Determine if your Aston Martin V12 has 2 pin or 3 pin Coil Packs

A common issue with the V12 Aston Martin engine is that the coil packs begin to fail causing a misfire. When ordering replacements you need to know if they are the early 2-pin or later 3-pin versions. The problem is that you can’t know for sure before you start. Aston Martin made the design change on the DB9 probably sometime in 2006. Even the dealer can’t tell you if you supply your VIN number. To know for sure you need to get a look at them. Problem is, they are deep in the middle of the cylinder head. Let me show you a trick to get a peek before you start the project. Continue reading “Determine if your Aston Martin V12 has 2 pin or 3 pin Coil Packs”

Lubricating the Door Locks in an Aston Martin DB9

A maintenance task most owners won’t think about is to periodically lubricate the lock mechanism in their Aston Martin. With electronic central locking and the remote key fobs almost no-one uses the key any more. Until of course you have a dead battery and need to open the car the old fashioned way. Let me show you how to do it. Continue reading “Lubricating the Door Locks in an Aston Martin DB9”

Acronyms used in Aston Martin Workshop Manuals

Official Workshop Manual

If someone asked you to check if the BCM is communicating to the CEM over the CAN, would you think to check it with the AMDS?  Uh – can you repeat that in English please!   The official Aston Martin Workshop manual is bristling with Acronyms, and knowing what they mean will make taking care of your Aston go a lot easier. Continue reading “Acronyms used in Aston Martin Workshop Manuals”

Replacing the Battery in your Aston Martin Crystal Key Fob

If you have a later model Gaydon era Aston Martin DB9, Vantage, DBS, Rapide, Virage or Vanquish you likely have a pair of Crystal Key fobs, and one less fancy plastic Valet key.   Aston’s marketing team called the sapphire crystal key fobs Emotional Control Units (ECUs) – uhh, sure.  Like any modern automotive key fob they have a battery inside them that powers the transmitter for the buttons that lock and unlock the car.   Aston Martin’s service schedule recommends that the batteries be replaced each year during the annual dealer service.   While that’s the most conservative approach, you can save yourself some money and do it every 2-3 years, or even just wait until it stops working to tackle it yourself then.   It’s a very easy procedure you can tackle in just a few minutes on the kitchen table at home.  Let me show you how. Continue reading “Replacing the Battery in your Aston Martin Crystal Key Fob”

Replacing the Idler Pulley Bearings in an Aston Martin DB9

One belt does it all

In a recent article Darren Crompton showed you how to change the accessory drive serpentine belt and idler pulley’s in his 2009 DB9.   Check out his article here.  Darren sourced his parts from his local Aston dealer in Australia, and tackled the task from above and below the car.

Manuel’s DBS Volante

Another reader of this site – Manuel Tollini – tackled the same task on his DBS – but with a twist.  Manuel worked out how to keep the original idler pulleys and just replace (and upgrade) the worn bearings.  This saves a considerable amount of money, and the only part you would need to buy from Aston is the serpentine belt.

I suspect this process is valid for all Gaydon era V12 cars like the DB9, DBS, V12 Vantage, Rapide, Virage and Vanquish.  He shared with me how he did it for his DBS (and now I am going to share it with you!). Continue reading “Replacing the Idler Pulley Bearings in an Aston Martin DB9”

Aston1936 Holiday Gift Ideas

If you are an Aston owner and your Sweetie is looking for gift ideas – let me help.  I know, this is a bit of a departure from ‘how to change your oil filter‘, but I’ve been thinking about the plight of your spouses and friends trying to figure out what gift to get someone that probably already has their ultimate toy.

What I’ve come up with is a list of  easy to purchase and hopefully well received gift idea that many Aston owners would appreciate.  The prices range from under $10 USD to a little more, so even a young son or daughter can get a gift idea on an allowance.

This list includes a number of items for owners that work on their cars themselves a bit.  Perhaps they wash their own cars, or change their own oil.   The ideas here can make tasks like that a little easier.   Some of the ideas are more universal and work for any owner.

I figure you’ll spot something you like on the list and forward the link to this blog to your Sweetie to steer them in the right direction [that way Santa will know exactly what you want – wink].

If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please leave a comment below or contact me.  Here is my list for 2021. Continue reading “Aston1936 Holiday Gift Ideas”

Thank You for Brunch!

One of the great things about this hobby is that it helps other Aston owners out with their projects.  From time to time people ask if they can do something nice in return (which isn’t necessary) but I understand.  This led me to create the Donate page (linked above) where kind contributors could pick out a nice treat for me and my Sweetie.   I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity – Thank You! Continue reading “Thank You for Brunch!”

Aston Martin DB9 Seatback Quick Release

Rear seat access is – umm – limited.

If the battery is dead in your Aston Martin DB9 – how to you move the right hand seat forward to access the battery that is UNDER the right rear seat squab?  If you’ve ever been in a DB9, the rear seat area is – ummm – very small.   Getting to that area is close to impossible unless you can tip the seatback forward.

Battery Disconnect Switch

A few readers have recently commented on this conundrum after they pushed the ‘Battery Disconnect’ button in the trunk/boot and then realized that disables the power to the seats.  Of course Aston didn’t put the ‘Battery REconnect’ button in the trunk/boot, they put that under the right rear seat squab – a small yellow button peering out through an access hole.  While this is inconvenient, at least there is a simple manual way to get the seatback to move out of the way.  Let me show you how. Continue reading “Aston Martin DB9 Seatback Quick Release”

Determine if your Aston Martin V12 has 2 pin or 3 pin Coil Packs

2-pin coil pack used on early V12’s

If you own a V12 Aston Martin like the DB9, V12 Vantage, DBS or Virage, you’ve likely heard about the common issue with lumpy idle that is attributed to a misfire condition involving the spark plugs and coil packs.   I’ve done an extensive series on determining the issue and how to replace them (check it out here).  Getting your parts together for that project has one complication – are the coil packs the original 2 wire or the updated 3 wire design?   Even contacting Aston Martin won’t resolve the question – they don’t know.   They will tell you they slip streamed the change sometime during production in 2006 ‘ish.  The only way to tell for sure it to be halfway through the project when you can finally see the tops of the coil packs and count the actual wires.   This is of course a tough time to stop and order the correct coil packs, leaving your car disassembled for weeks waiting on parts.  If you just play the odds and guess, you may end up with a dozen incorrect (and expensive) coil packs.  This misfortune has definitely happened to a few owners.  Let me show you how you can find out for sure BEFORE starting the project. Continue reading “Determine if your Aston Martin V12 has 2 pin or 3 pin Coil Packs”

Storing your Aston Martin

[Photo credit – Damien Morley]
Each year as winter approaches many owners look to put their precious Aston away for a few months of hibernation.   I’m fortunate enough to live in a climate where I can drive my DB9 all year round (I’m not bothered by her getting wet in the few days of California rain we have each year).  If you are going to put your Aston away for more than a month, there are definitely a bunch of steps you should take so that she’s all ready to hit the road in the spring.  [Article Updated for 2021] Continue reading “Storing your Aston Martin”