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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-13-2008, 12:09 PM
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Exclamation Code P1638, Need Help.

So, code P1638 means I have a Throttle Valve Position Control; Throttle Stuck Temporarily.

Now to explain what brought about the code. I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to work on something that was not broken. I decided to clean my car's throttle body following the directions on the bottle (Berryman's Throttle Body Cleaner), and after I finished, the code appeared. It says in big bold letters, Safe for Sensors, so I used it. Well, I cleared the code, but now my revs are either slightly higher than normal or slightly lower than normal (which causes my car to stall, though not all the time). I'm thinking it could be the Throttle Position Sensor, but first I would like to hear what you guys think before I decide to clean the sensor further or replace it. Or could it be something else entirely. My car was operating perfectly before this code appeared. I want to add my car has 120k miles, maybe the cleaning harmed an already fragile sensor? Please help.
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2008, 12:33 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Well, I don't know what to say about the throttle sensor. Try MAF cleaner, maybe there's some residuu deposit?
What I know is: "If it ain't broken don't fix it".
A 100 year old wisdom phrase.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2008, 12:41 PM
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2008, 07:27 AM
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2008, 11:22 PM
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Ok, so it seems the problem is fixed. After a few more days and miles of driving, my revs have normalized. It doesn't stall anymore and the throttle response is slightly better, the gas pedal feels smoother, placebo? In any case, if you ever clean your throttle body and get this code, erase it with a code scanner and drive around for a few days, everything should return to normal eventually. Thanks for the tips guys.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2008, 04:13 AM
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Ok, so I have new developments. I had three things break down on my car in about a day, but only one really concerns me. I got the error codes P0491 and P0492 (Secondary Air Pump) and a rough idle about a week ago. It all started after I tried cleaning the throttle body. I cleaned the throttle body and within seconds I got error code P1638 (throttle valve position control; temporarily stuck). I reset the computer, my rpms started going up and down and finally after about a couple of days they stabilized. Moving on, I got error codes P0491, P0492 a few days later, most likely not related to P1638, but maybe it is. I checked the air pump and all looked well, put a new diverter valve, replaced vacuum hoses (3 of them), and took care of P1638 I presume (SES light has not returned). But now I have a rough idle (only on cold starts), rpm's stabilized around ~700 rpms and every now and then I get whitish-bluish smoke (a big puff) only on start-up. The funny thing is, while it's idling, if I blip the throttle the car will begin to idle normally, well at around ~700 rpms that is. I've looked up rough idle's and cold starts here and on bimmerforums; it seems to be a pretty common thing. Well, seeing as how I everything happened within a week, it has to be related to what I've written about right? I'm thinking Throttle Body Gastket and possibly EGR/CCV valve failure, especially after spraying with TB cleaner. I'm also thinking the Intake Manifold gaskets are shot. What about the TB, is there any sensors or something I could of damaged with the TB cleaner? Hum.


So what do you guys think it could be?
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Last edited by POof540i; 11-27-2008 at 08:32 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2008, 11:56 PM
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Not that anyone really cares, but I found my vacuum leak. It was coming from the CCV. Here is a photo of a partially mangled CCV:


And here was the problem. The diaphragm was torn!


So this really smoothed out my idle, but now I have a somewhat new SES code; P1639. Above I described what P1638 meant, P1639 is defined as TVPC: Throttle Stuck Permanently. I believe I now know what causes it; it happens when I move the throttle body butterfly manually. So now I need to find a fix for that. After a few minutes of driving my car it limps into Engine Failsafe Mode and becomes undriveable. Exhale. I wonder what it could be?
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2008, 12:09 AM
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2008, 07:44 PM
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Could anybody with a bentley manual help me with code P1639. What could be the probable causes. The only thing I've done to it is move the butterfly manually with my fingers in order to connect a vacuum hose inside the intake manifold.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2008, 11:47 AM
E39Convert E39Convert is offline
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I found something in the manual that might help. The throttle control valve (EDK) positions the throttle plate (butterfly) by a DC motor based on inputs from the pedal position sensor. The pedal position sensor (PWG) has two potentiometers: one for the main signal and one for a plausibility check. If there is a discrepancy the ECM calculates the mass air intake and then uses the potentiometer that closely matches the mass air intake. If mass air-intake is used this will be fail-safe mode. If it still can't calculated a plausible result, EDK is switched off and fuel injection cut-out is activated (engine will run extremely rough). You can clear the previous values with BMW service tester or equivalent scan tool and then reset by:
Switched ignition OFF for 10 seconds
Switched ignition ON. After 30 seconds, the EDK is activated indicating that the replacement unit is now adapted to the ME 7.2 system.

Maybe this would help.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2008, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E39Convert View Post
I found something in the manual that might help. The throttle control valve (EDK) positions the throttle plate (butterfly) by a DC motor based on inputs from the pedal position sensor. The pedal position sensor (PWG) has two potentiometers: one for the main signal and one for a plausibility check. If there is a discrepancy the ECM calculates the mass air intake and then uses the potentiometer that closely matches the mass air intake. If mass air-intake is used this will be fail-safe mode. If it still can't calculated a plausible result, EDK is switched off and fuel injection cut-out is activated (engine will run extremely rough). You can clear the previous values with BMW service tester or equivalent scan tool and then reset by:
Switched ignition OFF for 10 seconds
Switched ignition ON. After 30 seconds, the EDK is activated indicating that the replacement unit is now adapted to the ME 7.2 system.

Maybe this would help.
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I had to take it to an indy to get fixed as it's my daily driver. The shop gave me the procedure above to try over the phone and it didn't work, so I had my car towed to them and they tried to install new "adaptation codes". Turns out I damaged it by moving it with my hand when the car was off. Before I took it to them, I plugged in the code scanner one more time and I pulled 4 codes (all for a malfunctioning throttle body).

As you can see from that thread I didn't really get any help. Thanks a Million though.
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