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      01-07-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
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Drives: 2010 325i M Sports Innovation
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Perth Western Australia

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Originally Posted by bmwaddiction View Post
Has anyone else got the BMW Alpine Hi-Fi upgrade for their e90? It seems that I have an ongoing issue with it since it was installed in mid-2010.

The upgrade was installed by Rolfe Classic in Canberra and worked perfectly fine for over a year. I was very happy with the quality of the sound etc...

However, over time the system started 'clipping' or cutting out, particularly in the heat. It seemed that the problem got worse over time. Initially it would happen maybe 1-2 times a month, and then it would start increasing in frequency to 1-2 times a week, and so forth.

In the end it was simply unusable as it would cut out every 1-2 minutes for a period of a second or two and then come back on. The problem also seemed to occur one the amp was warmed up after 10-20 minutes of driving with music on.

Figuring that it was out of warranty I bit the bullet and purchased a new amp from at the start of 2012. It seemed to fix the issue and the stereo system worked fine until the end of the year. However, by October as the temperatures increased the 'clipping' / cutting out issue re-emerged.

I approached Rolfe BMW to see if they would warranty their part since it was a genuine BMW part. However, they stated that the part would not be covered under BMW warranty since it was not purchased from BMW dealer.

So once again - lesson learnt. I bit the bullet and purchased a replacement amp from the dealer at nearly $500 figuring that it would be covered under warranty and prevent any further issues. Now - barely a month later the problem has re-appeared.

I spoke to Service Advisor and he stated that they will charge $190 minimum diagnostic fee just to have a look at the issue. I said that I was not happy with that since the system was installed by the dealer and I just purchased a replacement amp from them. He said he will speak to BMW Warranty people and get back to me to let me know if the charges will apply or not.

I have a few questions:

1. Has anyone else experienced the cutting out / clipping issue?
2. Is it likely that three amplifiers would be faulty or is something else causing the issue?
3. If the amplifier is not at fault why does the issue go away after a new one is installed?
4. Why does the problem seem to be much worse in the heat?
5. Should BMW use a bit of good will to sort out this issue?


Sorry to hear about your problem. I too have the Alpine upgrade in my 2010 E90 which I purchased from Schmiedmann and had installed by the local Stealer. I haven't experienced these problems and we get hot over here in Perth.

Just an observation: BMW warrants their products globally for 24 months irrespective of where you purchased it from. I recommend you download their parts/accessories booklet off the Aussie website and you will see it clearly states that point it out to the Stealer. A challenge arises if the problem is a result of an install not done by an authorised BMW outlet but, as yours was, it would be covered by the 24 month warranty. I investigated this with BMW Australia prior to purchasing the item from Schmiedmann and was directed to the warranty booklet - was just advised to have it installed by local Stealer.

I hope that helps and best of luck of tracking down the problem with your unit.