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This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 06-13-2011, 07:13 PM   #1
Zell
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Bosch Icons vs. BMW Evo Flat: My conclusion

When I originally bought this car, it had some carbon-fiber PIAA wiper blades on it. Yeah, they looked all right I guess, but they weren't performing well. At all. As in the rubber was starting to come off of them (they were pretty old). So, I promptly got some new blades.

I heard great reviews about Bosch Icons. Looking them up, I found that I needed 422B and 419B. I bought them, installed them, and was happy with them at first.

They wiped extremely cleanly, with very little (if not, non-existent) streaking. But the one thing I did notice was a distinct "slap" noise that the driver's-side wiper made as the blade flipped for the down-swipe. It sort of went away when there was more water, so I figured maybe it was because they were dry and needed to be broken in or something.

When it started raining, they performed quite well. Some more streaking, not a lot, but that slap noise was still there. It would come and go, sometimes occurring, sometimes not. It started to get irritating. It only seemed to occur on the driver's side wiper. Passenger-side was quiet.

I took off the little driver's-side wiper clip, figuring maybe that was causing the issue. This only induced chattering onto the bottom of the driver's blade, and that slap noise was still there. After driving in a big rain storm for 2 hours and having to listen to that noise over and over and over, even over my relatively loud music, occurring randomly at times with some chatter, I got tired of it. I got them refunded at Amazon.

I found out about BMW Evo Flat blades. I didn't know if they were re-branded Bosch Icons or what, but I figured why not give them a try. They're only about $15 more than Icons and I can get them at my local stealership.

I just bought them today. They looked remarkably similar to the Icons, but slightly different. They were a bit flatter, the rubber felt a little bit different, and the hinge was a bit smaller. Other than that, they looked very similar. I figured if they made that same stupid noise, I was going to return them, get some traditional wiper blades and just be done with it.

When I put them on, I noticed one thing in particular about the driver's side blade: it seemed to be long enough so that the actual wiper arm is used as a support to keep the blade from chattering. The Icons had an issue with that, as the arm did not seem to support the blade at all after I took off the plastic piece.

Driving around and using them, the absolute first thing I noticed was how insanely quiet they are. Even quieter than the Icons during the actual wiping part. No snap noise, nothing - they even are cleaning better, too. Not even a single hint of streaking. I notice that there seems to be less friction, too, as if they glide much more easily.

These may be re-branded Bosch's, but who knows. Maybe BMW actually designed them. All I know is, they are damn good wiper blades. According to the guy behind the counter, he has had his on his bimmer for about 2 years now and they still work well.

Conclusion: just buck up $10-15 more bucks and go with the OEM Evos. They're completely worth it if you want some bracketless blades. Surprise surprise, OEM is the way to go. I didn't think it ever mattered with wiper blades. I didn't even know there were OEM wiper blades until recently.

...or, use the OEM traditional wipers, which are also real good, and get $5 refills. Those rule too I can't say much about them, because I never had them.

P/N: 61610037009 (the box comes with both driver's blade and passenger's blade inside)

Just tell them you have an E46 coupe/sedan and they'll know exactly what to get you.

Pictures:

Bosch Icons





BMW Evo Flat



As you can see, the hinge is different. It's a bit smaller and is not fully covered by plastic. Not a big deal, although the Bosch's probably have better weather resistance on the hinge itself. Here is where the biggest difference is:



The little plastic holder at the end is slightly smaller, and slightly taller, making it so that the windshield wiper arm itself actually supports the blade. This makes it so the wiper arm plays the same role as the little plastic piece for non-bracketless blades.

Other than those two differences, they look basically the same; however, they perform entirely differently. There's a reason why BMW recommends their Evo Flat blades. 1: Because it makes them money; 2: Because they are designed around the car's own design, making them work perfectly with it. To me, that's worth spending a few extra bucks.

Last edited by Zell; 06-14-2011 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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nice review. Please post the pix. I also have the PIAA CF wiper blades because I like the "aerodynamic spoilers" that are on the blades but I am always looking to upgrade.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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Great review! Thanks for taking the time to be thorough. I now know what blades I will be getting next.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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I love PIAA silicone blades. If you have the PIAA arms you must remove the driver side, black plastic insert or they will click on the down stroke.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:19 PM   #6
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I'd love some part numbers as well. Don't want to drive over to find they don't have them in stock.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:48 PM   #7
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+1. Bosch Icons are absolute garbage. I've put them on my 325 and our X5 and they are completely worn out within 4-6 months. Absolutely ridiculous for the $50 or so a set costs.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:55 PM   #8
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I tried the Bosch Icons....they sucked. Just my opinion. Glad I got them at buy one get one free cost.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:47 AM   #9
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Haha I'll post pics after work. There's not a whole lot to see: they basically look like Bosch Icons, but slightly different in height.

Edit: posted pics

Last edited by Zell; 06-14-2011 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:50 AM   #10
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The Evo's are cheaper than Icons from what I have seen. I bought them for $24 for a set at Firestone. They wore out completely in less than 6 months, icons lasted 8-10 months. Any other non-bracket alternatives? How are the Rain-X beam blades?
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:31 PM   #11
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I'd love some part numbers as well. Don't want to drive over to find they don't have them in stock.
They're on realOEM.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:50 PM   #12
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The Evo's are cheaper than Icons from what I have seen. I bought them for $24 for a set at Firestone. They wore out completely in less than 6 months, icons lasted 8-10 months. Any other non-bracket alternatives? How are the Rain-X beam blades?
I take it you mean the Rain X Latitudes? They're phenomenal. I put some on my 2003 Mustang GT when I had it. They swept water away like a charm. Oddly enough, the night I put them on there, my car got totaled. THANK YOU DUMB B!TCH TOO BUSY TEXTING TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE LOUD MUSTANG NEXT TO YOU OR TO EVEN STOP TO SEE IF I WAS OKAY!

The car I had after that, a 2002 VW Passat, had a set on there when I bought it. I never changed them for the almost two years I owned that car. No joke. That car ended up getting totaled out because I was sitting at a red light and two women fought for an open spot in traffic. They smashed into each other, bounced away, and one smashed into me.

Given my history of luck, I'm wondering when it's going to happen to my Bimmer...
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:24 PM   #13
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good stuff
gonna be switching to these soon
the icons I have suck and didn't last very long.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:55 PM   #14
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Do these BMW Evo's have replaceable rubber strips like the OEM ones?
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:58 PM   #15
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nice review. Please post the pix. I also have the PIAA CF wiper blades because I like the "aerodynamic spoilers" that are on the blades but I am always looking to upgrade.
I laffed
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:04 PM   #16
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funny, those carbon-fiber-looking PIAA's that were on there originally were probably the super-sporza silicone wipers they offer. Superior to any other blade out there period, IMO. It's just that shi((y carbon fiber-look-fake blade holders that look horrific. Silicone blades are actually amazing ALL OF THE TIME. Leaves a microscopic bead of silicone on your windshield so it's like having constant rain-x. just beads away. Should get some flat black PIAA super silicones and call it a day.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:04 PM   #17
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I just replaced my OE wiper blades with the BMW EVO design.

The BMW EVOs cover much more area and clean pretty well. Im very happy with them. No noise or skipping at all. As others have noted, when installing them you MUST remove a clip from the drivers side blade. Otherwise, they will not move and snug properly in the wiper arm itself. The far end of the passenger side blade sits slightly off the glass, but this is more due to the increased length of the newer ones. You realy dont notice it unless you look for it, and even so, its not really bad.

Anyway, if youre having issues with your blades, I wouldsay go and try these out. Much much better tha nthe stock OE ones Ive been using and replacing with only the inserts.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:40 PM   #18
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Um.....

Bosch makes two bracketless wiper blades: Icons and Evolutions.

The evolutions are only $10 each on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BYB2K2

I'm sure they are the same as what the dealer sells . . .
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:01 PM   #19
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Um.....

Bosch makes two bracketless wiper blades: Icons and Evolutions.

The evolutions are only $10 each on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BYB2K2

I'm sure they are the same as what the dealer sells . . .
The BOSCH and BMW ones are similar, but slightly different in design when compared. Most likely very close in operation, though.

Thanks for the link, though. That is prett y cheap. $20 with shipping is not bad. I paid a little under $40 for my OE version of the EVO. I probably would've just bought the OE verison anyway, as I like to strictly use OE parts. Call it my hobby.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:04 PM   #20
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1) Go to Walmart and purchase the most expensive wipers.
2) Use for under 90 days
3) Return
4) ???
5) Profit!
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