Interesting Facts About Alpina You Probably Don’t Know – Common Problems – and PDF Manuals for Download…
Alpina is a German automobile manufacturing company that is involved in developing and selling high-performing versions of BMW cars. It all started in 1962 when Burkard Bovensiepen developed a Weber dual carburetor for BMW 1500 which was applauded by automotive press and even by the sales boss of BMW.
In 1964, the quality of Alpina products was certified by BMW and the BMW vehicles that had Alpina system fitted in them were awarded full factory guarantee. In early years, cars of Alpina performed well in racing and 1970 was the golden year for Alpina when it won the European Touring Car Championship.
In later years development continued and it was the year 1988 when company officially withdrew from racing because of capacity limitations and restrictions. The company then decided to start the new production line of BMW Alpina vehicles and the rest is history.
The processes of Alpina are integrated into BMW’s production line and because of this, German Ministry of Transport has accepted it as an automobile manufacturer in comparison to other performance specialists who turns the vehicle after its launch in market.
The cars built by Alpina are branded and registered as Alpina and not BMW. It doesn’t mean BMW’s support is restricted. You can always bring your Alpina at selected BMW dealerships and get it serviced. All the warranty related issues can also be dealt here.
In Dingolfing, Germany both Alpina B7 and BMW’s own 7-series are produced at the same assembly line. The twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine of Alpina’s B7 is assembled by hand at Alpina’s facility and then shipped to BMW for installation in the vehicle. The assembled vehicle is sent back to Alpina’s facility for finishing touches.
It’s not only the engine that differentiates Alpina vehicles from BMW’s cars, there are many other distinctive features that makes it a favorite. Alpina vehicles feature 20 spoke alloy wheels, metallic paint that is patented and expensive interior materials which exclusively enhances the interiors of car.
The interior parts are usually in the same pattern as the logo (blue and green pattern) such as stitching on leather or different fabrics used in the upholstery.
You will find that Alpina cars’ outside body is decorated in a thin, pinstriped style set in silver or gold. Inside the car, you will find a metal plate having the serial number of car and proving the heritage.
As compared to BMW’s in-house cars, the vehicles of Alpina emphasizes more on luxury and higher torque. The cars from Alpina have automatic transmission as compared to BMW’s cars which comes with manual or semi-automatic transmissions.
For example, the high-performance variant of BMW E-60 5-series, B5 focuses on high performance and how to accomplish it. As compared to BMW’s M5 which comes with a naturally aspirated and high reviving 5.0 L V10 engine, Alpina’s B5 comes fitted with a supercharged 4.4 L V8 engine which produces same horsepower and greater torque at low rpm.
Alpina has till date turned many BMW cars into a new and better version and many are yet to come.
Common Alpina Problems
Apart from some minor issues, certain models of cars face specific issues or failures. If you are aware of these issues, you can track them regularly for any kind of problem. Some of the common Alpina problems you should look for are mentioned here.
- Compressor: The compressor problems are experienced in Alpina B7 models (make: 2007-08). After 50,000 to 60,000 miles, in some cars if the radial compressor/supercharger clutch is being replaced, then there are chances that wheel-shaft bearing may go bad and the compressor wheel and shaft may get damaged.
- Water Pump: One of the most common problem that Alpina car owners face is with the water pump. You may get the indication of a replacement when the coolant starts leaking or the pump becomes noisy. The damage may cause overheating of engine. There might be other causes also of a failed water pump such as failing radiator, head gasket or thermostat. If water pump remains unreplaced/unrepaired, the ultimate loss suffered might be a failed motor.
- Oil Pump: There are some makes which faces the failure of engine’s oil pump. There are some Alpina’s which have experienced oil pump failure and there are also many Alpina’s which never face an issue with oil pumps. In case of oil pump failure, the computer places the engine in the reduced power mode. It is a way of protecting engine and despite being oil in engine, the engine will not start.
- Wastegate Issues: Wastegate rattles are a result of extreme movements between the wastegate seat and wastegate. If untreated, these issues worsen with normal driving and especially in the cases of harsh driving. This was a major problem faced in the Alpina B7 models of 2013 – 2015. The following symptoms will confirm the wastegate issues:
- Rattling while deceleration
- Rattling at cold start
- Loss of power
- OBD trouble code P30FF (manufacturer specific)
- Engine light illumination
- Engine performance – very poorThe temporary solution is adjusting the wastegate actuator, but the problem will return in future. If the adjustment does not give the result, turbocharger should be replaced.
- Gearbox: The 2000 model Alpina B3 may face certain problems in the gearbox. After covering several thousand miles, the car may judder from the rear end when in 4th The gearbox ECU may be the root cause of problem in such cases and if it needs a replacement, it’s going to be very costly. So, get your car properly checked by the specialist.
Although, Alpina is created with lot of efforts and it’s expected that owners have very few complaints. If the repairs related to accidents are kept aside, then there are very few Alpina cars that go regularly for repair or maintenance issues. The above discussed issues do not occur in new vehicles.
After covering several thousand miles, some makes may go through these problems. If owner take note of all these issues and regularly checks the vehicle, then a lot of problems can be avoided.
Purpose of this is to catalog and include one of most comprehensive, useful and accessible “automotive repair PDF manual” database on the web for all Alpina models.
It’s your go-to source for learning all about Alpina – when you can’t find it elsewhere.
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