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BMW 528i Headlight Assembly

Knowing What is Wrong with Your BMW 528i Headlight Assembly

Having a car doesn't only mean having to maintain the engine components, braking system, suspension system, exhaust system, etc. The headlight assembly is also very important because they provide visibility especially when driving at night. And according to the United States Traffic Department, 25 percent of all road accidents occur at night, posing a great risk for any automobile driver. It helps to familiarize yourself with, and know the reasons behind, the common problems you may encounter with your BMW 528i headlight assembly. This knowledge will help you lower your risk of meeting an accident.


Condensation inside the headlight assembly occurs with the intrusion of moisture. This happens when the seals in the bulb holes are not working properly or are completely worn out. Another possible cause is having cracks anywhere in the assembly. Both causes allow moisture to come in and fog up the lenses, thereby reducing nighttime visibility.


Over time, the sun's harmful UV rays can cause a buildup of loose oxygen electrons that are attracted to the surface of the lenses. You will not be able to prevent this entirely, since the headlamps are constantly always exposed to all kinds of environments and weather conditions. What you can do is to remove the oxidation from time to time for it not to cause you poor visibility when driving at night.

Besides the lenses, the contacts that join the headlight to the wiring harness can also become oxidized. And if you live near the ocean, there is even a higher probability of experiencing this.

Busted bulbs

There is big trouble if your BMW 528i headlight assembly doesn't produce even a flicker of light. If you experience this, you may have busted HID bulbs. Although they usually have an average useful life of 2,700 hours, age can come in and take its toll on the bulbs. Other reasons that cause busted bulbs include having a cracked or damaged lens that allows moisture to seep in and handling the bulb with bare hands. The oil from your fingerprints will eventually shatter the bulb.

Ballast malfunction

BMW's HID bulbs rely on ballasts, also called Xenon Control Units, to turn on. A common cause of ballast failure is having worn out seals that allow moisture to damage it. Another reason for this is having damaged wires between the ballast and the HID bulb, resulting in insufficient current.

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  • Simple Maintenance Tips to Keep your BMW 528i Headlight Assembly Bright and Shiny

    Your vehicle's headlight assembly plays a big role in your safety on the road especially at night and during extreme weather conditions. Here are a few tips you may find useful in keeping your BMW 528i headlight assembly in perfect working condition.

    • Remove oxidation on lens.
    • Although headlight lenses are made of highly durable plastic, they are not safe from harmful UV rays and all other weather elements. As a result, you get dull, yellow lenses that impede useful light. To be able to get the most of the light from your BMW 528i headlight assembly, it is best to clean it up. For this, you can use some sandpaper, preferably 900-grit, 1200-grit, and 1500-grit, water, and a couple of microfiber towels. Soften the sandpapers by soaking them in water before use. Sand the surface of the lenses with the 900-grit sandpaper first, working your way from the coarsest to the finest. Remember to sand the surface on a horizontal motion. Smoothen them up as much as possible, and let the surface dry completely.Another way to remove oxidation is by polishing it with regular white toothpaste using a polishing rag right after washing the headlights with soapy water. And afterwards, rinse it off with soapy water again.
    • Polish the lens and use UV-protection coating.
    • You can also opt to apply some plastic lens polish using a microfiber towel. Apply the polish in a circular motion until the lenses look clear and smooth. And to prevent future degradation of the lenses, seal them with a new anti-UV coating. Again, wipe it from side to side, not up and down.
    • Replace leaky gaskets in the bulb holes.
    • Condensation inside the headlights can also obstruct useful light. They usually result from worn out gaskets. Aside from removing the obstruction, you will also be able to protect the bulbs from moisture penetration, preventing early replacements.
    • Never touch the HID bulbs.
    • As you know, all BMWs are equipped with HIDs or high intensity discharge lamps. They produce light by using an electric arc between tungsten electrodes placed inside an arc tube, which is filled with both gas and metal salts. If you touch it, the oil from your fingerprint will eventually cause the bulb to shatter. So it is important to handle the HID bulbs with a clean cloth when you clean the inside of the headlight assembly.