The BMW 528i sedan enjoys the same attention to detail and quality that BMW provides to all of its vehicles, but it still does encounter a couple of problems every now and then. That said, here are some common problems 528i owners often encounter with their sedan.
The valve covers of the 528i tend to leak around the inner and outer gaskets. A leaking outer gasket often leaves a visible trail of oil on the head, while leaks from the inner gasket aren't normally seen until the covers are removed from the engine as the oil usually accumulates in one of the spark plug wells. Once enough oil seeps into the plug well, the plug may short out and cause engine misfires.
Another common issue with 528i is with the engine thermostat. The thermostat tends to stick open or shut, resulting in either the failure of the engine to achieve full operating temperature or overheating.
Other engine problems with the 528i also involve the PCV valve and the vacuum plate. The PCV valves on the 5 Series have the highest failure rates compared to other BMW models, leading to rough idling and activation of the
Check Engine light. The diaphragm of vacuum plate, on the other hand, also has a high failure rate, leading to rough idling and whistling noises.
A common problem for 528i model years 1997-2000 is the simultaneous failure of multiple power steering hoses, leading to stiffer steering. This is often due to fluid leaks developing from one or more power steering hoses and damaged or worn-out rack and pinion.
The tension strut bushings at the front end of the 528i have been known to fail on occasion. These oil-filled rubber bushings weaken and crack over time, leading to a
mushy road feel as well as shuddering in the steering wheel and rattling noises under the engine when going over bumps.
The water pump and thermostat in 528i sedans, particularly for model years 1995 to 2000, are common failure points. The electronically controlled thermostat is prone to malfunction. It tends to trigger the
Check Engine warning light. There have also been cases wherein the thermostat shorted out internally and melted a section of the engine wiring harness.
The display in the instrument panel is prone to dropping pixels, making it difficult to read out. In addition, when the brake light bulb fails, the dash display in some of 528i models show it as one of the corner lights.