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2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue Engine noise

Hi all,

Year: 2002
Make: Oldsmobile
Model: Intrigue
Engine Size: 3.5L V6
Transmission Type: Auto
Mileage: 135000 miles

I am hearing this noise that sounds like drilling into cement but doesn’t sound as loud coming from my engine. Not sure if this is related but the check engine light comes on after I start the engine.

A video of this can be seen here:

Anyone know might be causing this noise?

Thanks in advance.

Wow, that sound BAD! The first place I’d look is an 1) idler pulley or 2) an alternator bearing, 3) water pump or maybe 4) a power steering pump… It sounds like it is about ready to grenade! I think that is the ringing-rattle you hear. If there is power steering fluid or coolant spraying about THAT’s a hint!

So why is the check engine light on? Have you pulled the OBD codes? What Are they? That’s the first thing to do.

Next, remove the serpentine belt and turn all the pulleys, except the one on the crankshaft, of course, and feel the pulleys for roughness. If it isn’t obvious, start the engine, only for less than a minute since the water pump isn’t turning - Is the rattle still there?

If so, uh-oh, that’s likely the timing chain tensioners failing. That’s a big job. The entire front of the engine needs to be torn down to replace all the parts.

Post back with the OBD 2 codes, please.

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The Check Engine Light might not be related to that noise, but without any of us knowing the exact diagnostic code that has been stored by the vehicle’s OBD system, nobody can tell you why the CEL is lit-up. If you go to Auto Zone, or Advance Auto Parts, or O’Reilly, or (possibly) NAPA, they can determine the exact diagnostic code(s). Then, you can return to this thread to post the code(s). The format will be something like “P0123”.

As to the noise, I think that it could be the sound of a timing chain that is becoming loose–and that can be problematic. Once the noise of a loose timing chain appears, it could be days, weeks, or perhaps even months before the engine “jumps timing”, but the trick is to avoid that situation. A visit to a competent mechanic (that means NOT going to Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, Pep Boys, or–God forbid–AAMCO) is what you need to do. Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers for recommended independent mechanic’s shops in your area.

I am assuming that the CEL is steadily lit-up, rather than flashing/blinking. If it is flashing/blinking, you need to have the vehicle towed to the mechanic’s shop, lest you cause severe damage.


It sounds like the engine needs a new timing chain set.


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I was not able to retrieve the OBD code(s) because I had mistakenly cleared it with my OBD scanner. The CEL is not lit up anymore after I start my engine.

I have also noticed that the sound is gone. I’ve been driving the car for a few days now. Should I still be concerned?

Video -

Thank you for the help.

I would just drive on, you now have an idea of the sound should it return.

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Not discounting the ideas above, but here’s another one. I’ve experienced a sort of grinding on cement, rubbing shoes on dirt, sound that comes and goes before on my truck. Turned out to be caused by a failing water pump.

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The check engine light came on again. The OBD code is P0410.

From a website:

Secondary Air Injection System Malfunction. Read through the reasons as well as the TSP listed. Unlikely frozen water unless you are in the southern hemisphere.

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