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!


[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


108 thoughts on “About

  1. Mike Crowther

    Steve- This whole blog is brilliant. I have an’06 DB9 Volante and I’m a member of PistonHeads, 6SpeedOnline, and AMOC, and your stuff is an absolute necessity and VERY well done.
    You have built up some serious karma points, my man!


    1. I’m no Michael Schumacher. Just reducing my mental load and focusing on a smooth line rather than optimal engine rev’s. I usually do a few laps early in the sessions when my focus is sharpest using paddle shifting – 3rd does most of the work and it’s a lot of fun. Next track day is just 4 days away (this Sunday). Looking forward to it.


  2. Martin Schmidt

    Hi Steve,

    I’m writning from Germany
    Your site is bsolutely outstanding and indispensable for every DB9 enthusiast.
    Glad I found it helping me not to carry to much money to the Aston workshop.
    All the best


    1. Hi Martin – thanks for the kudos. It’s nice to empower ourselves to do the stuff that’s reasonable, and then use the dealership for the hard stuff needing serious skills and experience. I just had my car in for an oil leak (front timing cover) and it required 15 hours of shop labor. Expensive, but things like that I would never be able to do as well. But changing the cabin air filters and more basic stuff I am happy to do.

      Thanks for reading!


  3. Matthias

    Hi Steve,
    I’m new owner of the DB9. My car has the same color as yours, the VIN is A0008.
    I’m intresting in the technical things, and hope to get more knowledge, especially for the electronic stuff, because so many code are blinking when I start the car.
    Thanks and respect for your hard work!
    Greetings from Germany and Beijing


    1. A0008! Wow, that’s one of the very first cars. There were many Field Service Bulletins (FSB’s) for about the first 300 cars as they worked out problems and adjustments needed. Do you have a full service history for the car done by full Aston Martin dealerships? If so, then I would expect most of the FSB’s were done under warranty. If not, this may leave you dealing with the problems. One tool I have certainly used is an AuTel OBD scanner that I can hook up to the car to read the codes, and reset them if appropriate. Hope some of my posts help you out.


  4. Martin Schmidt

    Hi Steve
    This is not a replay but a question:
    The headliner of my 2005 DB9 ist a bit weak.
    It should be tightened lengthwise.
    It seems to me that all of the roof braces have to be removed.
    Do you have any exxperience with that?

    Best regards
    Martin Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Martin,
      You are in uncharted territory for me, fortunately I haven’t had to deal with a saggy headliner (yet). Upholstery work scares me some. Good luck with it, let me know what you end up doing.


      1. Jag

        Steve, the DB9 workshop manual you have did it cover the 15 hour job to replace the gasket for the oil leak? If so can you put a link out to it?




      2. I think its a myriad of sections and skills since you have to essentially remove the front timing cover while its still in the car. Getting the front crank pulley off in the space available looks brutal. Radiator, all the accessory drives, and all the bits around it. I’d recommend you probably invest in getting your own copy of the Workshop manual from the Aston Martin Technical Info detailed in another post on this site, then you can have access to all the sections you may need to get it done. Good luck!


      3. Martin Schmidt

        Hi Steve,

        Finally I have it done!
        Headliners completely removed, cleaned, a new upholstery throughout the whole headliner and the whole thing newly glued.
        It looks and feels fantastic now – like new.
        And the price, I think, was rahter fair: Aston Martin charged me about USD 1.300 (VAT included) what is a lot of money but it was an awful lot of work too.


      4. Awesome. Did you remove the headliner yourself? It’s a chore since the dash and side pillars need to come out to get at it. Did you recover the side pillars as well, or just the large shell? Glad you are enjoying it.


  5. Greg Popovich

    Nice site Steve — very informative. I own a 05 DB9 and had the same timing cover oil leak recently repaired (only 10k miles on my car) it cost close to $5k for the repair — how much did you fork-out?


    1. At my California dealer was just under $3K including all the parts. About 15 hours plus the parts (that weren’t all that much – gaskets, thermostat, coolant). Its not about the money right ;>) But, this repair was one I certainly wouldn’t have attempted.


      1. Greg Popovich

        Question: Do you think it’s necessary to change the oil annually if I only drive 2k miles a year? When I check my oil it looks clean as new. The dealer here is SO CA charges over $1k for an oil change and since it’s synthetic oil I was thinking it might be okay to go longer between changes? I do drive the car every weekend just not very far — but far enough to get engine up to proper temperature. Thanks, Greg


      2. Of course that’s up to you, but I’m actually a believer in doing it annually. I know its very likely it would be fine to skip a year at such low mileage. But, I think its generally accepted amongst DB9 owners in the forums that once a year is proper, regardless of mileage. Take the Brake Fluid change for example, part of every service. This is because the fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs water) and it won’t matter if you drive 1 mile or 10K, it still degrades the same. Now is it worth $1,000? Not to me. But if you we’re into DIY like I am on this blog, a simple 1yr/10K annual service would be under $200 in parts (about $90 for the Mobil 1 oil and maybe another $75 for the AM Oil Filter and drain plug). Good luck.


  6. Greg Popovich

    Thanks – I agree and I’m going to get it changed by an independent mechanic who is highly recommended. Hopefully his pricing will be a bit more favorable then the dealer.


  7. Lutz.reipricht@t-online.de

    Ciao Steve,

    i also do feel the inclination to write. First and foremost, you are a true enthusiast. When I read your articles, I keep thinking of the time it took for you to bring all of this to the reader.

    Great show.You are way up front, as we say in Germany.

    Speaking of shows: I inhaled your track day 2016. The best thing was your “to go” coffee cup in the center console. I had to laugh so loud, because my wife always complains about the fact of how I can drink coffee in the car. My “I’ve spent 17 years in the US” doesn’t help much in the argumentation.

    Two insights to your car and to your driving:
    1. I found it interesting to see, that the interface – plastic to wood – on your center console (a.k.a. the ski slope) was so perfect. In my Aston Martin (2008 DB9) the wood no longer follows the contours of the plastic. Something I mentioned at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell when I was there last. They knew about it and said they were never really able to get their grip on that flaw. Differing material properties, hot/cold cycles, etc. So consider yourself fortunate for having such a smooth transition, as it were.

    …speaking of smooth transitions…

    2. The beer I was drinking, as I read “sphincter pucker moment” almost shot out of my nose. What a “chardonnay moment”. No problem with your driving and rest assured, when you get on the Autobahn and kick it at approximately 70 mph, you also get the “sphincter-squeeze” and I mean even on dry pavement.

    So, all is well and you stay well, too!




  8. Eric

    Hey Steve,
    Love the latest videos! I recently changed the transmission fluid on my 06 (manual). Different quantity of oil needed but same same otherwise. The maintenance manual says to disconnect the oil cooler lines to drain ALL the oil. Don’t bother. I didn’t get much out at all. Plus I might have overstressed the A/N fitting because I initially turned it the wrong way. With the new fluid in, it shifts much easier into second. I wondered about adding limited slip additive. The local Aston dealer suggested GM limited slip. Comes in a tiny bottle. He said if you don’t, it will eventually chatter.
    Changing the door struts was a job! Found that some of the plastic covering the foam behind the wheel wells had torn. Don’t laugh but I used black garbage bags and gorilla tape to repair them. Suppose it keeps the foam from rotting? It was tough to access the distant strut clips even with the foam out. Dropped the clips into never never land. Good thing the new struts came with clips.
    I had pretty good luck buying parts from suppliers in the UK. No issues with customs to the US and shipping wasn’t too pricey. Much cheaper than a US dealer.
    You should make a video on coolant change. Wear a raincoat!


  9. Jerry Tweddle

    Steve, just wanted to thank you for your invaluable website. I recently had the drivers side headlight washer cover damaged at the local car wash. It hadn’t retracted fully and got ripped off. It’s a £200 part so I set about repairing it and re-fixing. Because the mountings for the washer extender on the headlight unit were damaged I had to remove the headlight unit to effect the repair. These fixings are non load bearing so pulling the washer stalk out to remove/refit the washer head is a risky business. Mine were cracked/broken so I used a couple of self tapping screws which did the job. I mention this because I am sure many folks have had to buy a new headlight unit to fix the problem.
    When I finished I removed fuse 26 in the engine fuse box to disable the headlight washers so they are always fully retracted. (pointless feature)
    Thank you so much for all the information and video’s, very much appreciated!!

    Cheers Jerry


  10. Lutz

    Ciao Jerry,

    had to laugh, when I read your article. On my 2008 DB9, neither the window washers, nor the headlight washers have ever worked. This damned car has a soul. I just love it, despite – or better said because – of these little quirks. I drive an Audi A6 station wagon. That thing is so reliable and perfect, that it is utterly and completely boring. If anyone does however have a hint on how to get the washers to work again, I would appreciate hearing about that.

    Cheers from continuously stormy Bavaria!



  11. Brilliant blog. I have already used it as a reference to change the oil on the new-to-me 2009 DB9 I purchased last month.

    The car I purchased is 7 years old, but only had 4400 miles on it when I brought it home. It has 6000 miles on it now.

    Which service items would be considered primarily mileage/usage based and which service items would be considered primarily time based?

    I would guess that the engine and cabin air filters should be primarily usage based. And I understand the argument about the brake fluid absorbing water over time (my next project). But what about engine oil? Differential fluid? Transmission fluid? Coolant? Power steering fluid? AC refrigerant?

    Also, are there any grease fittings on the car that need periodic filling?


    1. Thanks, nice to hear the information is helping others.

      No grease fittings I am aware of.

      I think Engine and diff fluids are wise to change annually since they are in environments that breath, so moisture could play a factor (although I am not convinced). Coolant and Power Steering I’d just do every few years. I’ve heard that after 10yrs the tranny fluid (that is supposedly sealed for life) can improve shift performance if its changed. Might tackle this in the next 12 months and make an article of it. A/C – I’d service it only if the systems performance starts to deteriorate (its a fully sealed system).

      I am gearing up to do a major service event changing the plugs and coil packs. A whole new series of videos will be forthcoming. I’ve been leading up to it with the OBDII articles and misfire data. Stay tuned….


      1. I have done coils and plugs on both my DB7(preventive) and DB9 (misfiring),but only took a couple of photos, your high quality vidéo will be of great help to anyone tackling the job.


  12. Hi there! My name is Bryan and in February I joined the Elite of automobile ownership and purchased my 2009 DB9 Volante. It has been a joyous transition from being a die hard Porsche collector. I sold all my Germans to buy the beautiful English unit. As soon as I got it home, I immediately ran to the YouTube for all the information I could stuff in my tiny brain only to be turned away until…I stumble onto your research! What a glorious find it has been. Thank you so much for filming and adding these things for the Greater Good and not monetary gain. A true enthusiast you are sir. I am looking forward to the addition of the coil pack change out video! Thanks again!


    1. You are welcome! I’m sure you’ll love having the Volante, probably the most beautiful convertible GT car out there. Let your other Aston owner friends and Clubs know about the videos and the blog, keep spreading the word :>)


  13. Jag

    Thanks for the link, interesting that they let you download the manual without problems. I have not yet bought the car, will do next year. Plan to self maintain. So will end up buying the manual. Modern cars the front end work is tricky with space issues. So reading your blog is a great insight to ownership. I work on my Audi V8 and you have to pull off the bumper and unbolt the front end to get 6 inches of space to do a timing belt – I bought the manual and diagnostic software for this vehicle. Hoping to do the same for the Aston.


  14. Mark Canelle

    Steve,love your instructional videos,extremely helpful,I had to take out airbox on my 07 MY DB9 to access front bumper what a pain,now trying to reinstall and having major problem getting outlet pipe back into box.Further up the plumbing is clip whuch holds flexible and platic pipe together I saw your video on how to take apart clip is it easy to reassemble as with most things on the car space is quite limited thx


    1. Hi Mark,
      Thanks for the kudos.
      About the clip, they are easy’ish to assemble, but hard in tight spaces. In my Installing the throttle body video you can see me close it with just a simple push of a screwdriver, but space is needed. I suspect there is a proper set of pliers out there specifically for this type of clamp. I am not even sure if I know the name of this style of clamp. Anyone?


  15. Lutz

    Ciao Mark, Gentlemen,

    the airfilter replacement endeavor is already behind me. Thanks to Steve and in this specific case, thanks to my brother-in-law for letting me use his car lift, I was able to work on this, whilst able to stand up completely under the car. I saw some of the picture from Steve with his 4 car jacks and only very little clearance. I felt for you Steve!

    A few things on the issue at hand.
    1. When replacing the air filter, thus having to deal not only with the airfilter as such, but also the air filter box and plactic down pipe, you need to be cautious. When you take off the right side air box (all in the direction of driving) there is a sensor attached to the platic down pipe(pipe below the right throttle body), that needs to be reconnected. Some type of air-sensor (Steve, correct me if I am wrong). We remembered to do this in the last minute prior to reassembly.

    2. If you are already that far in the front of the Aston, I would also suggest ro replace the very far forward running light bulbs. They are yet in front of the turn signals. W5W’s I believe are the bulbs, in blue. They are supposed to mimic halogen bulbs. They only cost very little, but the way to get there is a very, very long one.

    3. My brother-in-law and I had a closer look at the air filters. You will notice, that they are literally only dirty/soiled on one side. Namely in the area where the air streams through the pipe into the filter. A pretty wasteful situation, if you consider the price of the filter and that only 50% of it, are factually dirty beyond help (blowing it out). At the next filter change, we are going to install new OEM filters and will try to recreate the air filters, re-using only the rubber top and bottom. We will then use washable filter material and replace the current plastic support grid with an aluminium/stainless steel version, which we will cut out – analogous to the original – using a CNC machine. Looks like a 2017 project!
    All the best to all of you and your beauties.

    Does anyone have a source for the stone-chip-protection clear plastic film on the bottom front bumper edge. You know the one that takes the beating, when you make bottom contact.


    1. Having a ramp! What luxury.

      The sensor in the pipe is very important, its the MAF, Mass Air Flow Sensor.

      Good suggestion to service the hard to reach bulb while the airbox is out (and test that the replacement is working prior to reassembly).

      I’ve seen the same thing with the air filters, only really dirty on the one side. I suppose just rotating it 180° would double the life span. Good luck on making a reusable filter, sounds like an interesting project!


  16. Lutz.reipricht@t-online.de

    If our efforts in creating a re-usable filter will be crowned with success, we will surely send a video/plans around, or take orders. In respect to the latter option and the fact, that it will probably days to do this, the filter may cost €2.500,00… just kidding, of course. We’ll keep you abreast of the developments.


  17. Mike

    How were you able to determine whether your car had the two-wire or three-wire coils before beginning the replacement project? I’m planning to start my coil pack replacement next month (’06 DB9, manufactured in November 2005). My engine number is quite a bit after yours (AM04 14958) but I don’t really have much confidence that means anything!


    1. Hi Mike. On my car it was a pretty good bet since it was an MY05 built in Dec 04. I’ve heard the crossover was sometime in 05. This post alludes to it, but isn’t clear enough to be sure http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=70&t=1609155. You might want to contact Rob Sims at HWM (mentioned in my Parts you’ll need post) to ask them if they can tell any better. Maybe they have the threshold by VIN number. If they do, please share with me. Good Luck.


  18. Cor Stakenborg

    Thanks so much Steve for your response, much appreciated. I believe that little parking light bulb is accessed only from under the air box which needs to be removed in its entirety, pain for sure but I cannot understand why removing the entire headlight assembly from the top wouldn’t be easier, maybe that’s not an option? Did buy my service parts from your link in England, saved big
    money, so thanks for that lead.


    1. Lutz

      Yes Gentlemen, off you go under the car, remove the wheels, the inner wheel arch, the air box and work yourself past the light assembly into the very extreme front of the car to replace a € 5 bulb. Little hint. While you are at it, change the one on the other side, too. Caution on the right side (in the driving direction)…air mass sensor is snapped into the air box assembly down tube.

      All the best from someone who has been there.


  19. Marcin

    Wonderful site!

    Just what I was looking for.

    I bought my 2005 DB9 almost a year ago and now is the time the problems start to appear.

    I have a timing chain cover leak and also spark plugs and coils need replacing so the dealer repair is very expensive.

    Thanks to you I will be able to do it mostly on my own effort and save a lot of money.

    Best wishes


    1. Hi Marcin. Sounds like the experience I had as well. The oil leak from the front right corner of the right hand timing cover (above the alternator) was VERY expensive to get fixed. My local dealer took care of it (you can see in the My Car section of the blog) and it was nearly $5K. 15 hours of dealer labor, plus a few hundred in parts. It was well beyond what I was willing to do myself.


  20. Martin Schmidt

    Hi Steve
    Today the after sales manager of my Aston garage told me that the only weak point of the DB9 engine is the main bearings. Luckily I haven’t experienced any problems of that kind yet.
    Do you?
    Thanks a lot for your great work on our babies



  21. Hi Steve, thanks for the wonderful job documenting your experiences. Two weeks ago I bought DB9 # 1839 (10,004 miles) and have learned a lot from your efforts. As I live in Tahoe (far from a dealer), and am inclined to do as much on my own as possible, the path you have blazed is invaluable. Unfortunately, I have a few gaps in understanding my car’s history, so I will retrace its history like you have done with 1936. Thanks again! Brian


  22. Kevin

    Thanks for the website and the costs spread sheet. Although I track my gas mileage, costs and keep all my invoices I’d never taken the time to pull them all together. Having had my 2007 DB9 now for 1623 days it never fails to bring a smile to my face anytime I am out. Working away from home a lot and only running her during the summer months has kept the annual mileage down but I’d convinced myself that running costs were virtually negligible. My cost per mile driven is £5.36, cost per day owned £8.74 and average costs per year £3,191.84. (GBP not Dollars). 40% of this being main dealer servicing. The only saving grace is that depreciation has been really low :-). The scary calculations came when I ran the same exercise on my 2016 BMW 330D xDrive to find out that annually it costs me more!



    1. Hi Kevin. I’m pleased it inspired you to do the math on your car. I’m just about to publish a feature article on the costs as well, making the case that a well maintained used DB9 can be comparable to a new performance car. Thanks for visiting the blog and sharing your numbers!


  23. Howard

    Hi Steve,
    Thank you for your fantastic website!

    I am in Australia and having agreed ion a price am about to buy a 2009 DB9 Volante. Your videos and explanations have answered a number of questions for me and given me confidence about my purchase.



  24. Sean Dardis

    Hey Steve,
    Thanks for all the info. Just got myself a Titanium Silver 2008 DB9 Sports. Used your info to sort out a few small things so far. My passenger side (Left hand side, I’m in Australia) pilot/parking bulb has blown. Can’t reach it through the access panel. The wheel well inner lining gets nowhere near it, I fear I have to take out air box – fancy doing up a video on that?



    1. Very nice car, congrats. Hope you enjoy it. If the bulb you are talking about is at the very front ‘nose’ of the headlight assembly, I’ve heard that one is a PITA. Airbox has to come out. I do plan on doing an entire series on replacing every bulb, plus LED equivalents that will never burn out again.


  25. Sean Dardis

    yes those are the ones… right at the front nose. I think they are little festoon type bulbs at 5W. I’ve already replaced every interior bulb with LEDs so the plan would be to replace those front two with LEDs. I might wait until you do a video – I’ve enjoyed the videos and they make it easy to follow along.


    1. Would love to learn what LED bulbs (link to purchase site, cost, etc) for the ones you replaced. If you want to tackle the dead bulb sooner, watch my videos on changing the air cleaner, and then you’d just need to disconnect the airbox body to get up to the bulb.


      1. Sean Dardis

        Hey Steve,

        Well I essentially just got a set a while ago from Ebay – they were for my old car, BMW M3. The first set I bought didn’t have a couple of the door lights so I got another set. About $30 bucks I think they cost. I had enough left over to do the Aston. Which was the first job I did. I have a tyre pressure sensor to fix, the front pilot bulb and that about it. it’s a 2008 with only 50ks on it, although i think I’ll have to do the suspension bushes as feel a few knocks which are likely the deteriorated bushes which happens over time.


  26. Howard

    Hi again Steve,
    would you happen to know where I can locate on the DB9, the actual build-date? I told the Volante I am looking at is a 2009 with MY 2010 but I would like to check and cannot find a plate or stamp anywhere.



  27. Howard

    Hi again Steve,
    I can now answer my own question (above) after purchsing a copy of ‘The Definitive Guide to the new Gydon Era’. The information below is on pages 242 and 243 of my copy.

    The MY Year is row 10 of the VIN. Years 2004-9 are numbers 4-9 of course. Years 2010-17 etc are represented by A to H.

    In the USA apparently you have the added benefit of a B pillar certificate label.



  28. Scott

    Hi Steve

    Just found this amazing resource through a link from your youtube video on cost of ownership.

    I was nodding my head all the way through the video as the issues you mentioned with early cars has also happened to me (trans cooler leak and engine front seal leak). I have also had one of the door locking modules fail, which required both door modules and the central processing module to be replaced as the early cars door modules are no longer available. Now that I have been through all of these, my main dealer who services the car is convinced I will get the next 40k miles without any “major” (read anything over $5k) bills from them.

    Your write ups are especially useful as there is almost nothing out there on the internet on fixing your own Aston Martin. I am going to go through each and every one of them now that I have found them here. My other cars are Jaguars and a Range Rover and you can find out absolutely everything you need to know on how to fix those so it’s a stark contrast to the Aston, where most forums only talk about the quality of the espresso in the main dealers waiting room.

    I completely agree with your advice to get a 2007+ car. I couldn’t quite get enough cash together for one when I bought mine, plus I was kind of hooked on the color of the car I finally bought, but in the end, with the additional repair costs, it would almost have been a wash, plus you get bluetooth, etc.

    I also have a very understanding wife. We refer to the Aston as my supermodel girlfriend. Quirky and temperamental sometimes, costs a fortune in upkeep, but on the rare occasions you go out with her, she makes you feel like a million dollars 🙂

    My car? Almost forgot. 2005 DB9 Coupe. Merlot Red. Two tone burgundy and cream interior. Standard 19″ wheels (no sportspack). I don’t need to send you a picture as you know what one of those looks like! The only way to tell our cars apart would be the rear lights. I changed mine to the white ones, but then had one of them fail in a rainstorm I got caught in, so I went back to the original red ones but fitted carbon fiber blades as inserts. I absolutely love the color of our cars, but I felt you didn’t get that nice contrast effect as the color coded blades are very similar to the color of the rear lights. Personal choice I guess.

    We found the car online in Texas after extensive searching. We flew down from San Francisco on a Friday night. Met the owner on Saturday morning. Bought it, and drove it the 1700 miles back home in 2 days. It arrived back covered in bugs, and even had something like a bird stuck in the radiator grille, but I will remember that drive forever.

    We’re in the Bay Area (Morgan Hill) so if you are ever down that way (with or without your Aston), do get in touch.




  29. Phil Nash

    Hi Steve,
    I have just found this site! I have a 2005 6 speed DB9 I have owned for 2 years with about 50k kms on it. Unfortunately, I am a mechanical nuff-nuff, but I have enjoyed reading the articles on your site and watching your youtube clips. (I immediately went outside and checked to see if my windows drop on opening the door – they did! Can I therefore also assume then that the Seat positions and engine misfire calibration are still set appropriately?).

    Many thanks for all of the information here. I am enjoying the reading and admiring the efforts to post on this site.

    If you come over to Melbourne Australia bring your OBDII reader and I will shout you a swish lunch and lend you a car tour around in.

    Best Regards
    Phil Nash
    Melbourne Australia


      1. Phil Nash

        Steve the F1 GP is on the week after the Historic Racing at Phillip Island. The largest in the southern hemisphere. You should come and do BOTH. Bring your “signifiant other” as the weather is still warm (March is the first month of Autumn this side of the world). I have a holiday house at the beach near Phillip Island (Cape Woolamai, about 15 minutes from the track). Myself and few other retired chaps from the Alfa club head down annually for a couple of nights. Shall i put you down for one of the bedrooms? 🙂


      2. Sounds tempting, and we’ll consider this. We are off to Japan in August and then Mexico City for the F1 race in October, so I think we’ll be looking at 2018+. I appreciate the offer!


  30. Hi Steve, this blog is extremely well done and all of your videos and explanations are very detailed and that’s not so easy to find on the internet. I’m quite impressed! I LOVE my DB9, it’s the most fun I’ve had in a car. The history of the company is fascinating and there is simply no other brand quite like it, anywhere. There are faster cars, there are certainly more expensive cars, but no one combines the power, luxury, and pure art of design quite like AML.

    I produce television documentaries for a living (25 years) and have been producing several automotive series in the past 4 years. I had the unique privilege of spending a week last spring as a guest of AML in England. Most of my filming was done at the Newport Pagnell facility. That place is incredible! Sure Gaydon has the new stuff, but for a history buff, like myself, imagine standing in a room with 47 perfect 100 point restored vehicles. DB4, 5, 6, a few pre-war models, and a DBR2 race car valued at $12M. Nothing in that room was valued less that $750k, most were a little over a million. Simply mouth watering. That factory is still in full use, but now they restore the classics. Send them your well worn DB5, they will pull the original build sheets and then strip it down to the last bolt. In 2 years and $400,000 later, you will have a perfect DB5, rebuilt at the same factory that it was first born in. Using the same tools, body bucks, and skill set of the old masters.

    This is what we purchase when we buy ANY Aston Martin. It’s not just a cool car, it’s history in the making, and the pride of owning something that 99% of the public will never get to drive or experience. This is truly an art form in mechanics.

    I have included a link to the half hour episode we produced on the AML. Enjoy it as my thanks for building a terrific blog! Feel free to share the link.


    1. Very cool! Would have loved to be there with you. If you are ever looking for an Edd China type for a production like a Wheeler Dealers episode, I’ll throw my name in the hat!!

      Did AML sponsor your production? It looks great.


      1. Thanks for your kind comments. I gained access to the folks at Aston through the AML Museum, those folks were nice enough to connect me. Then during my time at Newport Pagnell, I could not have been treated any better! One of the engineers even gave me the solution to an issue I was having with the DB9, turned out to be an easy fix. They did not sponsor the episode but were happy to provide me with some media material from their archives.

        Personally I really enjoy “Wheeler Dealers” I think it’s one of the best build shows out there. I’ll keep you in mind if we need a host of such in the future!

        On another note, I’m totally nuts about the new DB11. It’s on my acquisition list in about 5 years… lol. I’ll kindly let someone else drive it first and take the initial massive depreciation hit over the first few years. But I have a garage space waiting for one in Cinnabar Orange… But I won’t be trading my DB9, it’s a keeper!

        In my dream collection, I would own a DB5, a 1932 Duesenberg Model J Phaeton, a 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster, and a 1963 Corvette Stingray. I just love automotive “art.”


  31. Alexander

    Thank you so much!!!! I’m from Moscow,Russia. I have a 2005 db9 , 2002 db7 and a 2014 vanquish.

    You did a great job. I’ve seen all you vlog. Lots of very useful information for Aston Martin collector . !!!

    Best regards, my friend!!!


      1. Alexander

        Yes, for sure …. about 8-12 weeks)
        But it’s worth waiting .

        Thank you so much for you blog. My db9 has only 7600 км on odometer , but still a lot of small issues)


  32. Steve Hutton

    Hello I really appreciate your web site! Couldn’t stop reading.
    As you have probably experience in the past. Repair shops don’t want to touch your car because of the liability of something going wrong. Well I have a situation with my 06 DB9. I have done a compression check on my v12. Forward piston left side has coolant in it, pressure is good. The rest of The pressures on the Left side are all good. The right hand side first three cylinders are at about 30 psi, the remaining three of the right are good. So I’m pulling the heads off and replacing the gaskets! Does anyone know a shop that will tackle a valve job in California. Also anyone with advice on valve timing and R&R on the heads would be appreciated?




    1. Hi Steve. Thanks for the Kudos. Wow, pulling the heads for a rebuild. Yikes, that makes changing the Coil Packs look trivial. Same process though, just pulling off more layers. No idea where to get a head rebuilt here in Cali, but I suspect any decent automotive machine shop that services Porsche’s, AMG Mercede’s would be up to the challenge. They can deck the head, machine the valves and seat, etc. That’s pretty universal. Not sure how you’d get the heads off with the engine still in the car, those last two cylinders are fully under the cowl. Maybe…. Keep me informed and take some pictures….


  33. Brian Greene

    Hi Steve,
    Just a heads up a a new problem I had on my ’05 about 6 weeks ago. One day I went out to start it in the garage and nothing happened! The battery tested low, so I replaced that (using your instructions), but still nothing when the start button was pushed. So I called my friendly mechanic over and we started trouble shooting. We reset everything, we checked all fuses and relays, everything looked fine. We then tested the starter and found that it was receiving enough power but not passing it through, the problem was obvious, the starter, with only 21,000 miles, had failed!

    No one and I mean no one we talked to in the Dallas area had ever replaced a starter in a DB9, except of course the dealer. So we called up our friend Andy at the “Aston Workshop” in England and discussed the issue with him. (BTW, they are a fabulous source of both information and literally ANY part you would ever need for your Aston.) He agreed that based on our tests, the starter had gone bad. He sent me a new starter ($650) and gave my mechanic detailed instructions. This is not for the faint of heart, we discovered that you will need a lift and an extra pair of hands, because most of the exhaust system must be moved slightly to get the starter removed. It’s in a very tight space that lacks about 2 inch of clearance to get it in or out.

    In the end, we removed as much of it as we could without a lift, then I called my free towing with my insurance agency to tow it to the AML dealership in Dallas. Because it was partially disassembled and I already had the part, my labor cost was a reasonable $700 for AML to finish the job. In the process they discovered that my rear brake lines were corroded and needed replacing. During this time, the entire WORLD parts system for AML was down for over a full week. So again, I called Andy in England and had him ship me the brake lines. My dealer in Dallas was shocked that I had the parts in only two days. Aston had them on back order and they expected it to take over 2 weeks!

    So my total labor cost for everything was about $1,100, better than I was expecting from a dealer and they were super friendly during the entire time. I even got to test drive a DB11 for fun when I went back to pick up my car. Yeah… give me 5-6 years and I”m going to buy a 2017 Cinnabar Orange one after some other sucker eats the depreciation. lol

    I just wanted to tell your readers my latest story in case someone else ends up with a bad starter. Apparently this is NOT a common problem on these cars, especially with so few miles on it. But she is back on the road again and I’m once again happy. 🙂


    1. Wow! What a story, and adventure. At least you got to roll in a DB11 for a while. There is a YouTube video from a guy with a V8 Vantage swapping his starter, but he got his ass kicked doing it. He discovered the started was a fairly stock part (Jag, rover, etc) and could get it cheaper. But, its the V8, so may not be the same as our V12’s. Good that they caught the brake line issue before that led to something scary.


      1. Brian greene

        Yes, it certainly was an adventure. If this was any other car, I’d be open to cheaper parts. But because this is an AM and the fact that it was very difficult to replace this part, I only wanted the latest genuine AML part. The guys in England really are a wonderful resource. Here in Texas, there is not much of a real knowledge base to lean on. On the other hand, it’s not a surprise to me that many of the parts are from the Ford or Volvo parts bin.

        In regards to the DB11, all I can say is WOW!!! It’s easy to see the evolution from the 9 to the 11, it feels very familiar yet totally new at the same time. Interestingly, the service advisor at AM in Dallas said that they are seeing quite a few little problems on the new model from owners. Another reason to wait a few years to pick one up, let them work out the kinks first. But that Mercedes engine is a BEAST! 🙂


      2. Brian Greene

        Hi Steve, It was the V12, I did not know that the new V8V was out yet? They mentioned it arriving later in the year. But I don’t think the Dallas dealer has received one yet. For me, I’d probably only want the V12, I just love the sound of the exhaust note and love the idea of 12 cylinders under the hood.


  34. Chris Piazza

    Hi Steve, I’m a new DB9 owner and I’ve been following your blog for a while now. Just wanted to say thank you for putting all this info up and your DIY videos are fantastic. A few things I was curious about. Do you know how to change a water pump on the V12? Also is there any specific way to change the accessory drive belt on the V12? Thanks in advance!

    Chris Piazza


    1. Hi Chris. Thanks for following along, and congrats on getting your DB9. What year/color?

      No articles on the water pump or accessory belt/tensioner yet. Here’s to hoping mine don’t need replaced anytime soon!


      1. Chris Piazza

        Hi Steve, I picked up an 06 DB9 Volante , calofonia sage over Sandstorm interior. I purchased it from Aston Martin Long Island. Probably paid a little more than buying it from a second hand dealer. But that seemed to make sense based on all the research I’ve done on these cars, mainly for the piece of mind and the extensive service records the dealer had. I’m like you with cars, pretty handy in the garage so I’ve been following along trying to learn as much as possible so I can do my own maintenance (and maybe save a few bucks along the way). Here’s hoping I got a good one 😉


  35. jeff

    Hi Steve

    I left a message on your blog and cant find it, to delete it. However, I resolved the issue of the car not starting.. AM have this sweet little transponder in the key. not FOB but key and its fairly easy for the key to come apart!!!! and this then ejects the transponder under the passenger seat! nifty trick but it does it.. this then disables the start ability within the key! anyway. once found and re-inserted. The problem went away as did the tow truck!!!


  36. Gerald Guzman

    Hi Steve,
    Wow am I happy to see your site. I actually started watching your YouTube last year, just before I bought my 2005 DB9. I am very mechanical, built numerous racing engines in boats, worked on a lot of cars, but until I saw your videos was hesitant to purchase my dream car. Now, a year later, I am so happy to have a DB9, 48,000 mi. I love it. Body is perfect, interior is perfect, but many mechanical issues I am taking care of. Luckily nothing major. I can turn the wrenches, no prob.
    My car is Midnight Blue Metallic, with interior same as yours. Hope to be able to meet at a Coffee some time, but I live in SoCal, so NoCal is quite a trek.
    Keep up the great work! I will continue to follow and give support. Excellent site and I really appreciate you!



  37. Derek Sene

    Hi Steve
    Found your videos extremely useful, I have a 2005 db9 and I changed the wiper assembly mechanism and whilst doing this scraped two top of coils, so when I started it had a misfire on the two last cylinders in the left bank (sitting in the car). By then and looking at your videos I bought a new set of coils, plugs and manifold gaskets. Did the job but now the engine spins but does not start. I have gone back through everything and cannot find anything loose or off.
    Can you help shine some light on this, as there might be something electrical which I think is the cause and you might have come across.
    This Derek


    1. Hi Derek. Hopefully you’ve been able to resolve. If you removed the fuel pump relay as I did during the procedure, perhaps its not properly installed. Not quite sure how the wiper assembly could get to damage the coils (since the coils are under the spark plug covers, intakes and the intake brace. Good luck bringing her back to life.


      1. Derek

        Hi Steve,
        Yes she is running smoothly now. I was working yesterday evening on her. All I did was go and remove all fuses and relays as they become somewhat gummy and stop contacts.
        To give you some info, whilst I change the battery I found the cable that you tucked in behind the battery containing two fuses, had a 5amp blown one .
        The other thing was changing the wiper assembly is a big nasty job. This seats under the cowl just beneath the wndshield and there is no way on earth you can remove it without, first removing both manifolds and coil covers , brake servo and master cylinder and even so it scraped through. I should have dropped the engine but that was even a bigger job I guess. If you ever come accross this just taking the two last coils would have cleared it.
        Anyway I am about to build up the battery brace and exhaust vent pipe and should try her out today .
        Thanks and keep up those videos


  38. Zia

    Hi Steve. Great site, videos are extremely helpful. Picked up an 05 DB9 last year and a few months in developed a lumpy idle. Cylinder 12 was the culprit. Followed your coil pack and plugs change to the tee. Although running much smoother, still a small lump. Cylinder 12 has roughly 20 or so misfires after about 1/2 hour of driving. Did I miss doing something? I must admit that I did not do the misfire correction learning reprogram afterwards. Could that affect? Thanks.


    1. Hi Zia. That’s a good question. The misfire correction should be done to eliminate it, but not certain it would have anything to do with an actual misfire. Its possible that it could still be some other aspect, bad wire, weak voltage, or maybe a funky fuel injector. Probably the easiest things to do first are the misfire correction and then run a couple of tanks of Chevron Techron Fuel Injector cleaner to see if the problem changes in any way. Wish I had more to add. Let me know how it goes.


      1. Zia

        Many thanks Steve. I was not expecting such a rapid and informative reply. Will give both suggestions a go and will let you know how things go.


      2. AURELIO

        I was wondering if you know anything or what is your opinion about the Vanquish 2014 comparing to the DB9/DBS. Is it less maintenance? Is the engine and transmission the same? What are the pros and cons.


      3. Hi Aurelio. I’m no expert on the Vanquish (other than admiring it). In general most of the power train has the same maintenance. They are differences in spec, but the overall level of maintenance should be similar. If you can afford a Vanquish I would certainly say go for it!


  39. Jan Witkowski

    Very much enjoyed your videos, especially the “real cost” video. I am not an Aston Martin owner (wish I was!) but I do have a 1974 Jensen Interceptor. I had major engine and transmission work done on it but fortunately the car didn’t cost very much, has depreciated all it ever will, and even over the past couple of years has appreciated a tiny amount, The real appreciation, of course, is the amount of pleasure I get driving the car and that outweighs the costs (although my wife is not so sure about that!).


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