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?
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.
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.
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.