Changing the Wiper Blades on an Aston Martin DB9

Deteriorated Drivers Side Blade with Winglet

Whether you drive a Toyota Corolla or a DB9, eventually you need to change your wiper blades.  They are made of rubber, and rubber deteriorates.  Time, Sunlight, Dry Climates all take their toll on it.  In any normal car changing your wiper blades isn’t rocket science, but of course in an Aston, there is a bit of a trick to it.  This article will share the tricks so you can do it quick!

How Often?

Because deterioration occurs, Aston Martin lists changing the wiper blades as part of EVERY two-year service regime (check out my articles on all the two-year service items here).   I suspect Aston’s position might have been that they couldn’t be sure they would last four years, so including them as part of every two-year service made sure the owner would never suffer a streaky wiper experience (what a horror).  I also suspect they like to sell wiper blades and charge to install them.

Being the wild rebel that I am, I decided to find out how necessary it was to do it that often, and I let mine ride.  I live in Norther California where the summers are hot (daily average high is 92 deg F) and I park outside.  I really do drive her everyday all year round, so she see’s heat, rain, sunlight, bird droppings, the works.   I found mine lasted five (5) years as my daily driver.   That is considerably longer than two years, and confirmed my suspicion that there is no need to make it a standard part of the two year service.

I would recommend that you inspect them every year as part of your annual service, and then replace them after four years on average or whenever you see them starting to degrade.

What to Look for

Rubber splitting away

You might discover them failing in one of two ways.    When you go to use them, they smear water and debris in patches rather than crisply wiping the surface clean, or, you see the rubber blade physically failing (as was the case in my car seen in the photo).   When either situation occurs, don’t delay, just replace them.  As soon as one blade begins to fail, replace them both.  The other can’t be far behind and honestly you drive a DB9, you can’t possibly be that cheap ;>).

Parts

The driver and passenger side blades are different sizes and designs.  The Drivers side blade is longer, and as you can see in the photos incorporates a small leading edge winglet to help press the blade down at high speeds.   This is important to note.   If you fit generic non-OEM blades you may be missing the wing and introduce a problem driving at highway speeds.  This is a safety item, and probably a corner not to cut.

I elected to go with Aston Martin OEM blades.  My car is a LHD 2005 DB9 Coupe.  These parts numbers are for LHD cars (I’m not sure if they cross over to RHD – be sure to verify for your car).

  • Drivers Side – 24” in length with winglet
  • Passenger Side – 20” in length

Once you have your blades in hand, its time to get them installed.

[Updated May 2020 – I’d recommend that before you purchase the OEM wiper blades noted above you check out my new article on Wiper Blade options for your DB9.  There is a much better alternative that is less expensive, works better, looks better.  Check it out here]

Tools

You need only the simplest tools to accomplish this:

  • Small flat blade screwdriver
  • Blue painters tape
  • Microfiber towel

Procedure

Swapping the blades will take about 5 minutes once you have all your tools and parts.

I asked an Aston Master Technician while my car was at the dealer one day and he shared his wisdom with me.  Now let me share it with you.

First Trick – let me point out that the driver side wiper arm can’t be raised to an upright position since it is blocked by the hood.   In fact, if you aggressively lift the arm up while trying to struggle the blade off, you can easily scratch the paint on the edge of the hood ad this photo will attest to (damn previous owner).   Pull off an approximate 6” strip of blue painter’s masking tape and wrap the edge of the hood where the drivers side wiper arm will potentially bump it.

Second Trick – the wiper arms are spring loaded to pull down toward the glass.  If you have the blade off while swapping it, and have the arm pulled back, it wants to slam itself back down against the glass.  And crack it.  Avoid the $4,300+ windshield replacement (read about that here).  Take a Microfiber towel and fold it into quarter sized so it’s nice and thick to use as a pad.  Place it under the wiper blade center before you start, and this way if the arm slips loose (like it actually does in my video below) it will safely land on the Microfiber, no harm done.

Third Trick – Aston Martin eventually realized the problem with the interference on the driver side, and have secretly programmed a special command into the cars electronics that will place the wipers up into ‘Service Position’.     Put the key in the ignition at position 1.   Press and simultaneously hold the 8 & 9 button’s on the stereo console center stack.  While continuing to hold them, use your other hand and turn the key to position 2, and tada, the wipers should pop up to attention straight up on the windshield well clear of the hood interference.    Press 2 & 6 and insert the ECU for newer cars.

Sadly, this doesn’t appear to work on the very earliest models, my 2005 included.   It seems like the feature works on 2006 MY cars or newer.   I’ve tried a bunch of times on my car to get this to work, and nada.  If it works on your 2004 or 2005 car, please leave me a comment below and maybe include your car number (last 6 digits of your VIN) so I can tell if your car is later in the production run than mine.  I’m interested to nail down when this improvement was introduced into production.

One of the few other Aston Martin video’s I’ve ever found on YouTube were these two goofballs playing with the feature – check it out to see it actually work.

If your car does this trick, I still recommend you position the microfiber towels, but you can skip the blue tape obviously.  I am going to write this article without the assistance of Service Mode, mostly because it really isn’t needed if you see how it’s done.

As noted above the passenger side is easier to do because the metal wiper arms doesn’t interfere with the hood.  I’d recommend you start on this side so you can get a better view at what you are doing in the process, and then you’ll be an expert when you move over to the drivers side and have to work very close to the windshield.

With the safety precautions in place follow this simple procedure:

  • Although I am writing it up here, this is one of those tasks that watching the video below is the best way to describe the technique.  Me saying “push this, twist that” will make a lot more sense when you see me actually do it.  That said, here it is in written and picture format.
  • Use the small flat blade screwdriver blade and use it to pryse up the tab at the center of the plastic pivot in the existing wiper blade.
  • Use one hand to hold the wiper arm up a bit, and the other to grasp the blade assembly and pull the blade along the arm about an inch into the space now vacated by the popped up plastic tab.
  • Pivot the plastic attachment point about 90 degrees so that the metal hook on the end of the wiper arm can now be extracted through the opening.
  • Lift the wiper blade away from the arm.
  • Installing your new blade is the reversal of that process
    • Pop the tab open on the new blade
    • Rotate the plastic tab assembly ~90 degrees
    • Position it over the wiper arm
    • Rotate the plastic tab assembly back to its normal position over the hook on the arm
    • Push/Pull the blade assembly about an inch to fully engage it over the metal hook on the arm
    • Push the lock tab firmly closed into position

Easy peesy.   Now do the other side.

With both changed you should be good to go for another four to five years.   Job done.


Video

I’ve created a short video on the process which will likely be a really good way to see the magic of getting the blade loose from the arm while very close to the glass.   Worth a watch.


Bonus Photos

I expect some of you are aching to find a non-OEM alternative.   To help you along here are some close up high resolution photos of the blades and the winglet.  Spoiler alert – the blades are made by Trico, but are slightly custom to Aston that they include two screw mounting tabs for attaching the wing on the drivers side blade.  Standard off the shelf Trico blades don’t have these, so you can’t merely reuse the winglet.  Please leave a comment below sharing what you discover.

10 thoughts on “Changing the Wiper Blades on an Aston Martin DB9

  1. Paul

    Hi Steve, thats very strange that your wipers won’t move into service mode. My early 2004 VIN 00249 does as i replaced the wipers this year.
    Maybe it could be yours is a US car and mine is a UK car??

    Like

    1. Damn! Good news for you, but sucks for me. Yours is a super early car, 148 th off the line? I keep thinking I’m just pushing the buttons wrong or doing the key in the wrong positions or order. Any chance you could shoot a video with your phone showing closeups of what you are doing?

      Like

  2. mike2209

    Hi Steve,

    Just tried to put the wipers into the maintenance position on Aston 2209 and no joy I’m afraid, MY2005 Vin: 02194-

    As an aside …….. On checking the VIN number it got me thinking about the build number for my car 2209. Why didn’t they use the last four digits of the VIN number since they are uniquely individual ?

    So I’ve just got off the telephone to Gaydon [“General Owner Support Line” +44 (0)1926 644722] where an extremely helpful guy gave me the full story. Within seconds of me giving him my VIN number he advised that my build number in the factory was actually 242209 abbreviated to 2209, I’m afraid I was a bit slow as I should have asked him more about the first two numbers “24” but I will make another call another day.

    He told me that when an order is received for a car it receives a Works Build number the 242209 number for my car. The VIN number is only given to the car once the car is actually put into production/assembly. Production/assembly only starts once all the individual items for the car (identified by the build number, 2209 in my case) are available including the engine, gearbox, etc. etc.. At this time, during assembly, the items with individual numbers, such as the engine, are cross-referenced to the VIN number and the VIN number becomes the Passport for the car. Hence when you go to buy spar parts they will ask you for the VIN number so that they then know exactly which items went into your car.

    So the answer to my first question is that the VIN number is not allocated until the car is assembled so they need a separate build number whilst they get all the pieces together before they start assembly.

    So now we know.

    Mike (Aston 2209)

    Like

    1. Hi Mike. Very interesting. Ya, my VIN ends with 1906, but my car is 241936. Aston1906.com?? Since mine was exactly 30 off, I always wondered if it was a typo. Cool that you called. I wonder if there is a toll free number for “General Owners Support Line”. That’s a great resource.

      Kudos!

      Like

  3. Theron Smith

    Hey Steve as i Mention on the youtube channel I went to my Local Oreily’s and was recommended Bosch Icon Clear Max wiperblades. Im not sure how to post pics but they are on their

    Like

    1. Louis Hsiao

      Hey Steve, just changed the wipers blades myself on my 2005 DB9. You made it easy. I even ordered the blades from your link to Scuderia. It went exactly as you described. Thanks!

      Like

    1. Hi Andy. Thanks for sharing. Another early car (249) also has reported it works. Ratz, mine doesn’t. I keep thinking I’m pushing the wrong buttons or turning the key to the wrong position in the wrong sequence. If you have time to shoot a close up video with your phone and share the play by play with me, that would be cool. Thanks again!

      Like

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