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Thread: El Cheapo Wiper Blade replacement

  1. #1
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    Exclamation El Cheapo Wiper Blade replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by akimhusky View Post
    Just joined today. In response to the windshield wiper question, autohausaz.com sells a pair of OEM Bosch for under $30. (for '97 528)
    IMO, the best solution is buying just the blade inserts (el cheapo replacement at $11.95 but great quality). I encountered several problems during what should have been an 'easy' install on my 2000 540iAs so hopefully this will make things go more smoothly for others who wish to save some money. No pic-by-pic but I'll try to be as clear as possible... ALSO NOTE: Double check to make sure that you have the OEMs before you order the replacement blades.

    #1 - Buy wiper blade refills at Bavarian Autosport (item #61618217711 for the 540iAs @ $11.95 ea.) or anywhere else you can find them 'cause I don't work for Bavarian Autosport so I don't care where you get them. Do make sure they are sending two different lengths if you are doing your 540i though.

    #2 - Be aware and make a note to observe that the two rubber blade inserts should be of unequal length. One is definitely longer than the other so be sure to pay attention here 'cause I screwed up (just a little) and trimmed the wrong one. Don't do it at 3am and I highly recommend doing one side at a time...

    #3 - Remove the complete wiper assembly (much easier to free the rubber blade and metal frame/holder first) by sliding the locking tab (located at the connecting point of the wiper arm and blade assembly) to the unlocked position, which will allow the blade assembly to slide right off the pivoting pin. **You should be able to see the word 'Lock' stamped on the slider.

    #4 - Now it's time to deal with the clips that hold and lock the top portion of the rubber blade insert (use needlenose pliers to squeeze the 'locking clips' together). BTW, it's a PIA. TIP: I found it easier to use a flathead screwdriver to gently 'pry' the two folded metal clips apart ever so slightly (on the main body of the wiper assembly frame where the blade slides/locks at the top) before trying to unclip/squeeze/remove the rubber blade 'locking tabs'...MUCH easier!

    #4a - Here you may be tempted to clean things up a bit and will try to remove the plastic aerodynamic wing from the metal wiper arm to refresh it. DO NOT ATTEMPT this unless you are a glutton for punishment! It slowed my entire project to a snail's pace as it was very difficult to get the damn thing back in place properly...not impossible, just a scary PIA 'cause I thought it was gonna snap at any second.

    #5 - The old rubber inserts will have two long, thin, flat metal stabilizer/stiffeners (designed to give the soft rubber blades rigidity) inserted into the uppermost of the two channels/slots running the length of the old blade insert. **Make a note of the direction of the locking tabs (tiny outwardly bent pieces of metal on each stabilizer/stiffener) and position the two 'holding' pins (just below the locking tabs) to the inside of the uppermost channel (the locking tabs will be facing out and the two securing pins will face in). Remove and transfer metal stabilizer/stiffeners (two per blade=four total) to the rubber inserts. TIP: Use a bit of masking tape to secure the locking tab end of the metal 'blades' to the rubber insert as the pins really don't hold them in place.

    #6 - Take the now empty metal wiper 'frame' (which holds the rubber blade to the windshield) and begin threading the newly assembled rubber blade using the secondary channel (blade down and metal stabilizer/stiffeners up). **Remember the wiper frame itself is direction oriented (the top end pivots up and away from the windshield) and will not fit or lock properly if assembled upside down.

    #7 - After you have successfully reassembled the blade and frame, reverse to install to the wiper arm and repeat on the other side. **Remember to slide the locking tab back to the locked position on each side after reinstalling the blade assembly and you have completed your El Cheapo Wiper Blade Replacement!


    FYI, it rained the very next day and the rain sensors with new wiper blades worked perfectly!!
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 11-05-2012 at 11:22 PM. Reason: fixed...partly

    '00 540iA with 235k+ on the original TCG's, Vanos and transmission...

  2. #2
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    12CoolDude, thanks for posting but I had some problems, I made two mistakes that I'd like to bring forward so others don't make the same mistakes when buying the parts.

    If you bought your car used like I did you may want to confirm if you have the original BMW wiper blade assembly, or Bosch or something else before buying the wiper blade inserts. The wiper inserts are different and in my estimation they are not compatible so it is best you order the correct wiper insert the first time. When you search against part number 61618217711 at most online parts suppliers they will usually show two or three wiper inserts. In my opinion the Bosch insert is made for the Bosch wiper blade assembly but there is another type that closely resembles the original BMW insert and is a direct replacement.

    The difference between the inserts is in the design of the wiper blade stiffeners. The original BMW wiper blade has two thin metal stiffeners running along both sides of the wiper insert while the Bosch design has only one thick stiffner running along the top of the wiper insert (see the pics). Essentially if you don't have the correct stiffner(s) the wiper insert will not work out. So it is a good idea to check out the stiffners and the corresponding channels in the wiper insert where the stiffners are to be installed before ordering.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by MLue1; 03-01-2008 at 01:07 AM. Reason: adding info and correct typos

  3. #3
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    (oOO\(|||)(|||)/OOo) /00=[][]=00\

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    '99 540iT; Porsche 944

    My Second Mistake

    What made this thread possible was the fact that I ordered the wrong wiper (OEM) insert for the wiper blade frame (Bosch) that was installed on the car but what make things not so wrong was that when I removed the wiper blade frame I found that the wiper frame was bent and slightly twisted (See Pic). If I had removed the wiper blade frame and checked things out before hand then I would NOT have bought the wiper inserts in the first place.

    I replaced the entire wiper blade assembly with BWM Part# 61-61-9-070-579 and now have two inserts still in the plastic bags to use next time.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by MLue1; 03-01-2008 at 01:11 AM.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up I know and whoops?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    Yeah, yeah...I KNOW! At the time I was still a NOOB so you'll have to cut me some slack dude. I promise to add pix the next time I do the task or you can close you eyes and visualize the procedure in your mind. Use that power to create the images...yes, you can see it now.

    Quote Originally Posted by MLue1 View Post
    12CoolDude, thanks for posting but I had some problems, I made two mistakes that I'd like to bring forward so others don't make the same mistakes when buying the parts.

    If you bought your car used like I did you may want to confirm if you have the original BMW wiper blade assembly, or Bosch or something else before buying the wiper blade inserts. The wiper inserts are different and in my estimation they are not compatible so it is best you order the correct wiper insert the first time. When you search against part number 61618217711 at most online parts suppliers they will usually show two or three wiper inserts. In my opinion the Bosch insert is made for the Bosch wiper blade assembly but there is another type that closely resembles the original BMW insert and is a direct replacement.

    The difference between the inserts is in the design of the wiper blade stiffeners. The original BMW wiper blade has two thin metal stiffeners running along both sides of the wiper insert while the Bosch design has only one thick stiffner running along the top of the wiper insert (see the pics). Essentially if you don't have the correct stiffner(s) the wiper insert will not work out. So it is a good idea to check out the stiffners and the corresponding channels in the wiper insert where the stiffners are to be installed before ordering.
    My apologies as I was new to the game at the time and had ordered my part based on the part number from RealOEM.com using my VIN. My car is used as well but I hadn't thought about the fact that someone could have previously changed out the entire assembly.

    Quote Originally Posted by MLue1 View Post
    What made this thread possible was the fact that I ordered the wrong wiper (OEM) insert for the wiper blade frame (Bosch) that was installed on the car but what make things not so wrong was that when I removed the wiper blade frame I found that the wiper frame was bent and slightly twisted (See Pic). If I had removed the wiper blade frame and checked things out before hand then I would NOT have bought the wiper inserts in the first place.

    I replaced the entire wiper blade assembly with BWM Part# 61-61-9-070-579 and now have two inserts still in the plastic bags to use next time.
    Glad you were successful in spite of the missing instructions. Thanks for adding your experience. That's what make this board great...

    '00 540iA with 235k+ on the original TCG's, Vanos and transmission...

  6. #6
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    Latest Update

    Thanks for this thread. I replaced my wiper inserts this weekend, and yes it was a PITA. Some edits to your original post:

    I bought the exact same replacements, same part number, from BavAuto. Two big differences:

    1. They were the exact same length
    2. The both had on one end a solid rubber tip -- in other words, the slots on the sides ended.

    This meant I couldn't thread the driver side one, b/c the end would fit. Had to squeeze it into each little holding pin one at a time, time consuming.

    The pass side was easier, since I had to cut that one anyway, so cut off the solid tip, that one I could thread.

    Glad it's done, but it took too long. I'm not surprised a lot of guys replace the whole assembly, but I wasn't going to waste the $60 some odd bucks I was quoted by BavAuto.
    BLUE HEAVEN:
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  7. #7
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    FWIW It seems that the inserts can be had at dealers for anywhere from $4 to $6. I have even been comped a set. The ones I get from them are long enough for the long wiper and have groves that allow the stiffiners to be snapped off at the right length for the shorter one.

    Also a Note that using inserts made for other wipers is a problem as the geometry of the insert makes them a very tight fit.
    >'97 528i, 200000 miles, Hella Xenons, 17" Stilauto wheels, Vogtland Drop Springs, Dynomax Race Muffler, Homelink, 540 brake upgrade, 15mm spacers >'65 & '74 MG Midgets BFC OT Lego Club #48 Manual conversion in process!!!



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNY528I View Post
    FWIW It seems that the inserts can be had at dealers for anywhere from $4 to $6. I have even been comped a set. The ones I get from them are long enough for the long wiper and have groves that allow the stiffiners to be snapped off at the right length for the shorter one.

    Also a Note that using inserts made for other wipers is a problem as the geometry of the insert makes them a very tight fit.

    Agreed. OEM is the only way to go. I got mine at the dealership for $4.50 each.
    FOR SALE '00 540i 6-speed 101k mi - 260 RWHP & 311 RWTQ - OEM '00 M5 tails, OEM '03 M-tech rear bumper, Magnaflow, 6000k fogs, CDV delete, M5 rear swaybar, Akebono ceramic pads, Brembo rotors, AMSOIL, etc.

  9. #9
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    Note -- the Bavauto ones are OEM.
    BLUE HEAVEN:
    Interlagos 2006 M3, AutoLogic tune, K&N CAI, Agency Power midpipes and exhaust, Fortune Auto coilovers, ///M Pedal Kit, UUC SSK. MRegistry listing here
    Le Mans 2002 M5, Black/Titanium, Rogue SSK, Dinan exhaust, PSS9 coilovers, Conforti/Shark tune. MRegistry listing here

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgy99 View Post
    Note -- the Bavauto ones are OEM.
    Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. Bavauto.com doesn't commit to OE or any particular brand. I know this because I asked, and was told:

    We donít list brand names on the majority of our items, because availability from our suppliers varies and brand names on items can vary.
    This is why I use BimmerSpecialist.com.

  11. #11
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    The OE blades from the dealer have three plastic clips that hold the metal stiffeners in place for easier installation. Make sure you leave them on and only slide them off as you are sliding the blades in otherwise the stiffeners come out (This won't work for the passenger side as you have to snap/cut the stiffeners and blade to length, but you can slide the clips back into place after this step to aid in sliding them into the wiper housing).
    Also be sure to remember the orientation of the blade assembly during removal to insure proper blade install (Stiffener locking clip at top of wiper).
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 10-04-2009 at 10:50 PM.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for posting this DIY! Just replaced my blades with standard BMW replacements from the dealer. Quick and easy job!

  13. #13
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    Please remember if you are helped in some way by the member's DIY, vote for the OP by voting yes at the bottom right hand side of post #1 in the DIY thread ("Did you find this post helpful? Yes|No").

    Edit: Disregard the above info. Forum format has changed since this thread was created.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 08-05-2010 at 02:04 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by radial View Post
    Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. Bavauto.com doesn't commit to OE or any particular brand. I know this because I asked, and was told:

    This is why I use BimmerSpecialist.com.
    Funny stuff..... guess what they sell..... and all they sell.....Bosch LOL

  15. #15
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    2001 BMW 525i
    Man I messed up bad. I bought a pair at the auto shop and tossed the old ones. Got home only to find out that the actually frame on the OEM ones is skinnier and a reg wiper blade will NOT fit. Had to go to the dealership and dish out $78 for a set.

    BTW the lengths are 26" and 22"

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    E46 325ci - E53 4.4
    did it! got both wipers on fle bay for 13.00$ shipped. theres no need for pix, this is easy
    See my E36 Parts for sale in the Classifieds

  17. #17
    Join Date
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    BMW 530i 2003 --- I just walked upto parts section at my local BMW dealer -- the wiper inserts were just $3.25 a piece -

    went home pulled out the old ones, easy.

    While inserting new ones keep the temporary tabs on. Let them fall off as you push the new insert in. Don't let the 2 stiff metallic blades pop out, just push them back in if they start to come out.

    HERE IS TIP: I found it was super easy to do this if I popped out the whole wiper by pushing down on the push down switch located about half way on the wiper outside.

    WATCH CAREFULLY as the blade pops where the inside assembly and outside assembly meet. Once you see this, it will be a piece of cake to align the same points and PULL up the same switch you pushed down. Once that switch is pulled up, the wiper assembly will lock in place.

    TIP: don't pop out both wiper assemblies at the same time. Go through removal, wiper insert replacement and re-engaging the wiper assembly on one side. Then do the other. This will help you look at the other side as an example of how its supposed to look and work if you mess up.

    Overall, I found it very easy using these ideas and $6.50 total for new inserts!

  18. #18
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    '97 528i

    Another cheap compatible wiper blade from Anco

    I found another refill that works fairly good, probably not as good as the dealer blade refills: If you can find an auto store that has Anco refills, I was able to get model #W-28R (Federal Mogul SKU 3757706393) for about $8 which is a pair of 28" refill blades (they were out of the 26" version). I cut them to 22" AND 26" length, slid the old refills out, slid the new ones in, and pressed on the end caps that come with them.These are 100% plastic, so not the best quality, but were quiet enough.
    The major problem run into with refills at least 26" length is that the blade width is about 8mm which simply will not fit into the OEM wipers. Max width allowed is about 6.5 to 7.0MM (9/32"max), so when shopping, just look for refills of that width, and they will probably work. Special order to fit the E39 slide lock mechanism run about $67/pr at the auto store, so you pay a $50 premium for the slide lock.
    My 2 cents if you can't find at the BMW dealership.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the guide. I just replaced my wiper inserts for $7. It took about 20 minutes because I didn't know what I was doing at first.
    Sold: 99 540i/6

  20. #20
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    2004 525i
    Guys,
    Simplest solution to this problem and the cheapest!!
    I looked around and could not find what I wanted for cheap, so I finally gave up and went to the dealer just to see what they would say. To my amazement, they sold me two replacement rubber inserts for about 4.00 each. Then, to my further amazement, told me to pull around and one of the guys would install them for me for free!!!!
    Did it, and they did it!! The next year, I replaced again, and they installed them for free again. They told me that it is common courtesy and most dealerships will do that if you buy the replacements from them.
    I hope other dealerships do that for everyone else on here.
    Good Luck!!

  21. #21
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    I actually found the instructions helpful but almost more confusing. I just ripped the old blades out and slid the refills in. Pretty simple. Thanks for the suggestion for the refills.

  22. #22
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    at the dealer the refills are only like 19 bux

  23. #23
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    $19 bucks...that's full price!!! Perhaps you should consider joining BMW CCA so that you can take advantage of the membership discount that most BMW dealerships provide to vendors. If you do join, please consider using me as a referral (see my membership # below): BMW CCA.org (benefits of membership)

    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White)
    1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  24. #24
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    2003 525i sedan
    Was a total snap changing blades with this thread. Thanks so much

  25. #25
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    '01 530iA, '05 750Li
    I was advised my my parts guy at BMW (I bought two new blades as a set), and he said if you need the inserts and are not close to a BMW parts department, you can get the same ones from a Mercedes dealer as the W140 mercedes blade inserts will fit with a little trimming.....

    Only the w140 mercedes insert is long enough for BMW ones to fit.......

    The above is from the BMW parts department, if it is wrong info, it didn't came from me.....

    And this is for the BMW Original blade set only.....

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