Refilling the Oil in your Aston Martin DB9

Pouring OilOne of the final steps in the Oil change service on your DB9 is to refill the oil.   Okay, Okay, I hear you laughing about this too (is he going to tell us which end of the funnel goes down?).  No, but there are just a few bits of advice to share (including that the narrow end of the funnel goes down ;>).

Refill the Oil BEFORE you reinstall the front under tray.  You need to be able to check the sump drain plug and filter for leaks, so leave the tray off for now.

Remember that your Oil Filter is empty, so there is a void in the system.  This requires that you refill in essentially 2 stages.

Mobil 1 synthetic 0W-40 5 quart containerThe Oil you should be using is Mobil 1 synthetic 0W-40.   You should have 12-13 quarts on hand.  I bought three of the large 5 quart containers online for about $26 dollars each.

The process I followed was:

  • I laid out an old rag surrounding the Oil fill port to catch any drippings.
  • Next I start by adding about 11 quarts.
    • Wait 1-2 minutes to allow it to all drain down to the sump.
  • Aston Martin DB9 Dipstick Min-MaxCheck the dipstick and then carefully add enough oil to get it to the max level mark.
    • Don’t overfill!  Bad things happen.
  • Start the engine and let it idle for 2 – 3 minutes to allow the Oil to circulate.
  • While the engine is running, check your sump drain plug and Oil Filter to be sure you haven’t got any leaks.  This is under the car work with the front under tray still removed as noted.
  • Shut the car off and wait 2-3 minutes to allow the oil to settle to the sump.
  • Check the dipstick again.   It should be down some (since the Oil Filter is now full).   Carefully finish adding Oil to the max level mark.
  • Replace the Oil fill cap and cleanup with the rag – You’re done!

Aston Martin DB9 Dipstick HandleNotice how I’ve been flip flopping about 12 or 13 quarts?   This is as good a place as any to remind you that the DB9 engine as originally fitted may have had an oil starvation problem to the rear most cylinders (6 and 12).  The factory issued a Field Service Action (FSA) to fit a shorter dipstick which would have us then keep about an extra quart of oil in the sump (to mask over the issue I guess).   You should be sure that it you have one of the affected cars to get the dealer to complete the repair.   Field Service Action FSA 165V2 was issued in May 2008 and was for vehicles VIN range A00001 through A10286 (which included my car A01936).  You can read a full copy of the FSA here.

Aston Martin DB9 Dipstick Part Number 4G4E-6750-AC
Dipstick Part Number Location

If you are looking at the P/N on your dipstick to see if it’s the correct one – the FSA says the corrected part is 4G4E-6750-AC.   Checking is simple, remove your dipstick, clean off the oil and look on the opposite side of the max-min.  Otherwise check with your dealer and the Aston Martin service database should have a record if the FSA was completed on your VIN.

[Updated January 4, 2017 – I have a more detailed article on the FSA replacement dipstick and its length that you can read here]

Here is a really short video of the Oil refilling process.

Up next is how to reinstall the Front Under Tray.


Bonus Feature’s

Aston Martin actually released an official service bulletin (SB251) on how to check your engine oil properly, leaving no doubt to the process.   Geez, they even want the min/max marker facing the engine block.  Aston Martin Service Bulletin 251 on How to Check the Engine Oil.  Check out the Service Bulletin here.

Here is what is listed in your Official Aston Martin Owners Manual about Engine Oil:

Engine Oil:

Mobil 1 Recommended (0W-40) and (0W-30)

To Achieve the required high performance of synthetic lubricants, do not mix with mineral oils.

Engine Oil Specification:

An oil of 0W-30 viscosity meeting Aston Martin specification WSS M2C9213-A/B or 0W-40 viscosity meeting Aston Martin specification WSS0M2C937-A is preferred.  Where this is not possible, oil meeting the following standards may be used.

OW-30

Authority           Standard
API                 SL/SJ/EC/CF
ACEA                A1/A5/B1/B5
ILSAC               CF3

OW-40

Authority           Standard
API                 SL/SJ/EC/CF
ACEA                A3/B3/B4
ILSAC               CF3

 

7 thoughts on “Refilling the Oil in your Aston Martin DB9

  1. jacob backhausen

    Hi Steve, and others
    I just wanted to give you an update. I bought spareparts through AM bits in UK. 236 pounds. Differential axle output seals, 2 new Japanese Bearings,6 O-rings and copper washers. 2 l Shell transaxle oil + 100ml Limited slip additive.
    The workshop manuel helped me a lot. After removal of the two aft exhaust pipes it gave me the work space needed. A lot of components needed to be removed, but it was pretty strait forward following the WSM. Took some time obviously, but then again I really enjoyed it.
    The problem I had was a oil leak from the left output seal and a humming noise from the dif. Especially around the 90 km/hr speed. I decided to change the bearings (50 USD each) once I had the dif open anyway. I could easily remove the left bearing with my own tool, but I had to go to a little workshop with a presser to install the new bearing. The left dif axle needs to be back in place before removing the right one, since it holds the dif mechanism in place. The right axle bearing had to be pressed out and the new one pressed in after output seal change. But it all went pretty smooth, and luckily there was no metal particles in the filter and the magnet was super clean as well.

    After assembly and oil fill, I took it for a test drive. All the humming mis-sounds where completely gone. It really did the job. Graziano, who is manufacturer of this sport differential advice to change oil and clean filter to extend dif life. I will change it again in a few years time.
    After the test drive I found a light oil leak below the left dif axle. Be aware that it is very hard to spot were it comes from, but I had the dif. cleaned off beforehand, which helped a lot. The leak was from the dif oil cooler hose/stud, which is located just above the left axle. I gave it a good clean and a new copper washer and a suitable size hose tightener. I’m convinced that the one installed was too large in size, coursing the leak.

    My DB9 has got 44 000 miles now, so I decided to change the transmission oil and Pan/filter as well, now I had the aft exhaust pipes off anyway. You need the right side pipe off to do this service.
    ZF who is the manufacturer of the 6hp26 transmission advice to change oil and filter between 70-100 K km to significantly extent the transmission life. Check on their homepage, forget AM filled for life policy, it’s bull shit if you ask me. AM buys the filter pan from ZF, and sells them for around 220 US. I went to the ZF dealer here in dubai and bought the exact same part for 70 US. Same part number. I bought the 8 l ZF lifeguard 6 oil for 15 US a piece. AM in dubai charge 60 US pr l.

    Again it was pretty straight forward, with some minor challenges. The transmission oil cooler thermostat is located under the forward edge of the oil pan. It needs to be removed, but this gives you the opportunity to flush the cooling line out for old oil, which holds around 1,7 l. Worth to get rid of. Remember to flush backwards of the oil flow direction. It is shown on the hose by the way.

    I had a light oil leak in a hose fitting in the transmission cooler line. AM wanted to change the full cooler system because of this hose, which I thought was absolutely madness. 500 US sparepart and a lot of extra work. I bought 1 meter 24 BAR 5/8” hose for 25 USD in a local store. Replaced both hoses, and still have enough for the front hoses if they decides to leak one day.

    I will advice to print out the transmission oil/pan change procedure from the ZF homepage, and stick to it. Once the new pan is installed and you fill the oil its important to run the engine in idle while filling. If not it will only take around 2 l.
    It is absolutely necessary too have a temperature gun for this procedure, so get one beforehand.
    With the gun you can also identify on the transmission oil cooler, if the thermostat has opened and filled the system. I took a termo shot on the radiator inlet and outlet, I found a 5 degree difference.
    Once the cooling system is full it will take some more oil. Then you recycle the gears from P-R-D1-D2-D3-P. All positions for 10 sec each. Refill again until it dribbles out and the job is done. It is important to keep the oil temp 30-35 degrees through out the process. Use your temp gun.
    Its all in the ZF procedure.

    Make sure to torque all bolts and nuts to the proscribed figures in the WSM, when putting it all together again.

    I have had my DB9 for almost a year now. It has been serviced by AM dubai until now, and I’m not very impressed with their work. Having the car taken apart it was obvious that they have been cutting corners through their previous services. Close to 30 screws where missing in various places. Even a few plastic strips had been used in stead of the proper screws. Not what you should expect from a 3 times the normal price workshop. I had them all replaced with original screws and clips from UK. 30 USD.
    I hate leaks and missing screws. 🙂
    The car is Running perfectly now, with new oils and filters everywhere, and no leaks.

    I hope you can use my input. It’s nice to share experience as we go through all these updates on these fantastic cars. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    I have Used quite a few of your posts on my way. I have just changed the Brake fluid, using your outstanding videos. Thank you
    jacob

    Like

  2. Cornelis Stakenborg

    Hello Steve, I must say I’m more than impressed with the videos you’ve put together, especially the detail you incorporate. This detail is imperative in lessening the challenges of working on your own car with confidence., I’m sure everyone feels the same so thanks form all of us.

    Merry Christmas to you and all members.

    As to the FSA to do with the shorted oil dipstick, My 2009 DB9 was built after the service release date but I thought I’d check my dip sticks ID # to be sure. My number is actually 8D33-6750-AB which is different from both the old and new part numbers in the bulletin, so confusing. I’ve asked the good folks at HWM Aston Martin in England (great people) to clarify. Thought some of your other readers might have the same question, so I’ll let everyone know what I find out..

    Cheers

    Cor
    Summerfield, FL.

    Like

    1. Thank you for the encouragement! I Googled your Dipstick part number and found this AMOC discussion, and a few other 09 owners had the same situation. The result isn’t all that clear, but it looks like they ended up getting the shorter one. https://www.amoc.org/forum/index.php?topic=24120.0.

      Even more interesting Googling your Part Number further is that it comes up repeatedly as the dipstick for a V12 Vantage engine, not a DB9.
      http://www.astonmartincarparts.com/diagram/astonmartin/v12-vantage/engine-system/engine-lubrication/155-781-24783.html

      Maybe HWM will chime in, but perhaps Aston had a bunch left over when they created the V12 Vantage, and used them in the DB9.

      I would be willing to measure the lenght of my dipstick very carefully and exactly from some reference point on the handle. If you lay your dipstick on a bench alongside a tape measure with the tip at the end, take a picture of the measurements up near the handle and shoulder. I can review mine too and we could publish a bt about it.

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  3. Cor Stakenborg

    Update. I heard from Rob at HWM and my dip stick is correct for my car and is the shorter version. From what I now understand, the referenced dip stick part numbers in the FSA, only cover the original long dipstick and it’s replacement, shorter dipstick. Cars built after this FSA was issued, may have different part numbers altogether, as is the case in my 2009 DB9.

    As to the part number matching that of the V12 Vantage, I guess with the engines being the same, a small volume producer like AM probably does cross pollinate in house parts inventory when they are essentially the same across models, that’s certainly true with switchgear etc.

    Like

  4. Peter Lewis

    HI
    Just to say further to my earlier email, (about getting my first DB9 2005), Your videos will be such a time saver for me.
    Mine was just serviced, before I got it, by HWM, (who have serviced it from new) however this will change, as I’m very keen to do what I can myself, which will include changing a failed front parking light in the near future.
    Not nearly so scared about getting to it know that I have seen your inner wheel arch removal video and also reading the workshop manual I have.

    Best

    Peter

    Like

    1. Cool Peter. Go for it. Let me know how the parking lights go. I am starting to gather up info to do a series on changing all the lamps in the car, including what bulbs to get, factory and LED alternatives.

      Like

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