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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I recently acquired a 2007 X3 3.0si, under CPO with the extended maintenance. I mention the extended maintenance because since this is my first BMW, I was unaware that wiper blade refills were provided as part of the maintenance package. A lack of research combined with being in a hurry to take a long weekend trip, I purchased the proper sized Bosch replacement wiper blades from a generic auto parts store. I installed the new blades, put the OEM blades on a shelf in my garage, and went about my driving business for several weeks.

Last weekend I let my girlfriend take the X3 for the evening (her excuse was that the roads were questionable - Ha!) and I received a panicked telephone call that the drivers side wiper blade had been bent 90 degrees vertical. I instructed her to stop at the closest auto parts store and have a new blade installed. I became busy and never went back to research the root cause. Well, today I was out for a drive and it started happening again. The far end of the drivers blade was bending ever so slightly and would get caught on the passenger blade when moving upwards. I pulled over and bent the blade back - enough to get back home to my garage. I should also mention that this seemed to happen only when the windshield was partially dry after a few wipes.

As soon as I returned home I did a physical comparison of OEM vs. Aftermarket. The OEM drivers side blade has what appears to be a plastic strengthening brace installed on it. Does this help keep the blade stiff in order to prevent being bent under conditions where the windshield isn't completely wet and the wiper blade may drag? I re-installed the OEM blades and noticed that in addition to the driver blade being bent, the passenger blade was slightly bent as well. Needless to say, I'll be making a stop at the dealer first thing Monday morning to pick up some "complementary" replacement refills.

Has anyone else had this happen?
 

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The consensus here is that the refills the dealers offer are terrible. They're not the same as the OEM and they chatter badly. When my dealer gave me the "free blades", as soon as the first rains came, and I discovered how bad they are, I quickly swapped them out. Ended up replacing the whole mechanism, not just the blade. Bosch Twin Spoiler 551S. Made in Belgium. Work fine, no chatter. Not cheap (around $50) but worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is typical though for the X3 to bend the hell out of the lower end Bosch (or any brand) blades? Is the plastic addition on the drivers side for strength, aerodynamics, or both?

Thanks for the replies thus far!
 

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And this one, and post #8 in particular:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=509183

Could it be that when you originally fitted the Bosch blades, the arms got moved a bit?

On the original blades, that plastic brace is actually intended for anti-lift at high speed, so is just a spoiler.

There may be lots of options in Bosch blades that come in the 20" and 22" sizes.
Some may be better than others depending on the vehicle application.
The 551S is the closest in design to OEM for the X3, and apparently has the spoiler on both blades as a bonus.

I think a few owners have found that the X3 can be fussy when it comes to aftermarket blades.
Refilling the original blades with the right rubber is the best policy, at least until the metal parts of the frame have worn out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I also noticed that the OEM metal frame is noticeably thicker than the lower end Bosch's I purchased. I imagine the Icons might be thicker as they seemed like a higher end blade. I'll check the arm positioning and have the dealer double check as well.

Thanks!
 

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Third the Icons here. I had refills from the stealer and they chattered horribly. I had the windshield replaced due to some chips, threw on the ICONS and they are excellent. I put a set on my Accord, and will soon put a set on my M3.
 
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