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GMGreatWrench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Oldsmobile
Satisfied Customers: 2270
Experience:  25 yesrs working on cars 20 years ASE certified
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Why is my 99 Oldsmobile Intrigue stalling on me?

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I have a 99 Oldsmobile intrigue. I bought it used, and my problem is this - why does it keep stalling out on me. It does it at speed and at a stop. It seems to only do it once a week (or thereabouts). We have had the GM dealership here look at it, no problems on the computer that they could see. Replaced the Battery, fuel filter, and relays from the fuel filter to the engine. Now what??? Please Help!!!!!!

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Oldsmobile
Expert:  GMGreatWrench replied 6 years ago.

Issues like this can be hard to diagnose or even duplicate to diagnose it. These 3.8L engines are known for the mass air flow Sensor to cause issues like this. The mass air flow sensor (also called a MAF sensor) reads the amount of air coming into the engine and the computer uses that to determine the fuel mixture. If the sensor gets a little off, it can cause it to stall. Sometimes they will cause a code to set, but they have to act up for about 30 seconds to get the code to set. The mass air flow sensor is located on top of the throttle body. See picture below:
A couple of things you can do:

  • Replace the MAF sensor. Not the best thing to do. These sensors are not cheep and its just a guess
  • Drive it until it gets worse. Not the safest thing to do.
  • What I suggest to people sometimes is to unplug the sensor and drive it with the sensor unplugged. If it will not act up when it normally would have, then replace the sensor. If it acts up with the MAF sensor unplugged, look else where. Unplugging the sensor will set a code in the computer and will turn the service engine soon light on. Most auto part stores can read and clear codes for free.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So if it is the MAF, it would also explain why it is that the car would turn back on as if nothing were wrong, as it does in most cases? The last time this happened, though, it took a few minutes of turning the key for the engine to start again, and the lights that come on are the oil light, security light, and seatbelt light when this happens. I am really at my wit's end with this problem.
Thanks for the help!

Expert:  GMGreatWrench replied 6 years ago.
Yea, there is a couple of things that can cause this issue. The MAF is the most common. An electrical problem can cause this also and is VERY hard to pinpoint.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So in other words, it could also be a computer problem with the car. Is it just a mileage thing as well? it does have over 85000 miles on it. I'm sorry I am asking so many questions about this. I really want the problem to be fixed is all. That and I am on a very limited budget, so trying to ascertain what the problem is, is very important to me at this time.
Thank you again for your help!
Expert:  GMGreatWrench replied 6 years ago.
Try unplugging the MAF sensor and see if it stalls out again.

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