Changing the Oil Filter on your Aston Martin DB9

Aston Martin DB9 Oil FilterChanging the Oil Filter on your DB9 is an annual event, part of the 1 year and 2 year service requirements.   Changing this filter is a giant pain in the ass.  The position of the filter is very difficult to reach, and you’ll spend a considerable amount of time preparing.

On a LHD car the filter has to be accessed from above – there is no way to reach or remove the filter from beneath the car since the steering box is in the way.

On RHD cars you can change the filter from under the car.

Before you change the Oil Filter, you should drain the existing oil from the engine.  Please follow the preparation steps and procedure described in my post and video on how to do this.

Throttle body on Aston Martin DB9
You will need to remove the left hand throttle body

In addition to draining the oil, you’ll need to remove the left side Throttle Body to get enough access to reach the filter from above.  Check out my post and video on this.   With the throttle body removed there will be a twisted small route down to the filter you will need to jam your hand and arm into to reach it.

Tools you’ll need are:

  • Oil filter wrench (suitably sized)
  • Inspection light
  • Shop rags
  • Plastic bag

To try and prevent making a giant mess (when the oil starts to drool out when your start to remove the filter) I stuffed as many rags as I could under the filter (from below).  This wasn’t many, access is very limited, but I was able to wedge part of one rag into the space directly below the filter.   Check out my video below on the process.

Next I tried to follow Aston Martin’s suggestion to take a plastic bag and place it around the filter so it can drop into the bag, and then you can lift the bag up and out without any spillage.  Good luck.  I found this impossible, but the bag did at least catch some of the oil when the filter came off, so I would still suggest it, just don’t plan on pulling the filter up while inside the bag.

Oil Filter WrenchLoosen the filter first.  Before going to battle with the Oil Filter wrench, just try reaching in with one hand and trying to see if you can loosen it.  In my case I could.   These are only supposed to be hand tight, so odds are in your favor.  If you can’t break it loose, then resort to the wrench.  You should be just able to get it onto the filter, and it will just be able to turn 10-20 degrees at a time, but all you need to do is crack it loose.  Take the wrench off as soon as its cracked loose (else you’ll never get the wrench off again) and finish the process by hand.

Once its loose and your rags and bag are in place (and the wrench is removed) go ahead and spin the filter completely off.  The oil will start to drip out everywhere.   As it comes completely off the thread, make sure to maneuver it so the butt of the filter points down towards the ground, and the open face of the filter stays pointing up (this minimizes the amount of oil that drips out).

Now its time to lift the filter up and out.  With my normal sized man hands I couldn’t hold onto the outside of the filter and still get it up through the narrow passage.  I resorted to taking my index finger and jamming it tightly into the large threaded hole on the filter (that was still facing up).   I crooked my finger tip to keep it from dropping off.  I then carefully brought my hand up and out with the filter stuck to my finger.  Works like a charm.  Gotta love it.

Cleanup time.  I removed the drip catch rag and the plastic bag (each actually caught a fair bit of the oil, nothing got onto the chassis).   I also took a clean lint free shot rag and cleaned the gasket surface down on the engine block.

Aston Martin DB9 Oil Filter
DB9 Oil Filter

I prepared my new, ridiculously expensive Oil Filter (Aston Martin P/N 44-85099 which cost about $50 ) by unwrapping it, and then coating the gasket surface with a light coat of the engine oil.  I also put a little oil onto the threads.   Some might suggest it would be appropriate to prefill the filter with fresh engine oil, but in this case it’s such a PITA to refit the filter, it would spill all over.

I lowered the filter back down using the ‘stick it on my finger’ trick again, and then threaded it into position.

The final step is to hand tighten it.  Don’t kill it like Hercules would, just make it’s reasonably snug so the gasket seals tightly.

At the end I placed all the oily shop rags and the oily drained filter into the oily plastic bag and disposed of it all together.

Check out my video on how to tackle the entire process:

Next up is refilling the Oil properly.  Ya, this seems like a no brainer, but with an empty Oil Filter to start with it is a 2 step process.  Check out my post on this.

11 thoughts on “Changing the Oil Filter on your Aston Martin DB9

  1. ian.stringer3@ntlworld.com

    Your recent videos are brilliant , a good insight on how to work on the car and save a few pounds.

    Are you going to be changing the air filters and spark plugs

    Like

    1. Hi Ian. Yes, I have posts for the entire 2 year service coming along. Air filters will be soon. Spark plugs I haven’t done, but since I have the classic low speed idle misfire issue (weak coil packs) I plan on doing a series of articles on replacing the coil packs, and this will include the plugs and a compression test while I am at it. Thanks for checking out the blog!

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  2. Ben

    Steve, will you be posting a video on how to replace the PCV valves? The typically fail early on the DB9, so it would be of great interest to the DB9 community. Thanks!

    Like

    1. That’s a good idea. No plans to do the video yet (I’ve just made them as my car needs something), but I’d be interested if you can point me to some forums or other info on the history of the issues so I can learn if my car is suffering as well. Thanks for the idea!

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      1. Ben

        Steve, thanks for response. Yes, the PCV valves are notorious in failing early on V12s, usually indicated with oil residue in air intake, or worse, in air filter. 6speedOnline website forum features the problem, but no good illustration for fix.

        BTW, looking at your video on jacking up car, can you just jack it up on the front end or does car have to be raised in rear also to be level for oil change and other front-end work? I only have two jack stands.

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  3. Ben

    BTW, Steve, an excellent source on AM cars is the book by Neal Grant, “Definitive guide to Gaydon era AMs”. It also highlights the PCV valve issue.

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  4. Herbie Mitchell

    I have fitted oil catch tanks on both sides but am still considering fitting new pcv valves. Has anybody got a list of valves and pipes needed to replace the pcv valves? The parts diagram and list is not very clear on what parts are required and the descriptions are somewhat ambiguous.

    Like

    1. Hi Herbie. I contacted my UK parts supplier a while back and they sent me a quote for the much of it. I agree, the parts diagram is as clear as mud. The parts guy suggestion was to replace most everything while I was in that deep. But, if its just the PCV valves (and not cracked hoses/pipes) it shouldn’t need all the bits.

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