The DB9 is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that includes Tire Pressure Sensors (TPS) mounted to each wheel. They are an integral part of the air valve. You’ll notice that each of your air valves has a colored ring around it, either Red, Green, Blue or Yellow. In your trunk / boot is a mysterious little box with LEDs. This is the TPMS indicator panel, and if you ever get a warning indication on the dash, you’ll need to check the LED’s and see which color is lit, and that’s the tire with the issue.
During service the main thing we can do is make sure the correct sensor is on the correct wheel. The documentation says the TPMS is expecting them in these positions:
- Yellow – Left Rear
- Red – Left Front
- Green – Right Front
- Blue – Right Rear
It is possible that during a set of new tire installations or service a tire technician could have missed this detail, and installed them on the opposite sides. It’s easy to check, so have a look.
If you find them out of place, be careful to avoid just swapping the rim and tire to the other side. Remember these tires are unidirectional, and if you move the right front to the left front, the tire will now be spinning in the opposite direction than it was, and this is not good. You actually need to have the tires dismounted and remounted (and rebalanced) as you swap rims (the right front tire needs to always be on the right front after you’ve driven on it a few miles).
The TPMS does more than just report the current tire pressure, it actually alerts us to three conditions:
Low Tire Pressure
If the tire pressure is below 30 psi it will alert us.
I get this alert occasionally as the seasons change from Summer (where I live it gets to 100°F) to Winter (as cool as 32°F). This ambient temperature change is enough to drop the cold resting temperature of the tire a few psi, so it sets off the alert and I get off my ass and set my tire pressures for the season. Remember to reset the tire pressures at least once per season.
High Tire Temperature
If a tire is above 170°F it will alert us. This could happen if you are pushing your tires very hard (on a track) and they are overheating, or if they are dangerously low and they are overheating due to sidewall flex. Either condition is dangerous and you should stop and deal with it appropriately.
If a tire goes through a 5 psi pressure change during a driving session it will alert us. This is to catch a leak that’s just started before we get into trouble. For example, if your tire was 38 psi when you started a trip and you picked up a nail and a leak, it will go into alarm at 33 psi during the same trip.
Here is a quick video about this.
You might want to check out these other posts relating to your tires:
21 thoughts on “Tire Pressure Sensors on an Aston Martin DB9”
Hi Steve, There is one more reason why the dash amber light will come on:- If you have changed a sensor due to it getting broken when changing tyres etc. Then it will need re-coding to the car. That is why I found your piece, I need to re-code and don’t want to go to my Aston Dealer because it’s inconvenient and probably costs a lot. The sensors are Smartire Systems and don’t appear to have colour code bands.
Thanks for the note. The official Aston Martin Workshop Manual has a section on it (4.04) and it requires a special Smartyre Display unit tool. You would plug this into the sending unit in the trunk (boot) and then follow the procedures for “Transmitter Learn Mode” to delete the damaged transmitter and then add the replacement. It looks like Smartire is no longer selling automotive products (see http://www.smartire.com/automotive). This website seems to know a lot about TPMS tools and learning https://www.tpmswarehouse.co.uk/blog/tpms-relearn/.
A little Googling turned up the Aston Martin tool as a Smartire ST2 unit. I found the manual online for the ST-2 Full Function Display http://www.smartire.com/2006/pdf/manuals/full_func_display_english.pdf. The Aston manual describes what Smartire calls the full function remote display. I couldn’t find any for sale on eBay or Amazon, but at least you know what you are looking for. You might contact those TPMWarehouse folks and ask them if they have another controller that can program the unit – I bet they do. Let me know what you learn
I am in looking into this an may need to replace the TPMS units — how do I find out which frequency units I need to order as there are 2 part numbers that come up thanks
Hi I have a question regarding flashing amber lights on the smart tire unit under the glove box. All five are flashing but there is no amber tyre symbol on the dashboard, why would that be ? A friend of mine with a similar car has the same system but the first light is solid green and the other 4 are not lit or flashing
I had a problem with my tire pressure system going to fault after driving the freeway for about a hundred miles. Stop for a few hours and it would work fine. (2005 DB9) The dealer would not do anything about it, so I bought this system on EBay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Orange-Wireless-Auto-Tire-Pressure-Monitoring-System-TPMS-Sensor-P409S/122952570124?epid=1223383982&hash=item1ca08b550c:g:BqUAAOSwFnxaeKvb&vxp=mtr. It has been working great for 3 years now. The readout shows pressure and temperature continuously. Love it. I simply pulled the fuse on the original system and had no more anxiety attacks with the TPS warning light.
Different subject: Anyone have a noisy rattle when idling coming from the front bell housing? No noise when accelerating or driving.
We just started having tire system fault warnings after driving for a while on the freeway on our 2005 DB9. When we stop or even slow down sometimes the fault goes away. Looking at some options including replacing the sensors. I’m thinking the batteries are bad in the sensors. Looking at your solution which fuse did you pull? Any other fault codes come up? Did the tire system fault go away?
Steve: have you had to replace sensors? Was dealer able to do it?
Check out my latest ‘Unscheduled Service’ item over on My Car page. https://aston1936.com/my-car/ Yes, I just had to change them…..
Thanks for the quick reply. I guess it’s off to the dealership. We’re they able to source the “old” style sensors or did they replace the whole system to the newer “learning” system?
I can’t say for sure. I have the old sensors, I was going to try and disassemble one to see if the batteries were changeable. They appear to be a lifetime sealed unit.
I think the replacements were original style, but can’t say for sure. I know the dealer totally ripped me on the parts prices, they are less than half the cost buying them new from ScuderiaParts. If you are in England, maybe they won’t kill you on the parts. If you are in the US, I’d suggest buying the new sensors online (saving a grand) and taking them to the dealer to install. Or at least get an estimate from them before taking it in. I can publish the part numbers off my invoice if you’d like. Good Luck!
Once again thx for the info. I’m in Michigan not UK. If you want send us the part #s Ill see what we can do. I think the batteries are “replaceable” but you need some skill sets or someone that rebuilds board level components. That said I’ve enjoyed your blogs and pages. Wealth of info. We have the same car as you except Meteor Silver. We we lucky to find a one owner low mileage car owned by a guy with deep pockets so just about every repair and maintenance item you have gone about fixing had been done already. But as you know new things keep popping up. Thx for all the info it’s helped a lot.
PS: if you can see my email feel free to send me one and I’ll send you all my contact info
I installed the Orange system described above. Very pleased with it. Now I need to turn off the dash light. I have a 2009 DB9 so its a Gen2 SmartTire unit so disconnecting the under glovebox wiring does not eliminate the light. I remember reading somewhere online about what wires in the connector to short but cannot find it any anymore. Anyone have a link?
Should I replace the original TPMS units on my 2006 DB9, incidental to replacing the original tires? In other words, do they have a predictable service life, because of a component such as a battery? The car has only 5000 miles on it, As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Hi Richard. I’d just leave them I think. The lifespan isn’t that predictable, and will be tied to usage as well since they switch off then parked. Mine bit the dust at about 32K miles.
Just what I needed to know, Steve; thanks!
Mr Steve, could you help me ?
I own a 2011 DBS in Brazil and unfortunately there are no Aston Martin Dealer here anymore.
I was trying to find this Smart Tyre Pressure unit you’ve say in comments but didn’t succeed: “In your trunk / boot is a mysterious little box with LEDs”
In my 2005 DB9 it is located in the trunk, along the top edge of the opening. You can’t miss it. But, in the 2011 DBS, it may be located elsewhere, I’m not an expert on the DBS (wish I had one to work on). You can always download the official Aston Martin Workshop Manual from AstonMartinTechnicalInfo.com like I did. Sign up for a one day subscription and download all the PDF documents for your exact car. Would be worth the few dollars since you don’t have a dealer. Good luck!
Do you know the part number or how to buy those coloured rings?
Hi. Unfortunately I think the colored rings only come with the TPMS sensors when new. When mine were replaced last year, each one came with all four colored rings. Sucks right?
On my 06 DB9 the Smarttire unit is in a bracket below the glove box. I frankly wish I could just disconnect it and monitor the tires manually. I have done this for decades without any issues.
Hi Ken, I think you can do just that. I’ve read of a few Vantage owners that have disconnected theirs. Me, I’d actually like to have it watching over the tires. Its alerted me to issues I would have missed until its too late. I think Redpants.lol has some sort of TPMS defeat kit available for the Vantage.
I installed this on my DB9 last year after posting onto this thread in September ’18