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.
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.
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.
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.
BMW 528i Headlights
Easy BMW 528i Diagnosis Guide
The headlights of your BMW 528i are important in making sure you stay safe when driving during nighttime. Eventually, as with other car parts, you will have issues regarding those. There are many possible causes when it comes to problems regarding your BMW 528i headlight's ability to illuminate the area. It depends on what kind of problems they are having, thus it is vital that you diagnose the part systematically. Here are the most common problems one might encounter in regards to headlights, as well as their causes and a few quick fixes:
If you notice that the fixture of your headlight has become clouded, then you should check the lenses. Modern headlights are built using plastics instead of glass like before. Because of this, they could easily be worn down. If this is not remedied quickly, moisture and dirt could build up, which could block the light from going outside. Headlight lens repair kits are very cheap and easy to use, so it is best to get one as soon as this problem comes up.
For dimming lights, check the alternator if it is broken or not. An alternator that does not work properly will not be able to produce enough power to keep the lights on. The battery will not be charged completely and it will eventually die down. Speaking of batteries, be sure to test it as well. You could get a voltmeter to see if it is doing its job of giving the correct amount of electrical power to the bulbs
This can be caused by a lot of factors. The first part to check if this happens is the bulb. A light bulb loosely screwed is a common cause for this kind of problem. All you need to do is to remove it and put it back in a more secured fashion. Do not put too much force into it, else the threads might get damaged and you can't fasten it tightly ever again, forcing you to replace more parts.
If the bulbs are okay, then go inspect the wiring near the headlamp. There is a possibility that it has been loosen, which hinders the flow of electricity towards to bulb. Make the necessary repairs and the flickering should stop.
A Stress-free Guide for BMW 528i Headlights Maintenance
BMW 528i Headlights are what keep you and other drivers safe when the road becomes too dark for comfort. Their lifespan is not perpetual, however, and you must make an effort into keeping them functioning at their best condition. Little repairs here and there will help your car and your wallet in the long run. For reference, here is a quick and easy maintenance guide:
Replace in pairs.
When one of your headlights goes out, always remember to replace both of them. If you change only one of them, the illumination is going to be uneven and you might have a rough time trying to gauge distance.
Lenses must be clear at all times.
Keep a constant watch on the clarity of your headlight's lenses. Because today's lenses are made of plastic, there is a high chance that moisture could build up and make the lenses all foggy. Another cause of foggy lenses is dirt and debris managing to get inside. These could hinder the path of light from the bulb, causing to give out less illumination. They could also damage the wirings and even blow up the bulb itself. Buy a headlight restoration kit and use it to clean your headlight lenses properly. The kit is very inexpensive and comes with everything you need. If you can't buy one now, at least wash them with soap and water regularly.
Constant, correct aim must uphold.
Blind spots and miscommunications occur when your headlights are at a wrong angle. The other drivers might not realize that you are coming or worse, they might get blinded and cause a car accident, possibly taking you along with it. Activate your headlights at a wall and check if they are still at the right height. If there are any discrepancies, then simply adjust the lenses and the bulb contacts until it is up to manufacturer standards.
Test brightness in your garage.
When checking for brightness, take note of the color of the light your headlights create. If it is nice and white, then the bulbs are still okay. However, if it starts to become dull and yellow, then the bulbs are near the end of their life span and you have no choice but to replace them.