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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 01-31-2013, 06:37 PM
AL528i AL528i is offline
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New 2012 528i owner

Greetings!

New to BMWs and new to this great site. I just got a 2012 528i Xdrive with 26000 kms on it. I still have a lot to learn about the car. One thing I noticed is that "ticking sound" in the engine similar but not as loud as a VW diesel engine.

I visited a nearby BMW dealer and the service adviser told me that it's quite normal for the 4 cylinder engine to sound that way since there is a lack of sound insulators in the car. Is this true BMW gurus? These cars are known to be refined and very quite right?

I can live with the "ticking" sound if it's designed that way. Thanks and looking forward.

Cheers!

AL528i
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2013, 08:38 PM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AL528i View Post
Greetings!

New to BMWs and new to this great site. I just got a 2012 528i Xdrive with 26000 kms on it.

it's quite normal for the 4 cylinder engine to sound that way
Our sincere condolences

Just kidding.


..
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Last edited by yogi799; 01-31-2013 at 08:40 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2013, 11:34 PM
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MoldCAD MoldCAD is online now
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BS is what the dealer told you - outside, the N20 528i may not sound as potent and smooth as the N5x, but inside I just don't hear it when idling, and only hear the turbine whine when I floor the gas pedal...

Absolutely NO ticking of any sort, man!
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Last edited by MoldCAD; 01-31-2013 at 11:36 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2013, 12:06 AM
AL528i AL528i is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys. Let the fun begin...
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2013, 05:37 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Some engine will tick louder than others, its the high pressure fuel injectors. Maybe thats why the car was for sale.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2013, 06:25 AM
535KDD 535KDD is offline
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Are you using premium gas?
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2013, 07:14 AM
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The high pressure fuel injectors will make this noise. It is quite normal. It sounds very much like a diesel.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2013, 07:20 AM
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A little off topic but does the 2011 528i have high pressure fuel injection as well? Completely different engine but it has a slight ticking sound as well from the outside when idling.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2013, 08:04 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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No, only direct injection engine use high pressure fuel injectors, the I6 for the 2011 528 is a port injection engine.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2013, 09:07 AM
AL528i AL528i is offline
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528i engine ticking niose

Hey BMW Gurus,

Thanks to this site, I've gotten tons of info, but with mixed replies. Some say there should be no ticking, some say ticking varies and others say it's normal.

I'm covered for 5,000 kms or 3 months from the dealer to decide if I should return the car. But personally, I think buying a $40,000 car should not sound like a "528I Diesel Edition".

Again, thanks and all your replies are valuable to a newbie like me.

AL
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2013, 09:14 AM
AL528i AL528i is offline
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To X3KDD,

The dealer put 86 octane when I got the car. The salesguy filled it up in front of me. I told him that bimmers require premium gas. He said that this new 4cylinder engine can take regular gas. I double-checked the owners manual and it reads "89 minimum". I hope that salesguy didn't break the engine! So pinging and ticking sounds the same???? Again, sorry guys just a newbie...
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2013, 09:15 AM
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Die Wolfe Die Wolfe is offline
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Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
Our sincere condolences

Just kidding.


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  #13  
Old 02-01-2013, 09:53 AM
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Decboy Decboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
The high pressure fuel injectors will make this noise. It is quite normal. It sounds very much like a diesel.
Direct Injection engines will make this ticking noise. The degree of noise is really subjective. Some folks are more sensitive to others. Many folks complained about the E350's DI V6 engine for the very same reason, ticking noise.

An easy way is to go back to your CA that sold you the car and have him pull out another '12/13 528i from the lot and listen to that engine for comparison.
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2013, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by AL528i View Post
The dealer put 86 octane when I got the car...the owners manual...reads "89 minimum". I hope that salesguy didn't break the engine!
You should be ok with his filling it up with low octane only once. But don't send him Christmas chocolates later this year, that's for sure!

The main reason for higher octane fuel is so the fuel does not prematurely ignite in the cylinder prior to being ignited by the spark plug (this is what causes pinging/knocking).

Because there is so much compression going on in the cylinders of these vehicles, the fuel wants to self-ignite. The higher octane fuel, which is less explosive, prevents this. It allows for tighter engine timings.

I think if you drive carefully, you can still avoid this even with the lower octane fuel. Just drive slow and careful so you don't put heavy load on the engine. But when you are down to half a tank, start putting some 93 in there if you have it (or at least 91) and then you can progressively drive more aggressive without any problem.

-Corey
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2013, 09:56 AM
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MoldCAD MoldCAD is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AL528i View Post
To X3KDD,

The dealer put 86 octane when I got the car. The salesguy filled it up in front of me. I told him that bimmers require premium gas. He said that this new 4cylinder engine can take regular gas. I double-checked the owners manual and it reads "89 minimum". I hope that salesguy didn't break the engine! So pinging and ticking sounds the same???? Again, sorry guys just a newbie...
Yes, the low-octane fuel may be the reason of "knocking combustion" which may be described as "ticking". If you can drive 5000 miles before making up your mind, you have no problem - just use your entire tank and refuel with Premium gasoline, and check the difference in sound.

I can assure you that on the 95 octane I'm using (there is no lower octane available here), the N20 works smoothly and nowhere as harsh as a Diesel can. I was choosing between the 528i and 525d, and one of the main reasons for staying with gasoline (never had a Diesel before) was the 528i is much quieter.
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:02 AM
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cordoor cordoor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoldCAD View Post
I can assure you that on the 95 octane I'm using (there is no lower octane available here), the N20 works smoothly and nowhere as harsh as a Diesel can.
Those reading this thread should keep in mind that octane ratings in Poland are different than octane ratings in the United States. In Poland, the octane rating would be in RON, whereas in the United States, it would be in AKI.

So an octane rating of 95 in Poland will be 90-91 in the United States.

Basically, if you are in the United States, just stick to 91 or higher (in Utah, we cannot get higher than 91, and usually in higher altitude locations there is no need to because the air is less dense, so less compression in the cylinder and less chance of premature ignition).

If you are in Europe, then get 95 or higher.

-Corey
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:30 AM
whitby whitby is offline
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I have a 2012 528i. The engine makes a distinct ticking sound when cold and I can only hear it from the outside. However this noise is very similar to the noise my Jaguar XF used to make, and it was a direct injection 5.0 litre V8! I would often think that it sounded like a diesel. The previous port injected 4.2 litre V8 from Jaguar sounded much better, but it was less powerful and less fuel efficient. As pointed out by others in this thread, direct injected engines use high pressure piezo electric injectors which make a very distinctive ticking noise. As the car warms up the ticking sound is reduced considerably.

Those that point out that the N55 does not sound as rough or have the same pronounced ticking sound will also note that an inline 6 is always smoother than either an inline 4 or V8 since it is the one configuration that is perfectly balanced. However I have noticed the ticking sound on a direct injected N55 when compared to the N52 port injected non turbo engine. The N52 was a very sweet sounding engine and as smooth as a kitten all the way through the rev range.

Bottom line is that these new direct injection engines sound much more like diesels than their port injected predecessors especially the unbalanced in line 4, V6 and V8 configurations.
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Last edited by whitby; 02-02-2013 at 06:17 AM.
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  #18  
Old 02-01-2013, 11:55 AM
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I test drove a 2012 528i before getting my 535i. I noticed the ticking sound too. It's not just your 528i so leads me to believe that it's normal. Whatever that means.

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  #19  
Old 02-01-2013, 12:28 PM
AL528i AL528i is offline
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528i ticking

To my newfound BMW brothers,

I was having sleepless nights with this car. Thanks for ther loads of info. I will go back to the dealer this time with more knowledge at hand.

Cheers!

Al
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  #20  
Old 02-01-2013, 04:49 PM
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Slaymaster Slaymaster is offline
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Makes me laugh when I read some of these responses. The ticking sound is there when temps are cooler and once the engine is warmed completely, you may hear a very very faint sound. In the summer and warm temps, there is no noise.

Enjoy your ride!
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  #21  
Old 02-01-2013, 05:48 PM
AL528i AL528i is offline
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At Slaymaster,

Thanks for the info. Then I guess I'd better get used to the "ticking" since we have only 4 months here in Canada...June, July, August and Winter

Al
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