About

When I bought my 2005 DB9 back in November 2013 I was enthusiastic.  My intentions are to use it as my daily driver (to get the full pleasure of a car you need to drive it).   I have some mechanic skills, and as an engineer I looked forward to doing some of the fixes and service myself (it’s British after all, it’s gonna break).

There is so little published “How To” information for the DB9.  Just finding a copy of the official service manual took months (no Chilton’s guides for a DB9 I guess).  If you want to change an engine on a Honda Civic, YouTube has 10 video’s covering every step, but you can’t find a single DB9 video on something as simple as an oil change (which I’ve learned isn’t that simple – and now I’ve made one!).  The best resources I have found to offer some limited help are 6SpeedOnline and PistonHeads .   I wanted to add my voice to those discussions, but in a more verbose and complete format (video commentary along with photos and links).

The mission of this Blog is to chronicle what I learn so that others can benefit from it.

I am a car guy and a bit of a nerd, so I am blending those skills to produce this Blog.  With some help from my neighbor Rob, a GoPro camera, YouTube and WordPress, I hope to make something you can enjoy. [And some graphics help from my friend Ray – Thanks Ray!]

Thanks for reading!

Steve

[Why Aston 1936 and not Aston 2005?  It’s DB9 number 1936 and that’s what all the factory workers signed to all the Q/A stickers on the parts]

Vehicle Number 1936

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248 thoughts on “About

  1. Ken Shimizu

    Greetings Steve!
    Ray Mah informed me about your site several months ago (yes, I’m a wirebender) and I’m about to embark on the replacement of the coil packs and plugs on by ’05 DB9 with my daughter. She is quite handy and this might prevent me from swearing too much during the process!

    I had just tried to contact Rob at HWM and he just informed me that AML will no longer permit him to send parts outside of the EU! Very unfortunate since it seems that his outfit was quite a pleasure to work with. So now I’m in need of sourcing out the parts with another outfit. Do you have any recommendations either domestic or abroad?

    Thank you so much! Love your site and all of the information and confidence that you’ve given me!

    Like

    1. Hey Dr. Shimizu! Seems we share a similar passion. Yep, I heard that Aston has cracked down on the UK dealerships forcing them to stop selling to US customers. I think you’ll need to contact your local Aston dealer, probably Los Gatos. Give them an earful about the UK supply issue and lean on them to match the prices I had in the article if they will. I think this seemed to be about 20% below their retail price.

      Hope the project goes well with your Daughter. Definitely a project most anyone handy with tools and some patience can undertake. That rear most bolt on the right hand intake manifold is the largest challenge, but doable.

      Good luck!

      Like

  2. Greg Popovich

    I understand our cars (I have a 2005 DB9) are going to be recalled in Feb due to a problem with the passenger seat contacting the battery cables and starting a fire?

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    1. Hi Greg. Thanks for the heads up. I did a quick Google and sure enough – http://autoweek.com/article/recalls/aston-martin-recall-over-5000-cars-us

      Two issues. Later model cars with the Transmission Pawl problem, and early model cars with a potential battery cable issue. I called the number for Aston Martin US in the article, but they deferred me to call my local Dealership for more information. I think its still too early for them to have their act together on the issue. The article states its expected to take effect about Feb 1, so I will probably call my local dealer around then.

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      1. Greg Popovich

        Thanks Steve — I guess in the meantime it might be advisable to not put the passenger seat all the way back? Do you understand how the seat would come in contact with the battery cables in the first place — because the metal seat tracks do not move over the floor – to cut or contact anything?

        Anyway- Happy New Year everyone.

        Greg

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      2. Ya, no real idea how these might get damaged. The cabin fuse box is under the passenger footwell, so I presume there is a cable set under the flooring. I don’t think reclining would do it, but if your passenger seat is always in generally the same position (like mine) I’m not too worried about it. If you hear more, please drop me a line.

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    2. Chris Piazza

      I just read the article and it states Driver’s seat not passenger. But I’m curious if this is why so many DB9’s have battery / electrical issues. If the cables are grounding out constant amperage fluctuations will wreak havoc on an ECU and will most definently drain the battery. Again Steve, this blog continues to be a fantastic source of info.

      Like

    3. Jonathan Dewar

      Hi Steve – I just wanted to thank you for your videos. I bought my DB9 last week, knowing that it needed a new battery. Having been quoted £450 ($600) by Aston to replace it, I thought I’d do it myself after watching your videos on the subject. They were fantastic. Everything was just as you’d explained and I easily changed it in under an hour, including recalibration of the seats, windows (Aston wanted to charge a Further £80 ($100) to do this. It took all of 1 minute to do this myself!). Getting up early on Saturday morning to do the misfire corrections on a quiet stretch of dual carriageway near me, then just need to re-tune the radio.

      Thanks again.

      Like

  3. Greg Popovich

    Have you ever heard or read any reports of our cars catching on fire? I sure haven’t. I wonder if the right hand drive cars in Europe are excluded from the recall?

    Like

  4. Greg Popovich

    Just found this………..

    The second issue concerns some 1,953 DBS and DB9 vehicles made between 2005 and 2009. In these cars, the battery supply cables can be damaged when the driver’s seat is positioned all the way back. NHTSA says that if the cable is damaged and then grounded, it can cause a short circuit that may result in a fire.

    “Aston Martin will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the battery supply cable for damage, and install a routing block to keep the battery supply cable from being compressed by the seat, free of charge,” NHTSA said in a statement.

    Both recalls are scheduled to begin on Feb. 1, 2018. Owners can contact Aston Martin customer service directly at 1-888-923-9988; use the code RA-07-0028 for the transmission issue and the code RA-18-0026 for the battery

    Read more: http://autoweek.com/article/recalls/aston-martin-recall-over-5000-cars-us#ixzz539esFpfC

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    1. Hi Jordan. Yep, I’ve heard multiple reports of that now. Some new policy from Aston Martin (not HWM), forbidding the UK dealers to sell to the US. US Dealers are probably making a fuss. I do not have a US dealer to recommend yet. I would like to find one and strike up a relationship, this Blog drives a lot of business towards them ultimately. But, I want a good one with a helpful parts manager and willing to discount some. Stay tuned, I will likely have an article on it once resolved.

      Like

  5. Dave Collins

    Hi Steve –

    Like you I do a lot of my own car maintenance and am thrilled to find your site so I can do my homework before looking for a DB9 – thank you for providing information that is so helpful! As a question, for those things that I can’t do myself, I know a good mechanic can be critical – do you know of any good independent Aston shops in the Los Angeles area? I’ve hunted and there just doesn’t seem to be any options other than the dealer network. Thanks in advance!

    Dave

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    1. Hi Dave. Glad there are others out there turning some wrenches. As far as an LA shop, I don’t really have a recommendation for you. Likely to be one, but finding the person with the knowledge is the challenge. I know of a huge Aston owner in LA, but his personal mechanic is up in Santa Cruz! Let me know if you find a specialist.
      Steve

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  6. RT

    I wish I would have come across your blog before I bought my 2005 DB9 Volante. They are beautiful cars, and I was taken in by it. I first noticed how beautiful these were when I saw a DB7 on vacation in CA. Then my attention turned to the DB9’s. I am a car nut and I own a variety of sports cars. It was 2014 when I was on the hunt for another fun car. I narrowed it down to a BMW Z8 (still love these) and a DB9. Honestly, the DB9 seemed like a much better buy and the Z8’s were starting to run away in price.

    Mine was at a dealer in the midwest who had taken it in trade from West Palm Beach, FL. They supposedly had a “sterling reputation” and I relied too heavily on that. I’ve bought a couple other cars sight unseen, and done fine, but can’t recommend it. This 2005 DB9 only had 4500 miles on it. It had a spotless CarFax, which I never rely on any more. It turns out it had been in a rear end collision, but nothing structural. Just would have been nice to know.

    I kept it for two years and had some of the same maladies that you had. One that was really annoying was the dash was starting to fade (LED’S?) and that was going to cost a fortune to fix. In my second year I also had the notorious timing cover leak to the tune of $4600. Then my convertible top rear window started to come unglued, this was going to cost another $3000. Stuff kept stacking up in the second year of ownership and it really soured me on the car. Plus the value had gone from $70,000
    to about $45,000 in a little over two years…ouch.

    This car was midnight blue with camel interior and pretty much the same options as yours, truly a gorgeous car. I wish I hadn’t had quite so many expensive things go wrong, I’d probably still own it. It did pretty much cure me of owning an older British car. Same can be said of many used cars from other countries. I’m not really an exotic car buyer normally, but the DB9 sucked me in for a try. The only other car I own that could be called exotic is a 2005 Ford GT I’ve had for 11 years. Not much has gone wrong with it, but it is a Ford. I do admire your perseverance with the DB9.

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience! I wish you had ended up with a happier experience overall. I love that color combination. The Ford GT would be another I’d like to tinker with.

      I think your (and my) experiences are going to be indicative of what any 10 yr old DB9 is going through, and that’s why I started this site – to share my experience and solutions. I’d like to help others keep as many of these on the road as possible. I hope we see the depreciation level out now. Its getting very possible to have a $40K value DB9 that needs $40K of repair work if the owner(s) haven’t kept up with it. Might be an oppourtunity for those that can fix it themselves and then turn them over again (or keep and enjoy them!)

      Like

      1. Sean Dardis

        I’ve been reading Steve’s blogs, email that narrate his journey with his DB9. I’ve owned my DB9 for nearly a year now. I purchased it from a reputable exotic car deal and had him fix up a bunch of stuff before I picked it up including brake dics and pads all around. Some things slipped through though and I’ve been knocking each one off as the months go past.

        Steve’s information and videos are fantastic. So often I find that a problem with my car and then learn that Steve has previously fixed the issue which gives me a great head start.

        Recently I had the sagging headliner issue after a few days of intense heat here in Australia. I had moved the car out of the garage and then the next day I noticed that the headlining! Turns out that it was already sagging for a while and once I got it sorted it was much better.

        I’ve replaced both upper dash panels recently. The work has been well documented on Steve’s blog and channel. Took me a little longer because I noticed that some of the panels were not screwed in correctly in the first place – perhaps the previous owner was chasing some panel squeaks.

        I often speak to other exotic car owners and they chronicle similar stories of ownership. I think it comes with the territory.

        Like

  7. Roy Rajappan

    Hello Steve,
    Greetings from Canada,
    I am on the look out for a Rapide and is on the process of doing my pre-purchase research.
    I find your blog the most informative and authoritative source of information on the incredible DB9 outside of AMOC, or AML.
    I also think of myself as a do it your-self-er. But the ability to communicate that knowledge to others is a special skill.
    Coming from BMW’s, my choices for the next step are AM Rapide vs Maserati Granturismo.
    I am in the process of doing some binge reading to absorb as much knowledge as possible before arriving at a decision.
    Looking forward to feedback from other readers as well.
    Regards Roy.

    Like

    1. How’s it go’in eh! Fellow Canadian. Thanks for the kudo’s, hopefully sharing the information helps others. Not much of this blog is Rapide specific, but if AML wants to give me one I’d be happy to add some content :>)

      Like

    2. Brian Greene

      Hi Roy,
      As a DB9 owner for the past 4 years, all I can say as it has been an incredible experience and I’m as in love with the car today as the first time I set eyes on it. Where the US owners tend to baby them and keep the miles low for fear of maintenance issues, look into the blogs in the UK and you’ll find that they use them as daily drivers. That v12 engine is very reliable and if you know a local mechanic and can avoid a dealer, then it’s not all that costly to own compared to any other luxury car, it’s just sooooo much more fun!

      In regards to the Rapide, ask yourself why you would want one? If it’s because you need 4 seats, then my suggestion is to look elsewhere. Those seats are not comfortable to use very often and they sit back from the rear pillar, so you fall into the buckets, and then have trouble getting back out. The coupes are much better proportioned in regards to looks. Yes, it’s a cool design, but not very practical which really is the point of a 4 door car to begin with.

      There is a reason that there is a separation between sports cars and 4 door luxury cars, it’s difficult to successfully mix both elements. The closest car in my opinion that delivers both real back seat comfort and insane performance would be the Mercedes AMG S65. With 621 HP it’s a V12 rocketship. For a less money and a similar experience you can go with the S63.

      Do your research slowly, don’t be in a rush. Make sure you drive and try out the back seat several times and imagine if someone less limber was getting in and out of the car, could they? I collect classic cars and know others who do the same as investments. 4 door cars are never good investment cars, so make sure you buy one that you will actually enjoy. Don’t let “new car fever” overshadow common sense. When I went looking for my DB9, I spent 4 months researching and looking for just the right one. I found it and love it! So good luck and go enjoy your new ride when you find it.

      Like

  8. Roy Rajappan

    Steve, did’t realize you are Canadian. Any Toronto area Independents you can recommend? I will go for a pre purchase inspection when i find a suitable AML vehicle. The AML dealer near me is Grand touring in Toronto.
    Many thanks for your feedback Brian, Missus is pushing me towards practicality. Hence the slant towards a 4 door car. My son is over with child/booster seats but is still small enough to fit into the rest seats I hope.

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  9. Roy Rajappan

    Hello Steve,
    During my pre-purchase research I am unable to find any information related to Transmissions used in AML vehicles, or the issues associated with transmissions.
    I always had Manual transmission vehicles, and is wary of autos. So trying to make an informed decision if and when i transition into automatics.
    All feed back is appreciated.
    Roy.

    Like

      1. Roy Rajappan

        Any chance you have information about the coolant temps and oil temps for the engine as well as transmission temps?
        All the BMWs I owned suffered from oil leaks and coolant leaks due to BMW’s high temp (up to 120 degree C) thermostat setting and the consequent need for pressurized coolant system.

        Like

  10. Jason Serbu

    Hi Steve,

    I hope the day finds you well.

    First, thank you very much for all the informative posts you have done on your DB9.

    I have a 2006 DB9 that I bought 9 months ago with 22,700 miles and I currently have 32,500 on it. I live in Colorado and drive it year round. I currently have Pirelli Sottozero winter tires on it and am looking to put summer tires on it.

    My question is, would you feel comfortable getting new tires installed at a tire shop rather than the dealer? If so, in your experience, do the tire shops know what to do to calibrate the wheel sensors? I know the dealer had a fit of a time getting them to calibrate when they installed the Sottozero tires (which I purchased from them as well.)

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Warm Regards,

    Jason Serbu
    Superior, CO

    Like

    1. Hi Jason. Great question. By calibrate the wheel sensors are you referring to the speedometer calibration based on the change in wheel diameter? I’d suspect that anything that requires changing a program setting in the cars computers are well beyond the local tire shops skill set. Let me know what you choose and how it goes!

      Like

  11. John

    Hi Steve,

    I enjoy reading your articles and have learn a lot. Have you ever dealt with removing the front plate number holder on a db9 before? It has one flat cylinder bolt . I tried using a flat head screwdriver and some other tools but it won’t budge. Hope you can help. Thanks
    John

    Like

  12. Hey Steve!

    Love the info you impart & I have a quick question – I too have a 2005 DB9 and recently I needed a new battery. Before replacing the battery my Nav Screen would only pop-up when I pressed the Nav Toggle Button, but now it pops-up every time I turn the car on.

    I’m assuming auto pop-up is the factory default, but since the Nav Screen use to only pop-up upon command I’m hoping there’s a setting for this – any advice?

    Thanks! Mark P.
    cinemshorts@mac.com

    Like

    1. Hi Mark

      I’m not sure about the Nav screen defaults. I did a quick check of the “Car Settings” and “Nav Settings” menus and don’t see anything explicitly about this. I’m not sure where to suggest looking other than putting in a call to your local dealer and ask them if this is adjustable. Let me know what you learn.

      Like

  13. Tim Talaat

    Hi Steve,

    This is Tim Talaat from Switzerland. First of all, thanks for the great information and very helpful DYI videos and articles.

    I own a DB9 Volante MY2011 and was somewhat annoyed by the lack of a backup camera and front camera as well as the limited ability of the old Volvo Navigation system. Additionally, I was in a bind as the FM Radio stations are scheduled to be phased-out successively starting in 2020 in favour of the much better DAB+ (Digital Radio Service). I did quite some research before I finally stumbled on a small 2-man outfit that offer all of these upgrades including (believe it or not mirroring a smartphone screen on the existing Navigation screen) – I use an iPhone X and iPhone 8, iPhone 6 and they all work. These guys can be found under astoninstallations.com – the chap to contact is James Hawkes-Reed. The very interesting thing about this is that they came to Switzerland to do my upgrade, and from what I understand they were on the east coast in the US in May and plan potentially to do the west coast later. Cost-wise they were very interesting as they did all of mine for an astonishing GBP 1’500 (approx. USD 2000) as compared to the backup camera retrofit alone costing Euro 2’100 (USD 2300) at the dealer!!!!
    They do Vantage V8 and all variants of the DB9!

    I am not affiliated with these guys in anyway, just think credit for a job well-done should be given.

    Hope this is interesting for any fellow Aston Martin “Knights” 😉

    Best regards from Zurich

    Tim

    Like

    1. Hi Tim. Thanks very much for sharing that information. I think they were out and did a ‘Tech Day’ sponsored by Richard who runs Redpants.lol. Was watching some of the posts on the Aston Martin Owners Group on Facebook.

      Do you have any contact information or a website for James?

      Like

  14. sesheffaolcom

    Hi, STEVE!

    We talked about various things as I have an ‘05 DB9 that I brought back from salvage. Just thought you might be interested to know that I was able to make a spare key for under $150.

    If you go to the Aston dealer, they charge $600 for one key!: First, you you have to buy the key for $290. It’s ordered from Aston Martin in the UK. They cut it by using the VIN. Then it’s shipped to the dealer where the chip is programmed for an extra $290.

    If you’re interested in details on how I had it done locally for under $150, I’m happy to share!

    Thanks,

    Steve 714-423-7113

    Like

  15. avbkol5

    Thanks stay for all your very informative information and videos. I have a 2006 DB9 Volante and have noticed just in the last week that I had a very similar issue with the vehicle running rough. I hooked up my Foxwell NT520 (510 not available) OBDII Reader and it indicated that my cylinder #2 was misfiring at an unacceptable rate. All other cylinders showed absolutely no misfiring. So, I won about the process of dismantling my vehicle after following the exceptional videos that you have provided. I have changed all the spark plugs and there was no significant abnormalities noted with the exception of some pitting on what I believe is the number 2 cylinder spark plug. I took all my ignition coils and fuel injectors to the dealer and had them run a test on all these to see if there were any specific problems with any of these items. The dealer informed me that all the ignition coils and fuel injectors tested out completely fine. Now, little nervous to go about putting the cylinder coil #2 back in the same slot, and in thinking of maybe just replacing that particular ignition coil.

    My question is: Which is the order of the cylinders on the vehicle. I have a left hand driving vehicle (USA) and when looking at the vehicle with a hood open starting at the bumper going back towards the windshield, I am wondering if cylinder #2 is the 2nd cylinder on the driver side or is it the 2nd cylinder on the passenger side?

    I appreciate your input on this as I am thinking of putting everything back together over the next couple of days.

    Like

    1. Hi. Thanks for sharing your story.

      Cylinders are number 1-6 front to back on the right hand bank (from driving position) and 7-12 on the left hand bank. So, cylinder 2 is the 2nd cylinder from the front on the right hand side of the car. Should be above the alternator.

      I’d replace all the coil packs. Honestly, after all the work you went to in order to get to them, its worth while for a 12 year old car. The problem may appear in a month on another cylinder. Was a chronic issue that happens to all the early DB9s. Change the O-rings on the injectors while you are at it.

      Fuel injectors are much easier to change later on if that turned out to be the issue.

      Hope your project ends well and my videos give you the courage to knock it out!

      Like

  16. Avbkol5

    Steve,

    Thanks again for your feedback. I have learned quite a bit about undertaking this project from you and truly appreciate all you have done for us garage mechanics who enjoy working on our machines . One thing I have learned with this is patience!

    Since I did not find it all that difficult to dismantle the entire top half of the car and then put it back together, I decided to first replace all the spark plugs and move the ignition coil that was defective to a new location, moving from cylinder two the cylinder five.

    Well sure enough, when I hooked everything up and got the car running again, cylinder five is now acting up. Surprise!

    As of today, I have decided to go ahead and order all new ignition coils. I will also probably follow the suggestion of changing all the O-rings in the fuel injectors.

    Finally, I also appreciate the information on fuse 22. One thing I have always enjoyed is the full acceleration effect of the vehicle, and I believe that adding this little element to bypass some of the exhaust system will add to the delight of driving.

    One final question regarding the Foxwell nt520: When you were relearning the misfire correction did you ever use your Foxwell and if so, was there a window that displays that the car has “learned” with this device? I have searched several of the Live Data windows with the Foxwell, but have not come across one that displayed so nicely as with your Autel MaxiDiag MD802 OBDII Code Reader.

    Thanks again, I’m glad I have some extra time on my hands as I redo this project.

    Like

  17. Chris Piazza

    Hi Steve, I recently had an issue with my DB9 and wanted your thoughts. After 5500 miles and 1 year of flawless operation my DB9 died yesterday. While out driving the engine suddenly started making a tapping noise and the emission service light came on. Fortunately we were on a drive with the dealer that sold us a car and they sent out a flatbed to pick it up. I have absolutely no idea what caused this. Oil and coolant are both good but i am at a loss as to what happened. Have you ever heard of something like this? I am hoping it’s either a fouled coil pack or a bad injector and not anything more serious. I’d appreciate your thoughts or anyone else’s that might be reading this. Thanks.

    Like

    1. Hi Chris,
      Yikes! That’s no good. Depends where the tapping noise was coming from of course. Was it the engine bay or behind you near the fuel tank? If it was behind you, then probably something bad fuel pump or even simply running out of fuel. If engine bay, then there are lots of bad scary things in the forums about this, some very serious. Most common I think is a problem with the piston/con rod in cylinder 12 due to oil starvation. They had a ‘dispstick’ upgrade that changed the amount of oil from 11qts to 12 to try and resolve this issue, so it would be worth asking if this was ever serviced on your car. My article on refilling the oil in your DB9 has the details in it. would be too late now if its the cylinder 12 issue. Hopefully not. Other things can make noises. Its just the combination of the noise and the emission light together hint at failed combustion from something mechanical. A failed coil/plug won’t make a tapping noise as far as I am aware. But, I don’t know everything so lets home for something simpler. Let me know how it goes.

      Like

      1. Chris Piazza

        Just heard from my dealer. Noise is definitely inside the motor. Possibly a valve or valve spring. Oil level was good. But this may turn out to be catastrophic regardless. I did have a guaranteed buyback before this, so i might try to sell it back to cover the repairs if it needs an engine. I’ll keep you posted.

        Like

      2. Oh jeez, its the scary one. I might after many whiskies consider a head removal/valve repair, but if the valve broke and dropped into the cylinder the engine is toast. You should check to see if when the car was sold to you they had done the Field Service Action to swap the dipstick. If they hadn’t, you have something to complain about since this should have been done in any previous dealer service, and could be what led to the issue. https://aston1936.com/2017/01/04/how-does-the-length-of-your-dipstick-measure-up/

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      3. Chris Piazza

        Hi Steve, It turns out I have a broken valve spring. As of now, there doesn’t appear to have any other damage and its possible they may be able to repair it in the car without removing the head. I’ll keep you posted but that’s where im at.

        Have you heard of something like this before?

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      4. Haven’t heard of it specifically on an Aston. With only a broken spring, they can remove the valve cover, pull the spark plug on the bad cylinder, put in a fitting and use compressed air to keep the valve pressed in place, then compress the spring and change it. But, the cam followers need to come out too to make way. Still vastly cheaper than pulling the engine. Keep me up to date, interested to know. Get photos!

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      5. Chris Piazza

        Hey Steve, a quick update. As of last night the dealer said they will be able to repair the valve spring in the car without removing the head. The retainer clip did not break so the valve did not drop far enough to cause any secondary damage. The estimate for repair right now is $3300. but the service manager will speak with the higher ups and see what thg hey can do. All things considered I expected much worse.

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      6. Whew! (I guess). $3,300 is a lot of money, but in Aston terms I paid nearly that much to have my tire pressure sensors replaced. Fingers crossed that it goes well and your baby is back on the road soon. While they are in that ‘deep’ if you haven’t done a Coil Packs and plugs, would be a good time to tackle since they would have all the intake manifold of on that side.

        Like

  18. avbkol5

    Steve,

    Thanks again on the info. I have now completed the ignition coil and spark plug replacement! Everything went very smoothly. Adding a little bit of oil to the o-rings on the fuel injectors made a big difference on getting those to lock into place easily. When I took it out for the “relearning the misfire correction” my Foxwell nt520 showed no misfires while driving. The vehicle ran very smoothly. I did end up replacing all the ignition coils and spark plugs.

    I found the job much easier to do the 2nd time around, taking about 4.5 hours to disassemble and reassemble. I also found that using bungee cords to pull back the fuel injector system to be very helpful in allowing me to use both my hands to focus on specific tasks in the project.

    Now on to the brakes!

    Like

    1. Hello Commander Bond. My HWM contact is Richard Hayward richard.hayward@hwm.co.uk. Let him know I passed his name along.

      There was some notice from Aston Martin about this. The problem with the tail lights can come from pressure washing (wand washing) the car. The lamp housings aren’t water proof enough under the pressurized spray. It’s been my motivation to hand wash the rear quarters. Has your car been getting spray washed? If so, this might be the clue.

      Aston also put out an official ‘How to dry the condensation in the rear lamp assembly’ Field Service Bulletin SB0286v2. Basically drill holes, blow out water, insert drain tube, patch holes.

      Like

      1. Greg Popovich

        I had same problem with condensation in my taillights (2005 DB9)- the dealer charged $1,850 (parts only) for two replacement clear lens. And that was in Beverly Hills, CA $$$$$$.

        Like

  19. Greg Popovich

    Has anyone heard anymore about that supposed recall for the seat track/battery potential fire hazard situation? I sure haven’t.

    Like

  20. Chris Piazza

    I received the recall notice for my 06 DB9 in April. Brought it in and had it back the same day. As I understand it, not all Gen 1 DB9’s are affected.

    Like

      1. I never got one either. At the bottom of the article I have a section on becoming the ‘Owner of Record’. I wasn’t listed for my car, so I was able to fill out the form and send into Aston HQ and got that resolved

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  21. jacob backhausen

    Hi, and thank you for your valuable AM info.
    I refurbished my control arms last year due to the same sounds as you described. The noise stopped but after a few thousand miles, there is a noticeable slip in the system. So I have to give in and install new ones. I have contacted Richard.hayward@hwm.co.uk as you recommended, but have got a mail in return with quite different prices. see below mail.
    Notice that this is in UK pounds and that VAT of 20 percent will be added + shipping.
    Do you have a special rate yourself, or a link to the price list you are referring to.
    Kind Regards
    jacob

    Hi Jacob

    Due to restrictions set in place by Aston Martin we are no longer allowed to sell or ship parts outside of the EU, so we can still supply you with parts but the invoice and delivery address will both need to be within the restrictions.

    We currently have all four suspension arms in stock, below prices are plus VAT

    Part Number
    Part Description
    Quantity
    Price
    Total Price
    4G43-3084-BE
    ARM BUSH ASY SUSP RH
    1
    208.18
    208.18
    4G43-3091-BE
    ARM BUSH ASY SUSP LH
    1
    208.18
    208.18
    4G43-3A052-BF
    ARM & BSHG ASSY FRT
    1
    343.02
    343.02
    4G43-3A053-BG
    ARM& BSHG ASY FRT SS
    1
    343.02
    343.02
    4
    1102.4

    Thank you

    Like

  22. Greg Lund

    Hey Steve, I was going to replace my third brake light on my 2007 DB9 but before I started tearing into it I thought I would check with you first on the procedure to get it done. I didn’t know if you already had a post on this. I’m sure its not complicated but wanted to do it right. Thanks

    Like

    1. Hi Greg. No post on this (yet) but I had a quick look at the manual. There is NOTHING about servicing the rear center brake light (not surprising, there are lots of little gaps like this in the manual). But, I did find the section on removing the rear center console stack and it appears to be three simple steps. Lift the forward most part of part 1 (held down with fir tree clips), then this exposes screws holding part 2 (the subwoofer grill). Remove those, then remove that grill to expose the screws for the part 3, the big piece with the brake lamp in it. Remove those screws, and it looks like its designed to just pull forward. My hope is the light assembly comes along with part 3, and there will be some cable you can disconnect to remove the whole part 3 and work on the bench. Let me know how this goes. Take some photos along the way and maybe I can turn your efforts into an article. Good luck!

      Like

  23. Robert

    Hi Steve;
    Thank you so much for your efforts in putting together this comprehensive sight. I have just purchased a 2009 DB9 Volante, 16,300 miles. I will pick it up next week. I intend to use your sight to have fun and accelerate my learning curve.
    Thank you
    Robert

    Like

      1. Robert

        Hi Steve;
        Almost arrived home with my new 2009 DB9 last week problem free. Car had what is referred to as a “nervous breakdown” cause by what is referred to as a known unexpected and not diagnostic able failure of the retractable roof module located inside and above the left rear wheel well.
        Ordered a replacement from Beverly Hills AM for 1,100. Told it a simple 30Torx screw out and a plug and play. In most cases does not need “flashing the system”(what ever that is supposed to mean).
        Any help would be appreciated.
        Thank you
        Robert Kopko
        Navarre, Florida

        Like

  24. Chris Piazza

    Hey Steve! I have a quick question about oil changes. I recently stumbled across a thread on a forum that said after you’ve finished changing the oil, you’re supposed to build oil pressure by holding the throttle to the floor when cranking to activate a fuel shut off so the engine will spin without firing. I didn’t see this in the owners manual or the shop manual. Any thoughts on this?

    Like

    1. Interesting question. I would consider it shouldn’t matter until I think about the only difference in condition from when you parked it before the change until the startup is that the new oil filter will be empty. Depending on where the filter is in the cycle of oil (presumably at the beginning of the feed into the rest of the engine) this could cause a moment or two of lack of initial flow as the filter fills up. Not sure how you’d ‘see’ that you had oil pressure. Couldn’t hurt I guess. Mind you we are probably splitting hairs here, and just doing a normal startup probably makes no difference. What do you think?

      Like

      1. Chris Piazza

        On most cars (and trucks) in my personal experience, I’ve found the only way to “prime” the oiling system was to remove the fuel pump or ignition relay. For example, Volvo heavy trucks actually specifes this exact procedure in their workshop manual when doing an oil change to avoid dry starting the engine. But most manufacturers make no mention of this as a standard procedure.

        I wasn’t sure if holding the throttle to the floor on my 06 DB9 would activate the fuel shutoff so I very carefully tried it yesterday and it worked! I didn’t know my Aston had a built in mechanism for this. Having said that, I plan on doing this every time I change the oil in the future. I’ve also read where others said they do this same procedure even after the car sits for a little while like after a month or two in winter storage. Not sure if that’s necessary, but considering the overall size of the engine and how far the oil has to travel from the pan to the cams, its probably not a bad idea.

        Like

  25. Martin Ward

    Hi Steve, Got a quick question for you – how are your headlights doing?
    I am on my second set on my 2005 DB9. First set both headlight washer pump mounts failed plus lenses deteriorated. Now second set are in trouble after 4 years and only 13,000 miles driven. Nearside (UK) headlamp washer mount has failed, plus both headlight lenses are showing signs of deterioration (tiny flecks/cracks/crazing). I have the latest versions ‘E’ so another replacement only gets me the same, I believe, flawed design.
    Interested to hear your thoughts.
    ps, I have recently replaced my steering wheel and added the Aston Bluetooth phone module (all the wiring exists as standard) and had AM dealer activate the cruise option – I can share details if you are interested?

    Like

  26. Caryl Hathaway

    Hello Steve,

    As always, so much great information from you and fellow DB9’ers….Quick question, I want to wash and detail the engine before putting it away for the winter – any suggestions for products and best ways for cleaning this area?

    Thanks you – Caryl

    Like

    1. That’s a great question. I don’t have a solid answer though. Its a tricky debate revolving essentially around whether to pressure wash or not, the risk being getting water into the electronics. My opinion is that it can probably be done without trashing the electronics, but you’ll need to make an effort not to hammer the fuse box or other connectors with a load of spray. I’ve done this over the summer to my son’s Mini Cooper S, and and used the chemicals from “The Chemical Guys'” on Amazon, in particular the ‘Grime Reaper’ concentrate, cut to a 4:1 ratio. I used their recommended soft detailing brushes to ‘work it in’, and then I pressure washed after as a rinse. Worked great. Watch this video for some inspiration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvZ937-m-7M

      Here are their products on Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/stores/Chemical+Guys/Instant+Savings/page/5633F633-ADC4-42D7-8016-A0194BA12191?store_ref=SPONSORED_SEARCH_AC39S3VTQKGKF23&store_ref=SPONSORED_SEARCH_AC39S3VTQKGKF23&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=3ff6092e-8451-438b-8278-7e94064b4d42&pf_rd_s=desktop-sx-top-slot&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_i=the+chemical++guys&hsa_cr_id=5521807030701&lp_slot=auto-sparkle-hsa-tetris&lp_asins=B06VVVPBW9,B00N8RO6YI,B01LWKHRFE&lp_mat_key=chemical%20guys&lp_query=the%20chemical%20%20guys&sb-ci-n=headline&sb-ci-v=For%20Car%20Owners%2C%20Love%20is%20in%20the%20Details

      Like

  27. Tom

    Hi Steve. I also own DB9 prod no 978 and I am AMOC member. My question: What do You think about LINN 260W system ? I was looking for an alternative and I think I have found the solution. I would like to exchange the experience regarding the sound system. Please contact me by email. Thanks.

    Like

    1. Hi Tom. Congrats on number 978! I think the 260W system is ‘OK’ I guess. Nothing special to be sure. I’m a bit of a fuddy duddy and spend most of my time either listening to the engine (stereo off) or listening to NPR (public radio). I’d definitely use it more if there was a way to stream Spotify or Pandora from my phone. I’m not going to use CDs, nor will I spend much time bothering with an Aux cable (although I might). I’ve heard that there are some folks finding neat solutions. What have you got in mind?

      Like

    2. Martin

      Hi Tom,
      I have a Linn 260W in my DB9 and was unimpressed by the audio quality (btw this was a subject of AML Service Bulletins 220 and 223 and the subwoofer was updated under warranty, but only if the customer complained). I have added a Dension GW500 to the MOST network, with a ViseeO/Tune2Air WMA1000 module connected to allow Phone audio streaming via Bluetooth and the radio now controls track selection from audio players, Spotify etc. An iPhone will also display track info on radio (I use an Android phone). The WMA connects automatically to my phone (in parallel with the Aston Bluetooth phone module which I also added). The quality is very good and actually much better than the original CD player, so I am much happier with the performance now, although the subwoofer performance is rather weak (my car clearly did not have the ‘warranty’ subwoofer update). Keen to see what your ideas are for improvements.

      Regards
      Martin

      Like

      1. Tom

        Hi,

        My idea is to replace the amplifier. This is the weakest point of the system.It is not only about quality – reliability also. It is very prone to failure and costs fortune to replace/repair. Difficult to do, as it has MOST input and there is no direct replacement on the market. I want to keep original radio and controls and also integration with MOST devices like phone module and nav (audio). Please follow this thread. More to come very soon !

        Like

      2. Martin

        Hi Tom,
        I have had no issues with my amplifier function as yet, I suggest you get the firmware status checked by a dealer as there have been upgrades for various issues, plus there have been wired connection problems (the connectors need cleaning).
        I think you will need to do some research into the MOST network if you want to keep the original radio and SatNav audio working as it is now. The Bluetooth phone module uses separate aux-in and microphone hard wired connections to the Linn amplifier. The MOST system is based on Volvo parts as AML was owned by Ford at that time. It took me some time to come up with my final setup. I originally looked at using the Aux-in approach but that did not give me radio controls when streaming from phone or using an iPod. Adding anything to the MOST network requires configuration changes so the Dension unit just emulates the CD player, I had extensive communications with Dension but they have little interest in upgrading their products for older cars, but the GW500 is still available and provides Aux-in,USB as well as iPod/IPhone connections (which shows track info on radio). Other MOST interfaces are available from NAV-TV, Audison and GROM but I have no experience or info on these solutions. Like Steve, I do have lots of AML tech info so can answer car wiring /connection queries if you have any.
        Finally, if money is no object AML do have an expensive Bluetooth upgrade kit that allows music streaming and upgrades radio info but this does not address your amplifier issue.
        Good luck.
        Martin
        p.s. A used premium amplifier 6G33-18C808-CD (2010) available for £225 from a breaker near to me – UK.

        Like

      3. Hi Martin. I’m intrigued to compare notes on “AML Tech Info” you might have. Drop me a comment if you’d like to touch base by email to see if we both have all there is. I’m always looking to find additional nuggets.

        Like

      4. Martin

        Hi Steve,
        I followed your advice and treated myself to a day reading the AML tech info site. I have around 190 documents on the DB9 from Service Bulletins to the ‘Squeaks and Rattles Repair Manual’.
        I will try and create an index of what I have to email to you (where do I find your email address?)
        Martin

        Like

  28. Cor Stakenborg

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Steve and to all Aston1936 members. I’m happy to report that my Florida based, 2009 DB9 has run flawlessly this year. About 4000 happy top down miles and looking forward to another great year of top down motoring.

    As an aside, while reading the various 2018 blogs, I did notice several folks complaining about how expense repairs can be. One must realize our cars are exotics and as such they’re always going to be expense to repair, it’s just part of AM ownership. Honestly it’s something folks really need to consider when buying the now affordable, older AM cars and you need to be prepared to pay the big bucks if you’re unfortunate enough to have to have your local dealer perform an expensive repair, that’s just the reality of ownership. If you cannot afford to pay these extreme repair costs, don’t buy any older exotic car. Remember if you want to look like a big shot, you need to pay like a big shot!

    Cheers all.
    .

    Like

  29. Martin

    Hi Cor, One tip I have is (if possible) get a quote from more than one dealer and do not be afraid to ask for a discount. Many (newer) Aston owners just pay whatever is asked, so the dealers can and do charge high prices. My AML nearest main dealers have been helpful in reducing the cost of service work that I did not want to do myself. They have also honoured the quote, even when the job has taken a lot longer than the repair time in the Workshop Manual.
    Regards and seasons greetings.
    Martin

    Like

  30. Hello Steve

    Thank you for undertaking this project. Your right, there is little information on these cars out there in the USA.

    If you could please get in touch with me, I have something I wanted to discuss.

    Thanks,

    Like

  31. Tony millman

    Hi Steve, I find your vlogs excellent and enjoy the fact that they remove much of the mystique from Aston ownership. I am not an owner as yet. I Did own a db6 30 yrs ago and boy I wish I still had it as it would be better than any super fund.
    I am in the process of buying a 2008 DB9 in black with black piano dash and black seats with cream inserts, only 27000 Kl and well documented history.
    I am very excited, I also own a Maserati gransport Le. Which has been a great car.
    I love your vlogs and your dogged determination to do work yourself . I find it amazing how basically easy internal trims can be removed/ repaired unlike the Maserati and your tutorials are excellent. I requested an sd2 red out on spark misfires based on your previous vlog as a pre purchase fact finder and see from the results that no. 10 cylinder has a 4 % misfire no codes.though. I spoke to an impartial tech. And he suggested it most likely needs an Italian tune up which I tend to agree with however would value your input.
    Thankyou for your informative site.

    Like

    1. Hi Tony. I can see you are a true car guy. 4% misfire is a bunch. I’d see if the service history includes ALL the spark plugs and coil packs being replaced already. If not, then this is a likely place to start. I would do ALL the plugs, coils and intake gaskets in one service, plus the PCV valves while you are at it. Probably <$2,000 in parts. You might negotiate this out of the purchase price, or make the existing owner fix it and agree to purchase the vehicle at his price ONLY if after the service the misfires are gone (this makes him take the risk). Other conditions could cause a misfire (bad fuel injector, wiring fault, etc). Most of the time its the coil packs or plugs.

      The person I purchased my car from only did the single misfiring cylinder just before I bought it, and sure enough it was less than a year before another cylinder had the issue. Do them all.

      Good luck with your purchase.

      Like

  32. Luu Nguyen

    Hello Steve,

    A fellow Sacramento owner saying hello! I wanted to thank you for all the work and postings. It is extremely helpful and I have learned quite a bit. I’ve owned 2011 Rapide for about 4 months and enjoying every drive!

    Best regards,
    Luu

    Like

      1. Robert

        Hi Steve
        Can you do a piece on replacement of the glass on the side door mirror. Glass only , not casing
        Thank you
        Robert

        Like

      2. I could, but I’d want to have a new mirror glass to work with first. I’d rather not risk taking mine out for no reason. If anyone would like to send me a new one, I’d be happy to. Its not too hard from what I’ve researched.

        Like

      3. Hi Robert. Really, wow. Well, if you’d like to send one along, I can certainly tackle the how to for you and send it back. I just don’t want any liablility in case the mirror gets broken during the process or shipping. I promise to be super careful as if it was my own. It will matter which model year of car, and if the car was US or the UK/EU. My car is a 2005 LHD US model. The mirrors changed sometime in 07 I think. Please let me know!

        Like

      4. Robert

        Hi Steve
        I will locate one for you since my db9 is an 09. Should not be an issue. Keep it as an extra. Send me you address.
        Robert

        Like

  33. Peter Dahlerup

    Hi Steve

    I really enjoy your blog, and I have just purchased a DB9 volante to my wife. (happy wife happy life) The car is from 2008 and has 48.000 km on the clock. It is black with black leather and is in very good condition. We live in Denmark and I know that the previous owners had the car parked in a garage when not driven.

    It has only been driven in the summer months and have two previous owners.
    The dealer will give the car a full oil and break service and detailing of paint and interior, plus four new 20” tires before it will be delivered to me. Is there any thing else I show ask the dealer to check? I did ask the dealer to provide a printout from the cars computer so I could see if there were any faults in the system.

    Thanks for your help.
    Peter

    Like

    1. Hi Peter. I’d definitely ask them to check the engine misfire counts on each cylinder to find out if you have the infamous Coil Pack issue. I’d be sure to have a full 2year service regime done (that includes flushing the brake fluid). I’d also request an Automatic Transmission Fluid “Flush” (doing an article on that now). Also a Cooling System Flush (is needed every 4 years). Other than that, I would just go enjoy the car! Great gift :>)

      Like

      1. Peter Dahlerup

        Hi Steve

        Thanks for your reply. I did mention the misfire problem for the dealer, and he said that it would show up on the read out from the car’s computer, if this was a problem. I have seen your videos about this subject, and it looks like a fun project to do 😊 the engine runs very smooth so there is no direct sign on misfiring, but we will see.

        The car has the basic 260-watt stereo, is it possible to upgrade this to a more potent system, or should I just forget that?

        We are going to a party in Switzerland in June and we are planning on driving there in the Aston. I am looking forward to letting the car stretch out on the German autobahn where there is no speed limit 😊

        PS. I really enjoy your vlog, this has boosted my confidence in Aston Martin. Great job, they should be paying you for it.

        Peter

        Like

      2. I’m jealous of your road trip! Stay tuned for a new article and video on replacing the 260W amp with a new one designed for the DB9 as a direct bolt in replacement. I have the same 260W Linn system. A company building a new amp has sent me a new model to try out, and its just a plug’n’play item that should be easy to install. Apparently the next iteration will magically include a new Bluetooth streaming option as well.

        Thanks for the kudos, I appreciate it. Have fun with your new toy….

        Like

  34. JOHN GREEN

    Hello Steve,
    Love your site. have had a 2006 Volante for 2 years now. British racing green, camel interior.
    Love it, removed the fuse for the exhaust per your suggestion. Magnifique. have put about 6000 miles on the car. Had to replace all the brake pads when I first got it and one service in the Atlanta dealership. So been lucky no problem . Now a little one. Instrument panel stopped working. Speedo needle and Rev counter needle just stuck in place, no light on instrument panel glove box won’t open.First thought just a fuse. Not that, called dealer he’s 200 miles away, say they are aware of an issue connected with convertible top mechanism that causes this problem. Have you heard anything similar? Do I have to take it to dealer? John G

    Like

    1. Hi John. Sorry for the slow reply. Did you get this resolved yet? I definitely suspect a fuse if the glovebox won’t open as well. I’m not sure which fuse is the exact one, but I have an article on the Fuse Box that lists them all. https://aston1936.com/2016/08/12/accessing-the-cabin-fuse-box-on-an-aston-martin-db9/
      It appears that F46 is the fuse that matters for this. I could be that the CRM (convertible roof module) is the culprit killing the circuit. Definitely check Fuse 46 in the cabin fuse box. I’m no expert on the CRM (I have coupe), so I think the dealer will need to be part of that solution. Redpants.lol has a video on changing the CRM if needed.

      Like

  35. Gerard

    Hi Steve

    I discovered your blog yesterday by searching information about VIN (I had already seen videos from on you tube)

    But your blog is awesome!

    I live in France and I bought a DB9 (2010) last year and I’m very happy to have found a so enthusiastic group even if it is on the other side of the ocean and if English is not my mother language…

    At the time I have no trouble, just looking for some optimization like surface scratches on the glass key, fold on the driver seat, age and performance of the battery … that can be necessary on a preowned car to become „perfect“

    I am also using wintertime to increase my documentation about my car

    Do you have experience how to get access to the history of a car that is registered in the Aston Martin Factory behind the VIN?

    Kind regards

    Gerard

    Like

    1. Hi Gerard! Congrats on the DB9. I researched by VIN by contacting Aston Martin Heritage Trust. I wrote an article about it:
      https://aston1936.com/2016/05/27/contacting-the-amht-for-information-about-your-aston-martin-db9/

      I also learned more about my car by asking an actual Aston Martin Dealer to share all the information they had, and I got a report from them as well. I included that on the My Car page of the Blog
      https://aston1936.com/my-car/

      I also posted a question on the AMOC.org user forum, and Tim Cottingham responded with some details. He’s the official club registrar.

      Hopefully this helps you out a bit with your research.

      Like

      1. Gerard

        Many thanks Steve
        That opens a lot of opportunities to explore
        I will keep you updated about results
        Kind regards
        Gerard

        Like

    1. Brian

      Greg,
      As a lover of classic cars and design, and a DB9 owner myself, I would have to agree with you. However, I believe that in the future we will look back at the DB9 as a “goldilocks” model of this era. What I mean by that, is the design is just right compared to what came before and after it in the series.

      Take for example, the era of the DB4-6. The DB5 is considered the most sought after of the set, and yes some of this is due to Bond films. But while the DB4 set the tone for that style and the DB6 is by far the best driving out of the bunch, the DB5 aesthetically is “just right.” (although if I had a spare $800k lying around, I’d buy the DB6)

      Take another example in another make. The British MG T series. The TC is a classic and beautiful car to both drive and look at. The TF is more refined and better engineered, but the TD, the one in the middle, is by far the perfect blend of the three cars. Line the 3 up and most people when they think of an MG from that era, they imagine the TD, not so much the other two.

      This is what the DB9 will represent. The DB7 drug AML kicking and screaming into the modern era, even though it has a ton of Ford influence. But without Ford, the brand would have long ago died, it could not compete in the modern world as an entirely hand tooled car. So despite all the flaws of the DB7, it saved the brand. The DB9 is and will always be a striking and beautiful design. Pulling from classic styling cues going many decades back. It is rolling sculpture if you stand by and admire it, the earliest versions being most pure. Such as no break in the flow of interior design interrupted by cup holders, as an example. (They later added cup holders to appease the Americans, but it was not what the designers had intended.) The coupe has the cleaner lines, where the convertible breaks them up a bit, especially with the rag top up. But no matter how long you own the DB9, it will always be a beautiful design and will continue to increase in value over the upcoming decades.

      The DB11 was always going to be a challenge for AM, because it achieved artistic perfection with the DB9. But again, it was time to move on carefully. It is technically a better car, and the engineering is a significant improvement. It is a more modern version of the DB9, honoring some of it’s original beautiful lines. In my opinion, its more attractive than any other in it’s exotic car class. But like the DB6 and the MG TF, it goes a bit too far and the newer design is not quite as attractive.

      I’m planning on buying a DB11 in a couple of years, once they dip down to below $100k on a 2016 model. I just want to play with it for a few years. It’ll sit beside the DB9, but I have no intention of selling my DB9, it’s exactly the way I wanted it. Pure, original, and as the designer intended it to be. When the DB11 is gone, it’s older sibling will still be in my garage.

      Like

  36. Brian

    One more thought for your readers out there on the beauty of the DB9. It’s not enough to just admire the beauty and design of this automobile with your eyes. The next time you wash the car, (and I hope no one ever runs this through a car wash! lol) let your mind wander and stop thinking about getting it clean for a moment. Let your hands gently run along the lines of the body, exploring and caressing the seductive curves of the design. Close your eyes for a moment and just feel her. Now you are starting to “see” what the designer intended and envisioned when it was first sculpted in clay. Do this a few times when she is due for a wash and you will have a new and deeper appreciation for this art form.

    Then go do the same when you condition the interior and drink in the aroma of the fine leather, adding yet another sense to the palette. It won’t be long before you appreciate this car beyond just the fun that the driving experience offers.

    Like

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