One day you’ll get into your DB9 and just after “Power Beauty Soul” you’ll be greeted with “Time for Regular Service”. The DB9 has a scheduled maintenance due every 1 year or 10,000 miles (whichever comes first). I don’t know exactly how it keeps track of the time (maybe via the GPS providing it the date), but mine recently went off on what was nearly the exact anniversary date from the previous year (I had only driven about 5,000 miles in the 12 months, so it wasn’t the miles driven that tripped it).
As readers of this Blog are aware, I try to do most of this kind of work myself, and in fact I have a complete collection of the 1 year and 2 year service steps posted (check them out). When this indicator went off, I had already completed my 1 year service regime about a month earlier. Time to figure out how to turn it off.
The official way to clear this indicator is to use the Aston Martin Dealer System (AMDS) service computer and plug into the cars communication network and send it a command to ‘clear’ the warning. Unless you have $15K to try and buy a used one, I’d suggest you read on and learn how to do it for free in this 60 second procedure. Oh, and I guess you have the option of taking your car into the dealer to have it cleared, but that isn’t free either.
A search of the Internet will find several forum posts at AMOC.org, Pistonheads and 6SpeedOnline. Lots of talk out there about it, and a variety of solutions all similar in nature. The key word is ‘similar’ – and not how to do it definitively. So, I set out to try them all and document the one that worked here with a video so you’d know for sure!
[Updated January 2018]
The procedure I describe below shows you how to do it manually. I wanted to let you know that there is now a cost effective OBDII reader available that we can use to ‘reset’ the indicator electronically. The Foxwell NT510 will do this for you as well as be a useful tool for many other tasks. Check out my article on it here.
Just your car key and your index finger!
The process should take you less than 5 minutes. I am covering the process for the early model cars that use an Ignition Key, not the crystal ‘Emotion’ key that was part of the latter models (the process is similar, just my photos won’t match).
- Get in the car and be sure to close both the drivers and passenger side doors.
- Put the key in the ignition and turn the key to position 1. This is the first ‘stop’, and just turns on the power to the gauges so you see the mileage indication and you’ll see the Entertainment system also has power. By doing this you are powering up the cars internal computer so it can listen for input from you.
- On the entertainment system there is a buttons labelled T1/T2 that we will use for the reset procedure. Normally this button is used to toggle and reset your trip odometer. You can read more about the normal use of T1/T2 button here.
- NOTE: Many of the forum articles talk about using the neighboring ‘Read’ button during the procedure as well. In my testing, the reset process would NOT work if I was using the T1/T2 and Read buttons together simultaneously as suggested. Some of the articles stated that you only needed the T1/T2, and this was the case for my car . Perhaps in later model cars the Read button must also be used in the process, but I also suspect that this could just be lore and it’s unnecessary.
- Press and hold the T1/T2 button in firmly with one hand
- Turn the ignition key to Position 2 (with your other hand – awkwardly).
- Note: You are not starting the car, but turning the key to the position that lights up all the indicator lamps and gets the car ready to start.
- Timing is everything now. As soon as you turn the key to Position 2, you need to be watching the system indicators in the gauge cluster.
- Many of the forum posts talk about counting the ‘Blink’s’ of the yellow warning triangle. The idea being to release the T1/T2 button between the 3rd and 4th blinks, and this would be the signal to the cars computer to reset the warning. In my car this wasn’t working out. I got an inconsistent number of blinks between tries, and I never got more than three (3) no matter how long I waited. Sometimes I got one, sometimes two, occasionally three, and the timing of each round was different. Perhaps the later model cars this will be different, but for me this was a non-starter.
- What I did find was the right timing for the release was watching for the display to just finish the ‘System Check’ and just before the “Time for Regular Service” indication would appear. I released T1/T2 just after the System Check message disappeared from the screen. This also matches up to listening to the ‘Bings’. As the fourth Bing finishes also coincides with the System Check going out. Check out the video below. I suspect the computer is starting up during system check, and if it sees the T1/T2 depressed it gets the message to reset the service due indicator.
- When it works, you’ll be rewarded that the Time for Regular Service message will not appear and the message display will just be it’s normal speed indicator 0 mph.
- This is another reason why I think using the Read button in combination with the T1/T2 is a red herring. Read is the button you would push to clear any normally occurring messages from the display once you’ve read them (low fuel, etc.). It’s job is to make the temporary message go away, and on my car if I missed the timing on the T1/T2 release the Service Due message would clear since the Read button was pressed, but only to return on the next restart. It’s just a temporary clear. Again, maybe this is different on later model cars.
- Once you’ve completed the process, turn the key back off and remove it, then confirm the message is cleared by putting the key back in and turning to position 2 and watching for the message to come back. If it’s gone, congratulations!
- Don’t be discouraged if it’s not cleared on the first try. It took me a couple of tries to get the timing right. Each time it didn’t work, I reset by turning the car off and removing the key.
That’s it. Message cleared for another year.
Here is a short video showing the process I followed.
Can you clear the message with an OBDII reader rather than an AMDS?
My fancy OBDII reader (described in my other article)also claims to be able to reset the “Due for Service” light on many models of cars. Of course, it doesn’t directly support Aston Martin. But, since in many cases selecting a 2005 Ford V6 does work (at least for reading values) I thought I would give this a shot. The short answer is No, it doesn’t work (or I couldn’t figure out how). I tried to use a 2005 Ford Escape V6, and all the OBDII reader lists is the manual steps to follow in a Ford Escape to use the dash buttons similar to our steps above. I also tried a 2005 Volvo XC90 V6 (also claimed to be the same Ford computer that the DB9 uses) and it was ‘unable to communicate’ when I tried. So, I went with the manual procedure above.