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1998 Olds Intrigue Steering wheel locked(Need help)

Hi,here’s the info,hope a few members can help me please:)

Engine 3.8 series II 160,000 KM


The Steering wheel won’t move, I can start and drive the car forward/reverse but the wheel won’t move right or left?? I was planning on scrapping the car in spring 2015 but need to move the car and don’t have a clue on fixing this issue.

The key cylinder is located in the dash and I don’t have any passlock II codes errors when trying to start the car, My power steering pump doesn’t squeal or is locked (not Burning belts) but the pump is empty.

I was thinking a seized rack & pinion but have never heard of that,I should still have manual steering I’m guessing still.

Here’s video attached showing what I’m talking about.

When I parked the car in august everything was fine

Hope I can get some help

thank you.

Fill the PS pump reservoir. If the rack is binding pumping fluid through it may free it up.

“My power steering pump doesn’t squeal or is locked (not Burning belts) but the pump is empty.”

Put power steering fluid in the system and see what happens. It may have all leaked out, and it might leak again, but if it stays long enough to move the car, you win, right?

Possibly, the steering wheel lock solenoid is stuck in the “lock” position.

insighful would you have a link to a diagram,wondering where the solenoid is located.

KG14 may be a Troll, with such a simple problem and no desire to at least fill the pump.
This is like asking if you should put the oil drain plug back in, before you pour in the fresh oil…or after.

Your pump may not be squealing but if it could, it would be screaming “Fill me up you Cheapskate”.
What is @KG14s reasoning behind leaving the pump dry. To save $3 in case you do scrap the car.

Fill it up and with the engine running work the wheel left to right until it begins to free up. you may even need to rev it a little as you do this.

Why scrap this car…it’s pretty low mileage for a 98.


I’m the troll and you come here attacking me with a real question,the car is almost 17 years old. It’s not worth keeping anymore.

I don’t see many people adding videos to help fix there car problems and writing everything out in detail.

Brakes $1500+any broken lines
E-test $400 max for repair
New tires $500
Tune up ???
E brake cable
A steering wheel that is now locked

Cars worth $1700-2000

Having a brand new car with warranty and that’s safe,yes sounds stupid.

I too suspect the steering wheel lock solenoid. The solenoid is in the steering column and inserts a locking pin into the steering column when deenergized to prevent theft.

Because the car has an airbag, I’d suggest trying to get a dealer parts guy to print an “exploded view” drawing of the mechanism installation as well as GM’s procedure for disabling the airbag. If you ask nicely, they’ll probably accommodate you (I’ve done this myself on occasion). The procedure for disabling the bag will probably be in a TSB format.

If you can get these things, just disable the bag, remove the locking mechanism, and the vehicle will steer. Adding fluid will definitely help greatly. Clearly tag the wheel as having a disabled airbag and locking mechanism so nobody tries to sell it like that. Wreak a little havoc on the wiring in the steering column before the scrap yard tow truck shows up, just to be sure nobody tries to drive it with the airbag disabled.

Sorry I insulted you, but don’t you think filling the pump may be the only problem.

If it’s not worth keeping any more just have it towed, or donate it!!!

I even listened to the video. Fill the PS pump!!!

Send me you address and I’ll donate the $3 for PS fluid.


I just took another look at the video. The steering wheel seems to turn quite a bit farther than a malfunctioning solenoid would allow it to. Look at the last couple of seconds.

I’m sticking with filling the reservoir with fluid.

I didn’t look at the video, but I trust your judgment.
Try the fluid. Whattaya got to lose?

That was my thoughts @My 2 cents. With the solenoid lock there would be only a couple degree movement either way and you would hear and feel it hit the lock.


Sorry about the bad video,I was using an Ipad and the zoom is awful nothing like a point and shoot filming.

I’m buying that thick lucas power steering fluid tomorrow…figure the normal stuff will just leak out.

I’ve already started taking apart the dash looking for the cable that connects from the ign switch to the solenoid. So I’m hoping the PS fluid will fix everything as it’s just sitting all winter unless I find someone offering more then $300 like the junk yard.

The video was fine…even though it lacked any dancing girls.

Do you have a leak that you didn’t mention in the original post or are you just assuming that.

I just fixed one l week ago that had a leaky return line from the pump. The pump was drained empty by the time it got to my shop. When I finished repairing it, the wheel was almost impossible to turn at first until I rev’ed the engine a bit and worked the wheel back and forth. Took one minute to get the steering working, ten minutes to replace the line, and $4 for the line.

I’m just saying it could be very simple and an easy fix.