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Oldsmobile Forum: 1999 intrigue test drive?
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Old July 3rd, 2018
dano8710 dano8710 is offline
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1999 intrigue test drive?

Hello peeps..... I have found a '99 Intrigue down here in FL, that I can drive off the lot for $2500. It has only 43K miles on it, silver /grey int..... really nice shape...3.8L engine. Just wondering what I should watch out for during test drive...?
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Old July 4th, 2018
C&C C&C is offline
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I would check out the front suspension tie-rod ends (both of mine got loose on my 2000). I would check to make sure everything is working and do (or at least make sure) that it has had its fluid changes (oil, tranny fluid and antifreeze). My '00 Intrigue served me (and my daughter) well (before trading it, I think at around 140,000 miles). Good luck.
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Old July 6th, 2018
wolfvan88 wolfvan88 is offline
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Do you have an OBDCII scanner to monitor engine while driving? If you are not mechanical minded take to a friend that is or a trusted shop to check car out?

The big issue with the 3.8L engine is the plastic gaskets used in the original engine for the upper and lower intake manifolds. They break down with the heat and leak coolant into the engine usually destroying the engine.

I would do this repair ASAP if you decide to buy the engine.

Replace the upper unit with new, remove lower intake and replace with aluminum gaskets. If this will be your only car to get around, you can do what I did, Buy a lower intake from a salvage yard from a series 3 3.8l engine, clean that up and get all the gaskets and parts you need and have it ready so you can do it over a long weekend. Also visit the salvage yards and collect nuts bolts screws ETC from 3.8l engines so if you have any unusable item, you have a back up.

Don't let the engine design flaw scare you from the car, the engine can go 200K to 300K miles once these major issues are dealt with.

I have a 99 and put a lot of money restoring it and getting parts to turn my GX into a GLS.

Look under oil cap for the peanut butter oil and coolant residue indicating the upper or lower Intake manifolds are leaking coolant. Check to see coolant change schedule. Check for leaks on engine. (dealer cleaned can mask leak issues look for stains, hose swelling at ends or other areas.

Check around where the throttle body connects to the planum and see if there are any coolant leaks or stains of one.

Accelerate then hit brakes, firm until you stop, listen for a clunking sound right at the end of the stop. (I had bad engine and transmission mounts, that reduced the clucking, but did not eliminate it, what did the trick was the from torque struts the part that bolted to the body not the engine side.

Check from lower control arms for cracking, ball joint play, looseness in wheel when you shake it, pulling to one side while driving
Check in over flow container to see if it is clean or contaminated.
Check under car for rust.
Look in fuel fill door to see if the fill inlet is rusting, check it under the car.

Look up under car behind area of filler pipe and see if rust is forming on body panel (common area for rust throughs)

Check that ABS is working OK. Drive over a good bump and see if ABS activates (sign of an issue with wiring or Hubs.)

Do some tight turns in parking lot with full turns looking for issues, usually it will turn right easy and when going back left, it starts to get stiffer or has drag if it is having issues. This also check the cv joints. Listen for noise in steering column while turning (some complaints about it, tech bulletin was issued to add more grease to the column for noise)

Check that the front valve cover is the black one not gray. The engine cover with the '3800 series II' cover is removed (fire hazard, part of recall) This is part of recall on the 99 3.8s. Check that the key has the big plastic covering end of key again part of recall.

Check the bracket where the alternator sits and see if it has the plastic elbow or the aluminum ones (if plastic change to aluminum ASAP, the plastic starts to break down and crumble and leaks and can cause the engine to over heat if you are driving and it lets go dumping coolant out)

Driving: let it idle and see if it temps go above the mid line.

A few random thoughts late at night...
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