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Oldsmobile Intrigue Coolant System Problems



  • Help, I'm trying to replace the water pump and there is a bolt behind the power steering pully, I got a 98 olds intrigue 3.8L engine. Anyone can tell me the steps I need to remove the pump(s)?
  • Does anyone happen to have the part number for the 3.5L water pump?
    Mine just started leaking in a BIG way.

    Also, are there any gaskets that need to be replaced when replacing the water pump?

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Check or

    both websites sell parts cheaper than the dealer. Each has an easy to search database to view the parts. I would check first.
  • I wanted to post the part number and such from GM Parts Direct.

    19168613 water pump kit (with gasket)

    The total cost was about $95, though I had to pay a NC state sales tax. GM Parts Direct offers low prices but then gets you on the shipping. They are located near my house, so why are they charging me $15 to ship this thing!? Oh well, still a heck of a lot cheaper than getting it from a stealership. :)
  • 12458115 gm # and of coarse there is a gasket and be aware that some bolts are longer than others.

    13 bolts and 5 are long. I think.

    water pump bolts to 124 inch lbs.

    idler pulley bolt to 37 ft. lbs.

    water pump pulley bolts to 106 inch lbs.

    Added: old # has been has been replaced by a new part number
  • This ended up not being too bad of a job.
    Drain the reservoir coolant and then remove the reservoir by (a) unscrewing the two bolts at the top of the shock mount, (b) disconnecting the hose near the thermostat, and (c) disconnecting the electrical sensor under the reservoir.

    Now put a half-inch ratchet on the tensioner pulley and crank that bad boy over to release tension on the accessory belt (easiest to remove the belt from the top pulley). Be sure to note how the belt runs across the pulleys. Took me 45 minutes to put this back on because I couldn't remember the order it was in (should have taken a picture!).
    You'll need to loosen the idler pulley and pull it out as far as you can (the bolt on mine was too long to completely remove it, but I only needed to get it out of the way) which will provide you enough space to remove some of the bolts on the water pump.
    It is also easiest if you remove the 4 screws holding the water pump pulley on, which will also give you access to bolts for the water pump.

    Now you just have to start taking the bolts off the water pump. There are a lot and you need to keep track in which holes the long bolts go and which ones have the shorter bolts.

    Once you remove all of the bolts and pull the water pump off, you'll need to clean the engine block of any stuck-on gasket from the old water pump. A razor blade is best, but a flat head screwdriver would suffice.
    Also, take a can of compressed air (like what you use to clean a computer keyboard) and blow out each of the bolt holes in case any gunk/debris fell in there upon removing the water pump.
    The instructions said to put a little bit of gasket sealant on the new water pump gasket, so I used some RTV sealant for high-temperatures. It's probably meant for exhaust applications, but 200 degrees is pretty hot too.
    I put some of the sealant on the new water pump, laid the new gasket on top, then put additional sealant on the new gasket (so the gasket now has sealant on both sides).
    I put the new water pump and gasket on and then started threading all of the bolts.
    Put the accessory belt back on, though now might be a good time to replace yours if necessary, and reinstall the coolant reservoir.
    Go ahead and add some distilled water and Dex-Cool coolant to the reservoir and start the car with the cap OFF of the reservoir. Let the car get up to temperature and add more water/coolant as necessary. This should allow the system to burp out any air.
    Finally, put the cap back on the reservoir and take it for a drive. Please note any low coolant lights on the instrument cluster or overheating. Since this is a closed system, it is probably important that the reservoir not be overfilled.
  • I have a 2000 olds intrigue with about 50000 miles on it.The thermostat gauge has been reading in the red, or very close to it, very frequently, although the coolant level is ok & the engine doesn't smell "hot". The gauge going up seems to be associated with a banging sound, which can also be felt, on the driver's side. The GM mechanic replaced the thermostat & bled the system, feeling that an air lock was causing the banging- the symptoms reappeared within 12 miles after leaving the garage. I haven't noticed that the performance of the car has been affected- that is, I still get 25-26 mpg. What is wrong? :confuse:
  • haguchaguc Posts: 2
    So... my car recently started to leak a little bit of water after it was turned off each night. I am pretty sure it is the water pump because it has 135k on it and hasn'te been changed and seems to be coming from that general area. I am going to look into it closer. Additionally, this winter when it has been very cold (less that 15 degrees) the temperature on the car has been getting too hot. After reading the posts in this thread I believe it is because it is the original thermostat with poor design and when I do rev the motor it cools back down as described by other posters. So.. I am looking to get the parts to do it myself, but saw some posters were pretty picky about where to get the parts from.

    I see the part numbers listed by others for the gmpartsdirect site for the water pump. I needed to get a water pump and the thermostat for my 01 with the 3.5, however, gmpartsdirect doesn't have the thermostat, they only have the water pump. rockauto has both of the parts, any suggestions on which one I should get as they have three different brands of thermostat (none listed as oem) and 7 water pumps (bosch listed as oem). It looks like the cheaper water pumps may just not come with the pulley, but that would come off the old pump anyway correct? Is the OEM truly the same as what I would get from the dealer or gmpartsdirect? Just want to make sure that the parts I get are going to work for me.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I'm wondering if your car is not signaling the fans to come on when the tempeature comes on. Have your mechanic check this.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Any of the aftermarket thermostats for the Intrigue should work fine. I believe they should be 180 degree. I haven't had to replace the water pump but all should have a warranty. I wouldn't buy the cheapest nor the most expensive. go for one of the pumps in the middle.
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    sorry there is only one thermostat you can buy and none of the after markets will do. Obviously you have not change one on this engine. The oem is the only way to go for this part. It is only 34 dollars through the dealership. Make sure you read the earlier posts for this coolant system. It is not the typical gm coolant system.
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    You have an air problem. Since you have a popping noise when the temp goes up. It needs to be fixed before you crack the head. If you use the manual shift 1 2 3 does the temp stay down. If you keep the rpms up by using the manual shift and the engine stays cooler then your pump might be bad or your system is not tight. See earlier post for more information about how to fix this that I have already wrote.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Actually mike251, I changed the thermostat MYSELF this fall. I can go into a long dissertation about the difficulty of opening radiator drain valve (simple lift and turn, no tools necessary after all) and block drain (never was able to get it open) but I don't want to bore anyone. i purchased my thermostat from Advance Auto Parts. I believe the brand was Stant (had to go online to check it). I don't know if that is the OEM brand or not. GM changed the design of the thermostat before the 2000 model year. My 2000 Intrigue had the re-design one on it and was built in early fall of 1999.
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    Well I guess your engine is built different then most of the 2000 intrigues. Thanks for not boring anybody.
  • haguchaguc Posts: 2
    Glad to see everyone agreeing :)

    So... Mike... would you say that I should not get any of them that are offered by I am not sure which brand was used factory, but the pictures of all three of them (thermostats) look identical and would assume that the thermostats would be teh same. (hoses included as well as solid case/thermostat piece). I love saving money when I can, but at the same time I dont' want to get a part that is going to not work properly either. Thanks in advance for the help.
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    Do they look like the one you are taking off? I got one from autozone and it was nothing like the one I took off. It was a standard gm thermostat. The one I took off was part of the aluminum casting and was like 3 to 4 inches long. If it looks the same maybe, but I wouldn't do it. Just look at the car forums and the problems people have had with this coolant system. Is it really worth the headache it could cause. The other thing you could do is call gm dealer and get the P/N and see if it crosses over to the ones you are looking at.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    The original owner purchased it in October 1999 which means it was built earlier that late summer/fall. Not unless there was a special 3.5 L engine, I think it is the same. If you know differently, please share. I'm always looking to learn.

    Looking at, all 3 of the thermostats are the same. I used the one from Stant. It's hard to see the ACDelco (which is the OEM) since it is more a sketching than a picture and it's at a different angle. Since mike251 and i are disagreeing, you can always call Rock Auto and ask them. I know of others from a different forum who have contacted Rock Auto about parts and have received excellent service. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can purchase it from a GM dealer.

    Good luck. If you need any other help with this project, please post.
  • ranita05ranita05 Posts: 1
    I have been trying to add antifreeze to my vehicle fruitlessly. I can't seem to get the little cap thing open. It looks like there's a screw on there. Help please!!??!!??
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    Is it your reservoir cap? If it is, mine came apart on me. The top part of the cap came off but there was still part of it stuck in the reservoir. Just take a flat blade screw driver and pry the piece out of there. Then stick the piece you pried off and stick it back in the cap. You can order a new one if you want to or you will probably have to pry it off each time you fill it.
  • olds409olds409 Posts: 22
    Hello Guys,This is another problem for my Intrigue. My over flow tank was broke,Fine. Replaced it, fond head were leaking,added some head/radiator sealant now it wont crank.WHTF? Please help :mad:
  • Hey Mike, I saw you help some other people in this forum with their overheating problems and was hoping you could possibly help me too. Well, I'm Andrew, owner of a 2000 Oldsmobile intrigue. Let me give you a quick background so you can have an idea of the situation. So at around 142k miles or so my car started overheating. I took it in the shop and they said I needed a coolant flush. It was quite obvious I did since there was lots of corrode inside the reservoir tank that somehow I didn't notice until it started overheating. So once I did that the overheating problem was pretty much gone. It would overheat when idle but some air bubbles that were left had eventually released out and problem was fixed. So a couple of months later it started overheating again. First guess was that since all the corrode had initially there, the leftover was causing the thermostat to stick. Strangely tho, eventually it stopped overheating. It would sporatically get hot from time to time but nothing ever that big. So one day I let my dad borrow it. Usually I'm only driving the car for rides that last less than 15 minutes. When my dad borrowed it he had to drive 45 minutes on it.
    So on the way to work he noticed it starting to get alittle hot. On the way back is when this whole ordeal had offically STARTED. It got pretty hot but with my dad thinking that the thermostat was just sticking kept driving it...and driving it... and driving it until it went past critical and eventually shut off by itself. This is where he really messed up. He did this TWO more times! I couldn't believe it...but anyway he managed to get home although everytime it would shut off there would be no coolant left and he'd have to refill it.
    So I take it in the shop figuring something small was wrong to find out they tell me I need to buy a new engine! They said the radiator was leaking, it probably needed new radiator hoses and either theres a cracked block or blown head gasket and that buying a new engine would be cheaper.
    Luckly, I had my friend that was a mechanic and would do it alot cheaper. So first he replaced the radiator. And then bought the gasket kit and replaced all of those. It still overheated. So they replaced the thermostat. STILL overheated. Then even replaced the water pump, STILL overheated. They then even put this radiator sealer stuff in there thinking that there was a small leak somewhere that couldnt be seen. This still didn't help. So I took it somewhere else. A note worth mentioning is that after I put the sealer in and it kept overheating I drove it for a couple weeks just from school and back which is about 10-15 minutes, babying it the whole time. It only got to critical about 3 times over that span and I shut it off as soon as it did unlike my dad who kept driving it still. But so once I took it to another mechanic they said after taking off the radiator hoses that discovered that they were EMPTY. Apparently the people who put in the thermostat never primed it, so that meant there was no water in the block to get hot, meaning the thermostat could never kick in. After doing this it STILL overheated. So then they knocked the engine and after seeing no water shoot out from the above the spark plugs they said that the head gasket was probably fine although my water in my reservior tank had a slight shine to it. OH, also worth mentioning is that in that span that I drove it for a couple weeks I would only use water since it kept losing water everytime I drove it. Like I would drive it for only 5 minutes or so and when I'd check the reservoir tank it'd be dry. So I figured what's the use of wasting gallons and gallons of coolant. Also what I havn't said is that I'd only overheat after driving it for about 10 to 15 minutes and strangely sometimes it'd get to 3/4th's and then drop back down to 1/2 suddenly. This is what made me believe there was a air bubble somewhere. But then the place I went to even bled out the system and STILL overheated. :( Also what was strange is that when I'd drive it, sometimes the water wouldn't go dry and would maintain it's level.

    But after all this, the last people I went to said that from process of elimination and after all that corrode in the beginning that there may be a clog in the block and that I should try flushing the radiator again and if that doesnt work i'll have to buy a new block. BUT then I talked to the first people who fixed it and they said that flushing it wouldn't help it since he had back flushed it with a water hose and that would have removed any clogs and that there must be a crack in the engine block. I disagree since when you use radiator flush its like a acid and should get alot more rust and stuff off then just normal water. Am i correct??

    So in conclusion I'm hoping that flushing it might actually help or that maybe the 2nd place I went to didnt bleed the bubble out right since they didnt use the y adaptor procedure like I had seen on here but then someone told me the bubble would have escaped already anyway.

    So can you or anyone else that reads this PLEASEEEEE, pleaseeee tell me what could be wrong with my car? Is the only possibility that I have a cracked block?? I've already spent a thousand fixing it and don't wanna have to spend another 1000-1500 on it :((( Any advice would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks

  • It sounds like you've repaced most everything related to the cooling system except the engine. You could try spraying a water hose into the engine system (do it from both the entry and exit ports just to ensure there isn't some kind of blockage. Also, did you replace the water pump with a GM piece or some other aftermarket piece? I've heard that some aftermarket pieces don't do a good job at spinning the water pump propller, or that the propeller is too small, thus the coolant isn't circulated quickly enough.

    If you're loosing coolant, then you have a leak somewhere. If you don't have coolant dripping from under your car, then I would guess you must be losing it in the engine.

    Also, if the car is overheating, you shouldn't drive it until the computer shuts it down. Turn it off much sooner than that. Also, you should probably change your oil if you let the engine run that hot (very high heat kills your oil). You could use that time to inspect your oil to see if you have any coolant leaking in there.
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    wow. That is amazing you went through way more crap than I did. I agree with the first guy if you have coolant leaking into your engine then it will show in the pistons or your oil should be getting full. Remember that this system takes pressure in its system at all times to keep the engine cool. Maybe your holding tank needs to replaced. It is also possible they did not bleed the system like I wrote down. You have to do it just as what is put in my notes otherwise it probably will not work right. The other thing is you can not get the pump or thermostat from autozone they will not work right. There is no bleeding port on the engine so it is very important to bleed the engine correctly. not true with bubble escaping. it will stay in there because air will stay at the highest point which the engine block is pretty much the highest point.
  • The guy that originally fixed it said he back flushed it with 15 pounds of pressure with the water hose, is that the same thing as what you said? "You could try spraying a water hose into the engine system (do it from both the entry and exit ports just to ensure there isn't some kind of blockage."

    The water pump was a OEM remanufactured water pump from O'Reily's. Their products always seems to be pretty good so I don't think that could be it. And well the strange thing is, is that i pulled the dipstick out and checked the oil and it looked fine, no milky look to it at all. But what should the oil look like and what would it look like if the high heat messed it up?
  • The holding tank? I've never heard of that term, what exactly is that?

    And hmmm I was thinking the same about the bleed procedure. I never saw them use the y-adaptor and all that so i'm gonna bring them the procedure on thursday and see it helps. Man I'm trying everything possible to not have to replace that damn block lol I appreciate the help though. You sure about the bubble escaping tho? Cause I've had two or three mechanics said any bubble would of escaped by now, maybe they were saying that based on other model of cars and the intrigue is just especially different so it cant just escape out?
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    Holding tank is just the reservoir for the coolant. Remove the upper coolant hose from engine. Open drain to radiator. Drain fluid out radiator. Connect the water hose to the y fitting. Turn the hose on and you should get a nice steady stream of water coming out with no bubbles out of the engine. Open the bleed valve on the radiator fill radiator with coolant and not the already mixed coolant. Then connect top radiator hose. Then bring reservoir level to full using the hose connected to the y fitting careful not go to fast. Take the hose off it will be under pressure so hurry to put the cap on it. Bleeding it properly should get rid of the problem. I had a shop bleed mine and before I got it home it was already overheating. You might want replace the reservoir it is only 100 dollars or cheaper. The system can not have any air leaks on the reservoir otherwise it tends to want to overheat. Bleeding it this way is pretty important there are no bleed valves on the engine and that makes it pretty impossible to get the air out of the block. This engine is one of a kind and they don't give you much support. Also be careful not to overheat the engine it is aluminum block and not cast iron like the rest of gm cars.
  • Ahhhhhh I see. I never knew the reservoir tank affected the coolant system. Is there any way you can test the reservoir tank to see if it's actually leaking any air out? And so which of these 3 solutions should I try first, putting in radiator flush to remove any clogs, bleeding the system for any air bubbles or replacing the tank?

    You've turned me pretty optimistic now, I think one of these might do it.
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    I really think you should try doing the bleeding first. It really sucks doing the bleeding process. If you stick to the instructions it should fix your problem. There is just no other way that works good. I found the instructions from some other car forum and others have used it and had no problems after they had changed all the parts like you did. I changed all my parts on the coolant system and bled it this way and it is going on 2 years now and no overheating problems. I do have to add coolant every once and a while. Don't know where it is going and don't really want to find out either. My car has 136,000 miles on it and I plan on driving it until it dies. Then I would really like put it in one of those crash derbies for all the pain I endured working on this car.
  • I noticed you had a 2001 intrigue. The procedure isnt gonna be any different for my 2000 will it? And is the "surge tank" the same as the reservior tank? And is the "peecock" the same as a drain plug? And where's the bleed valve on the radiator at exactly?

    And lets say for some reason the bleeding doesnt work, well i could try the radiator flush but then that would mean after doing that i would have to bleed it again right?
  • mike251mike251 Posts: 19
    I really don't think you need to use the flush stuff. Mine is a 2000 intrigue. Drain plug peecock same thing. Reservoir, surge tank same thing. The bleeder for the radiator is on the upper radiator corner near the battery. Bleed it by the instructions and then I would go from there. I had the same crap in my surge tank and never used any cleaning fluid to get rid of it.
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