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      04-12-2013, 09:42 AM   #45
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Great write up ... Thanks for taking the time to post this DIY write up

Hope it will make the Sticky list above
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      04-12-2013, 11:42 AM   #46
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Great thread.

I complained to BMWNA as this happened to me after my warranty went out. After about two weeks of stressful negotiating, the dealer gave me a goodwill price that was significantly better than the initial estimate. I have a feeling that we are going to see a lot more of these Throttle Actuator issues on higher mileage e9x V8s as time goes on. If anyone is looking to buy a used M3, it is best to look into whether this work has been done on the car they are considering.

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Originally Posted by aznboi319 View Post
Is there any way to know if these actuators are starting to go bad? What do these actuators really do (sorry I am pretty noob to how internals of an engine work)? I have near 60k miles on my car and my car idles like I need a minor valve adjustment. I probably should have checked these out prior to installing the supercharger.
Definitely have your engine checked out. My car threw the code and went into limp mode. Upon restarting the car, everything went away, so I drove like that for a few weeks. It eventually got to the point where it would take several off/ons to get limp mode to go away, which was just a massive pain in the ass. After visiting the dealer they told me what needed to be replaced, however, the car never ran like it had any issues.
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      04-12-2013, 02:01 PM   #47
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Great thread.

I complained to BMWNA as this happened to me after my warranty went out. After about two weeks of stressful negotiating, the dealer gave me a goodwill price that was significantly better than the initial estimate. I have a feeling that we are going to see a lot more of these Throttle Actuator issues on higher mileage e9x V8s as time goes on. If anyone is looking to buy a used M3, it is best to look into whether this work has been done on the car they are considering.



Definitely have your engine checked out. My car threw the code and went into limp mode. Upon restarting the car, everything went away, so I drove like that for a few weeks. It eventually got to the point where it would take several off/ons to get limp mode to go away, which was just a massive pain in the ass. After visiting the dealer they told me what needed to be replaced, however, the car never ran like it had any issues.
They gave you a price on the part or labor (or both?). Unfortunately, I don't think mileage has anything to do with this? Seen them fail way early on too. I'm not saying that this isn't an issue, but as long as I don't have to go through 1 throttle actuator a year, I'm kind of at peace with the S65 (for now).

As you can see, the DIY really isn't all that hard to do. Btw, when limp mode came on for me, it never went away and I read the codes as soon as I got home.
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      04-12-2013, 02:32 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by JC919 View Post
Great thread.

I complained to BMWNA as this happened to me after my warranty went out. After about two weeks of stressful negotiating, the dealer gave me a goodwill price that was significantly better than the initial estimate. I have a feeling that we are going to see a lot more of these Throttle Actuator issues on higher mileage e9x V8s as time goes on. If anyone is looking to buy a used M3, it is best to look into whether this work has been done on the car they are considering.



Definitely have your engine checked out. My car threw the code and went into limp mode. Upon restarting the car, everything went away, so I drove like that for a few weeks. It eventually got to the point where it would take several off/ons to get limp mode to go away, which was just a massive pain in the ass. After visiting the dealer they told me what needed to be replaced, however, the car never ran like it had any issues.
My experience was similar to yours, JC. Over the course of about a month last summer I would get a random CEL and limp mode on start up, which would clear with a restart. Eventually it got to be more and more frequent, but the car drove just fine when it wasn't in limp mode. Finally got sick of it and took it in to the dealer where they told me the throttle actuator needed to be replaced.

I was at 40K miles and about two months out of warranty. After some back and forth the dealer agreed to goodwill the part if I paid for the labor, however, they would not simply goodwill the part and let me take it home for a DIY. I went ahead and just let them do it since the labor cost was roughly the same as the part cost on that particular job.
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      04-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #49
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I am about to jump into this today (finally got some nice weather here in MI).

So, the only questions I have are about clearing the codes. First off - is the BT tool the only known-to-be-reliable way to clear the proprietary BMW codes, or is there something simpler/cheaper? The BT tool looks and sounds great, but I just want something quick for now.

Secondly, suppose I don't clear the codes right away. Will the car remain in limp mode, or will it realize that the actuator is replaced and attempt to allow the car to function normally? I will want the codes cleared out asap, but, unless I can just go buy a cheap ODBII scanner at Costco to do the job, its not going to be possible to do that today. And I'd really like to know by EOD if I have accomplished the repair successfully.

Thanks all.
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      04-15-2013, 11:09 AM   #50
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I am about to jump into this today (finally got some nice weather here in MI).

So, the only questions I have are about clearing the codes. First off - is the BT tool the only known-to-be-reliable way to clear the proprietary BMW codes, or is there something simpler/cheaper? The BT tool looks and sounds great, but I just want something quick for now.

Secondly, suppose I don't clear the codes right away. Will the car remain in limp mode, or will it realize that the actuator is replaced and attempt to allow the car to function normally? I will want the codes cleared out asap, but, unless I can just go buy a cheap ODBII scanner at Costco to do the job, its not going to be possible to do that today. And I'd really like to know by EOD if I have accomplished the repair successfully.

Thanks all.
I doubt the CEL would just clear itself to be honest. Maybe disconnect the battery and let it sit for a while, and hope it goes away? Another option would be to run to Advance and borrow their OB2. Might be worth trying these 2 things out before having to buy BT.
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      04-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #51
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I doubt the CEL would just clear itself to be honest. Maybe disconnect the battery and let it sit for a while, and hope it goes away? Another option would be to run to Advance and borrow their OB2. Might be worth trying these 2 things out before having to buy BT.
Thanks W///. Do you know if the diag tools at a shop live Advance will suffice to clear out BMW-specific codes? Just for reference invoice says codes are 2B22, 2B16, and 2B5C. Are those proprietary?

Although I am a software engineer, I admit to not knowing jack-sh*t about the many CUs in cars and related tech. I guess it is time to change all of that.
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      04-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #52
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Thanks W///. Do you know if the diag tools at a shop live Advance will suffice to clear out BMW-specific codes? Just for reference invoice says codes are 2B22, 2B16, and 2B5C. Are those proprietary?

Although I am a software engineer, I admit to not knowing jack-sh*t about the many CUs in cars and related tech. I guess it is time to change all of that.
Those look like BMW specific codes to me(I could be wrong). I had an OB2 handheld that read generic codes so the errors should show up regardless. The problem was, the CEL didn't go away after I restarted the car, so I have no idea if the generic OBD2 would work.

Might be worth popping over to Advance though, could save yourself $300 by not buying the BT tool, if it works. Good luck!
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      04-15-2013, 02:06 PM   #53
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W///, if you are online, how do I disconnect the ball joint from the actuator? Actually, its probably easier to disconnect the top one from the throttle bodies first. I have pried at it a bit to see if it will come relatively easily, but it seems pretty tight. I am nervous about bending the arm or the linkage.
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      04-15-2013, 02:11 PM   #54
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W///, if you are online, how do I disconnect the ball joint from the actuator? Actually, its probably easier to disconnect the top one from the throttle bodies first. I have pried at it a bit to see if it will come relatively easily, but it seems pretty tight. I am nervous about bending the arm or the linkage.
I used the trim removal tool if I remember correctly. Looks like the middle one.


PM'ing you #. You can reach me there for a quick answer in case you get stuck
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      04-15-2013, 10:56 PM   #55
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Success!

Thanks for all your help, W///. I got her all sewed back up earlier this evening. I fired her up and low and behold all systems go and limp mode gone. Codes still need to be cleared (CEL still on), but otherwise no issues.

I'd love to know what's up with these failing though. The old servo seems fine. I wonder if the sensor is just too sensitive. I mean what's so bad if the throttle linkage has a tiny bit more play than it did originally? I guess since its drive by wire with no backup they have it dialed in with very low tolerance to be safe. I did notice that the original part had "Siemens" stamped on it while the replacement doesn't. I wonder if they switched suppliers. Anyway, I am keeping the old one in case there's a fix later or a recall. It seems a shame to toss what is probably a 99% good part.
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      04-16-2013, 06:47 AM   #56
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Success!

Thanks for all your help, W///. I got her all sewed back up earlier this evening. I fired her up and low and behold all systems go and limp mode gone. Codes still need to be cleared (CEL still on), but otherwise no issues.

I'd love to know what's up with these failing though. The old servo seems fine. I wonder if the sensor is just too sensitive. I mean what's so bad if the throttle linkage has a tiny bit more play than it did originally? I guess since its drive by wire with no backup they have it dialed in with very low tolerance to be safe. I did notice that the original part had "Siemens" stamped on it while the replacement doesn't. I wonder if they switched suppliers. Anyway, I am keeping the old one in case there's a fix later or a recall. It seems a shame to toss what is probably a 99% good part.
Great to hear! Nice to see someone else try the DIY. Wasn't too bad right? Especially considering how much the stealership was going to charge you.

We can only hope for a recall but I wouldn't count on it. The E60 M5 guys have been having this problem for a while (longer than us anyway) and still no news. But maybe someone in the aftermarket scene will be able to refurbish these, so definitely not a bad idea to hold on to them. I actually took mine apart to look inside and just never put it back together.

P.S. Glad to hear limp mode fixes itself. That's big plus for people that need their car back quick.
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      04-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #57
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They gave you a price on the part or labor (or both?). Unfortunately, I don't think mileage has anything to do with this? Seen them fail way early on too. I'm not saying that this isn't an issue, but as long as I don't have to go through 1 throttle actuator a year, I'm kind of at peace with the S65 (for now).

As you can see, the DIY really isn't all that hard to do. Btw, when limp mode came on for me, it never went away and I read the codes as soon as I got home.
Sorry for not getting back sooner. I am paying for the labor and the dealer/BMWNA are eating the cost of the parts. I doubt they would have just given me the parts any way.

In the initial estimate, they also quoted me for a new DME if necessary. While I don't think that will be needed, I want the piece of mind that if it needs to happen BMWNA will give me a free DME under the 8 year/80k warranty for that part. Plus, they will do all the coding to ensure the issue is completely resolved.

Regarding mileage; I have heard of this happening in a couple e9x and e39 V8 motors not long after the car was initially delivered. However, its baffling to me how I can get 58k out of the car before I experience any problems. My e39 M5 has almost 53k on it and I really hope that I don't have this issue again, because I don't think I'll be able to negotiate any more goodwill deals until I buy a brand new BMW.

I drove my M3 for the first time in two weeks this morning when I took the car to the dealer to have this work done. When started it didn't throw up any CELs and drove an usual to the dealer. I shut the car off at the dealer, promptly started it back up and the various CELs went off.
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      04-16-2013, 10:44 AM   #58
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However, its baffling to me how I can get 58k out of the car before I experience any problems.
I didn't understand that part. What is baffling about it? It seems logical to me that parts will fail as they age and get more use. Granted these are failing earlier than one would hope and expect, but it certainly is not the first time we've seen this type of scenario.
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      04-16-2013, 03:10 PM   #59
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I didn't understand that part. What is baffling about it? It seems logical to me that parts will fail as they age and get more use. Granted these are failing earlier than one would hope and expect, but it certainly is not the first time we've seen this type of scenario.
My question is why have some throttle actuators failed on practically new cars and others on cars with considerable mileage? If it happens to a car that is very low mileage, that would probably mean a problem with the manufacturing of these throttle actuators, whereas the older ones could just wear out.

Either way, in my mind this is a design flaw with these BMW V8s and I am happy to at least not be paying for the parts because the quote I recieved for each bank was atrocious.
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      04-16-2013, 09:21 PM   #60
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Good news - CEL went off on its own when I started it up after work.
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      04-16-2013, 09:38 PM   #61
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Quote:
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My question is why have some throttle actuators failed on practically new cars and others on cars with considerable mileage?
Same reasons any other manufactured good might fail at varied points in its life - nothing is 100%.

Quote:
If it happens to a car that is very low mileage, that would probably mean a problem with the manufacturing of these throttle actuators, whereas the older ones could just wear out.
It could be due to mishandling prior to assembly as well. These are probably not very resistant to being banged up or dropped, despite the rather thick casing. And based on playing with my failed one vs. the replacement, it would be tough to tell from inspection when one is bad, or presumably also when one has an internal damage just waiting to knock it out of spec.

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Either way, in my mind this is a design flaw with these BMW V8s
The actuators are definitely failing prematurely, agree. The rest of the engine - at least the S65 - is very solid to my knowledge. Well, except those pesky rod bearing troubles (knock on wood).
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      04-16-2013, 11:15 PM   #62
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My question is why have some throttle actuators failed on practically new cars and others on cars with considerable mileage? If it happens to a car that is very low mileage, that would probably mean a problem with the manufacturing of these throttle actuators, whereas the older ones could just wear out.

Either way, in my mind this is a design flaw with these BMW V8s and I am happy to at least not be paying for the parts because the quote I recieved for each bank was atrocious.
Like I said earlier, it's definitely an annoying problem to get. But to me it's not enough to hate the S65. This is a problem that can be fixed with $800 and an afternoon. Unlike the VANOS tabs shearing off and potentially destroying an S54 for example.

And also, this is not just a V8 problem. The V10's use the same actuators and have had the same issues too.

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Good news - CEL went off on its own when I started it up after work.
Good to know. So I guess nothing needs to be reset at all then?

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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Same reasons any other manufactured good might fail at varied points in its life - nothing is 100%.



It could be due to mishandling prior to assembly as well. These are probably not very resistant to being banged up or dropped, despite the rather thick casing. And based on playing with my failed one vs. the replacement, it would be tough to tell from inspection when one is bad, or presumably also when one has an internal damage just waiting to knock it out of spec.



The actuators are definitely failing prematurely, agree. The rest of the engine - at least the S65 - is very solid to my knowledge. Well, except those pesky rod bearing troubles (knock on wood).
Personally, I doubt this has anything to do with the part being banged up prior to going in the engine. IMHO, there's a design flaw that we just don't understand yet. I think it has something to do with fatigue, whether it's mechanical or electrical, I don't know. And some cars wear faster than others.
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      04-17-2013, 06:01 AM   #63
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Guys, please do not assume that I am doubting the strength of this engine. I merely feel that BMW should cover the cost for these parts since they are a well known weakness among M derived engines. My initial estimate was along the lines of $3,800 and I ended up paying $800 for just the labor.

Hopefully this thread will serve to get the word out. BMWNA will cover the cost of these parts if you push them, however, the dealers being dealers will try to stick you for the max.

I could have DIY'd, but as I stated in a previous post, if in the slim chance that a new DME is needed, I want BMWNA and the dealer to eat that cost.
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      04-17-2013, 06:36 AM   #64
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Good to know. So I guess nothing needs to be reset at all then?
Based on my experiences (which I admit is a small sample space ), yes that appears to be the case. It immediately makes me wonder about the M5/M6/V10 crew. How many of them have done this swap in the garage I wonder? And have any of them been able to do it with no OBDII tools?

Quote:
Personally, I doubt this has anything to do with the part being banged up prior to going in the engine.
With that comment I was only referring to the cars that fail early. Yes, it could be that those just happen to fall victim to the flaw at a much earlier point. But again, this part is clearly high-precision/low-tolerance. It seems to me that it would be particularly susceptible to pre-installation damage. And it further seems to me that such damage could manifest itself as a shorter life span rather than immediate failure.

Quote:
IMHO, there's a design flaw that we just don't understand yet. I think it has something to do with fatigue, whether it's mechanical or electrical, I don't know. And some cars wear faster than others.
There is definitely a design flaw, I'd bet on that, and I'd also bet that it is mechanical. Although I am sure the OEM would defend that and point out that this is simply a very complex component that must be engineered to throw faults long before disastrous failure. And to some extent they'd have a point. I wonder if the race engines use this same part or if they have something simpler (they don't need cruise control, for example) and/or more durable? Or, do they have mechanical throttle linkage?
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      04-17-2013, 06:45 AM   #65
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Guys, please do not assume that I am doubting the strength of this engine.
Fair enough, and in return, don't assume that we were assuming that.

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I merely feel that BMW should cover the cost for these parts since they are a well known weakness among M derived engines.
I agree that BMW should cover the cost. In fact they should cover everything - parts and labor included. Unfortunately, BMW seems to have developed a bit of a reputation for being notoriously arrogant when it comes to admitting faults with their products. And yes, I understand that this boils down to their legal department and limiting liabilities.

Quote:
My initial estimate was along the lines of $3,800 and I ended up paying $800 for just the labor. Hopefully this thread will serve to get the word out. BMWNA will cover the cost of these parts if you push them, however, the dealers being dealers will try to stick you for the max.

I could have DIY'd, but as I stated in a previous post, if in the slim chance that a new DME is needed, I want BMWNA and the dealer to eat that cost.
It is a victory for you (and the other gentleman who posted earlier) that you got them to pay. I hope that in the future this becomes a more routine situation and they simply issue a TSB with extended warranty. For me, until that happens, knowing how poorly I handle diplomacy when I am not the one in the position of authority of having control over the situation, the easier route for me is to pay for the part and install it myself. It is definitely a good thing that we have other avenues to choose from though.
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      04-24-2013, 02:55 AM   #66
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Throttle Body can bus fault

Hi this is my story, I have a trouble with my throttle body. The actuator retail price is 1500$ and 4 hours for labor in Canada . Very expensif so I decide to buy a use one from england on ebay. My mechanician replace it and I have again the limp mode with the error can bus bank 1 throttle body.
I have this problem just when I start my M3, sometime I dont have this limp mode. This is an intermittent problem, but I am very tired. I take this 5 pictures from my cluster. I need some help. Could you tell me when you have problems with the throttle, do you have the same alarme on the cluster. Excuse my english, I'm french canadian.

So I have 5 check engine in my cluster when the limp mode come and my rpm cutt off a 3500. check the picture below.

Thanks a lot

Last edited by breakey12345; 04-24-2013 at 07:57 AM.
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