2002 3201 Throttle Body Replacement

Asked by Aug 06, 2010 at 11:57 AM about the 2002 BMW 3 Series 320i

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

A little over 2 years ago I changed the throttle body on my 2002 bmw 320i and took it in to the one service centre in my city which services imports to have them reset the engine adaptations.

- Approximately 1 month after this (the adaptations being re-set) the car went into limp mode. The fault codes which were showing were P1632, P1638 & P1639.

- I took the car back in to them and they said the throttle position control sensor needed to be replaced. I paid for the replacement and again about 1 week later the car went back into limp mode. I took it back in to the service centre and they could not locate the problem with their software and computer equipment. The same fault codes were appearing but they could not find the root of the problem. I took the car out and re-set the codes with my own OBDII code reader and it was fine for about 2 ½ years. Not one problem.

- About two months ago I took the car in to the same service centre for a tune-up where they once again re-set the engine adaptations. Now I’m facing the same issue with the car going into limp mode. The service centre is trying to sell me a new throttle body but it’s the same scenario with the same fault codes (P1632, P1638 & P1639).  To see if it was a problem with the original throttle body replacement from 2 years ago I had them replace it a second time, this time in their shop. Once again 1 week later the car went back into limp mode with the same fault codes appearing.

I’m trying to get to the root of this problem without having to spend 1grand a month on car repairs which do nothing. There were no issues with the car previous to first time the adaptations were re-set so I’m assuming this isn’t a problem with the original engine settings. My thoughts are that there is some error which is occurring with how they are re-setting the adaptations but really I am lost on this one. Your expertise and help with this matter would be greatly appreciated.

2 Answers


what service center are you taking it to? a dealer or a independant?the throttle can be readapted and if it was the problem the adaptation values wouldnt cause the faults to come back

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Had the same problem with my 2002 330xi, until I pointed out a high pitch whistle indicating a vacuum leak somewhere. The mechanic then heard it, found it, fixed it, and I went six months with no limp mode episodes. Last week I heard the whistle again, and this week experienced another limp mode.

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