Troubleshooting the BMW N20 Valvetronic 135401 DME Trouble: A Solution Guide


The BMW N20 Valvetronic engine is known for its performance and efficiency. However, like any other vehicle, it can encounter issues that need immediate attention. One common problem that BMW N20 owners face is the Valvetronic error, which triggers the engine warning light, causes power drops, and displays the error message “Transmission system failure” on the dashboard. In this article, we will explore the causes of this error and provide a comprehensive solution to resolve it.

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Understanding the Trouble Codes:

To effectively troubleshoot the BMW N20 Valvetronic error, it is vital to comprehend the associated trouble codes. Here are the most commonly encountered trouble codes:

1. Fault Code: 135401
Fault Explanation: Valvetronic: overloaded amplifier

2. Fault Code: 1F0904
Internal activating Valvetronic malfunction.

3. Fault Code: 133202
Valvetronic servomotor, activation: short circuit to ground

4. Fault Code: 133011
Valvetronic supply voltage malfunction.

5. Fault Code: 135608
Valvetronic: No movement identified stored in the Digital Motor Electronics (DME)

The Solution:

Resolving the BMW N20 Valvetronic 135401 DME trouble requires a systematic approach. Here is a step-by-step solution guide:

1. Remove the ECU from the car:
To begin the troubleshooting process, the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) needs to be detached from the vehicle. This can be done by following the manufacturer’s instructions or seeking professional assistance.

2. Open the ECU cover and access the PCB:
Once the ECU is removed, carefully open the cover to gain access to the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Take caution not to damage any sensitive components during this process.

3. Replace the TLE7183F motor driver chip:
The TLE7183F motor driver chip is often the culprit behind the Valvetronic error. Replace this chip with a new one to ensure proper functioning of the Valvetronic system.

4. Replace the Valvetronic servomotor:
In some cases, a faulty Valvetronic servomotor may cause the error. Inspect the servomotor for any signs of damage or malfunction. If necessary, replace it with a new one to restore the Valvetronic system’s functionality.

5. Reassemble and test:
After replacing the motor driver chip and/or the servomotor, carefully reassemble the ECU and reinstall it in the vehicle. Start the engine and check if the Valvetronic error persists. If the error is resolved, the engine warning light should turn off, and the power should be restored.


The BMW N20 Valvetronic 135401 DME trouble can be a frustrating issue for owners. However, by understanding the associated trouble codes and following the solution guide mentioned above, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve this problem. Remember, if you are not confident in your abilities, it is always recommended to seek professional assistance to ensure a proper repair. With the Valvetronic error resolved, you can once again enjoy the smooth and powerful performance of your BMW N20.

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