Where to Apply Clear Bra Paint Protection Film on an Aston Martin DB9

The paint on my 14 year old Aston Martin DB9 is brittle and fragile.  If you look closely at the gorgeous Merlot Red color on the most of the front of the car, you’ll see it marred with a field of tiny chips.  I’ve had my share of cars over the years, and NEVER have I seen such a field of chips.  You’d think I drove all 42 thousand miles on gravel roads behind a truck with no mud flaps.

The reality is that the early DB9’s are prone to chipping.  These were the first few years that the Gaydon factory was using water based paints, and the ‘toughness’ of the finish is lacking.

If you own a DB9 that still has impeccable paint I would seriously consider adding Clear Bra Paint Protective Film (PPF) to your baby.   But where to apply it?  The whole body?  Just the front bumper?  The mirror caps?

My car can act as the ‘template’ showing you where the most likely wear & tear will occur, and you can then decide which portions of your car to protect.  Make sense?

Front Bumper

This is an obvious one.  Sand, gravel, bugs, other road debris being lifted up by the cars ahead of you and pinging off your front bumper.

Front Fenders (Wings)

Since the front fenders also wrap around the grill opening forming part of the nose of the car, you can see in these photos they take as big a beating as the bumper does.

Hood (Bonnet)

The leading edge of the hood is the upper portion of the grill surround, so it too is directly exposed to road debris.  The area forward of the emblem is particularly nicked.

Mirror Caps

Another typical area in the direct path of oncoming fire.  Since they are higher up (relatively), they have fared better.

Lower Door Sills

These wear in two areas.  The front leading edge is literally sandblasted free of paint by debris coming up off the front tires.  The area behind it takes a beating too.  Notice the sills actually wrap all the way from vertical near the top to horizontal at the bottom.

Also worn is the rearmost surface of the lower door sill where it flares out wider.  It gets sand blasted by debris lifted up by front tires that bounces along.


You can expect to find the paint sand blasted off the leading edge of the rear bumper where the rocks kick up off the rear tires.

Fuel Filler Area

The one area where you might self-inflict a wound.  Putting the fuel filler nozzle in and out of the area has a risk of clunking against the paint work and nicking it since it’s so brittle.   Sure enough it has happened to may car.

Now that I’ve shown you where the most likely areas of damage are, the next logical step is to install some PPF to protect them.  This can be a do-it-yourself project.  I’ll be doing this in future articles.

In the meantime if you want to jump in and get started for yourself, I’ve been very happy with the PPF from www.InvisibleMask.com.   They have templates for the DB9 and you’ll receive precision cut PPF ready to install.  When you order your material, I recommend you spend the extra couple of $$ and get the best quality material, 3M Scotchgard PRO.

Have you already got PPF installed on your DB9?  If you have any advice to share please leave a comment below.


I did a walk around video showing the condition of the paint on my car.  Check it out here.

8 thoughts on “Where to Apply Clear Bra Paint Protection Film on an Aston Martin DB9

  1. Steve
    On a different subject, after repeated attempts to email Rob at HWM I sent a request for coil packs, intake gaskets, spark plugs, o rings and a complete PCV replacement set for my 2008 DB9.
    I received a note from Sam Smith stating that they do not sell late model parts to individuals outside of the UK
    I used Rob’s email again with no success
    Any Ideas?
    Abe Kohl


    1. Hi Abe. If you are in the USA Aston Martin has now restricted all UK dealers to only be able to sell to the EU. The US dealers were whining up a storm, so we get screwed as a result. In the USA/Canada, I’d suggest you reach out to Rich at Redpants.lol , or to ScuderiaCarParts.com. I’ve used both sources before. USA prices will be higher than the prices I listed from HWM. If you are in the EU, Rich at HWM is on vacation currently. You can contact Parts@hwm.co.uk in the meantime and mention you were referred from this website. Let me know how it goes.


      1. Thank you Steve,
        What originally prompted my reading your article on a lumpy idle was a malfunction in my transmission during gentle acceleration . The feeling of slippage was early reminiscent of my 2007 F150 when the problem was traced down to a faulty coil pack. Since my first indication of an issue the misfire has become quite noticeable and the transmission issue have greatly increase . As a result my 2009 is parked and I am awaiting a quote from HWM having the parts sent to my in laws in the U.K.
        I truly appreciate you efforts, and I hope you continue the outstanding work!


      2. Hello Steve,
        I wanted to send you an update on parts pricing for my 2009 DB9. I’ve included the list of parts with the corresponding part numbers below. Pricing for this list available locally in S. Florida was $5900, using Scuderia is was $3800.00 including shipping and duty. HWM however came in at $2500 which included almost $500 in VAT tax. Since they will not ship to USA I am having their ship to in laws in the UK and then they will forward the parts to me. All in a savings of over $1000 from Scuderia and well worth the effort. Once again thank you for the information on parts suppliers.

        PARTS: Aston Martin 2009 DB9
        Quantity: Part No. Description:
        12 8G43-12A366-AA 3 PIN COIL PACKS
        12 07-85126-PK SPARK PLUGS
        2 6G43-08-10474-PK UPPER INJECTOR SEAL (2 PACKS OF 8)
        2 6G43-08-11260-PK LOWER INJECTOR SEAL (2 PACKS OF 8)
        1 1R12-08-10077-PK MANIFOLD INTAKE GASKETS
        1 4G43-37-10291 VACUUM HARNESS
        1 4G43-37-10288 VACUUM HARNESS
        2 AG43-6714-AA OIL FILTER
        1 1R12-08-10317PK THROTTLE BODY O RING PACK OF 10
        1 4G43-42-10277 SCREW PLUG OIL SUMP
        1 4G43-7D741-AA O RING TRANS SUMP
        1 4G43-42-10273 TRANS OIL SUMP
        1 4G43-184391-AA SEAL-TRANS SUMP

        Best regards,
        Abe Kohl


  2. Byers Bruce

    Hi Steve: fortunately the previous and original owner had this PPF applied at some point before there were many nicks and marks. However there are some small paint chips where it’s not protected like the roof line above the windshield and middle of the hood . They pretty much covered all the areas you mentioned and along the rocker panels too. I’ve had to go around with an exacto knife and trim up some edges where it started to lift. Other than that you can see it as it does not have quite the gloss that the paint has. But I’m sure if we stripped it off it would be like new underneath. At some point we may have that done but for now like they say “leave well enough alone”!


    1. Terrific Bruce, thanks for sharing. I’ve been reading up on PPF lifespans. The 3M Scotchgard Pro is 7 year warranty. Xpel is 10 year. None will match the beautiful gloss of the virgin finish, but probably a worth compromise.


  3. Mark Chippendale

    Have any of you guys looked into the newish spray-on paint protection system from the UK – now appearing in the USA too – from claritycoat.com? Tavarish used it on his latest Lamborghini rebuild & repaint for SEMA and seemed very impressed with it! It’s a removable layer and is even machine-polishable too, plus you can still use a ceramic coat as well if you want – this will be my personal choice on my next Aston.


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