7 Things You May Not Know about the BMW 528i
- The name of the 528i sedan is based on BMW's tradition of naming its vehicles with a three-digit number. The first digit, 5, stands for the 528i belonging to the fifth of the
New Series cars manufactured by BMW after the V-8 and Isetta era, while the following two digits, 28, stand for the sedan's 2.8-liter straight-six engine. The
i on the end, meanwhile, stands for the fuel injection system installed on the 528i.
- The first generation of the 528i sedan was designed by the famed Italian car designer Marcello Gandini, who also designed the legendary Lamborghini Countach and Lamborghini Miura. Gardini styled the 528i based on the 1970 BMW Garmisch 2002ti Geneva show car.
- The fourth generation of the 528i is considered to be one of the safest cars on the road in the event of a collision - at least for the brain. In 1999, the International Brain Injury Association gave the 528i and the rest of the BMW 5-Series the honor of being the Safe Car of the Millenium.
- The fifth-generation 528i is recognized as one of the best-selling BMW models despite the fact that it was highly criticized for its non-traditional design, particularly its
Bangle butt rear end, as well as for its interior electronics. The fifth iteration of the 528i generated nearly 20% of the automaker's profits and accounted for 25-30% of sales in the US market, outselling its nearest competitor - Mercedes-Benz E-Class - and becoming the de facto leader of its class.
- The sixth and latest generation of the BMW 528i sedan is one of the first-production cars to use an engine block made of lightweight composite magnesium/aluminum alloy.
- BMW has partnered with Google by integrating Google services into the iDrive system on the latest 528i models. 528i drivers can send a destination from the Web directly to the iDrive interface, upload business listings, street addresses, and phone numbers for immediate navigational assistance, and search Google Maps from within the vehicle through the BMW Assist Convenience Plan.
- A hybrid electric version of the 528i was introduced at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The hybrid, named the BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid, is designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 10% and is scheduled for release somewhere between late 2012 and early 2013.
Common BMW 528i Problems
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.
I don't know much about the history of foreign cars. Anything interesting about the BMW 528i's background?
The introduction of the BMW 5 series in 1972 set the standard for premium sports sedans. The midsize 5 series has long been admired for its nearly perfect combination of interior space, luxury and performance. The series is also highly regarded for its elegant styling, which gives it a larger silhouette that is more akin to the bigger7 Series, making it the default executive or family sedan of choice.
Standard equipment of every model of 5 Series includes alloy wheels and Xenon headlamps.
They say German technology is one of the best. How powerful is the engine of the BMW 528i?
An inline-six-cylinder gasoline engine has traditionally powered the 5 series. However, 5 series vehicles also come with V8 engines, turbocharged four-cylinders, and diesel-powered options.
The entry level 520d is capable of 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds but will still be able to run the claimed average of 56.5 miles per gallon. If fuel economy is high on your list of priorities, you can't go wrong with the 528i that'll reach the benchmark sprint in 6.9 seconds with a claimed average of 35.3mpg.
What makes the handling of the BMW 528i special?
The BMW 5 series models are equipped with power steering as well as Servotronic steering assist function for driving comfort. This helps the driver maneuver in tough conditions such as rough terrain or slippery roads.
It's the impressive handling of the BMW 5 Series which stands out - its naturally weighted steering delivers a fair amount of feedback through the wheel, while the balanced chassis keeps the ride stable.
Other features like ABS prevent the brakes from locking, causing the vehicle to skid dangerously. There are also traction control features such as dynamic control, self-leveling air suspension, cornering brake control system, and electronic parking brake with auto hold.
I've heard that German automakers focus so much on performance, they sometimes neglect safety. Is the BMW 528i safe as a family car?
BMW 5-series vehicles advanced safety features include Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Parking Sensors, Driver- and Passenger-side Airbags, Side, Front, and Rear Airbags, Brake Assist, Crash Sensor, Child Safety Locks, Rear Camera, Front and Rear Ventilated Disc Brakes, and more. It is easy to tell that the 5 series puts a premium on passenger and driver safety as well as performance and comfort.
What makes the ride of a BMW 528i comfortable?
For anyone behind the wheel, the 5 series' Cruise Control, Power Steering, Navigation System, Remote Trunk and Fuel Port Opener, as well as the Adjustable, Temperature-Controlled Seats make driving a comfortable and effortless experience. For everyone else, the Climate Control, Air Quality Control, Rear Headrests and Center Arm Rests, and Accessory Power Outlet will cradle passengers in comfort throughout the journey.
Rear passengers in the BMW 5 Series will enjoy plenty of head and legroom. It's worth noting, however, that the middle occupant may experience mild discomfort caused by the 5 Series' bulky transmission tunnel.
BMW 528i: The “Neue Klasse” Sedan
Structure, form, performance, and overall excellence--these are the characteristics of BMW’s 528i. The 528i’s evolutionary styling made it the sports sedan to beat. BMW has always been known to develop cars with strong, distinctive profiles, elegant, powerful, and innovative midrange sedans, leaving its competition breathless. The BMW 528i will always be synonymous to pure driving pleasure.
1972(First Generation): The 5-Series Makes a Debut
Designed with sleek and stretched lines, a low waistline, and large windows, the BMW 5-series was a stand out during the 1972 Frankfurt Motor Show, It was reminiscent of the legendary BMW “Baroque Angel” 501 and the BMW 507 sports sedan. The engineers at BMW used the latest technology to make precise calculation on the sedan’s deformation zones to maximize occupant safety. The BMW 5-series was powered by a 6-cylinder engine which delivered 145-horsepower, a first in the market. A 4-cylinder engine delivering between 115 and 130-horsepower was another option available for the BMW 5 series.
1983 (Second Generation): Introducing the Diesel Engine
Retaining its large windows and clear lines, BMW launched another model in 1982. The new 5-series offered more space within its interior and an improved occupant safety system. A double-joint front axle and semi-trailing arm rear axle enhanced the sedan’s riding comfort. The BMW 5-series was lighter and a variety of modern electronic systems were integrated into the sedan. An electronic fuel injection system to anti-lock brakes via an on-board computer were some of the innovative technologies adapted by the BMW Engineers. In 1983, BMW introduced a 2.4-liter straight-six turbo diesel engine with a 115-horsepower output. Nearly every diesel skeptic was impressed with BMW’s take on the frequently contested sedan diesel market.
1988 (Third Generation): The BMW 5-Series Firsts
During its third generation, the BMW 528i was fitted with a catalytic converter to properly manage engine emissions. Electronically-controlled dampers were added to the sedan’s suspension to ensure occupant safety. Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and Servo-tronic Steering Assistance were also added to assist the sedan’s anti-lock braking system. A self-leveling device was built into the 528i’s rear axle to lower the noise from the sedan’s body. More than 1.3 million units of the third generation BMW 5-series were sold all over the world.
1995 (Fourth Generation): The Light Alloy Suspension System
Dual-round headlights behind a glass cover and ring-shaped daytime driving lights were added to the BMW 5-series during its fourth generation. A multi-function steering wheel, Dynamic Stability Control, active seats, and a navigation system were some of the new features added to the 5-series. An all-aluminum power unit and suspension system helped reduce the sedan’s overall weight. Technical innovations on the 5-series gas and diesel engines gave it more power and reduced their fuel consumption.
2003 (Fifth Generation): An Efficient BMW 528i
Flowing transitions from the sedan’s front, side, and rear gave the 5-series its characteristic note. A total of 10 engine variants were offered during its fifth generation. These were six gas and four diesel engines, which can give out between 170 to 367-horsepower. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is the most important innovation on the 5-series, which improved its handling. Brake Energy Regeneration, a Heads-Up Display (HUD), and BMW Night Vision were some of the new features on the 5-series. BMW continues to develop sedans with outstanding efficiency and innovative technology.