and the only other car that I know of that has this coolant system is the corvette. This is not something I would try to tackle if you are not mechanically inclined. The parts for this coolant system must be OEM "original equipment manufactured parts". The pump and thermostat from GM cost me $203.00. The premixed Dexacoolant cost $10.00 dollars gallon. There is also a flush coolant adapter that you would need to bleed the system $5.00 at autozone. Do not by a pump and thermostat from autzone and don't let any mechanic tell you otherwise. It took me 30 to 40 hours to figure out the overheating problem on my car and that was because I bought my pump from autozone. The rebuilt pumps can not build enough pressure to keep the engine cool. Look at and read my early posts in May of 2008 another guy had the same problem and I helped him through it. If you know a person who is mechanically inclined ask him for help and follow the instructions in my early posts May of 2008. I would not recommend driving the car until you get this fixed as further driving could cause the engine to overheat and crack the engine block. I feel your pain and burden I have had my car since it had 20,000 miles on it. Between this year and last year I have spent a lot of time fixing my car It Cost me about $5000 dollars mainly because I put a transmission in it two weeks ago. But I have done several other things also all are things that come do between 100,000 and 120,000 miles. It beats having another car payment though. Plus I like my car. I am a mechanic but not for cars I fix airplanes. I just wanted to let you know that so that you don't think that I am leading you in the wrong direction. Sincerely mike :)
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Mike has given you all the correct information. Here's a link to a website that sells geunine GM parts. Looks like the water pump will only cost $75 plus shipping. I would find a mechanic that is wiling to install it for you. shouldn't take more then a couple hours.

    I have a 2000 Olds Intrigue with 164k miles and still running strong. If your son keeps up with the maintenance and is not afraid to get his hands dirty under the hood, he can easily get another 40k-50k miles.
  • dbrozakdbrozak Posts: 6
    Thanks for your message. The only problem my son doesn't know a lot about cars. So how do you suggest he starts, to keep his car running? He takes it for oil changes all the time. What else can he do? Thanks Donna
  • dbrozakdbrozak Posts: 6
    Thanks Mike for all your help. My son took his car into his mechanic because it was leaking & it smelled on coolant. The mechanaic had it for a couple of days & told my son he could not get it to leak. I don't have any idea what is going on. It has been fine for a few days now. He is going crazy because he is going to be starting school & working & he doesn't need it to break down. What do you think is going on? I must say I feel much better flying knowing you are helping take care of the planes. Thanks for your help. Donna
  • donp9donp9 Posts: 29
    Mike: Thanks for the info. Glad I read your post as I was looking to replace the water pump in my 2000 Intrigue (120,000 miles) just as preventative maintenance and was planning to go to Auto Zone or Checker auto for a replacement. I will now get the OEM part and likely save myself a great deal of grief.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    If the mechanic didn't find a leak, has your son been losing coolant since then?

    As far as keeping up the Intrigue going, a lot of it has to do with educating yourself to the issues with this car and not being afraid to try to fix things yourself. I'm hardly a shadetree mechanic but I changed the ignitions switch about 3 months ago. Paid $100 for the part. would have costed about $400 at mechanic. The Intrigue is a nice vehicle but it does have 7 or 8 things that are almost guarenteed to go wrong during the life of the vehicle.

    The thing that has really helped me is joining online forums like this where you have folks who are willing to share their knowledge.
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