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Oldsmobile Forum: 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue RPM goes to 500, stalls close to work
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  #1  
Old September 10th, 2018
01OldsIntrigueOwner 01OldsIntrigueOwner is offline
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2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue RPM goes to 500, stalls close to work

Reasons why I hate Mondays. I was on my way to work in bumper-bumper traffic on the freeway, and about 1/4 the way to work, my car was idling at 500 RPM, which isn't normal, as it should be 750 RPM. As soon as I got off of the service ramp to get to the office, I was driving in the left lane, and as soon as I was going 45-50MPH, the RPM gauge went from 2,500 RPM to 0 (stalled). I turned the hazard lights on, moved into the turn around lane, stopped, put it in park, and started the car. Thankfully, it started right up and the RPM idle was back at 750 RPM. I also noticed the car was jerking when I hit the accelerator and when I let go of it.

When I parked my car at work, I checked the oil, transmission, and coolant levels and they were nominal, as well as the engine temperature. Would it be the rainy weather that's causing it, or a bad sensor/spark plug?

The engine is a 3.5L LX5 V6 DOHC MFI FWD that has over 116,300 miles on it, original motor, as well as the transmission.

I'll post updates on here later on.

Edit (09/25/18): replaced the O2 sensor, spark plugs, flushed and fixed the cooling system, including replacing the thermostat (now has heat. YAY!), patched the exhaust system temporarily, and it's still stalling. 2 years ago, when I got my battery and alternator tested, they said my battery was OK, but, the alternator was at 52% and I now know what the underlying issue is: the alternator is putting too much load on the engine causing the engine to stress out and stall (that, and coolant got in there when my dad and I replaced the thermostat). It's not the fuel pump and if it was, the car wouldn't start at all (fuel pump primes when turning the key). All I have to do is replace the alternator and the battery as they both need to be replaced (will get the diagnostics done on the weekend). At least the car still starts the first try after it stalled and the head gaskets are still good. Getting closer.

Last edited by 01OldsIntrigueOwner; September 25th, 2018 at 11:48 PM.
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Old September 11th, 2018
Cutlass350 Cutlass350 is offline
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You need to check for stored codes.

Other than that, you'd need something like the Torque app to do live data recording.
Even then, vacuum leaks can be impossible to find without doing smoke, water, carb-cleaner tests on various surfaces. Even then, a vacuum leak may not be found or seen.

Clean the MAF. I've had off/on issues with mine reading nicely. I tried other new (non-OEM) MAFs, and they all were POS.

Otherwise, nothing that I can think of off-hand that is a common failure on an older LX5 that would cause that. Yea, fuel injectors, coils, and ignition modules go. But, in general, those are part of what I call the "90%-95%" awesomely designed/done parts.
It's that other 5-10% of POS cr*p cheap *ss parts that often screws people.

Good luck!
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Old September 11th, 2018
Cutlass350 Cutlass350 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01OldsIntrigueOwner View Post
The engine is a 3.5L LX5 V6 DOHC MFI FWD that has over 116,300 miles on it, original motor, as well as the transmission.
Iirc, I'm at ~193K miles.
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Old September 11th, 2018
01OldsIntrigueOwner 01OldsIntrigueOwner is offline
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The car didn't do that again today and it was idling without issues and drove smoothly. I also put gas in it last night just to be safe as well. Maybe it's time for a new engine air filter. I cleaned the MAF sensor 4 years ago, and I believe I should replace that just in case. I also replaced the IAC valve and PCV valve 4 years ago since they were clogged or not working properly.

My gas mileage right now is about 18.7MPG (1.3MPG less than the specs since my plugs need to be replaced) and I removed the heavy load out of my back of the car (back seats and trunk), and kept the spare tire, jacks, lug wrench, and spare fluids (coolant, motor oil, and steering fluid in the pocket behind the front passenger seat).

Also, no codes as the engine light was off, except for the ABS, Trac off, and Service Vehicle Soon lights.
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Old September 11th, 2018
Cutlass350 Cutlass350 is offline
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Fwiw, if/when the head gasket goes, that is NOT a symptom at all.

The only other thing I could think of is to check the grounds and the connection of the grond wire from the battery to the engine block (in back, above the starter).

Also, there's a common ground point, on the driver's side, near the front, where the engine bolts to the tranny. That may be harder to see. But, on my car, that loom was disintegrated, and one of the wires that went to that common ground point was breaking off from the eyelet.

Otherwise, imho, even with one bad cylinder, I wouldn't expect that behavior.
I have a (likely) china-clone Tech-II scanner. So, I can shut off cylinders in test mode. I've done that a few times, while hunting down stuff.

Fwiw, in general, GM did a very good job with ignition modules. Yea, anything can fail. But, imho, GM's ignition modules likely have a much lower failure rates than other manufactures. At least in the era of our cars.

Yea, GM offset great ignition modules by cheap POS wire looms, cheap brake lines, poor rust protection, etc.
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Old September 13th, 2018
01OldsIntrigueOwner 01OldsIntrigueOwner is offline
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Well, it did it again on my way home, not even 1 mile away from the office. I made sure the battery terminals were nice and tight. The ground wire that's in front held in by a bolt or screw is really rusty (I should replace that) and the wiring to the relay box has a couple of small spots that has corrosion. On Saturday, I'm going to look and see what the issue is, check for any breaks in the wiring, and go from there. Still no engine light or battery light that's on. I might get the battery and alternator tested again to eliminate the possible issues.

Thanks for helping.

Edit (09/14/2018): Did it again on my way to work. I checked the oil level and it didn't show anything (maybe a small drop) on the dipstick. Also, the oil level sensor isn't sending a signal saying low oil (maybe this is the culprit), and I added 1 quart of oil and the dipstick now shows there's oil in there.

Last edited by 01OldsIntrigueOwner; September 14th, 2018 at 09:04 AM.
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Old September 14th, 2018
sparcx sparcx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01OldsIntrigueOwner View Post
Edit (09/14/2018): Did it again on my way to work. I checked the oil level and it didn't show anything (maybe a small drop) on the dipstick. Also, the oil level sensor isn't sending a signal saying low oil (maybe this is the culprit), and I added 1 quart of oil and the dipstick now shows there's oil in there.
I think it would only show low oil for a catastrophic loss. Not a half quart or 1 quart low.

it's been a while since i read the manual though so i could be wrong, but i've never seen a low oil light in 18 years (and both of my valve cover gaskets leak and I top up regularly). Either way, I would never trust that light and only depend on manual checks of the dipstick.

Last edited by sparcx; September 14th, 2018 at 03:48 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2018
01OldsIntrigueOwner 01OldsIntrigueOwner is offline
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My dipstick says it's full now (thankfully). Sometimes my car loses oil and I have to add that every month, and I think the seal for the oil level sensor is destroyed. I also noticed the oil pressure light turn on for a split second (could indicate the oil pressure sensor might be another cause, too). On Saturday, I'm going to take it to the repair shop for diagnostics and see what the issue is.

Edit (09/16/2018): my friend and I took a trip to Autozone and I purchased new spark plugs, boot protection (the boots are still good), spark plug gap setting tool, carb cleaner (for my lawn mower and leaf blower), and a throttle position sensor. We then installed the new spark plugs since the old ones wore out, and the car does run. I'm going to get more diagnostics done tomorrow after work and see what the underlying issue is and fix it (possibly the TPS is out, and I checked the MAF Sensor, plus the air filter and they looked OK to me). I'll post an update tomorrow and let you know what the issue is and if it's fixed, and get the power steering to not leak anymore (it's leaking again). Thank you all for your help and advice.

Edit (09/20/2018): nothing yet (no codes), so, I'll wait until Friday night and see what the issue is. Another issue my car might have is a dirty fuel filter and I'll get the power steering evaluated on my car as it still leaks.

Last edited by 01OldsIntrigueOwner; September 20th, 2018 at 04:11 PM.
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Old September 21st, 2018
01OldsIntrigueOwner 01OldsIntrigueOwner is offline
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Status of the car: The heat Oxygen Sensor (second sensor) is on its last legs. My friend and I are going to replace the sensors at the Catalytic converter and exhaust manifold, later on, it'll be the right-front wheel bearing since the ABS is at fault on there, and getting the power steering pump replaced again. I also discovered the heater isn't working in my car and the temperature gauge spikes up and down (O2 sensor at fault and I'm going to fill the coolant up).
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Old September 23rd, 2018
01OldsIntrigueOwner 01OldsIntrigueOwner is offline
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Status update: replaced the O2 sensor that's after the catalytic converter and it runs better, and it didn't give me a hard time when I started it when the engine was warm. Now comes the bad part: the exhaust assembly that connects to the catalytic converter split in two (the ends are still there) and my exhaust is now loud, and the car is overheating for some reason, no heat, but, no leaks at all (coolant levels are perfect).

I purchased the linkage for the exhaust assembly to do a temporary fix until I get new exhaust parts since my muffler and the resonator have holes or splits on them either at the top or on the side, and I also bought 3 gallons of Dex-cool, a new thermostat, and a drip catch pan to flush out the cooling system.

Edit (09/24/18): my dad and I replaced the thermometer and it still overheats, but, the heater is starting to work, but, not very well. There aren't any leaks and the coolant level is normal. Going to get it flushed tomorrow.

Last edited by 01OldsIntrigueOwner; September 25th, 2018 at 12:05 AM.
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