Back in October, the first time we drove the Mini in the rain, we found out that the wiper blades squeaked/squealed when they do their job. So I did a search on the North American Motoring Mini Forum and found that the most recommended replacement blades seemed to be the Bosch Icon, so I bought a pair from Amazon.
On a side note, is it really too hard to design it, so the wiper blades are the same length? Mazda didn’t have a problem with the Miata, it uses two 18″ blades. Our recently departed Hyundai Sonata had a 24″ drivers side and an 18″ passenger side blade. The Mini? An 18″ blade for the driver and a 19″ one for the passenger side. (I wonder if on the right-hand drive version of the Mini those are flipped?)
Two days later I got some really nice replacement blades that will not go on our 2013 Mini Cooper. This is because in the middle of 2012, Mini in their infinite wisdom, changed the standard hook ends on the arms to a straight connection and forgot to notify Amazon. So I boxed the Boschs back up to return them and headed to the local parts store. Of the 8-10 different kinds of wiper blades they had hanging there, none of them included an adapter for the Mini’s straight-ending arms.
When we got home, I went back to the forum and re-did my search for wiper arms. This time instead of stopping after the first couple of threads and posts, I dug deeper and discovered that there really isn’t an off the shelf aftermarket blade that’ll work on the 2013 and up cars. I ended up buying some stock blades from a forum sponsor ECS Tuning.
While perusing that site, I discovered that they actually sell a kit to change from the earlier style to these new-fangled aero blades. Is there a 2-ounce weight savings involved here? Am I crazy for considering going the opposite way and getting the older hook-ended arms next time I need wiper blades? OK, maybe I am crazy for wanting to go backwards (and I probably won’t), but for someone like me who drives longer than he should on crappy wipers, finally decides that enough is enough and buys news ones on a rainy day, it is a little unnerving to not be able to walk into the local chain auto parts store and get some replacements.