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2008 Volkswagen VR6 Eos
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So I recently replaced the wiper blades on my sisters Golf (same blades as the EOS). The local auto parts store, you would assume, would have something usable and less expensive than the dealer. Well I found out that isn't the case.

The local auto parts stores carry generic blades, with different attachment pieces to fit different arms. Its a multi piece plastic puzzle that you can easily spend 20 minutes trying to figure out. We tried several different brands of these "generic" blades, both RainX and Bosch. None of them had the parts to fit a Volkswagen, even though their fitment guide indicated they would fit the VW Golf.

So not only do these "generic" blades not fit, they were something like $37 EACH! Even the cheap ones were still $26.00 each.

After two sets of these, we went to the local dealer. I was fully expecting a ridiculous price, but as amazing at it sounds, two OEM VW blades were less than $50.00! Same blades bought online and delivered to the dealer would be $33.00. Substantially cheaper than the aftermarket items and of course are a direct fit (direct fit takes maybe 10 seconds to install), no multi piece plastic puzzle kit you have to screw around with for 20 minutes.

This may not be news to many and from past Mercedes ownership, aftermarket blades were never a possibility, so I have always purchased OEM. So maybe I am out of touch, but the whole point of going aftermarket is to save money. This is my first run in with aftermarket items being more expensive than OEM.
 

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I've bought many 'Generic' wiper blades in the past and been disappointed with most of them. One year I tried some Ebay silicone rubber blade inserts. They 'could' wipe well but were hard to make work in the old blade carriers. I'm sure somebody could make a line of these complete and ready to fit that would work the best, because they don't rot.

I don't have any connection with Bosch, but now I only buy Bosch Aero for my VW's. IMHO they are the only blades that even come close to OE out of the box. I think anybody (Chinese) can make something that looks the same but there's more to it than that.
 

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I tried one set of aftermarket blades and that was a disaster. They didn't last long and were a pain to install and remove. Since then I buy them from the dealer. They run somewhere around $40 for the set. I have used Bosch blades (Icon, I believe) when I can get them on sale at Advance auto.
 

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I suspect V.W get them made by Bosch? I've also tried the cheap Chinese inserts you get on Ebay and none give the same quality of clean wipe, but the silicones had potential to work well. MY07 is still on its original front screen. I'm aware of fine surface marks on the screen glass when sun is glancing off it at an angle. Wiper blade design must have to compromise rubber composition for hardness, life, noise, friction, and screen glass abrasion. I think they are using EPDM rubber because after a few months on the car you can clean any brand with an alcohol wipe and get black stuff off.
 

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I bought some "brand X" blades about three years ago from Ollie's Bargain Outlet, an American chain of discount (read "junk") retail stores. As I recall, they cost about US$6 each. I wipe them down with Rain-X windshield cleaner, clean the windshield with Rain-X, and use Rain-X winshield washer antifreeze/solvent in the washer system.As a result, the wiper blades work great and fit fine.
 

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Everybodies experience is different. Most aftermarket no namers had downsides. Most common was wiping noise and streaks left on the screen. You don't notice wiper noise until you get it.
 

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Windshields are easily 'Contaminated' with grease and road grime during the dry seasons or if the car is left standing a while. You fit replacement blades and on first use without cleaning the glass, muck gets transferred to the new blades.

I use paper towel and alcohol based domestic window glass cleaner on my windshield and blades, followed by a squirt from the washers. The synthetic rubber they use for the blades is degradeable over time, evidenced by the black rubber deposit you see after wiping with a paper towel. Silicone should be a better longer wearing alternative, but a lot still has to go into the design of the holder and tensioning etc to make them work well. The silicone blade inserts I tried weren't that good, it needs somebody to re-design the complete arm and blade assembly with silicone rubber blades?
 

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I hadn't thought about steel wool on a screen? MY07 screen is now covered in micro scratches which I notice most when the sun hits it at an angle. I might try it out on a small corner area using a fine glass rubbing compound? I discovered a laser pen shone across the screen also shows up the scratches.
 
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