14th Sep 2008, 22:26

I shall put another positive comment for this car. I owned an '84, and it is by far the best car I have ever owned. I bought it from a used car dealership just over 2 years ago, but ended up wrecking it approx. 6 months afterwords. During the time I was driving it, I have had to replace a few things such as the master and slave cylinders, and starter, but there were no other problems with the car. I did race it a few times, against a few friends of mine with v-8's, and the 528e really surprised me. The only downfall feel is how far I had to shift from 1st to 2nd, and so on. Then again, all one would have to do to fix that problem is install a short shifter. I plan on buying another 528e once I get back in the states!

5th Oct 2008, 16:15

October 5, 2008.

Regarding battery drain on 528e. I have a 1988 which has started to occasionally lock or unlock the door locks by itself, and has drained the battery when the car has not been used for a week or so. This self activation is often a double--an unlock followed by a lock about 1 second later (or visa versa). I think that it is a problem in the driver's door--probably a faulty switch or intermittent faulty contact, but I have not tracked it down yet.

I bought my 528e used in 1990 and have enjoyed it a lot. There have been only minor problems. It is the best car I have ever owned also!

11th Nov 2008, 20:43

RE: battery drain.

Check the trunk latch and make sure it's adjusted so the trunk is closing securely. If not, the trunk light stays on. I've found this to be a pretty common problem for some reason on E28's.

I've had my '84 528e for almost 20 years. Treat it right, it'll treat you right.

27th Dec 2008, 23:02

I've had my 528e - 84, since 1984, and drive it every day. I had transmission rebuilt about twelve years ago. My mileage counter stopped working at 279,000 miles - and that was 16 years age. I am probably pushing close to million miles. Who knows?

I also have the battery drain problem, so much so that I have resorted to disconnecting the battery at night.

Currently I may need a complete drive shaft. I do a lot of repairs myself, but am in need of a GOOD mechanic in the Atlanta area, since the one I've had for the last 14 years has moved too far away. Does anyone have a lead? My only request is that he/she simply love working on BMWs and live in Atlanta, GA proper.

Thanks for any help.


8th Mar 2009, 06:47

Sears used to sell a battery that automatically shut down if it drained excessively -- leaving enough power remaining to start the car. Similar devices are available which install separately from the battery. I would try to isolate the drain if possible by removing fuses one at a time, looking for a spark when you find the right one. Barring that working, at least with a battery drain device, the car wouldn't go completely dead on you. Also, look for dome light, trunk light, turn signal lights, or hood light sticking on, (try removing the bulbs to isolate if nothing else works. I had a 733i in which the dome light came on by itself, so I used the manual dome light off switch in order to make sure it didn't drain the battery.

8th Mar 2009, 21:18

Has anyone ever replaced the muffler on their 528e? Mine has a bunch of holes, and is probably original, so I need to replace it. I notice that it's held on by 3 bolts, and they look quite rusted. So, I'm wondering if anyone has attempted this, and maybe can tell me if they ran into difficulties getting the old one off, and then installing the new one. Please reply to me at tirATsiscomDOTnet if you have any good info to pass along.

Thanks in advance,


16th May 2009, 10:33

I bought a new muffler for my '87 in March, and had it installed locally at a non-BMW repair shop. They had no problem. I initially tried, but could not get those bolts removed. The muffler was $154, including shipping from eBay seller macautopartsdiscounts, and the shop charged me $50 to install it. I'm pleased.

21st Jul 2010, 10:26

My dad got a 1984 528e in 2000 from his brother, and he was the third owner. He got the car not running, and it should have been an omen. It is reliable and trustworthy for daily use, HOWEVER this car has been non stop problems with small things such as lighting, radio, A/C etc.. If I had a choice or could go back and decide for him, I would never have bought this car. 0-40 mph in about 8 seconds makes me cry, and want to bring it to a junkyard. If it wasn't bulletproof, I wouldn't bother looking at it.

8th Feb 2011, 19:36

I love my Bimmer, It's a 1986 528e Automatic, I got it from PicknPull for 750 dollars. It's a tank for sure; the engine is strong and quiet, with overdrive like passing power.

The great body is still rust free, and driveability and handling rivals new cars.

I replaced a fuel pump and an alternator since buying two years ago.

I have had no problems or signs of trouble with it, drive it everyday. Then one day I went to take a short trip, and as I pulled off, I heard a clunk underneath. As I pressed the gas pedal, there was no acceleration.

So I put it in reverse to park and investigate, but reverse was weak too. I turned it off and then on again, and pressed the gas pedal, and heard metal clicking around the transmission. 300,000 plus miles, the tranny was gone, with no warning.

So, I found a rebuilt tranny with 3 month warranty for 400 bucks from an auto wrecker, and with it being a straight six, found someone to replace it for 300 bucks. 750+700 = better than any other car for the money. So I'm going for 400,000 plus miles.

Til we meet again, hail BMW!

11th Jun 2011, 23:56

Henry, good stuff. Enjoyed reading your comments. Wonder how many total miles you will get, amazing.

I am going to buy a 1984 528e tomorrow and decided to research it. Hope I have good stories to tell later down the road. Wish me luck.

8th Nov 2011, 19:26

I just picked up an 84 528e with 128k original miles. It has been sitting for two years, popped a new battery in it, and it started right up. Runs a bit rough, but so far the parts don't look too expensive.

When I turn the blinkers on, the fuel gauge clicks with them. And the warning light in the center of the dash is flashing. Any ideas?

13th Feb 2012, 16:04

Hi there guys, I have an 84' 528e standard with close to 400 000kms on it! Original standard transmission and engine. It is my first car, and I'm just trying to get it safety'd. It has some problems, and I'm wondering if ANYONE can help. It idles rough: it starts up fine and will idle with the odd stutter for about 3 minutes, then it stalls, but it will run fine when pushing the gas a bit.

Also, about half the time it idles, it feels like there is a piston misfiring, because it's not smooth at all, and sounds like a muscle car! When all them are firing, it idles so nicely, and is smooth and sounds clean.

2nd problem: The heater does not work, but the A/C is ice cold? It's just unresponsive and won't blow anything, except for when I press the A/C button, then it blows cold.

If anybody can help, that would be great! PLEASE HELP.

3rd Sep 2012, 09:29

I have the same issue with my 84 528e... thus what has brought me here.

It idles rough, sounds like it's going to croak, and then if I give it some gas, it finally decides to die... This hasn't always happened, but I feel like I might have done something to it to cause this.

A mechanic showed me a "tweak" you can perform with an allen wrench by turning a hex screw near where the air flow is... I can't remember what this "trick" was supposed to do, but I do remember him saying just remember how many times you turn it... which I did not.

Beyond that, I'm thinking I need a new timing chain, O2 sensor, or fuel pump, or all three, as I have never had to replace anything since the day I bought this car for 600 bucks.

If anyone has any insight as to this "tweak" I mentioned, I would like to know more about it.

I have to agree with most everyone on this thread the last 4 years... this is a solid machine, and they truly don't make them like this any more.

17th Mar 2013, 13:53

There are excellent videos on Youtube for finding voltage drains. Otherwise, look for a reputable automotive electronic repair shop.

10th Mar 2019, 21:07

Did you find the electrical drain issue? I seem to have the same draining issue on my 1985 BMW 528e.

12th Mar 2019, 03:19

Does your car have an interior lamp delay on the door setting? Many cars have that problem where the light is already off but the relay stays energized. Try turning the interior lamp switch to permanent off position. If it solves the problem, it may be the time delay relay.